the histogram exposed (iv) – multipeak-unimodal

This series of photographs and their associated histograms covers multipeak-unimodal histograms, i.e. images which have a histogram which has a core unimodal shape, yet is festooned with peaks.

Histogram 1: A statue against the sky

This image, taken near Glasgow Scotland, has a broad spectrum of intensity values. The histogram has an underlying core “unimodal” shape, bias towards highlights, a result of both the statue and the clouds. The image has exceptionally good contrast. The jagged, multipeak appearance is an artifact of the broad distribution of intensities, and intricate details, i.e. non-uniform regions, in the image.

iPhone 6s (12MP): 4.15mm; f/2; 1/3077

Histogram 2: Oslo lion

This image, taken in Oslo (Norway), is the “poster-boy” for good histograms (well almost). It has an underlying unimodal shape, mostly in the midtones. It is a well-formed image with good contrast and colour. There are shadows in the image, but that is to be expected considering the clear sky and the orientation of the sun. There are no pure blacks in the image, the shadow tones created by the dark windows. There are also few whites, less than 1% of pixels, that are the result of light reflecting off light surfaces (such as the lion).

iPhone 6s (12MP): 4.15mm; f/2; 1/1012

Histogram 3: Plateau river

This image, taken from a moving train on the Bergen Line in Norway, high up on a mountain plateau. The histogram has an underlying core unimodal shape, composed predominantly of midtones, in addition to the lighter end of the shadows (①). There are no blacks and few highlights to speak off. The image has exceptionally good contrast. The jagged, multipeak appearance is an artifact of the image detail, i.e. non-uniform regions, in the image. For instance the sky tapers gradually from 150 to 190 near the top of the hill.

Olympus E-M5(II) (12MP): 12mm; f/7.1; 1/400

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