the histogram exposed (v) – indistinct

This series of photographs and their associated histograms covers indistinctly shaped histograms, i.e. images which have a histogram which does not really have any distinct shape.

Histogram 1: Dark depths

This is a good example of a low-key image, but contains content which makes this an aesthetically pleasing image. The histogram shows as asymmetric unimodal, tiered towards the darker tones. The dark tones, ①, are naturally provided by the black hull of the ship, the dark vegetation, and the water. The midtones, ②, are associated with the lighter vegetation, and the ships reflection in the water. The larger of the two peaks in the highlights, ③, is the side of the ship, and the building on-shore, and the smaller one, ④, basically is the white on the front of the ship.

Olympus E-M5II (12MP): 20mm; f/4; 1/160

Histogram 2: Light buildings

This is an excellent example of an image (Bergen, Norway) which has white clipping, but it doesn’t have much to do with blown-out regions. The whites in the image are entirely associated with the sides of the two larger buildings which are exposed to direct sunlight. This is not a distinct multipeak histogram, but it is divided into four tonal zones: ① the shadows; ② the midtones; ③ the upper midtones and highlights; and ④ the whites.The sun was intense on this day leading to a slightly paler sky, and bleached buildings facing into the sun.

Olympus E-M5II (12MP): 17mm; f/5.6; 1/250

Histogram 3: Red train

This image of a train at the station in Voss (Norway) which has a histogram which covers a broad range of tones. The image has good contrast overall with only two distinct peaks: ① Values 87-124 comprise most of the red and dark gray portions of the train, as well as fine detail throughout the image; and ② Values 234-245 comprises the edge of the train roof. Images which contain a lot of detail and varied tones typically produce histograms containing a lot of “spiky” detail.

Olympus E-M5II (12MP): 19mm; f/4.5; 1/200

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