The histogram you see in your camera or software is simply a graphical representation of the tonal range of your photo – the blacks are on the left, the whites on the right and the mid-tones fall in between. Any spike that touches either edge is referred to as being ‘clipped’ and in those areas all data has been lost.
The 4 tonal ranges where data remains and which may be effectively modified by processing software are Shadows, Low Midtones , High Midtones and Highlights, however, without practice and experience, visualising those tonal ranges is not easy.
The slides below will take you through a guided exercise to help you identify those tonal regions, just follow the instructions below each image.
Hover over the image and you will see < and > arrows, use these or the ‘radio’ buttons underneath the image to go forwards / backwards through the exercise.
Then test your understanding by taking the ‘Tonal Challenge’ .