Watch Your Histogram

Watch Your Histogram

Sep 19
Watch Your Histogram

Watch Your Histogram

Text & Photos by Brent Durand

It’s easy to get excited when shooting photos of a subject we don’t see every day. Most underwater photographers have learned not to get excited about a photo on the LCD because there might be imperfections when viewing the image at home on a computer screen. That said, sometimes we can’t help but get a little excited about a shot, like the other day during a beach dive in Malibu, CA.

Medium-sized juvenile Garibaldi are pretty common if you have sharp eyes, and I was stoked to see a very juvenile Garibaldi about 1″ in length, swimming boldly back and forth across a rock backdrop that would allow for me to shoot some photos.

After a few minutes of shooting I was sure I had nailed a some sharp and properly exposed images of the fish. Time to pack it in. But in my excitement I neglected to check the blue channel to make sure the vivid blue/aqua coloration of the fish wasn’t blown out.  I didn’t discover that the blues were blown out until I got home, squashing my hope to have this image in the library.  Lesson learned.  You better believe I’ll be checking each color channel on the next shoot!

blown out fish

The red inside of the blue coloration shows where the blue channel was overexposed in the image.



Closeup of the histogram showing the overexposed blue channel.


juvenile garibaldi

This was almost a “keeper”


Brent Durand is an avid California beach diver, photographer and writer with a rapidly growing portfolio of unique underwater, ocean lifestyle and adventure images. Brent is editor-in-chief of the Underwater Photography Guide. Make sure to follow UWPG on Facebook for updates on everything underwater-photography.