The Power of Histograms

One of the features offered by many cameras these days is the ability to display histograms. These can be viewed for a recorded image, or in many cases for a live scene, allowing you to judge the exposure of a picture. So what exactly are histograms?

A histogram shows a graphic representation of the balance of tones across a range from black to white, through the various shades of grey. It shows the relative number of pixels across the range, usually for the full spectrum of light, but often for just red, green or blue – the colours that make up a projected image.

Using a histogram you can judge the exposure of an image – whether it is too bright, too dark, or just right.

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Neve

I took some photos of a friend’s young daughter recently and was very pleased with the results. Although she wasn’t really in the mood to have her photo taken I did manage to capture some very nice shots as she broke into a smile.

Winnats Pass

I took this picture of Winnats Pass in The Peak District whilst holidaying there last year.

I was careful with both my timing and choice of angle so as to hide the fact that there’s actually a road running through it.

Why Use A Professional?

Given that photography has never been more available to the masses, it’s quite legitimate to ask why anyone would pay a professional to take pictures.

There are many keen and competent amateurs and hobbyists out there creating some excellent work and I wouldn’t want to take anything away from their achievements.

What marks out the pro however is the amount of time they have to dedicate to their craft. A professional will have studied and have a sound background in aspects such as composition, lighting, post-production and presentation, not to mention an investment in equipment and facilities. A professional lives and breathes photography.

When photographing people in a formal situation, a career photographer will have patience and an ability to command whatever circumstances he or she is presented with. This is especially true of occasions such as weddings where you have to get it right first time, regardless of the environment. On other occasions, relaxed and informal, the photographer might have to blend into the background, being as unobtrusive as possible.

Overall, a professional photographer has to produce work that is of value. Work that people are prepared to pay for. To do this he or she has perform to a standard that stands out.

Gem & Alex

These two girls were a joy to work with. Both relaxed and at ease in front of the camera, they gave me a great afternoon’s photography.

We spent a couple of hours shooting on Hartham Common and at St.Leonard’s Church and I was really pleased with the results.

You can find the complete gallery of photos from this session on my website at stevebeeston.co.uk.

Damages by Stephen Thompson

Playwright Stephen Thompson once acted on the stage of The Little Theatre in Hertford, before studying at RADA and embarking on a successful career as a writer. His first play, Damages, has now been brought to the same venue, care of director Barry Lee.

Andy Nash, Emma Williams and Jim Markey in Damages by Stephen Thompson

The play was first performed at the Bush Theatre in 2004, having been commissioned with the support of the Peggy Ramsay Award.

I always enjoy photographing Barry Lee’s productions as not only do they feature fine performances but inspired and detailed sets as well.

Tollesbury Sail Lofts

The Essex coast offers the photographer a wealth of opportunities and Tollesbury is certainly no exception.

Situated on the salt marshes at the mouth of the River Blackwater, there is a large sailing community here, the village having gained a reputation as a yachting centre in the early 20th century.

These sail lofts were built around the turn of the century and served large yachts owned by wealthy Edwardians, who would sail them down to the Mediterranean skippered by local seafarers.

Hertford Museum

Yesterday I photographed the newly refurbished Hertford Museum. For me, this would involve a couple of areas of photography that I was interested in, specifically interiors and close object photography.

The idea was to produce a series of photos that would show both the museum and it’s exhibits.

Having just spent over ¬£1m, the museum was in pristine condition and looking it’s best following the refurbishment that had taken over a year.

The two objects I enjoyed photographing most were the Victorian dolls’ house and the model of Hertford Castle. I was particularly pleased to be able to get right inside the dolls house and show the extraordinary detail.

Many of the exhibits were either behind glass or in perspex display cabinets. However, with careful positioning of the camera and a polarising filter I was able to eliminate most of the glare and reflections.

A gallery of the photos taken at the museum can be found on my website at stevebeeston.co.uk.