Histogram Basics

Histogram Basics

Photoshop CS6 Tutorial


How to Use the Histogram in Photoshop



The Histogram (aka Levels) is a visual display of your image luminosity values. It can be quite helpful in setting the overall range and adjusting the mid-point.


Step One

Open multiple images in Photoshop (File > Open...).

Step Two

Select one of the images and add a Levels adjustment layer by clicking the Create Adjustment Layer icon and choosing Levels from the pull-down menu.

Step Three

Notice the graphic representation of the image. The left side displays dark pixels and the right side displays the light pixels.

Step Four

Move the Black slider to adjust the dark pixels.

Step Five

Move the White slider to adjust the white pixels.

Step Six

The mid-point can be adjusted with the Gamma slider.

Step Seven

To see the effect of your new layer, toggle the layer's Visibility icon. By clicking the adjustment layer thumbnail, you can see the current settings in the Properties panel and make adjustments.

Step Eight

Add Levels adjustment layers to the remaining images. Notice that the histograms change based on the image content. Darker images have more pixels to the left and lighter images are right heavy.