Working with the Unbearably Bad Photo–Getting Started
Every once in a while, you grab your camera to catch an image that’ll only be there for a second, and the picture turns out… unbearably bad. Such was the case with a friend trying to catch a photo of a raccoon on her porch.
Since she was shooting through a glass window, she couldn’t use the flash (all you end up with is a photo of a flash bulb reflecting in the window). She had no time to change aperture or shutter settings, and this magnificent piece of digital imagery was the result.
I mentioned the histogram in the beginning of this article. A histogram is essentially a graph showing the distribution of pixels from the dark to middle to light areas of an image. In theory, a typical well-shot (or well-corrected) image will have a histogram with data stretching from the far left to the far right of the graph, reflecting a complete range of dark to mid-tone to bright pixels.
As you might suspect, the histogram for the raccoon image does not show an even display of pixels spread out across the tonal range. Instead, it shows pixels concentrated on the left side of the histogram, indicating an overly dark image.