Love that explanation and the analogy at the end. How to read a histogram is so important, but I've seen it rarely discussed. Thanks for sharing the info, and love your shots. I'd have the first one on the left blown up to poster size and put it on my wall if I were you.
The histogram is the best tool in judging the exposure in the field.If you just need one exposure from a scene to get a good photo ...you best try to get the grafic in the histogram as far to the right side as possible without actually touching the histograms edge. If by looking at the histogram the highlight are as close to the right as possible ....but the shadows at the left side are touching the left side of the histogram you know you wil need a second exposure to get a good photo. This means the contrast difference in the scene is higher than your camera can capture in just one photo.
Some photographers adjust the exposure afterwards when they get home
and they have a hard time in getting a good exposed photo. Even working in Raw (or Nef) is not always the key to succes in that matter. Cranking the exposure upwards from an underexposed photo will always cause shadownoise and loss of detail in the shadowzone. Correcting an overexposed(clipped) photo by lowering the exposure wil get you good results without noise in the midtones and shadows.......but there are details gone from the highlights, and there's no way to get them back.
Raw's are not perfect but they are much better than jpeg files....jou can always stretch the exposure in a Raw file a bit more than in Jpeg file.
You could compare Raw and Jpeg to a box of cookies. The Raw file is a full box of cookies ...the Jpeg is an empty box. At the outside both boxes look exactly the same....same good looking colors.......its only when jou open the empty jpeg cookiebox that you will be dissapointed