1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 9, 2016 4:13 AM by Per Berntsen

# What are the definitions of the colors that are in the Lightroom Histogram triangles?

What are the definitions of the colors that are in the Lightroom Histogram triangles?

I have just got into working with the Lightroom Histogram.
I understand the basics and how to apply the adjustments to eliminate the white triangle and get it to gray when the triangle lights up.

I am noticing that the Triangle will at times light up different colors such as :
Yellow, white, red.
What do the colors mean?
Eventually I get to have the triangle turn gray.
However : Am I making the right adjustment to get to the gray color when a color lights up other then white?

In other words:
if I change the whites/highlights is that the correct change or should it be exposure based on a color other then white that shows in the triangle.

I hope I explained my question properly, please ask any follow up questions if I failed to make the case for the question,
Thanks ,

Greg

• ###### 1. Re: What are the definitions of the colors that are in the Lightroom Histogram triangles?

The triangles indicate that one or more channel has been clipped in shadows (left) or highlights (right).

When a channel has been clipped, there is no color from that channel present - i.e. the value is either 0 or 255.

Edit: Lightroom uses percent instead of levels for color values, so the number are 0 or 100%

red = red channel clipped

green = green channel clipped

blue = blue channel clipped

cyan = green and blue channels clipped

magenta = red and blue channels clipped

yellow = red and green channels clipped

light gray = all channels clipped

dark gray = no channels clipped

Unless you're working with images for scientific use, I would set shadows and highlights looking mostly at the image itself, rather than using the histogram. The histogram tells you a lot about the image at a glance, but there is no such thing as a "perfect histogram".

What I usually do is to hold down the Alt key while dragging the Highlights and Blacks sliders, which will show clipping in the image itself. I prefer not to have any clipped highlights (except specular highlights), and usually a little black clipping to have som real blacks in the image.

How set shadows and highlights in an image depends a lot on the nature of the image, and on personal preference.

Some images look better without any blacks or whites at all, like the one below.