Photoshop 19.1: Histogram behaviors are different from prior versions

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
I am experiencing problems with the histogram in 19.1.0. I am a mid-career fine art photographer by profession, and have been a PS user since Version 2. I am also a member of the Authors Guild, and write on photography for various publications.


I have been purposely hanging back at PS 2015.5.1, as it has served me well. Yesterday, I decided enough, is enough, and installed 19.1.0.


This first histogram is at Cache Level 1 for the file values of a 36Kx24K pixel 16-bit grayscale file.


Myers-Histogram CC 201551png

Please notice how there are "tails" (lines) out each side of the main body of data, indicating that there are small levels of data almost to the limits of range. For me, it is important to know about these tails exist so that I do not end up creating a clipped condition when applying a curve function. We use S-curve limiters to compact the tails without clipping.


Here is the exact same file at Cache Level 1 for the same 36Kx24K pixel 16-bit grayscale file, but this time in 19.1.0.


Myers-Histogram CC 1910png


Please notice how there is no tail indicating data extending to the left, and rather a botched one going to the right. This is not helpful! You will also notice that the Mean and Standard Deviation values differ.


Further, it use to be nice to be able to take the cursor and scan across the histogram with a display of level and count showing up for whatever was under he cursor. This seems to have gone away in 2015.5, and is even worse in 19.1.0.


Thanks for your help.



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Pete Myers

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  • despondent about the future of PhotoShop

Posted 2 years ago

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Alan Harper

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Hi Pete

I myself am rather confused about histograms in Photoshop, since they often don't seem to display the actual histogram, and often it seems that the histogram under a curves layer is different than the histogram displayed in the histogram panel. Perhaps someone who has looked into this more can comment.

But, in case this helps, you are aware of that you can use the option key (at least it's option on Macintosh) when you move the terminal point of a curve adjustment, and Photoshop will show you exactly which pixels (and, even better, which color channels) are bumping into 0 or 255? I find this to be tremendously useful, and I now just use the histogram to make a general assessment of a photo, and not to analyze which pixels are near or at clipping.
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Tom Attix, Employee

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Something looks a little weird. The 2 histograms have different Means and Standard Deviations, which would imply that they aren't quite the same image. Any chance the color profile is different in the second screen shot?

-Tom Attix
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Pete Myers

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Hi Tom:

NO, that is the exact same image opened up in 2015.1, then again in the current version. Gray Gamma 2.2. I very carefully have checked the color management and calibrations are exactly the same for each. Try it yourself.I think you will be able to confirm it too.
That is why there is a bug. There should also be an OR function that show any value greater then Zero at a level has a minimum display of at least 1 on the scale so that the data tails can be seen. This is a HUGE issue. We need to be able to see the data tails at a level of 1 for anything other then zero.
Also, before 2015, the cursor would should what ever level it was over, and the statistics for that level. That was the most useful. I am not sure what is going on now, but it doesnt help the tool At least there should be a menu that allows the user to configure statistics as per all the previous versions. Pete