plots a histogram of the pixel levels for each channel in image.


uses bin specification bspec.


plots the histogram of the pixel values in the given range.

Details and Options

  • An image histogram is a graphical representation of the color distribution in an image.
  • ImageHistogram works with arbitrary grayscale and multichannel 2D and 3D images.
  • For RGB images, ImageHistogram by default displays the channels using red, green, and blue.
  • Binning specification bspec can be any of the following:
  • nn equally spaced bins
    Automaticautomatic choice of binning
    Allreturn tally of all available pixel values
    "Byte"256 levels after converting data values to a "Byte" type
  • By default, for binary images two bins are used; otherwise, 128 bins are used.
  • The range can be of the following forms:
  • Automaticautomatic ranges depending on the color space
    Allinclude all values
    {All,max}include values below max
    {min,All}include values above min
    {min,max}include values between min and max
  • The following defaults are used for range depending on the image color space. The ranges are chosen to include the subspace of the "RGB" color space.
  • "Grayscale","RGB","CMYK","HSB"{0,1}
  • ImageHistogram accepts options of ListPlot, with the following additions and changes:
  • AppearanceAutomaticdetailed appearance of the histogram
    AspectRatio1/3ratio of height to width
    AxesFalsewhether to draw axes
    FillingAxishow to fill in stems for each point
    FrameTruewhether to include a frame
    FrameTicksNoneframe ticks
    InterpolationOrder0the polynomial degree of curves used in joining data points
    JoinedTruewhether to join bars
    Method"IncludeOutOfRange"method to use
    PlotRangePaddingNonehow much to pad the range of values
  • Possible settings for Appearance are:
  • "RGB"show RGB channel values and overlapping colors
    "Separated"make separate histograms for each channel
    "Stacked"stack values for each channel
    "Transparent"show channels overlapping, using transparency
  • Possible settings for Method include:
  • "IncludeOutOfRange"values below range in first bin and values above range in last bin
    "ExcludeOutOfRange"do not count out-of-range values


open allclose all

Basic Examples  (3)

Histogram of an RGB image:

Histogram of a grayscale image:

Histogram of a 3D volume:

Scope  (6)

Specify the number of levels:

Histogram of a grayscale image showing all distinct levels:

Use range specification All to plot the histogram from the minimum to maximum value in the image:

Histogram of a binary image:

Use a range specification that includes negative values for plotting the histogram:

Histogram of a CMYK image:

Options  (10)

Appearance  (2)

Use additive colors to represent overlapping regions of histograms of an RGB image:

Show separate histograms for each color channel:

Stack the color channels vertically:

For non-RGB images, default plotting colors are used for all appearances:

Transparent histogram of a Lab image:

Stacked histogram:

Separated histogram:

InterpolationOrder  (2)

By default, the histogram is plotted with interpolation of order :

Create a smooth histogram of an image:

Joined  (1)

Render histogram using a stem plot:

Use a disjoint histogram:

Method  (1)

Control how pixels outside of the histogram range are counted and displayed:

PlotRange  (1)

Use PlotRange->Automatic for automatically determining the plot range:

PlotRange->All includes the entire histogram:

Modify the plot range to better visualize the distribution of higher intensities:

PlotTheme  (3)

Use a theme minimum styling:

Add horizontal grid lines to the plot:

Use a theme with dark background in a high-contrast color scheme:

Applications  (1)

Use the image histograms to estimate a suitable threshold:

Select threshold value using visual inspection of histograms:

Binarize image using selected threshold:

Properties & Relations  (3)

Image histogram can also be computed using Histogram; however, it is slower:

Find the histogram distribution of an image:

ImageHistogram blends alpha channel with black:

Blend with black before computing the histogram:

Blend with white:

Drop the alpha channel:

Possible Issues  (1)

Histograms with varying bin widths cannot be displayed using the "Stacked" appearance:

Use a different appearance:

Interactive Examples  (1)

Interactive histogram of an RGB image:

Neat Examples  (1)

Histogram of an image that is made progressively darker:

Wolfram Research (2008), ImageHistogram, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2014).


Wolfram Research (2008), ImageHistogram, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2014).


Wolfram Language. 2008. "ImageHistogram." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research. Last Modified 2014.


Wolfram Language. (2008). ImageHistogram. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from


@misc{reference.wolfram_2022_imagehistogram, author="Wolfram Research", title="{ImageHistogram}", year="2014", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 01-December-2022 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2022_imagehistogram, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={ImageHistogram}, year={2014}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 01-December-2022 ]}