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Metering Modes | Newborn Posing Beanbag

In my previous blog post I explained what the In-Camera Light Meter is and how to use it. Today I'm going to talk about the various Metering Modes (usually four) that your camera has and how each mode uses different areas in your shooting scene/view finder to meter the light. 

The wonderful guide below was created by and it describes each Metering Mode very well.

metering modes DSLR

You may remember in my last article I talked about using Grey Cards to determine correct exposure (if you haven't read the article, please go back and read it, so this makes sense). Well, imagine if you were using the Evaluative Metering Mode but the Grey Card was only taking up a tiny amount of space in your viewfinder and was sitting on a black backdrop. What do you think might happen? Well, since the Evaluative Metering Mode reads the light from the whole scene/viewfinder, then it's going to be using mostly the black backdrop to meter the light, as the black backdrop is taking up the most room in the scene/viewfinder. So if you were trying to expose 18% Grey correctly this way, you'd end up over exposing your image. If the backdrop was white, instead of black, then you'd end up under exposing your image. 

To correct the above scenario you could do one of two things. You could either get closer to the Grey Card so that it's filling the entire scene in your view finder or you could change your Metering Mode to Spot and make sure the centre point in the view finder is pointed at/over the Grey Card. If you zoom in on the Grey Card to set your exposure (if you're using a zoom lens) just remember that less light enters the lens when your focal length increases. This is fine if you keep your focal length the same when setting your exposure AND taking the shot, but if you zoom back out before taking the shot then your image will be slightly over exposed. If you use a prime lens (fixed lens length) then you don't need to worry about this!

I encourage you to replicate the above scenarios yourself to really reinforce your understanding of Metering Modes. 

In my next article, my aim is to demystify the Histogram! 

Love and {Great} Light,

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