Understanding Metering – Chapter 6
I am back with the latest edition of my Free Basics of Photography Course. Yes, I know I am not a schedule but my real life has caught up to me. Without further ado we dive into to the next chapter.
In this chapter you’ll learn the Basics of metering.
For a beginner this term can be a little confusing so first lets get familiarize with what metering is?
Metering is a way of measuring the exposure before making the picture i.e before pressing the shutter release button. This measurement removes the guess work involved in evaluating a correct exposure. In other words metering is the way to measure light on the subject and then making the adjustment for aperture, shutter speed and ISO for a properly exposed image.
Now, light on the subject can be measure in two different ways.
- Measurement of the light falling on the subject. This type of metering is called incident metering.
- Measurement of light reflected from the subject. This type of metering is called reflective metering.
Incident metering uses a light meter which is independent of the the camera. This light meter is use to measure the light falling on the subject. The light meter provides the necessary reading to set the aperture.
Reflective metering uses the in camera meter to measure the light reflected from the subject. For this chapter, we’ll discuss the reflective metering in detail. I assume the beginners will not have the access to sophisticated and expensive light meters.
The in camera light meter in its simplest of terms looks up from thousands of pre-installed exposures to assess the scene and arrive at a proper exposure. In a typical camera the number line with “0” in the center is the meter display for the photographer. Usually when you half press the shutter release button a cursor moves across that number line/meter display. If the cursor stops to the left of the zero on the number line, the image is going to be underexposed. Similarly if the cursor stops to the right of the zero then then the image is going to be over exposed.
The position of the cursor changes with the change or adjustment in the Aperture, Shutter Speed or ISO of the camera. You now have full control over the exposure, if you want to over expose the image you just have to keep the cursor towards the right of the Zero similarly you know now what to do if you have to under expose the image.
I hope you understand the concept of metering in this chapter. I’ll stop here and discuss the types of metering in the next chapter. I don’t want to over burden you with complex details before you get the hang of metering. Till the next post play with you meter display and ask questions if any.
In the next chapter I’ll explain the types of metering.