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by Bart Arondson

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The means by which a camera automatically determines exposure settings such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (sensitivity).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

39
votes
5answers
4k views

When best to use Multi-Zone/Matrix, Spot, or Center-Weight?

What are Multi-Zone/Matrix metering, Center-Weighted metering, and Spot metering? What about Partial? Is there a good rule of thumb, or a few pointers, on when best to use each metering mode?
34
votes
6answers
4k views

Why use a dedicated light meter instead of the one built into the camera?

I know a few people who carry around a dedicated light meter unit (such as this one by Sekonic) and use that to meter photos instead of using the meter built into their cameras (and these are ...
31
votes
12answers
3k views

What situations are best suited for spot metering?

I have found myself using spot metering on several occasions in order to get the right exposure, such as sunsets and on bright days with a subject in the shade. What other situations are well suited ...
31
votes
6answers
9k views

How do I use spot metering?

What's the right way to use spot metering? Is it better to use in manual mode than one of the priority modes? There's a question about when to use spot metering, but none that serves as a tutorial to ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I meter for long exposures (10+ minutes)?

One of my longstanding interests is long exposure night photography. However, many of the situations where I am shooting require exposure lengths on the order of 10 minutes, which is far beyond what ...
19
votes
4answers
16k views

What does TTL mean?

I'm new to photography and I see the term TTL all over the place. What does it mean? And how do I use it to make my pictures better?
18
votes
5answers
13k views

How well do smart phone light meter apps work?

There are a number of smart phone apps which use the phone's camera as a light meter. How well do these work? The metering built into most modern cameras is very powerful and accurate, but in some ...
18
votes
4answers
12k views

How do I “focus and recompose” using spot metering?

I usually use the "[auto]focus and recompose" method for taking candid photographs. In situations where there is a high degree of contrast, I would like to use spot metering to correct expose for ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Where is it best to meter for sunrise and sunsets?

I can never get nice silhouettes and appropriate exposures for sunrise and sunset. How should I meter for this?
14
votes
5answers
893 views

What's a good ad-hoc replacement for a gray card?

I know that a real gray card is the best thing to use to determine exposure. But I'd like to know if there are other naturally available features that can be used in a quick and dirty way. Are fields ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the difference between luminance and illuminance?

The more I read about this, the more confused I become. Illuminance, as I understand it, measured in lux, is the perceived brightness of light on a surface. It's what you'd measure with an incident ...
13
votes
7answers
555 views

Why can't digital camera sensors expose each photosite individually?

Why is it impossible for camera sensors to function the way the human eye can? What I mean is, why does a certain portion of the image have to be over/underexposed if we compensate for dark and light ...
13
votes
8answers
653 views

What exposure mode and techniques should I use when out-and-about?

I'm interested to hear what exposure/metering techniques people use when taking out-and-about shots (no tripod). I almost always have my camera set to Aperture Priority mode, and I suspect most people ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How should I learn to understand Canon's metering?

Spot metering is my preferred metering mode on the Canon 50D. This allows me to nail the exposure first time -- 99% of the time -- by using AE-lock on my subject and applying the desired amount of ...
13
votes
2answers
518 views

How do I use the +/- scale of the light meter in my camera?

I have just recently used the metering scale. I assume that if the scale arrow points in the middle, this means that the camera detects that the current exposure settings are the "right" ones. ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can correctly measure light using a built-in camera meter?

Many times I shot photos, but the photo is some times too bright or too dark and the colors are incorrect. Some times the white on the photo is not the white that I have on background but gray and I ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I effectively photograph when the sun is in the frame?

I have been trying to get a good shot out of direct sunlight but my shots just turn out dark, even if I set my shutter speed to the 1000-4000 range at ISO 200. Another odd thing is that even if my ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What are typical situations where you should use auto-exposure lock (AE-L)?

What are the typical situations where you should use AE for locking exposure?
10
votes
2answers
416 views

How can I expose a waterfall scene correctly?

Last day, I was photographing a waterfall. It was a bright day and I was shooting around 2-3 in the afternoon. I set aperture to f/11 and took the meter reading pointing camera towards the sky. ...
10
votes
1answer
504 views

Why isn't TTL metering accurate when using a non-electronic lens?

I recently bought a Lensbaby lens and I played with it a lot. Then lens is awesome but I have one big and annoying problem and is that TTL metering fails miserably when using P, TV and M modes. I ...
9
votes
3answers
528 views

Why are exposure settings different while using different lenses under the same lighting conditions?

I was shooting a scene, using a Canon 28mm 1.8, and after a few seconds I switched to a Canon 100mm 2.8, and the in-camera meter was suggesting different exposures! Why does this happen? Is this ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Metering - How to account for the light from the flash

I pretty much use Manual mode (in my Nikon D40) and learning quite a lot from it. Though I understand "Metering" for correct exposure, I've trouble understanding it while using Flash (both in-built as ...
9
votes
3answers
354 views

How can I check the metering calibration on my camera?

I have a feeling that my camera isn't metering as well as it used to, and I think it is now over exposing by about a stop. Whilst this can be counteracted by using exposure compensation, it's not a ...
9
votes
0answers
337 views

How do I avoid a dark subject when there's bright sunlight from windows? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you avoid a dim portrait with a bright background and no external flash? I recently shot some photos at a friend's wedding. The location was lovely with lots of ...
8
votes
3answers
582 views

Can spot metering be corrected in post processing?

I just started experimenting with spot metering + exposure compensation. I'm wondering if it's possible to make adjustments during post processing to correct the metering. I'm pretty sure (correct me ...
8
votes
5answers
835 views

Is it usual that a narrow aperture gives a darker picture in aperture priority mode?

I have a Nikon D60 camera here with a Nikkor 35 mm 1:1.8G lens. I don't have any experience with any other digital SLR, so excuse the beginner question. When using aperture priority mode, a narrower ...
8
votes
3answers
386 views

Does spot/partial metering always assume 18%?

I'm beginning to work on understanding and hopefully effectively using different metering modes in my photography. I have done some reading and understand the benefit of using spot and partial ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I work around metering issues with adapted lenses on a Canon DSLR?

I have a bunch of Contax lenses (C/Y mount) and a mount adapter with "dandelion" chips. This should allow me to use my lenses on any Canon DSLR using aperture mode and stopping down the lens. Thanks ...
7
votes
3answers
773 views

Is center-weighted metering a type of spot-metering?

Does center-weighted metering use the same camera/lens adjustments as spot metering with the exception of the focus which is in the center? Or is there a technical difference in the way ...
7
votes
1answer
320 views

What is the device held near the subject's face in this picture?

I have seen this device that is used widely in filmmaking. What is this device and what is it used for?
7
votes
5answers
429 views

Will metering from a DSLR apply to a film SLR?

I still like to shoot with film (I use a Nikon F3) but I like the immediate feedback of digital. I'm thinking of buying a used DSLR to help me get the framing and lighting right when I shoot static ...
7
votes
3answers
242 views

Why do I meter under the chin with a lightmeter?

Every single tutorial or video has advised to meter for a portrait right under the chin. First of all why? If the face is the most important part, wouldn't you meter right at the face? Secondly, I ...
7
votes
2answers
592 views

Metering mode in panasonic Fz35

I am new to photography, recently I bought a new camera which is Panasonic Fz35 which has lots of nice features in it. However while browsing through the settings mode, I found an option for Metering ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Metering strategies for time lapse

In short, my question is: what are the best metering strategies when shooting a time lapse sequence to avoid visible fluctuations in brightness? I'd like to make the day-to-night transition look ...
7
votes
1answer
269 views

How to select a light meter?

I'm looking for a light meter to use with an old film camera that doesn't have a working meter, and the bevy of options with prices all over the place is a bit overwhelming. I'm trying to narrow down ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to get meter reading for a DSLR if not from a gray card?

I read an article called Expose (to the) Right, which explained why you should try to get the graph of the histogram as much to the right of the scale as possible. The reasoning is that DSLRs record ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How to calculate Lux from EV?

Instead of looking up a chart, how can I calculate Lux from EV? Thanks!
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the EV scale?

I have seen an "EV" (exposure value) scale that's sometimes used to express a camera's exposure settings, or scene brightness. How exactly does this scale work?
5
votes
2answers
176 views

How do dedicated light meters account for light transmittance?

Dedicated light meters seem to be well-regarded for their versatility and accuracy of metering. What puzzles me about them is how can they account for the different light transmittance of different ...
5
votes
1answer
457 views

What is the logic behind “Brother Backlit Sky” in the book Understanding Exposure?

I don't know if this question is too specific, but after reading Understanding Exposure, I can't understand very well the reasons and logic behind Brother Backlit Sky and their brothers. Although I ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a light meter, how do I use one, and for what sort of digital photography do I need one?

What is a light meter? How do I use one? What sort of photography will fool a digital camera's meter? Hence for those you do need to meter.
4
votes
5answers
657 views

What are the easiest (and best) solutions for avoiding a blown out background for a portrait?

Blown-out backgrounds seems like one of the more common issues amateur photographers deal with, and probably one of the things I struggle with most. Metering modes seem more of a compromise between ...
4
votes
2answers
423 views

How can I meter to get a black object black?

If I have something in my scene that I want rather close to pure black - can I spot meter off the object and then adjust the exposure by a consistent, pre-defined number of stops to get black instead ...
4
votes
2answers
301 views

Why not expose for a cloudy day as a cloudy day?

We all know how cameras try to meter the scene as if it is 18% gray. That's why we should dial in +1 or even more when shooting on a snowy day and -2 for a night scene. What about a cloudy or ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I check the exposure meter reading on a DSLR?

I'm a beginner, and I have a Nikon D5100. Many times I come across the suggestion to "Check the meter reading for exposure." Where can I find this reading and how do I read it?
4
votes
2answers
429 views

Can a grey card be used in place of a flash meter?

I've been trying to improve my flash/studio skills. Googling around, I see that some tutorials use a flash meter to set ratios, two stops for white background... I'd rather not buy another piece of ...
4
votes
2answers
272 views

Do point and shoot cameras have a metering sensor?

I have a Pentax point and shot camera and I tried to convert it to Infrared. I was successful to remove the front IR filter from CCD and then I had a 760 nm IR filter to kick start with the infrared ...
4
votes
3answers
963 views

How do TTL flash metering systems calculate how much power is needed?

Does anyone know how TTL calculates the amount of power to put in after the preflash is done? I understand that the value is somewhat brand specific, but what is the general logic? Because if you ...
4
votes
3answers
627 views

Metering mode for fireworks shooting

Following up from this question I would like to know what could be the correct metering mode that I should use to shoot fireworks? Since evaluative mode could be tricked here since the a large area of ...
4
votes
1answer
340 views

How do I keep the view finder light meter info on, on a Canon EOS1100D?

How do I keep the light meter display on in the view finder while using manual mode? I find that the display only stays on for a short while which is annoying when trying to set aperture and shutter ...