Trish, Your email address will not be published. © 2003-2020 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Spot metering is most useful when you’re photographing a composition where there’s a lot of contrast. It works similarly to the above example by dividing the entire frame into multiple “zones”, which are then all analyzed on individual basis for light and dark tones. You would then need to increase or decrease your shutter speed to get to “0”, which is the optimal exposure, according to your camera meter. Excellent resource and so clearly explained. Matrix Metering or Evaluative Metering mode is the default metering mode on most DSLRs. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook. Is there a book I can get so I can understand it better. When your subjects do not take much of the space, using Matrix or Center-weighted metering modes would most likely result in a silhouette, if the subject was back-lit. Some DSLRs like the Canon 1D/1Ds are capable of multi-spot metering, which basically allows choosing multiple spots to measure light and come up with an average value for a good exposure. Use this mode when you want the camera to prioritize the middle of the frame, which works great for close-up portraits and relatively large subjects that are in the middle of the frame. all the best :). Explained very nicely, I will experiment with my camera and revert back with results. Read more about Nasim here. If by metering mode you are talking about aperture priority, shutter priority, fully automatic, or manual, it doesn’t matter. You want a focus mode that excels for fixed subjects. When photographing landscapes, it is essential to have the correct meter setting activated to achieve proper exposure results. What setting should I use for landscape shooting then. Thank you for this article. Want more photography tips? First of all, I am so thankful for the useful information that you share with us. I will then explain which meter setting I use all the time, and how to get the most out of each setting while in the field. I had no idea how to fix it, until one day, when I learned about camera metering modes. I’m going to recommend it to some former students for “review”! 5.5) Exposure Compensation. Back in the old days of photography, cameras were not equipped with a light “meter”, which is a sensor that measures the amount and intensity of light. Use Single Shot Focus Mode. I have set the mode on center-weighted Metering where the white rectangular object was surrounded by metering. It’s my first step to become a photographer. Thanks for your article, very interesting. I don’t have a 3D Color Matrix setting on my Nikon D200 camera. This is my one-stop-shop for basic photo info. Photographers had to use hand-held light meters to determine the optimal exposure. 2. Back in the old days of photography, cameras were not equipped with a light “meter”, which is a sensor that measures the amount and intensity of light. I do find some uses for spot metering however. Therefore, not only is the meter setting important to get correct exposures, but it is the most reliable when photographing a new scene for the first time without previous meter readings. The third meter setting is 3D Color Matrix. But therein lies the problem, you are taking the photo, not the AI. What is your preferred metering mode for landscape photography Jun 24, 2010 I am mainly a wildlife photographer with my metering mode set to partial or spot for the most part. You can see the camera meter in action when you shoot in Manual Mode – look inside the viewfinder and you will see bars going left or right, with a zero in the middle, as illustrated below. I’ve been in situations where the photo is ruined because it is underexposed or overexposed and the experience/moment will never repeat itself. This article was written by Stefan Hofer ( When using spot metering, your main point of focus will be exposed properly. Reply to thread Reply with quote Complain. I personally use this mode a lot for my bird photography, because the birds mostly occupy a small area of the frame and I need to make sure that I expose them properly, whether the background is bright or dark. Quick and Easy Tips to Improve Your Food Photography, Previsualization: Transforming Your Thoughts into Photos, Interesting Photo of the Day: A Pop of Red in Landscape, Interesting Photo of the Day: Perfectly Purple Skies, Interesting Photo of the Day: A Colorful Night in Tokyo. For all other purposes, my camera is always set to 3D color matrix. Metering is how your camera determines what the correct shutter speed and aperture should be, depending on the amount of light that goes into the camera and the ISO. A “metering mode” is nothing more than a programmer’s perception of what the perfect photo might look under the environment the AI detects. I’m a visual learner so it really accompanies your elementary explanations well, especially on aperture – I didn’t understand it until I read your article! I’ve recently bought an Olympus Trip 35mm for a holiday next month and I’ll be referencing this guide until my trip to learn and practice. Portrait photography is one example of when it’s helpful to switch your metering mode to spot. The job gets a little harder if you add a few clouds into the image – the meter now needs to evaluate the brightness of the clouds versus the brightness of the sky and try to determine the optimal exposure. One of the key factors (in addition to color, distance, subjects, highlights, etc) that affects matrix metering, is where the camera focus point is set to. What would happen if you added a big mountain into the scene? It is very frustrating at times when using spot metering because the first photograph taken is usually severely underexposed or overexposed. All cameras are different, but should have similar “on board” camera meters. See what we are looking for and get in touch. Most of the time, you will end up using the same metering mode from photo to photo, but the one you pick depends heavily on your personal preferences. By default, the camera meter looks at the light levels in the entire frame and tries to come up with an exposure that balances the bright and the dark areas of the image. For this reason I use 3D color matrix all the time when photographing. This decreases incorrect exposures and nearly ensures that when you press the shutter release, the photograph will record properly, thus capturing the fleeting scene. When I got my first DSLR (Nikon D80), one of my frustrations was that some images would come out too bright or too dark. However, it gets problematic and challenging for light meters to determine the exposure, when there are objects with different light levels and intensities. For landscape photography, our subjects are very stationary. The circle is centered on the current focus point, making it possible to meter off-center subjects. The spot metering setting meters a circle 4mm in diameter (approximately 1.5% of frame). As a result, the camera meter might brighten up the sky a little bit in order to properly expose the white clouds – otherwise, the clouds would look too white or “overexposed”.