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Photography 101 - Tips and Editing Techniques

Canon Metering Modes

Metering to me is tricky business…. Sometimes I read about it and think oh I get it! Then when I’m out taking pictures I forget everything I learned.  Metering & light will take me a life time to learn. So many different variables will effect your metering. I usually follow this rule, usually not always – If I am shooting in Aperture Priority I use Evaluative Metering – If I am shooting on Manual I use Spot Metering. Is the the rule everyone most likely not.  If you have a different way you meter please share!

There are 4 different types of metering on Canons (from my experience I know for sure the Canon Rebel XSi and the Canon 60d have 4 different types of metering )

If you shot with the Basic Zone (Full auto, portrait, landscape, close-up, sports or night portrait) the camera will choose which is the best for your situation.

Here is an example I took in my front window using all 4 different Canon Metering Modes: I used my center AF point which was on the photo itself. No editing done to any of the photos:

This is where it gets fun! On the next to photos I have the spot metering where I metered off the picture, and the one on the right I metered off the grass which was in full sunlight.  Check out my silhouette pictures taken using spot metering

Evaluative Metering – Your camera takes a comparison of light from your entire view. I believe it starts with your active (AF) Auto Focus  and compares it to the light every where else. In general I think this setting will work most of the time at least when everything seems average.  If you have a high contrast image you should switch to a different setting. For example someone sitting in front of a window, snow etc.

Partial Metering – Sort of like spot metering but covers a slightly larger area. With partial metering you will cover approximately 6.5% of the viewfinder area at the center.

Spot Metering – 100% of your light is metered from the specific spot you’re metering from. Spot Metering covers approximately 2.8% of the viewfinder area.  This is when it gets fun and you can play with your exposures. For instance if you have someone standing in front of the sunset you can meter off the sunset so you end up with a silhouette!

Center-weighted Average Metering – The metering is weighted at the center and then averaged for the entire scene.  So it puts more emphasis on the the center area.



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