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Metering Modes

meteringToday’s Photo Talk is about metering modes. Specifically the light meter in your camera. I touch upon the different modes you probably have in your camera and the function of them. Listen carefully because this one is tough to grasp at first. I don’t believe I fully understood how metering worked during the first couple years of my own photography. I understood the idea and the process but not why the meter does what it does and how to outsmart the meter with an in-depth understanding of its function. In short I like to use the phrase “your camera meter is lying to you.” Basically your meter wants everything to be a perfect middle gray, or neutral gray. In film we referred to that tone as 18% gray. In digital we can see this as 128R, 128G, and 128B (128 RGB) dead center on each color channel but lacking all saturation. I speak quickly on this because it is second nature for me now but it wasn’t always that way. I also talk about the zone system developed by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer. A bit confusing stuff but very helpful to know about. I strongly suggest brushing up on your photo history and learning about the zone system. Furthermore I highlight my go to metering mode. Every photographer has one I just explain why I choose the one I do. Hint: it is based on knowing the zone system in greater detail. The mode I use most often lets me take what the camera suggests (lies), my years of practice, the previsualization to know how a scene works, as well as my gear, and capture near perfect exposure every time. Just I have said on the show before, it is about finding your systems and putting them in place to better your productivity. This is just another system for when I release the shutter. I go in detail on my specific process back in Episode 081 and you can download the free pdf on How To Meter In Ambient Light When You Don’t Know How To Meter.

Happy Shooting!

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