Today’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.
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