Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

How to take an exposure reading on your digital camera

It is your cameras job to meter for you, right? Well every camera or phone has to measure the light reflected back from the subject so that it can get the balance of aperture and shutter correctly set, given that this is essential to taking perfectly exposed images it is surprising how few photographers fully understand the process. We teach about metering on our Understanding Your Digital Camera Course but a bit of follow up in the guise of this tutorial will help

Even for experienced photographers, metering and how to take an exposure reading on your camera can be confusing, but the basics are easy to get to grips with…

Spot metering and AF: set spot metering point

All digital cameras have a built-in light meter which is used to calculate the exposure settings for a given scene.

Without getting bogged down in aperture and shutter speed, the most important thing to realise is that built-in light meters are programmed to expose every image as an average mid-tone.

This is fine for most scenes, because they contain a mix of shadows, mid-tones and highlights that average out to a mid-tone.

But the meter will also expose very light subjects (such as snow) or very dark subjects (such as black card) as a mid-tone, so you need to be aware of this to avoid poorly-exposed images.

 

Read the full article here

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