Digital Photography Basics - Nailing Light with Metering Modes | Michelle Storm | Skillshare

Digital Photography Basics - Nailing Light with Metering Modes

Michelle Storm, Fresh photography tutorials

Digital Photography Basics - Nailing Light with Metering Modes

Michelle Storm, Fresh photography tutorials

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5 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Course Introduction

    • 2. Nailing Light with Metering Modes

    • 3. Metering Modes in Action

    • 4. How Metering Modes Effect Camera Settings

    • 5. Metering Modes and Your Photos

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About This Class

Metering modes are often overlooked, but they can make a real difference to your exposure, especially when you rely on your camera modes, rather than manual mode. This tutorial will explain what metering modes are, how they work and how to change your metering mode to get the exposure that you want.

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Michelle Storm

Fresh photography tutorials


I'm Michelle Storm of Stormfresh Photogaphy.

I work as a freelance wedding and events photographer, and when time permits I provide photography tutorials for small groups and write and delivery photography courses for colleges.

My bitesize classes on Skillshare have been created to help new photography enthusiasts understand their cameras and move away from the automatic mode. My classes are designed to take newbie photographers through the initial steps of getting to know their digital camera, so that we can progress together through the wonderful world of creative photography.  Feel free to add your feedback, post ideas for classes and follow me to get updates for future classes.

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3. Metering Modes in Action: So now we're going to take a closer look at light me to modes and how they affect your photograph when you're actually taking the photo. I'll take it in. Jpeg is going to be unedited images that I showed you to give you a true representation of what the camera is doing and how it's read in the light. I'm going to use my doctor de code sack, who has a very dark black faces, black on white. And when a person against this white background. So it's a little bit of a challenging photograph to take the light sources coming in through a window. It's a cloudy day, so it's very diffuse soft light. I have a video light on me at the moment, but that's for this video purpose. And when I take the photographs, I'm gonna move that away slightly so it illuminates me, but it doesn't fall on to Zach, the subject now. Okay. Okay. Okay. 4. How Metering Modes Effect Camera Settings: So we've looked at how your meter reading is actually taken across the frame of your composition inside your camera. And now I want to look at how that choice of me to reading can then have an effect on what you choose as your shutter speed or your aperture, and consequently how that might affect the way that your image looks. So for example, if for some reason your meter reading is reading it, part of the image is very dark and then assumes that the whole of the image is very dark. It might suggest that you use a lower shutter speed, a slower shutter speed, so that you can gather more lie and make it a correct exposure. But what if you're trying to freeze movement and unique the complete opposite, you need a fast shutter speed in order to freeze the movement. So if you're aware of how you reading the light in your camera and which meter reading that you've chosen for that particular situation. You are then able to make sure that you're not creating a problem with how your setting up your camera to take that shot and go and against the creative aspect of what you're trying to achieve with your image. So the first setting is on a highlight priority. Your camera might not have highlight priority, but the D7 50 does. They says When. And just to recap that the camera looks at the highlights around the image and prioritizes them so that they're correctly exposed. And in this case, it's going to then be looking at all that light coming in through the windows on the setting for the correct exposure on this particular metering mode is suggesting a shutter speed of a 125th of a second. So as I said, the aperture and the ISO organist remains same. The aperture is 2.8 and the ISO is 200. So for the next shot, I've changed the metering mode to the spot. Metering is taking a small reading in the middle of the frame. It's actually hitting the very dark area of the object. And so it's now assume in the whole of the frame is as dark as that one little bit. And because of that, it has reduced the shutter speed to a fifth of a second. That's a massive, massive difference. It was a 125th of a second by just changing the metering mode to highlight, to spot. It, taken it down to a fifth of a second. So the aperture and the ISO remains same. Only thing I'm changing is the shutter speed. And see how blown out that is, because it's thinking the whole of the image is as dark as that center and it's overexposing to compensate for that. So let's switch it on now to center weighted. So that will take a meter reading across a larger area in the center of the image. And what I've done with this, I've just wiggled it slightly so that it's actually taking some meter reading around the backlight coming in. And so it's got part of the darkness of the object. And then it's also reading some of the highlights coming through. Because otherwise there was going to be very similar to the previous shot because even though it was covering a bigger area, it was still just hitting the darkness of the object. So just for this illustration purposes, I just want you to see the difference if you change it to center weighted, but that allows them to take additional readings from a variety of light sources rather than just one dark light source. So that's now changed the shutter speed to an eighth of a second. So that's quite a radical difference against, so we started at a 125th of a second, we dropped down to a fifth of a second. It's now gone up to an eighth of a second. So now I've changed the lighting me to read into the evaluative matrix setting. And it's changed the shutter speed to 120th of a second. Okay, so it's taken a meter reading across the whole of the frame, so it's got little different points. It gathers that information and then it gives you an average light meter reading in order to come to the conclusion of what the correct setting should be for a correct exposure. So if I was doing this as a proper photograph, a product shot, I wouldn't just leave it like this. So what you would have to do is add extra light onto the object from this side to counterbalance the light coming in from behind. Because if you take a photograph of somebody or an object is behind them, they're always going to be in their own shadow. So you need to bring in light from the front or to the side to illuminate the object. Obviously, today, this is more about how the light meter reading is. Function in your camera and how that might adjust your shutter speed settings in your aperture setting. So I've not introduced another light because that would complicate it. But I just thought it was worth mentioning. This is not how you would take a photograph of something and expect it to be nicely lit. So the images that I show you are going to be just the unedited images is purely for illustration about what the light meters doing and not, and it won't be correctly exposed because this is going to be very dark and it's not going to be nicely lit. 5. Metering Modes and Your Photos: So now we're going to look at the photos and a little bit more detail. In the first image I'm showing you it's the highlight priority. And remember this is when the camera looks at the meter reading for the highlighted areas. So it prioritizes the highlighted areas and then it exposes to make sure that they're correct. However, the downside of this is anything that isn't as bright as the highlighted areas might be underexposed, which is shown in this image. So you can see in the histogram on the right-hand side which the little black, black and white graph, that there's no information, there's no white peaks on the right-hand side. The right-hand side shows you the information about how much highlighted area there is. On the far left-hand side, it's all about the dark areas. And then in the middle it's the mid tones. So a 125th of a second, which is what the cameras suggested was the correct exposure with the ISO 200 and the f-stop at 2.8, it's really nicely exposed, the highlighted areas, but it's underexposed the remainder of the image. Now when we switch to the spot metering, what's happening is the spot is taking a metering bang in the center of the composition. Now this, this particular image and this composition, it hit the darkest area of the jug. And therefore it's thinking, okay, the whole of the image is as dark as that small spot. So then what's it going to do? It's going to under sorry, it's going to overexposed because it thinks it's a dark area, so it thinks it's a dark image. And so what it's done on that particular one is its sludge is shutter speed down to a fifth of a second. Now when it does that, if your hand holding your camera to take the photograph, you're gonna get the camera shake. This is why you need to understand how your camera might be metering. Because if you've got your camera on aperture priority and you're allowing the camera to change the shutter speed in order to get the correct exposure. But at the same time you've gotta on the meter reading, that then means it thinks the whole image is dark as in that image there. And then it slows the shutter speed right down. You're going to end up with a blurry image. And you're not necessarily know why you've ended up with a blurry image. So just be aware of your meter readings and the different ways that it's going to change your camera settings or might change your camera settings. Next image we're going to look at is the center weight. And now this is very similar to spot, but it takes a larger reading across the center. Now, because of the way this images, it's got the highlights in the background and then dark image in the middle. It's actually very, very similar to the highlight priority in the settings. It's got a little bit more information in the, across the board. So you can see there is a bit more information on the histogram on the right hand side for the highlighted area, but it has still underexposed. Or you can also see that it's changed the shutter speed to an eighth of a second. This is just at the point where you won't get camera shake. I always like to shoe above a 100th of a second, but ideally isn't, isn't bad. You won't get too much camera shake, if any at all, but it is still slightly underexposed. Now when we switch to the Matric or evaluative setting, this is when it takes the meter read and across various points across the whole of the image, and then it averages it out. I feel out of the whole set of all four of them, this is the one that's probably the best exposure, although we are losing. In the highlighted area, which you can see by the massive information on the right-hand side of the histogram that's showing the highlights and that's showing that it is blown out. But the object itself is slightly better exposed. So it's a little bit of a weighing up what is correct for the particular composition you're trying to do. And whilst this is not the way that you would, we've already talked about how you would add additional lighting and you would change the way you'd set this up. This is just really to highlight how the meter readings can adversely affect or at least affect your settings and you might not be aware of it. Now if we just have a quick look all four together, it just recaps it. It just shows you that the different shutter speeds, how much they've changed now that has been affected the overall images. So hope that's been a real help to you. I think the more you play with your camera, the more you understand that they've got these settings that you might not have even switched on. The better your photography will get and the more confident you'll get with your camera and you'll get better images overall over time.