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Thread: How to use spot metering

  1. #1

    Default How to use spot metering

    Hi all, newbie here. I'm still learning how to use spot metering to have correct
    exposure pics.

    If I'm shooting a flower, so how do I spot meter on the petal ? Is it by
    focusing on the petal and half press the shutter ?

    I've read the links provided by some CSers here on metering but none of the
    link mention how to do it.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    So I assume you use Nikon or Minolta ?

    Anyway, youhave to read the manual to know how small/big your cam's spot is. The smaller the better.

    You have to rely on your zoom or legs (if using primes) as well. Spot merting is not a miricale metering method. Don;t expect the camera to know you want to meter just the pedal of the flower when the flower is only 10 or 20% of the frame becasue the spot will likely to cover areas outside the pedal and give you a reading that you do not want. So you have to close in to the area you really want to meter. Best is to cover the area till >50% of the frame. Then zoom out and recompose to your liking. This way, your meterig sure 100% SPOT -ON.


  3. #3
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  4. #4
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    Hi Jo_L,

    Delete your mail box. Full already

    Here is the reply to your last PM:

    *******************************
    As mentioned, expose to your liking.

    You ARE the creator of the image, you decide if you want to over or under or use standard exposure. There is no rule. It all depends on what you want out of the image.

    EG. In a 'sad' mood picture, I would like to under expose 'neutral' areas. This will amplify the darkness and heavyness of the pic.

    For 'happy' pics, I would overexpose even the neutral spots. Watch out for burnt outs.

    All in all, know how your particualr camera behaves and have a clear vision of your picture before you release the shutter. ( very chim, easier said than done)

    Note: different cameras (even among same models) have variations in metering. A standard exposure on your camera's meter may be slightly under or over. So you have to really know the characteristic of your own camera's metering. For me, I know my metering is always 2/3 stop under. So I keep this in mind when I read the meter.

    If you shoot digital, then easy for you. Youcan study all your settings. If using film, like me, then must 'sacrifice' at least one roll of film to catch the camera's charateristic. You will have to write down all the settings for each pic.

    Glad to be of some help

  5. #5

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    actually what mode are you shooting in? and which camera you using... this is quite something to consider first before we can help you. (or at least I think so)

    As to how to do it e.g. in manual mode:
    To put it across generally in layman , point ur spotmeter area at a roughly midtone grey (try to visualise colour in B+W). then adjust your aperture or shutter speed until your Exposure (EV) bar shows 0 (zero). then take the pic. ur pics will generally come out more "correctly" exposed.

    Actually there is more to it but i suggest reading up.

  6. #6
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    Oh, btw, if you use film, the best way to learn the metering is to us slides. Yes, it is more expensive but this way, , the image is independent of what the printer does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb
    Thanks for the links. It is great. By the way, let's say i am using 10D. it only has partial metering which covering 9% of the viewfinder area, any way can i improve? must i get a light meter to assit in getting the right exposure?
    Thanks.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by shihyong
    Thanks for the links. It is great. By the way, let's say i am using 10D. it only has partial metering which covering 9% of the viewfinder area, any way can i improve? must i get a light meter to assit in getting the right exposure?
    Thanks.
    Yes, you can use a lightmeter to assist you. Alternately, you can

    - zoom in and use partial metering to meter the exposure
    - take a shot and preview it to check for exposure and compensate the exposure accordingly
    - use other metering mode

    to get correct exposure.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  9. #9

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    Using Spot metering is the same as other kind of metering its just that it take
    more weight right at spot. And no you dont need a light meter to do the job TTL metering is good enough if you know how to use it save the $$ for some other stuff.

    The way I do it
    Move in as close as possible not so close until you cover the light! Spot on the location, your lens may no be in focus(slightly blurr using manual
    focusing). Take down the right exposure (shutter + apeture) or lock your exposure. Than compose focus and snap orignial +.5 and -.5 using bracket.
    Remember once you let go your shuter button and re press, the camera will re-meter again!! So go to manual or lock your exposure!!!!!

    There are actually alot to learn on flower photography the a/m is just to start you off. Dont limit yourself to one method sometime under or over expose do tell a story better.

  10. #10
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    Thanks megaweb & Fred_sg.

  11. #11

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    Thanks all for your guidance. Now I more or less understand the use
    of spot metering, just need to practise, practise and more practise !

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo_L
    Thanks all for your guidance. Now I more or less understand the use
    of spot metering, just need to practise, practise and more practise !
    The use of a spotmeter do not guarantee a "correct" exposure or a "desired" exposure. Aiming the spotmeter at a gray card and then use that metering is not the way to use the spotmeter. For you want to do that you might as well use the evaluative metering in your camera.

    Prpoer use of the spotmeter comes together with a knowledge of light and what metering means. Like what www.spotmetering.com indicated, it is useful only in the hands of those with the right knowledge.

  13. #13

    Thumbs up

    Had a very good read... Thanks student.

    Any idea is there anywhere selling this spotmetering reference book locally?

    Cheers!


    Quote Originally Posted by student
    The use of a spotmeter do not guarantee a "correct" exposure or a "desired" exposure. Aiming the spotmeter at a gray card and then use that metering is not the way to use the spotmeter. For you want to do that you might as well use the evaluative metering in your camera.

    Prpoer use of the spotmeter comes together with a knowledge of light and what metering means. Like what www.spotmetering.com indicated, it is useful only in the hands of those with the right knowledge.
    Canon 40D|17-55 f/2.8 IS|100 f/2.8 Macro|135 f/2L|300 f/4L IS|430ex|BG-E2

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