11 Dec 2010

Moving onto Chapter 4: Light

I’ve started reading on with TAOP while on night shift and I have to admit that I’m a little confused to the importance of metering. I understand the theory but not the relevance. Reading the course materials it says that metering is the cameras way of getting the correct exposure, though it can sometimes be fooled. I know how to change the exposure using the shutter speed, aperture and/or ISO and my DSLR allows me to review the result instantly so I can make changes on-the-spot.

So… if I am able to completely control the exposure what do I need metering for?!

I decided to try researching this on the web and came across this tutorial:

A good example they give is of a portrait shot with the model underexposed while sitting in front of a brightly lit window. The tutorials solution was to use spot metering to take a reading from the models face; this exposed her correctly and burned out the background details. Why was spot metering needed for this? Surely a longer exposure time, wider aperture or higher ISO would have done the same thing? What am I missing?!

I emailed my tutor with this and he helped clear the situation up for me. The missing tooth in the cog was speed. Metering allows you to quickly set the optimum exposure so you can just keep on clicking. Here’s an example from my tutor:

“A classic example is the wedding, white dress, black suit. zoom in on the black suit, look at the reading, zoom in on the white dress look at the reading then set accordingly. All done in a second or two with no looking away from the camera or looking at dials.”

So, question answered. Now I can move on with my life and stop obsessing!

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