*Metering and Exposure Compensation. Which, when, why?

Metered off the wall…

Metering for a particular scene can be tricky.  The goal, in most cases, is to expose for your subject, telling your camera what it should consider the proper exposure for 18%, or “Middle Gray” and adjusting your exposure based on the light that is hitting your subject, or the light involved in the scene.  Most cameras will utilize an automatic, average metering as a default which most of the time will do a decent job at keeping the highlights and shadows in control.  First, before we delve into the different metering styles, we should examine one of the most helpful tools on your camera.  The histogram. Continue reading

*The Exposure Trifecta. Or, how to shoot on Manual.

Have you ever taken a photo where your subject looks like a deer in the headlights from the flash while the ambiance in the scene behind them fades quickly to a black abyss?  Or, you try to catch your child scurrying around the house and no matter what you do, the picture turns out as a blurred mess?  This post is being written to help those (mainly my mom) who’ve asked me “how do you do that?” when they see a picture that avoids some of the common frustrating problems.  Whether it be a selective focus, blurred action to accentuate movement or an image that is intentionally over or underexposed, the key to photography is understanding the three main components of proper exposure control.  Hold on to your hat, I am going to help get you off of the ‘auto everything box’ and manipulating your own exposure in no time. Continue reading