In camera meter

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Thru_These_Eyes, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Thru_These_Eyes

    Thru_These_Eyes TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I don't own a handheld meter, and I am a little embarrassed to admit that I don't find myself concerned with metering because I take a lot of test shots and I bracket a lot...but I don't meter because like I said above, I don't own a meter, and the other is because I don't understand the in-camera light meter AT ALL. Anyone have some insight to this problem? I am seeing more and more people talk about metering and I am beginning to think that maybe my photographic life could be a lot more simplified if I learned how to use it and understand it. Thanks in advance! =)
     
  2. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houghton, MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well, metering is something done automatically by your camera (the XTi I see in your sig) in most modes -- it's how the camera chooses your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (or if you're in Shutter Priority, it's how the camera automatically calculates the aperture and ISO, for example). So, you DO own a meter -- built in to your camera!

    So, I guess I don't understand your problem -- the built-in meter works automatically, and Canon's "pattern" meter is a very complex bit of hardware. It goes through quite a lot of analysis to determine the best metering, and I really wouldn't worry too much about it. If you put yourself in Program mode, you can let the camera decide for you and worry more about composition.

    If you are asking about how to choose an appropriate shutter or aperture in Tv or Av modes (respectively), then that's a different question. Also, your camera probably has a "Spot" and a "Center Weighted" meter choice, which make the meter work in simpler (but often less effective) ways. Are you maybe asking about those options?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,084
    Likes Received:
    3,753
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Metering is a very key part of photography and if you "master" it then it will make your life a lot easier. That you say you do a lot of bracketing makes me think that you do things like landscape, portrate and studio sorts of work - ie times when your subject is fairly static and you can take time to experiment and in allhonesty, even pros who understand metering fully will still experiment to see what they can get as well.

    However to understand metering I strongly recomend a book like Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson it will explain far more for you and help you to have a good starting point to work from with regard to metering and also in understanding what a "correct" exposure is
     
  4. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Mojave Desert
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm not sure I understand your issue..

    If you are saying that you just put the camera in "Manual" and then start guessing, then you are missing out on a lot of technology that has made photography much easier than a few decades ago..

    Back before the 1960's cameras didn't have built in meters and you needed to know "Sunny 16" rules and such, then bracket on each side to ensure that you got an acceptably exposed shot... or, if you had a seperate expensive meter, you metered in several places to pick out exposure settings to use.

    Today, you should always be able to see what an acceptable exposure is and then arrange the three basics of that exposure; ISO/Shutter/Aperture, to get the result you are looking for..
     
  5. Thru_These_Eyes

    Thru_These_Eyes TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ha! Funny you mention that book. I OWN it and have read it quite a few times...there is just some stuff that doesn't click right away. Sometimes I have to go back to a certain subject more than once and re-read it, practice, re-read it, practice, re-read and then it CLICKS. I am a weird learner. At this point, I am not sure what I am asking now. For some reason it never clicked in my head that the metering was done automatically in my camera...DUH. How else would shutter speed, etc be selected? I'm an idiot at times. Sorry for the confusion. When I have a more sensible question, I shall return with it! Thanks Guys!
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,084
    Likes Received:
    3,753
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    don't worry :)
    its very true that sometimes we think we know something when infact we dont' fully understand it - this is especially true with something situational like photography -- you might be able to understand the theory in your room with the book - but change the environment your working in and also the lighting and suddenly you can end up not understanding it as well as you thought you did.
    Just keep at it and keep shooting and you will get there
     

Share This Page