Which metering mode?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by stellar_gal, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. stellar_gal

    stellar_gal TPF Noob!

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    I've never really played with the different meter modes on my new Canon 30D. Which should I use for portraits? I have Evaluative, Partial, Spot & Center-Weighted. I am thinking the last one, but I'd like more opinions. I've looked on the web, but not finding which would be best. Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It really depends on how you meter...how you determine your exposure...which I guess depends on how well you understand metering.

    The 30D has spot metering (a nice upgrade over my 20D), so you could meter something specific and use that to fine tune your exposure.

    For a proper portrait, it might be more beneficial to take you time and meter something specific with spot or partial metering. If it's a at an even and things are constantly changing...then evaluative or centre weighted might be better.

    One method is just to shoot, check the histogram, adjust and shoot again.
     
  3. stellar_gal

    stellar_gal TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike- you are super fast! I was just about to leave and buy that Bryan Peterson exposure book and maybe that'll help some. I'm doing that small wedding I mention in my previous post (with the very overweight people) and its outdoors at freaking 2pm and I am worried about the sunspots on the people and metering with that. I am going to practice this weekend on using the different metering methods, but not in time for the wedding. I'll be there well ahead to do some practicing anyway.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One thing you want watch for...is not to let the meter get fooled by things that are much brighter or darker than your subjects. So if your subjects are people outside and there is a large white barn (or whatever) behind them...and the meter is set to evaluative, then the camera will think it's rather bright and give you less exposure. So in this case, you could choose partial or spot and just meter the people.

    If you are outside and there is nice green grass...that is almost as good as a grey card. Just point the camera at the grass that is in the same light as your subjects and check the settings (meter reading).

    Also, try to shoot in the shade if you can...bright light isn't the best for shooting people. If you have to shoot in the sun, get a reflector (and an assistant to hold it) or at least use a flash to light up their faces...otherwise they will look like raccoons with the dark shadows in their eyes.
     

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