Exposure and light meter settings
Working through this activity was a Eureka moment for me. I had always taken photographs with either aperture priority or shutter priority and although I understood the relationship between the aperture, shutter and ISO I didn’t really know how to go about using the manual mode and how to set the camera up. Working through the exercise has given me the knowledge and confidence to use manual mode in the future, and use the camera’s light meter to set the camera up. I also now have a better understanding of the histogram, and how to read it.
I didn’t really understand the different metering modes in the camera and how they would affect a photograph, so I checked my camera manual for the settings, and then experimented with with each of the 4 metering modes.
This photograph was taken of black card, the camera in aperture priority. The camera’s light meter, being calibrated to mid-tone, was confused by the plain black and set the shutter speed so that the histogram would be centered. The resulting photograph appears grey. Not a true representation of the black card.
This photograph was taken of the same black card, and with the camera in manual mode I was able to use the light meter to alter the shutter speed and aperture to produce a true representation of the black card. The histogram shows correctly that black is predominant in this photograph. The camera settings were: f5, 1/200 sec, ISO 400.
This photograph of a grey card was taken in aperture priority mode. This time the camera’s light meter correctly calculated the mid-tone and the resulting photograph is a true representation of the grey card.
This photograph was taken in manual mode. The histogram is similar to the previous photograph, although the colour is not accurate. I used the camera’s light meter to set the aperture and shutter: f5, 1/15 sec, ISO 400.
This photograph was taken of a white card. As for the black card, the camera’s light meter callibrated the mid-tone and although the histogram is central, the card appears grey.
Here the photograph was taken in manual mode. The settings were f5, 1/125 sec, ISO 400. The white balance was set on auto. The card is not a true white, and this could have been managed with a change to the white balance setting.
Finally I took a series of photographs with my camera’s different metering modes. There seems to be no difference between the histograms, but this may be due to there being greater variations in tone than in the above examples. The different modes were able to calculate the tonal variations more easily.
Spot Metering Mode
Partial Metering Mode
Evaluative Metering Mode
Centre Weighted Metering Mode