iStudio 901 | Nailing the Correct Exposure Every Time

Nailing the Correct Exposure Every Time

June 17, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Getting Proper ExposureNailing the Correct Exposure Every TimeWhen getting the right exposure for your pictures matter, knowing what to do on the fly is a big difference between amateur and professional photographers. A good picture consists of two different ingredients: a proper and perfect focus and the correct exposure. While the focusing is much easier with modern day’s cameras, it’s the exposure that’s the tricky part. To get the exposure correctly, one needs to use both the technique and the art of photography.

Meter – The Base of Correct Exposure

Meters are the devices that are used to measure the light falling on the subject. There are two types of camera meters: incident meter and reflective meter.

  • Incident Light Meter: These measure the light falling on the subject directly. This is done via holding the meter close to the subject and letting the light hit the meter. Mostly used with flash and strobe photography, it is also often used when mixing natural light and studio light. Incident Light Meters nail the exposure correctly.
  • Reflective Light Meter: these measures the light falling on the subject as reflected, and not the direct light. This means that the light is measured via a device that isn’t close to the subject. All the cameras have reflective light meter. These are used in all forms of photography, whether indoor or outdoor. Reflective Light Meters are a guide and not an exactly accurate picture.

Getting the Correct Exposure in Studio

In studio, you have to understand the light ratio and read the light accordingly. For example, for a lighting ratio of 4:1, there’s a two stops of difference in the lighting from Key Light to Fill Light. Therefore, we read the Key Light properly by keeping shutter speed and ISO values as we want, and reading the aperture value the meter provides us. The Fill Light will be lit two stops lower than Key Light to create the desired Lighting Ratio.

Getting the Correct Exposure Outdoors

First of all, it is ideal to understand how camera meter works. The area they meter (as per different metering modes) is lit to be neutral gray. Therefore, if you shoot a white wall or black wall and don’t use exposure compensation, the camera will give very similar results. To offset the effects of how metering works, we need to understand the modes, the exposure, and our subject, and use exposure compensation to get the right exposure.

The camera comes up with different metering modes. They are:

  • Evaluative/Matrix Metering Mode: In this mode, the camera divides the frame into zones. The zones of and around focus point get more weightage than others, as also the areas analyzed on the basis of individual dark and light tones. The whole frame is considered for getting the right exposure.
  • Center-Weighted Metering Mode: In this mode, the camera meters majorly from the center part of the frame and its surroundings and ignore the edges and corners to get the exposure. For portraits, it is an ideal metering mode.
  • Spot Metering Mode: In this mode, the camera meters from the focusing spot and around 4% of the frame is used for metering. This is used for advanced and accurate metering.

Metering modes along with the knowledge of subject can help nail subject exposure every single time.


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