A while back, we talked about light metering and all of the different ways you can do it – matrix or evaluative metering, centered weighted,  and partial. Then, there’s spot metering. But what the heck does that really mean anyway?

Don’t worry! This week, we are going to dive into spot metering and why and how you should be using it!

Spot Metering

spot metering

Week 30:  July 20-26

What is Spot Metering?

First, let’s talk about what spot metering is exactly. When using spot metering, your camera will only measure a small area of your scene. Depending on your camera, you may or may not be able to set the area in which it is metering. Your camera will take a look at the spot and determine what the best lighting settings are. Spot metering is very accurate!

Spot metering is perfect for capturing sunsets, silhouettes, or when your subject is backlit, like when the day is bright! You know what I am talking about. You have a nice bright background but your subject is dark. When you spot meter, you can measure the light on the subject and properly expose it. Realize that this may mean that your background will become overxposed but we know that, and sometimes, that’s ok!

spot metering

If your camera has a spot metering mode, all you have to do is set it and forget it.

But what if I don’t have that?

How to Spot Meter

1. Set your camera to Aperture Priority mode. You want to make sure you get nice and close to your subject so that you get the right reading.  Try to avoid having the light source in the frame. Set your aperture to what you would like to use {taking depth of field and lighting into consideration}. Look at what your camera is suggesting for settings, especially shutter speed.

2. Now, switch on back over to Manual! Set your shutter speed to what your camera told you when in Aperture Priority. Don’t move your f/ stop! Your shutter speed from step 1 is dependent on that!

3.  Start shooting!

4. After taking a shot, take a look at your display. Still too dark? Too bright? Make some adjustments until you get your perfect shot!

Of course, if you have a light meter handy, you can use that as well to help you get the proper exposure for your subject. A light meter is that little piece of equipment you will see photographers using on models. But there are times when you won’t want to put that in someone’s face or have the time. Or maybe you don’t have one, like me!

spot metering

Now that you worked with overexposing your images last week, this week, you want to aim for perfect exposure! Even if you don’t have a fancy dSLR, you can get a nicely exposed image! Make sure you share your images on Facebook!


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