Moments That Matter: lesson 1: topic 5: metering

Assignment upload from Erin (sent via email)

Hi Robyn

Not 100% confident that I understood this assignment. Read my manual and set the settings to auto (think that’s correct)
Pic 1 – a mix of light and shadows
Pic 2- focusing more on the light
Pic 3 – focusing towards the shadows really interesting, as I took the pic I could only see a minimal difference on my camera but now I’ve uploaded I can see the difference clearer
(compact camera – finepix S3300)


meter shade light meter light meter dark


  1. I checked out your camera manual for you and found the following (on page 81 of my version of the instruction manual).:

    Choose how the camera meters exposure when
    Intelligent Face Detection is off.
    • MULTI: Automatic scene recognition is used
    to adjust exposure for a wide range of shooting
    • SPOT: The camera meters lighting conditions
    at the center of the frame. Recommended when
    the background is much brighter or darker than
    the main subject. Can be used with focus lock
    (pg. 33) to meter off-center subjects.
    • AVERAGE: Exposure is set to the average for
    the entire frame. Provides consistent exposure
    across multiple shots with the same lighting,
    and is particularly effective for landscapes and
    portraits of subjects dressed in black or white.

    So your camera calls metering Photometry – but it’s the same thing. You can change the Photometry settings in the menu.

    So you have the option of doing the assignment again using the 3 different settings. It should make more sense for you then. If you don’t choose to do the assignment again right now that’s fine. Metering is quite a hard topic to grasp and you may want to go on to the next lessons and come back to it at some later stage.

    As far as feedback for your images goes. I am struggling to see much of a difference in exposure between the 3. This is probably because your camera is taking an average reading of the light in all 3 scenes and adjusting it for an average exposure. If you do have a go at setting your Photometry to Spot you should see much more of a difference. You’ll also probably see a bigger difference if you pull back a bit and have less of your boy and more of the contrasty (light and dark) background. As your son takes up the majority of the shot it’s taking much of the exposure reading from his face.

    I hope this all makes sense.

  2. Further clarification – So here are the steps you should take to try out all of the metering (photometry) options.

    1. Go to the shooting menu
    2. Select Photometry
    3. Try all 3 of the Photomotry/metering options.

    You can follow the assignments for DSLRs using these options or just have a play with each of them until you feel comfortable.

    Hope this is clearer now.
    And don’t worry if you aren’t getting it straight away. This is all new to you and I’m here to help.

    Good luck!

    p.s. I’m not sure why you are going to Auto – you shouldn’t need to (I don’t think). You should try to use Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority (both of which your camera has).

Leave a Reply