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Hi,I am fairly new to photography ,can someone please explain metering to me,I am using a Canon450D,thank you.
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It is basically what exposure the camera "wants".
Wiki for you
If you use the proper manual/semi-manual modes you'll be able to change this. You can take a look in the manual regarding this.
One of the best investments a beginner can make is purchase the Digital Field Guide for the camera model you own. I have the Canon 30D Digital Field Guide great book with lots of tips and expanded information
The metering system in a digital camera measures the amount of light in the scene and calculates the best-fit exposure value based on the metering mode explained below. Automatic exposure is a standard feature in all digital cameras. All you have to do is select the metering mode, point the camera and press the shutter release. Most of the time, this will result in a correct exposure.
The metering method defines which information of the scene is used to calculate the exposure value and how it is determined. Metering modes depend on the camera and the brand, but are mostly variations of the following three types:
Matrix or Evaluative Metering
This is probably the most complex metering mode, offering the best exposure in most circumstances. Essentially, the scene is split up into a matrix of metering zones which are evaluated individually. The overall exposure is based on an algorithm specific to that camera, the details of which are closely guarded by the manufacturer. Often they are based on comparing the measurements to the exposure of typical scenes.
Center-weighted Average Metering
Probably the most common metering method implemented in nearly every digital camera and the default for those digital cameras which don't offer metering mode selection. This method averages the exposure of the entire frame but gives extra weight to the center and is ideal for portraits.
Spot (Partial) Metering
Spot metering allows you to meter the subject in the center of the frame (or on some cameras at the selected AF point). Only a small area of the whole frame is metered and the exposure of the rest of the frame is ignored. This type of metering is useful for brightly backlit, macro, and moon shots.
Taken from the DPReview Website
2 things count
the metering mode
what the meter reading is
the mode has been described above and determines which part of the shots the meter reads from
the reading relates to the light level in that part of the shot - that's available in the viewfinder and usually on a LCD screeen, it's like a little ruler with an indicator on it.
best way to describe it is spot metering.
put the centre spot on something - say a caucasian face - press your shutter 1/2 way down. If you're in Manual exposure mode, you'll see the little indicator pop up on the ruler somewhere.
That is the "meter reading".
its our job as a photographer to interpret what that means and adjust the exposure to set it to what we want it to be.
in my example, a caucasion face would normally be correctly exposed at +1 on the meter, so you need to change aperture/shutter/ISO till the little indicator goes to +1
then you have set your exposure, you can take the shot however you like, knowing that the face will be correctly exposed. the rest of the shot may be blown out, but you know the face was correct because you metered from it.
ePHOTOzine's Basic Metering guide
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