Metering Modes: the simplest guide yet

Understanding metering modes: free photography cheat sheet

Measuring the brightness of the scene you’re shooting is a crucial part of getting the right exposure for your pictures. To this end, your camera has three basic metering modes to choose from which will help you measure the brightness of your scene.

The brightness of the scene can vary enormously across the picture (learn When to use spot-metering). For instance, the sky will usually be much lighter than the foreground. As such, an average reading is needed for a scene like this.

Arriving at the perfect value isn’t made easier by the fact that the key area of your image will vary according to your composition and what you want to highlight (check out our 10 rules of photo composition – and why they work).

In our latest photography cheat sheet below we’ve highlighted the three main metering modes your camera offers and explain what each of them does.

Our illustrated infographic shows you where within the scene your camera takes its meter reading when using each different metering mode, and why.

Simply drag and drop this photography cheat sheet on to your desktop to save as a reference for the next time you’re stuck on which metering modes are best for your scene.

Understanding Metering Modes: drag and drop this photography cheat sheet how to learn which metering mode to use on your digital camera


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