This blog is my attempt to keep track of some of the things I learn along the way, with my Canon 7D, G12 and accessories. All images copyright Brad Calkins, not to be used without permission (or purchase). I do not attempt to monetize my blog, other than to promote my stock photo portfolio on Dreamstime.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spot metering

In the 'old days' meters were center weighted, usually with a bit of a emphasis on the lower 2/3rds of the frame to avoid the sky contributing too much.  Lots of things fooled such a meter - like backlighting, or a white or black main subjects.  In modern times we now have the multisegment meters that make use of a large array of examples to compare the scene too in an attempt to overcome these kinds of challenges.  The very latest meters from Nikon and Canon now use color as well.

All that is good, and helps the beginner get properly exposed images in a lot of situations without having to understand metering and exposure.  For those of us who do understand such things, it becomes almost counterproductive.  The multi-segment metering is invisible in its operation, and slight differences in framing can change the exposure dramatically.  So - many resort to manual metering, or simply manual exposure.  If you do use the meter for manual exposure I think you are better to switch to a more predictable metering pattern - either the center weighted or spot meter modes.  The spot meter is the best, in my opinion, as it uses only the center of the lens and it is pretty easy to fill the meter area with a patch of solid color.

I've been using spot mode on my 7D lately, and find I'm getting more consistent exposures.  Even with flash, I'm using the flash exposure lock (I have the mFn button mapped to F-El) to meter first, then concentrate on composition.  Here is an example of a shot with bounce flash - but spot metering...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

7D is sharp!

I am generally impressed with the 7D's ability to focus and produce sharp photos.  Contrary to things I've read elsewhere it is certainly good enough for stock photography. Here is a shot of my son - I certainly don't need any better :)  I should add that this was using the single point focus mode...

Outdoors with the 7D

Despite having a week off for skiing, I haven't spent much time outdoors with the 7D.  Today was a nice sunny day so I brought both my 8.5mm fisheye and 70-200mm with me for some skating.  The first shot here is with the fisheye (suprise, surprise).  It is still pretty fun to use - and I haven't shot too much with it to the point that I'm bored of the look.  It is crazy how close you have to get - I'm just inches from my nephew.
The one is with the zoom, zoomed in pretty close.  I've been using the point expansion focus mode and it worked quite nicely.  I have found that the zone focus tends to focus too close, so I've avoided it.  I'm also trying out spot metering - it did a nice job here:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Photo arrived in the mail

After a week of fun skiing with the kids at Big White, we arrived home to the first issue of the kid's magaizine 'Chirp'.  To my surprise, the 2nd page had a photo of mine on it - licensed from Dreamstime.  Along with calendars in Victoria, this is the one of the few photos I've found without looking for it.

The photo is below - they just used a small crop of the sled for a page on various objects you use to play with...  Kind of cool for the kids to see their sled in a magazine!

© Photographer: Bradcalkins