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
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...
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.
Monday, February 7, 2011
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