What Is Metering in Photography?

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Metering is a term in photography used to describe reading the available light in the area. Find out about metering in photography with help from an experienced director of photography in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: DSLR Photography Tips
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm Dan Reinecke with Unknown Media. Today, I'd like to talk to you a bit about metering in photography. Now, basically, what metering is, is the camera reading the light levels in your image and is trying to balance it out to medium gray. Now, basically what medium gray is, how a gray card would read the light coming off and then, reflecting back into the camera. Now, skin tone usually fall within that medium gray range. Lighter skin tones are of course, going to reflect more light back into the camera. And darker skin tones are going to reflect less light back into the camera. But for the most part, it falls within that medium gray range. Now, what your camera's going to do, it's going to measure out and help you try to find that medium gray. So, say, you read something and it's bright. Now, your camera is going to automatically try to balance it out to medium gray. And it's going to tell you to set your aperture down a little bit. So, when you close down, what was bright will then be balanced out to medium gray. And then, from there, anything brighter will actually tend to fall into the highlights. And anything darker will start to fall into the shadows. And that's where you're going to get a good range on your histogram. Now, that is just a brief introduction on metering in photography. I'm Dan Reinecke, take your best shot.


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