To be able to get well-exposed images you sometimes need to be able to pinpoint an exact area of a scene that allows you to maximize your metering in the camera. In these instances your camera’s AE lock function can prove extremely useful.
But where do you meter, that is the question… well, I expose for the highlights and meter on an area that is close to the brightest area of the image. Think of it this way, your standing there, the sun is up, the sky is bright and you’re taking a landscape image.
You take the image and when you get home the sky is blown out, all those nice clouds have no detail in your image and the sun is a bright white ball of nothing… the moment you saw… lost.
Let’s rewind time here and go back to that same location, this time using the tip in this tutorial. This time, you understand AE-L /AF-L settings… This time, you frame your image, take the focus point and point it up towards the white cloud, then hit the function button to lock the exposure on the cloud. You then move the camera back down and focus on the spot you wanted to focus on, click the shutter button and take the photo.
This time when you get home you notice you have cloud detail in the sky, the sun has more structure, and your image, more representing the scene you saw.
With some minor tweeks in editing software of bringing down the highlights a bit and bumping up the shadows, and your image, is a keeper. J
To set this, look at your menu to set the AE-L / AF-L button on the back of your camera to be able to lock the exposure if you press that button. It will take some practice to learn what setting is best… but do this from the comfort of your couch late in the day. Point the camera at the TV with some dark background. Take a photo focus and metering on the dark wall and the TV screen is blown out… use the AE-L function button and point at the TV to lock the metering on the TV screen, then, recompose and focus on the same point on the wall… the result, a TV screen that is properly exposed…
Now, get to bed early and get out there the next morning and try this out in nature when the golden hour hits.
Want to learn more times like this? Join one of our one day, weekend, or week long workshops at www.northof49photography.com/photo-workshop