HDR Photography: Metering

High dynamic range photography is generally compatible with multi-metering, which evaluates all the light sources in a scene. You may need to switch modes, however, to take into account very bright or dark areas.

Your digital camera has the ability to measure the amount of light in a scene and calculate the proper exposure. Most of the time, the camera meters the scene when you press the shutter release button halfway down. In this way, you can take a reading and then alter the controls to change the exposure.

There are several different metering modes. Your camera might have one of several types such as multi-metering, center-weighted, spot, partial, or average. This figure shows two shots of a garage. The lighting is somewhat complicated. Spot mode — centered on the dark garage — raises the exposure so the interior can be seen but at the expense of everything else. Matrix mode leaves the garage too dark while everything else looks pretty good.

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HDR photography is more than just “point and shoot.” It involves understanding exposure and using your camera to set up and capture a wide dynamic range of light through brackets. If you are familiar with these concepts, HDR isn’t overwhelmingly different. If you are new to photography, HDR will help you learn a great deal.

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