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Spot Metering Bright Objects in Bright Sun

We've all been there. The sun is high in the sky like in an old western, and you see something you JUST have to photograph. But how do you get the best exposure under such harsh conditions? Never fear! Chris is here with another quick photo tip about the power of spot metering.

When it comes to metering, as a photographer, we have a few options. Today, we're going over Spot Metering. In a nutshell, metering is another way your camera reads light. Out of all the different metering modes, spot metering takes its reading of light based on a small precise area of your image. Compared to other modes, those evaluate light data from the overall image.

To set the scene, we're shooting outside on a beautiful bright day. The sun is out, and there are some bright yellow flowers in a meadow we want to capture.

To start constructing the perfect exposure for our image we first want to focus on our bright yellow flower. When your camera takes in light data from the yellow flower, it reads it as "bright white" instead of "bright yellow." The camera reads light as black, white, and the many values in between.

Camera: "Hey! All that matters to you is that bright yellow flower, Chris?"

Chris: "Yup!" (To the camera, it's bright white.)

Now we want to check that our other settings are dialed in.

  1. Shoot in manual mode

  2. Auto ISO

  3. 1/500 - 1/800 Shutter speed since the light is pretty good

  4. F/5.6-F/4

  5. For White Balance, since the sun is still up significantly, we'll set the WB to "Sunny"

Camera: "Just double checking ... that bright flower ... that's all that matters? ..."

Chris: "Yup"

Camera: "Okay, I'll make sure to expose for that correctly" "Click!" 📸

After 4-5 shots, you can check your exposure and see how your histogram should be spot on! Try this technique with a few different subjects and see what results you get. We hope you enjoyed this quick intro to spot metering. If you have questions or need help with settings, don't hesitate to call our store at (208) 523-6789.

See you next week!


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