Basics of Wildlife Photography – Part 3

Hello Everyone.. Sorry to keep you waiting. I know this blog is getting published a bit too late. But as they say, “Better late than never” 🙂 In last two blogs on Basics of Photography we spoke of aspects like adjusting white balance, managing exposure, exposure triangle and focusing. Now in this last part we will discuss “Metering” and “Exposure Compensation”.

Have you ever noticed in movie shoots just before the start of shoot a technician will keep the device in front of the actor. This is to check the intensity of how much light is reflected from the subject and how well is the actor exposed to light. This is what we call metering of light. To get great images, metering has to be apt. It means exposure to the subject has to be apt. Four ways to do it, Spot metering, Evaluative/Matrix/Multi-segment metering, Partial metering and centre-weighted metering.

 

 

In spot metering, medium exposure is considered to be the light reflected by the focus point in the centre of the frame. The area under consideration is 2% to 3% of the total frame and around the central focus point. In evaluative metering camera looks at the entire image and depending on tonality it will decide what should be medium exposure. Partial metering is similar to spot metering but with larger metering area coverage of 12% to 14% of the total frame. Last but not least is the Centre average method which considers the larger central area of the frame and gives medium exposure. I recommend using evaluative metering for wildlife photography because you have no control over the lighting.

Another important concept we need to understand here is- Exposure compensation. As discussed earlier the camera is a device and can’t see what human eye can see. Under 18% greyscale rule, any image which has bright tonality the camera will make it darker and any image which has darker tonality the camera will make it lighter. This is why you must use Exposure compensation. For bright images increase stops by 1/3, 2/3, 1…..3 and similarly for dark tonalities use -1/3, -2/3, -1…. -3. This will help you to get the right white and black.  You will have to decide this on the spot while shooting. Now you might have a question on your mind, “what is “Greyscale rule”?  Well.. it is a topic in itself and i will cover it in another blog.

Thus we have concluded the four key technical aspects of the camera that you will use to shoot any image. No matter which brand of camera you have these are basics of DSLR. Understand above concepts and you will march towards mastering the art of shooting the wild spirits. Not to mention the field work and practice is must to achieve mastery. I will continue writing specific articles on shooting in wild till then Keep practicing – Keep clicking!

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