See what we are looking for and get in touch. Unfortunately, this varies not only from manufacturer to manufacturer, but also from model to model. The best general metering mode for landscape photography is the matrix meter/multi. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Back in the old days of photography, cameras were not equipped with a light “meter”, which is a sensor that measures the amount and intensity of light. Explained very nicely, I will experiment with my camera and revert back with results. This article was written by Stefan Hofer ( This is where center-weighted metering comes in handy. Want more photography tips? For example, if you are taking a picture of the blue sky with no clouds or sun in the frame, the image will be correctly exposed, because there is just one light level to deal with. Since the success rate is low, you will have to constantly adjust the aperture or shutter to get the exposure you desire. Aperture: f/11 to f/16 For landscape photography, our subjects are very stationary. All of them can work equally well. The camera meters a wide area of the frame and sets exposure according to distribution of brightness, color, distance, and composition for natural settings. You want a focus mode that excels for fixed subjects. Because the moon would take up a small portion of the frame and the sky is completely dark around it, it is best to use Spot metering – that way, we are only looking at the light level coming from the moon and nothing else. If the photographer wants to meter off a specific tone or color, or something that is continuous throughout the frame, spot and center weighted metering will work very well. Thanks for your article, very interesting. It is very frustrating at times when using spot metering because the first photograph taken is usually severely underexposed or overexposed. Some DSLRs like the Canon 1D/1Ds are capable of multi-spot metering, which basically allows choosing multiple spots to measure light and come up with an average value for a good exposure. Nikon, for example, also compares image data to a database of thousands of pictures for exposure calculation. Which kind of the metering modes do you suggest? When photographing landscapes, it is essential to have the correct meter setting activated to achieve proper exposure results. Because the light is evaluated where I place my focus point, I could get an accurate exposure on the bird even when the bird is in the corner of the frame. Personally, I only use 3D Color Matrix when I am photographing for correct exposure. First of all, I am so thankful for the useful information that you share with us. Your camera will select the appropriate exposure for that spot and ignore the rest of the composition. Center-weighted Metering evaluates the light in the middle of the frame and its surroundings and ignores the corners. Photographers had to use hand-held light meters to determine the optimal exposure. Spot Metering for landscape photography is a precision tool: you select the brightness of a very small part of your frame. A “metering mode” is nothing more than a programmer’s perception of what the perfect photo might look under the environment the AI detects. As a result, the camera meter might brighten up the sky a little bit in order to properly expose the white clouds – otherwise, the clouds would look too white or “overexposed”. I don’t have a 3D Color Matrix setting on my Nikon D200 camera. It’s very informative. For all other purposes, my camera is always set to 3D color matrix. Camera settings for landscape photos. About the Author: This setting is recommended in most situations. I leave my camera metering mode on matrix metering for most of my photography needs, including landscape and portrait photography. But therein lies the problem, you are taking the photo, not the AI. Thanks and it’s very useful. PL provides various digital photography news, reviews, articles, tips, tutorials and guides to photographers of all levels, By Nasim Mansurov 170 CommentsLast Updated On August 10, 2019. It’s my first step to become a photographer. The meter setting on your camera helps you decide what combination of aperture and shutter speed to use in order to get a correctly exposed photograph. Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority. I do find some uses for spot metering however. Nikon and Sony refer to this as “AF-S” or “Single Shot AF”. I will then explain which meter setting I use all the time, and how to get the most out of each setting while in the field. The meter setting in photography is very important not because of creative control, but from a time perspective. When using spot metering, your main point of focus will be exposed properly. 2. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Site by Matt Brett, No, my photos are the best, close this forever. The circle is centered on the current focus point, making it possible to meter off-center subjects. Use Single Shot Focus Mode. Photo by Indigo Skies Photography; ISO 200, f/8.0, 0.8-second exposure. Use this mode when you want the camera to prioritize the middle of the frame, which works great for close-up portraits and relatively large subjects that are in the middle of the frame. When I am using special graduated neutral density filters, I find that taking a meter reading of the shaded area and the bright sky at the horizon help me choose what strength of filter to use. By default, the camera meter looks at the light levels in the entire frame and tries to come up with an exposure that balances the bright and the dark areas of the image. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook. The job gets a little harder if you add a few clouds into the image – the meter now needs to evaluate the brightness of the clouds versus the brightness of the sky and try to determine the optimal exposure. Whether you’re pointing your camera at a distant mountain or a murky swamp, optimal camera settings remain basically the same: Metering Mode: Evaluative. Was kinda neat in 2000, but now it’s hackneyed beyond belief. Quick and Easy Tips to Improve Your Food Photography, Previsualization: Transforming Your Thoughts into Photos, Interesting Photo of the Day: A Pop of Red in Landscape, Interesting Photo of the Day: Perfectly Purple Skies, Interesting Photo of the Day: A Colorful Night in Tokyo. The most common metering modes in digital cameras today are: Some Canon EOS models also offer “Partial Metering”, which is similar to Spot Metering, except the covered area is larger (approximately 8% of the viewfinder area near the center vs 3.5% in Spot Metering). Best metering mode for landscape photography. Every modern DSLR has something called “Metering Mode”, also known as “Camera Metering”, “Exposure Metering” or simply “Metering”. Excellent resource and so clearly explained. On professional cameras such as the Nikon D810 and Nikon D5, there is a separate button on the top left dial for camera metering. Wherever your main point of focus is, the camera will meter off this subject and calculate the correct aperture and shutter to use. All cameras are different, but should have similar “on board” camera meters.