ok, here goes. i am about to share something terribly, terribly embarrassing.
i mean, if you consider yourself one of those people who know what they’re doing when it comes to photography, you might just want to cover your eyes.
all this time i’ve been reading on photo forums and blogs about “light metering.” it was almost as if the voices of the people on these forums/blogs sounded to me like the teacher on peanuts. “wah, wah wah, wah wah…” oh yeah, light metering. sure. got it.
now here comes the confession: i JUST last night figured out what they were talking about.
and it was the most glorious AHA moment i’ve had all week… heck, maybe even all year!!
i will liken the light meter to a guitar tuner. when you are on MANUAL, and i stress this because therein lies the cause to my ignorance… i’ve only just yesterday begun to venture into the deep, dark realms of MANUAL. ooooeeeeee. can’t you just hear the creepy music whenever you hear the word MANUAL? anyway, in this setting-which-must-not-be-named, there’s a little border to the bottom of your viewfinder. it looks something like this:
-2 . . -1 . . 0 . . 1 . . 2
if you’re familiar with a guitar tuner, there’s a notch straight up in the middle (liken this to the 0 of the light meter). when you play a note, there’s a ticker that will swing one of three ways: to the left, which means the note is flat; to the right, meaning you’re sharp, or in the center– spot on pitch! well, when you focus on something in MANUAL mode, the little ticker will dance across those negative and positive numbers. if it’s in the negatives, you’re going to underexpose your image. when it ventures into the positive realm, you’ll overexpose. and on 0? yup, you got it! perfect exposure.
i played around with it last night, and you can clearly see the underexposed vs.over exposure.
and wouldn’t you know it? there’s something really nice for in between:
so a few of many lessons learned:
you might think you’re onto something, and then there are 20 more somethings just waiting to be learned.
it is good to go to school, but is so very rewarding to learn something on your own.
AHA moments are part of what make life so cool.
and MANUAL isn’t so scary, after all.