Photography for Beginners….Metering and Exposure Compensation…the basics.

There is a magazine I love, Photography for Beginners.  It is published out of the UK.  I could not afford the $100+ per year cost of the magazine so I bought it as an online publication through Zino.  This magazine breaks everything down so even true beginners can understand, at least mostly understand, or at least have hope of understanding the art of photography.
I like to read through the magazine and choose the things I want to attempt to learn.  I decided to start this months magazine with doing a bit of research on Metering and Exposure Compensation.
Above & below photo from Photography for Beginners.
Issue 38, page 21
Hopefully I can begin to understand metering and exposure compensation by using the above info and of course reading my Nikon D3200 for dummies.  Lets begin…..
What does the exposure meter look like?  Photo taken from the web. 
I went outside to play with this and found the easiest way for me to use this setting was in the manual mode with autofocus.  Yes I found you can use auto focus in the manual mode.  Happy Day:-)
There are a ton of things you can control in manual mode, if I only knew how.  I just focused on the exposure meter.  My best shots were found in the 0 portion of the exposure meter. (Although I am finding in my Dummies Book that there are times you will want to over or under expose your shots.) Left of 0 you will find your photos to be underexposed and to the right of the 0 your photos will be overexposed.  Interesting that on my P510 it is the exact opposite???  Go figure.  For my beginner use I would get to where I needed to be on the exposure meter by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture using the command dial shown in the photo above.  I could change the shutter speed by just turning the knob and the aperture by pushing the exposure compensation button and at the same time moving the dial.  Watch the meter as you are doing this and you will see it move.  When it is where you want it take your shot.
There are several different exposure modes as shown in the diagram above "Pick a Metering Mode". You can select the mode you want on your camera.  
Here are my practice, unedited photos from a local garden.  I played with the shutter speed using the command dial.  I shot in different modes…Manual with and without auto focus and Macro mode.  Metering makes a world of difference and from a beginners perspective very easy to adjust.  

What fun!  If you have not used metering to determine exposure in your shots I suggest you give it a try.  It's not hard but like anything else, the key is, practice, practice, practice.
Get out and take some photos.


  1. I'm a photography freak and Florian Schulz is one of my favorite photographers and I often follow her work online. I'm a photography freak and I love shooting animals and plants. I usually take help from a couple of websites to learn digital photography tips and also watch online video tutorials. I'm glad I came across your blog just now since I was searching for some tips on shooting of birds, flowers and animals. Thank you for sharing this information with us.


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