Nikon D7000, Metering Modes for Portraits

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For most portrait situations, the Matrix Metering mode is ideal. (For more on how metering works, see the “Metering Basics” sidebar.) This mode measures light values from all portions of the viewfinder and then establishes a proper exposure for the scene. The only problem that you might encounter when using this metering mode is when you have very light or dark backgrounds in your portrait shots.

In these instances, the meter might be fooled into using the wrong exposure information because it will be trying to lighten or darken the entire scene based on the prominence of dark or light areas (Figure 6.7). You can deal with this in one of two ways. the center area of the viewfinder (about 9 percent) to get its exposure information. This is the best way to achieve proper exposure for most portraits; metering off skin tones, averaged with hair and clothing, will often give a more accurate exposure (Figure 6.8). This metering mode is also great to use when the subject is strongly backlit.

The light background color and clothing fooled the meter into choosing a slightly underexposed setting for the photo.
Figure 6.7 The light background color and clothing fooled the meter into choosing a slightly underexposed setting for the photo.

When I switched to the Center-weighted Metering mode, my camera was able to ignore much of the background and add a little more time to the exposure.
Figure 6.8 When I switched to the Center-weighted Metering mode, my camera was able to ignore much of the background and add a little more time to the exposure.

Setting your metering mode to Center-weighted Metering

Setting your metering mode to Center-weighted Metering
Setting your metering mode to Center-weighted Metering

  1. Press and hold the meter button located at the top right side of your camera.
  2. While holding the meter button, rotate the Command dial to locate the Center-weighted Metering icon and release the meter button once selected.

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