Learn to spot a midtone
To demonstrate the advantages of shooting in manual mode, Nigel asked Enid to take two shots of these moss-covered rocks, one in full auto mode using matrix metering, and one in manual mode using spot metering. In auto mode the result was overexposed, because Enid’s camera tried to render the scene as an ‘average’ midtone. By spot-metering off the perfect midtone of the green moss in manual mode, Enid was able to adjust her shutter speed until her exposure level indicator lined up with the ‘0’ on her camera’s exposure scale. This rendered the moss as a midtone, the shadows as deep shadows and the highlights as bright highlights – a perfect exposure!