BBF, AF Lock and Spot metering

Been reading loads of stuff on metering modes, and bbf (back button focusing) lately and decided to give it a quick little test today finally.
I remember a couple of years ago I had no idea what all this was, or what benefit it served me, so I avoided using it. But since discovering it, I wouldn’t give it up for anything!

Spot metering = great for isolation (ie. macro) and silhouette shots.

Take for consideration, a typical scene of someone on a bench sitting with the sun setting slowly in front of them. They’re enjoying the sunset, great, but you’re behind them, camera in tow, and they don’t know this heheheheh.

Next, you think to yourself, “I wanna take a shot of this unsuspecting person from behind…but I want to outline them and make them pop out like a silhouette. Hmm….”

Well, enter the world of metering! That beautiful little button/mode you just haven’t ever touched on your camera. Simply put, #1) switch over to either shutter or aperture mode. (I prefer aperture(Av mode on canon) simply because it lets me control the depth of field and isolate how much of the scene+subject I want in focus). Then, #2) I meter up the sky. Simply focus on the brightest part of the sky as the sun sets to set the exposure. Not directly at the sun, but around a nicely exposed part of the sky that’s lit up. Next I lock that exposure. “Huh? How do I do that?” – That was me when I first read it. Lock exposure? Well.. see that little button on the back of your canon that has “*” on it? Press it. You’re exposure is now LOCKED. Now, recompose your image and take the shot. View the photo, and that lovely person that was enjoying the sunset is now completely dark and outlined in the pic while your sky is perfectly exposed! 😀

Next up,

Lines, lines and more lines. I’m liking this idea lately. Playing with different shapes, especially ones that are conveyed through light. Thing is, I was using evaluative metering the whole time in the past, and as much as this worked, something was missing at times. That’s why its fun to experiment. After reading up on various metering modes and how they affect photographs directly I decided to try something tonight. Below is a photo I took by switching over to “spot” metering and using BBF (back button focusing) to lock my focus, and recompose my shot, and snap away.

MBP macro

MBP macro – f5.0 @ 50mm, 1/25s, iso 320, Spot metering

Tried this shot on evaluative mode at first, and it didn’t give the same result. The lines of light falling on the keys and casing weren’t as pronounced. But by using “spot” metering in the photo above they come out perfectly. Standard, simple photo, but by simply switching over to another metering mode, I got a completely different result 😀

Now, back to buttons again. Specifically the one that says, “AF-ON“. Instead of holding down the shutter button half way to focus like most of us normally do, and then recomposing the shot, I’ve made the shutter button, simply that – a shutter button. No more focusing needed. That is, by shooting in one-shot mode and pressing down the AF-ON button using my right thumb, I can snap away and recompose as many times as I want with focus perfectly intact!

*Extra tip. Switch over to AI SERVO mode, and now as long as you keep pressing that AF-ON button on your camera it’ll keep tracking your subject. Snap away as many shots as you want. It may take some time to get used too, but it’ll really improve the process and workflow 😀


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