Oct 192013
Leica X2, A:5.6, S:1/80, ISO:200

Leica X2, A:5.6, S:1/80, ISO:200


Ever wonder how photographers can introduce light intentionally into the scene to give that magical out come. Such as the above photo of my daughter. Simple, just follow the following steps:

1) Set you camera to Either Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority

2) Set your camera Metering to SPOT METERING (Check your camera manual how to do this)

3) Now aim the Center of your view finder away from the light source and towards the subject you wish to photographer (In my case, the subject was my daughter face above)


And click way, and you should end up with a photo that’s well exposed and the light will come in a magical manner. Below are other examples


Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica 50mm Summilux, A:1.4, S:1/500, ISO:200

Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica 50mm Summilux, A:1.4, S:1/500, ISO:200


Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica 50mm Summilux, A:1.4, S:1/15, ISO:2000

Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica 50mm Summilux, A:1.4, S:1/15, ISO:2000


If you have any question regarding this technique, please let me know by commenting below and I get back to you ASAP. Otherwise just let me know what you think about this quick tip.

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  13 Responses to “Introduce the Light by Spot Metering”

  1. Is this a strategy used by seasoned street photographers? I see awesome images where I can’t figure out how they get the faces to look, in your words, so “magical,” and well lit.

    • Yes saffiya this how they do it. I normally set my camera on SPOT metering when I do street photography. Actually Leica M9 only have SPOT metering in their system, so you are forced to meter the exact area you want to by well exposed.

  2. Thanks for the lovely tip Salim… I used to always wonder how did photographers get that effect… Thanks to you now I know the secret..

  3. I set mine on spot most of the time, especially for Street photography. Because I gotta make sure that face is properly exposed. Thanks for this though, you made me understand metering even more. Sometimes I get confused and not sure what to choose

    • It was my pleasure Maryam. As I said, my main camera is the Leica M9, and the only metering available is the SPOT meter. So like you I am always using that metering and in my opinion is the best metering as it gives you more control and creativity.

  4. Br. Salim, these hard lights in the streets that are all over the place in the ME – like in the image of your wife and son – is there a way, PP, to get rid of those awful lights?!

    • IT all depends how big the light, provided it doesn’t take up big chunk of the photo. But yes it can be removed, the latest Lightroom 5.0, has this awesome feature for healing, its amazing check it out, it does wonders

  5. Without a spot metering setting on the Leica M9, how do you spot meter accurately?

    • Reading the manual, it specifies that the Leica M9 meters evaluatively.

      • NJSwede, you are right, the light meter on M9 is center-weighted metering. But what I normally do, I choose the greyish area in the scene, and lock the metering by clicking the shutter half way through, than I compose and take the shot. Most of the time I get a balance metering

        And if I want to target a specific area in the scene, I do the same thing as above, so more or less it works as spot metering

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