When should I use center weighted metering?
Metering is one of those tricky things you can alter when you use the clever modes on the camera. Thankfully, it’s not as hard as people make out. Centre weighted metering (or for our American cousins call center weighted metering) biases is the metering towards what you’re focusing on. It does something like 75% of it’s metering on the middle 25% of the frame.
Centre-weighed metering would be more interested in the dog in the centre than the background.
The dog here is much paler than the surrounding grass, and the center weighted metering has pushed the metering to be more about the dog than about the surroundings. This means that the dog is exposed properly. Matrix/Evaluative/multi metering would tend to overexpose the dog as it tried to get the whole shot to a nice exposure and struggled with the darker grass.
This is a portrait, so the subject is more important than the surrounding grass and centre weighted metering is mode to use. In fact, we suggest that you use centre weighted metering as your default mode for any pictures where you have a defined single subject – what we call portraits – whether it’s a flower, bird, boyfriend, or architectural feature. It’s not a bad idea to leave it in center weighted as a default because, you may find something suddenly happens and you want to take picture centre weighted would be best. You very rarely get a sudden need to take a landscape where matrix is more appropriate.
Don’t forget that the centre weighed spot is measured when you half-press, or chosen by you deliberately. It’s in the centre, wherever you are focused.
You might be tempted to use spot or partial metering for this kind of picture – this is rarely a good idea as the tiny spot is hard to position. But that’s another story.