For the past year I've relied almost entirely on matrix metering, with the occasional spot metering thrown in when I'm shooting food at home. Spot metering means that the camera only evaluates the light around the focus point, calculating exposure on that single area. Matrix metering, my crutch, divides the entire frame into multiple zones, which are then analyzed for light and dark tones.
There's nothing wrong with matrix metering. In fact, it's very powerful when shadows and highlights are minimal or when time is of the essence. Spot metering allows for ultimate control over the exposure, though it's not designed for fast moving subjects-as you'll need a few seconds to set up the exposure before a shot.
One of my goals for the summer is to branch out of what's become my comfort zone and learn the ins, outs, and intracies of spot metering. I'll also write more detailed posts on spot metering versus other kinds of metering, as well as share comparison pictures.
I walked up to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens this morning to experiment. I wanted to share a collection of straight-off-the-camera photos, completely unedited (as if they were film!). I haven't retouched a single one; all were spot metered. Spot metering these pictures meant that they don't need major edits; I can improve the contrast, up the saturation slightly, and crop.