On Saturday I did a couple sessions and then headed back to the rental house. My friends Meredith and Mitch's dog, Heyokha, was lying on the big sofa that turned out to be a popular sleeping spot for the hounds during the weekend. Lying on the new purple bed sheet protecting the sofa, Heyokha was bathed in the light flooding through the big sliding glass window and door that led out to the beach-facing deck.
He is an active, big boy. But at this moment he was quietly watching something (I don't remember what). I started taking a few pictures using center-weighted metering, zero exposure compensation, and aperture-priority:
(Note: On the Nikon the exposure compensation button is marked with "+/-" and sits next to the power switch.)
It's much too light, although I could fix that in post-processing. And he doesn't have the expression I want. I adjusted my exposure compensation to -1 (one stop), moved to his left, and tried again:
This looks better to me: the sunlit side of his face is not as blown-out as in the first picture while still retaining detail in the shadows. But I thought I'd switch to matrix metering and turn down the exposure compensation even further to -1.3:
I like this even better and I got a different (and better, I think) expression this time. Switching to matrix metering (the light meter samples everything in the viewfinder to determine what it thinks is the proper exposure; center-weighted emphasizes what's in the center of the viewfinder and less in the corners) got me the darker image I had in mind.
(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 105mm VR lens; aperture-priority with aperture set to f/4; ISO 800; normal JPG.)