If you have a camera with the ability to do back light metering, you can increase your ability to capture the pictures you really want.
Some of us have cameras with ability to do back light metering. But, do you know what it does or how it can help your photos?
Some cameras with light meters also have the ability to do back light metering. Often this tells the light meter to compensate for the bright lights behind or reflected near your subject that would normally leave your subject underexposed. Have you ever taken a photo of someone at the beach or a sunset at their back, only to find out their face is dark when you develop? The strong bright lights overpower your light meter and closes the shutter before the light reflecting off your subject’s face is absorbed by the negative. Sometimes this can be countered by a flash, but that is battling light with light. Back light metering helps do this without added light.
In the case of Canon AE-1, there is a button on the left hand side of the barrel that when held, opens up the Aperture by 1.5 and allow more light per exposure. On my Olympus XA, there is a lever that I move to do the same 1.5 opening of the aperture. This of course lowers your depth of field and can washout your background in light.
Here are some examples of normal and with the Back Light Metering in effect while I was at the botanical gardens.
I have heard some people also try this by tricking their cameras in other ways like changing your ISO to lower number like opening the LC-A+ light meter from 200 to 100 ISO or covering their light meters to allow the aperture to open up.
So if you have this feature on your camera, why not give it a try. You may find yourself using it for better portraits or getting that shot that used to frustrate you.
These were taken with Fomapan 100 and a Canon AE-1.