Why use a light meter?Out of the gate a dedicated handheld meter is more accurate than what's built into yourcamera.
A light meter can even read exposure with flash.
Something no camera can do on its own.
Light meters are fast.
Saving you time over digital guess and check methods for proper exposure.
Light meters help improve your photographic technique.
Once you have a good sense of how exposure works, a light meter can help you actualizethe image that's in your head.
Unlike internal light meters found in most cameras, dedicated units allow the user toprogram their desired shutter speed, aperture value and ISO setting.
The photographer is able to prioritize two of these variables with third accurately recommendedby the meter.
These calculations are performed using specialized measures of reflected or incident light.
With reflected metering, illumination bounces off of the subject and scene and is interpretedfrom the position of the camera.
Landscape and architectural photographers take readings from the corners and centerof the scene, then finalize exposure settings based on an average.
With long exposure work or other applications that don't play well with exposure preview.
This can produce incredible imagery in a fraction of the time of digital guess and check.
Alright, so I’m going to use reflective metering to figure out what my shutter speedneeds to be.
I’ve already selected, ISO 500 as my light sensitivity.
I’m going to shoot everything here at f8 to keep my foreground and background niceand sharp.
I’m going to meter from each corner and the center to get a nice average for the exposure.
So, for our shots on the street, we knew we were going to do ISO 500.
I knew I wanted this at f8.
Meter was telling us a 1/125th a second.
And I’d say, that's about right.
This is a really even, nice neutral exposure.
If we want to, we can work with a little bit in post.
But, bang!Right out of the camera we got proper exposure.
We did another option, where we tried something at a slower exposure.
Kept ISO 500, stopped the lens down to f32 and the meter was coming back at about a 1/10thof a second.
I was able to hand hold that.
Let us create some interesting motion blur.
Give a little bit more drama to the shot.
Incident metering, probably the most common mode for studio work is performed at the preciselocation where the light and subject meet.
When photographing a person in a studio or other controlled light setting, the meter shouldbe placed closest to the subject where proper exposure is most critical.
If the meter has a lumisphere, it should be properly positioned for incident metering.
Whether you use constant lighting or strobes, incident metering offers a highly accurate,time-saving way to get the right exposure every time.
One of the things that I know, in the studio I want to make these crisp portraits withCrystal, thank you Crystal for being here.
Things I know, like I already know like limitation of my camera.
This camera only syncs at 125th a second.
It’s the fastest it goes.
To make this is as crisp as possible, I want to sync there.
So that variable is already out.
I think I'm going to shoot this it about ISO 500.
So, I’m going to use the meter to figure out what the best aperture is going to befor this setup.
So, we're doing incident metering and how that works is the incident meter reading ismade at the precise location where light and the subject meet.
So, I'm going to flip over the lumisphere here.
Because I don't want to use the reflector.
I’m going to come up to the subject, make sure that my shutter speed is in the right spotSo, I'm setting the time value here or shutter speed to 125th of a second.
I'm doing that because that's the maximum sync speed that my camera will do with a strobeor a flash.
Then I know I’m going to be at ISO 500.
So, the meter is going to help me fill in what the f-stop should be.
I'm bringing this right to Crystal.
So, this is coming back at about f4.
So, I'm going to stop my lens down to f4 and then we'll make our first shot.
Now while we have mostly discussed the ways a handheld light meter can benefit still photography,they are also invaluable tools for filmmakers and moving image artists.
Models like the Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate, invite the cinematographer to select shutterspeed or shutter angle and have aperture or ISO recommended.
More advanced meters like the Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U.
Offer additional functions like internal memory for repeat set ups, spot metering and high-speedsync support.
For more light meters, photography and all things imaging visit B&H.
And if you liked our video, please click and subscribe!I'm photographer David Flores, see you next time.