How to Use Light Meters


To use light meters, simply put one on, set the ISO, which is the film speed, hold in in front of the model's face and press the button to determine the proper F-stop, or aperture. Use a light meter to get the best possible exposure with information from a professional art and commercial photographer in this free video on photography.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Rebecca Guenther with and I'm going to talk to you about how to use light meters. Now there are a lot of different kinds of light meters out there. It's going to be basically trying each one of them out at the store, maybe borrowing them from your friends to find out which one you like best although they all have basically the same idea behind them. You... when you get your light meter, you're going to turn it on, and you're going to be able to change the ISO, that's your film speed or even now that it's digital it still is the equivalent of your film speed. Usually there's a button that will do that and then an up and down button that you can press to change that. So once you have set it... I'll set it at four hundred, you're going to set your shutter speed, you want to be mindful as to you know if you're shooting action it needs to be a little bit faster, although let's pretend it's a portrait and we'll set it at a 60th of a second. This attachment here is best for portraits because you can hold it up directly in front of your subjects face, you press the button and it will tell you the f-stop that you want to be at. With this lighting situation you're going to want to be at 4.0. You can detect it over here if you want to and hold it up against the background and see what that needs to be at. You can also switch it to, if you're using strobes, and then you'll hold it, and then when the strobe fires it will set it off and let you know. And you want to detect the f-stops or the shutter speeds all around your subject, all around all the subjects. This can also be on most light meters, changed out to be reflective light which is like this, and... or a spot meter as it sometimes is. You can hold it up and instead of detecting what the light is here, it's detecting what the light is where you're looking. Some light meters have a scope you can look through so you can aim it more directly. This one does not of course and then through using your light meter you will know exactly what exposure you need to set you're camera to. All the settings it makes the job a lot easier, you now know what you need your f-stop to be, what you need your shutter speed to be and to make sure that everything is evenly lit. And that's how you use a light meter.


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