With the use of a camera comes one common challenge; how to get the right photo exposure. This challenge is mainly caused by the improper setting of the light meter this resulting in poor quality pictures. A light meter measures the light intensity of a photo. It uses a digital or analog electric circuit to determine the appropriate shutter speed and f- number for optimal exposure.
Light Meter Types
Light meters come in two namely incident and reflected light meters. The incident light meter uses an integrated sphere to measure the amount of light falling on a subject. The reflected Light meter, on the other hand, is calibrated devices that measure the intensity of light reflected by the camera subject/ scene.
Tips on Using Light Meters
- First set you Camera: Assuming that you already have your camera at hand, the first thing to do is to set your camera on manual mode. This you can do through locating the camera settings. Once this is complete, set your camera ISO and Aperture. Be careful with this as the ISO settings affect your cameras reception to light.
ISO Settings: A high ISO will make your camera too sensitive to light, while a Lower ISO will do just the opposite. This means the lower the ISO the clearer the resulting pictures. This doesn’t mean that you cannot use a high ISO. Most of the time, High ISO is used when shooting motion pictures.
Aperture: the Aperture determines how much light enters into the camera lens including photo depth and shutter speed.
- Input ISO number: After setting the ISO, put the ISO number into the light meter; the same should happen with your aperture.
- Light Meter Sensor: on most light meters, there is a knob that is usually located near the white dome. Use it to prepare the meter.
- Determine your Light Meter Mode: depending on whether you want to use your camera flash or not, you can choose the ambient or flash mode. It is advisable to use the ambient mode if you don’t want to use the camera flash.
Ones you are finished with all these steps you are now ready to use the meter. Here is how you do it
Using the Light Meter
- Turn on your Camera: Focus on your subject by placing your camera near your eye and piping through the viewfinder.
- Position the Meter: After the above step, you can now place the light meter at the fore and at a distance from the subject. In case you are unable to do it, you can have an assistant help you by holding the meter up the chin of the subject. This will ensure accurate reading of the meter.
- Place Light Meter Sensor to Face Camera: Remember that the sensor is white in color. For quality results, ensure that the light meter is pointing straight at the camera lens.
- Press Light Sensor Button: This is to measure the intensity of light falling on the subject.
- Push Camera Flash: In case you are using the flashlight on your subject, and have your light meter in flash mode, then you will need to press the measure button simultaneously with the Camera Flash button. This procedure will help to identify the best aperture and shutter speed to use for the subject.
- Read Light Meter Readings: From here on, you can now find the light meter readings for your camera. This will give you the recommended shutter speed and aperture for a good photo.
- Reset your Camera: equipped with the right information from the meter readings, the remaining step is to input the numbers provided by the meter.
By following the above steps you can get quality photos, including avoiding the gruesome process of re-editing photos via your computer.