Friday, December 7, 2012

Photography Fridays, My take on light meters:

People think this is crazy, but I ignore my light meter.
It is an "auto function" to tell you what is "perfectly exposed" for the scene you are looking at.
The problem with this is, the camera doesn't understand what you want, and if you rely on the light meter it will fail you over and over.
Example: let's say you are taking a pic of your kids under the shade of a tree, but the background is full light. Your camera is going to assume it is bright, and their faces will be under exposed (too dark.)
The opposite can happen too.
So my method is this.
First I pick my aperture. (Do I want a blurry background? Do I need a lot of focus? Am I going to need a lot of light so that I can have a fast shutter speed?)
Then I take a guess at what I will need the shutter speed to be.
Then I aim the camera toward the direction of my pic, and take a test shot, look at my screen and see if it is the light I want.
Then make the adjustments accordingly.
If you practice like this, in a few weeks you will be able to guess your setting pretty accurately.
And that automatically sets you ahead of most, and opens you mind to creativity- because I promise, most photographers aren't doing it this way.
Also, on a side rant: trust yourself to pic the exposure, and don't let computers tell you what is perfect for a situation.
You are the artist, you are designing a picture.

Did you know that if you put a person in the shade with a bright background behind them, you can "overexpose" and completely make the background disappear?


You can do the opposite too.
Find a flower that is in the sun, that has shadows behind it (once you start looking you will find that, that is pretty common.)
Underexposed the picture and see what happens.
You completely isolate the flower. The flower will be bright and the background will be completely black.

THAT is why you shouldn't use a light meter. 

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