Using a Photographic Light Meter

How to use your hand-held light meter in digital photography. Specifically created for beginners.
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (902 ratings)
36,157 students
Using a Photographic Light Meter
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (902 ratings)
36,154 students
In this course you will learn the difference between reflective light meters and ambient light meters
Students will learn which meter is best for different situations
We will discover the powerful ways a light meter can help a photographer pre-visualize the image before exposure
Students will gain more confidence with the use of their meters, and gain more confidence with their lighting
Learn to use Photoshop to visualize tonalities and begin to see the world as a photographer

Requirements

  • Camera and Lens
  • Basic knowledge of their camera operations in Manual Mode
  • Light Meter (reflected and ambient)
  • Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, GIMP
  • Working knowledge of Photoshop Layers

Description

NOTE: this class is given freely to all photographers who want to know how to use their light meter in digital photography... it is simply produced and is more informational than glossy. It will be continuously updated when new materials become available.

This course is designed for those photographers who have just begun using a hand held light meter or who may not know what to do with their meters. or why they are important and useful tools for making images.

The light meter is a device that measures the intensity of light, whether that light is being reflected from a subject (reflected light) or falling upon the subject (ambient or "incident" light). The light meter is a tool that helps a photographer create more accuracy in exposures.

We take a very close look at all the ways a light meter can help a photographer develop a stronger understanding of the light, as well as learning how the different tonalities are expressed through a light meter.

Real world examples and some simple and fun exercises will help the beginning light meter user develop good habits, and stronger lighting.

From reflected light readings to "placing the exposure" for maximum artistic presentation to using the ambient dome for flash in studio, this course is a simple to follow discussion of meters.

NOTE: We do not discuss the operation of any specific (Brand) kind of meters. You will still be required to read your manual to find out how to set your specific meter up, and the specific ways it works. But all meters DO the basic same things, and that is what we discuss on this course.

We use video and a few PDF's to show how to use a light meter in both reflective and ambient modes. There are three exercises to be done by the student that will help them learn their specific meter.

The course should be done in order, and there is over 2 hours of video content as well as PDF documents for your files.

If you are ready to learn to use a meter, to take control of your exposure this course is for you. Many photographers will tell you that 'chimping' is all you need to do. I disagree... there are far more reasons to use a light meter than merely exposure... and we will discuss them in this class.

The class is free... enjoy and keep shooting.

Thank you,

Don Giannatti

Who this course is for:

  • Beginning Photographers with a Light Meter they do not know how to use
  • Intermediate Photographers who want to take more control of their images
  • Photographers who may have a light meter and are not familiar with how it works

Course content

1 section • 17 lectures • 2h 16m total length
  • Introduction to Light Meters
    Preview04:07
  • An Introduction to Why I Use a Meter
    15:09
  • What a Light Meter Does
    02:53
  • Setting the Meter Up for YOU
    04:43
  • Finding Exposure Values with an Reflected Light Meter
    08:23
  • Photoshop Discussion of "Target" Shoot
    06:56
  • Using a Meter to "Place" the Exposure
    13 pages
  • "Finding Middle Gray" an Exercise to Develop Seeing Tonality
    21:41
  • "Placing" the Exposure: Forest in Deep Overcast
    03:16
  • Paige in Natural Light with Camera Meter
    04:53
  • Ambient Light Meter Introduction
    03:28
  • Ambient Light Meter Introduction Part Two
    05:31
  • Dome to Camera or Sun: In Photoshop
    03:02
  • Incident Light Meter and Photos: A Discussion
    18:34
  • Incident (Ambient) Light Meter in Studio
    06:55
  • First... Find the Ambient Light: Part One
    05:11
  • Ambient and Flash - a Discussion
    08:38

Instructor

Photographer, Designer, Author and Educator
Don Giannatti
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 2,747 Reviews
  • 90,653 Students
  • 4 Courses

Don Giannatti has been a photographer for more than four decades. Starting with a desire to do fine art photography, he quickly made the jump into commercial. Over the decades he has owned studios in Phoenix, New York, Chicago and LA. A wide range of clients kept him shooting everything from studio product to fashion, beauty and travel.

With a preference for photographing people and still life, Don feels that lighting is the most important part of the image making process. Understanding the light and how the subject reflects the light helps photographers visualize the image before starting the shoot. This “subject centric” approach to light is what he teaches and is the subject of much of his writing.

He has authored three books for Amherst - all currently available at Amazon.com (keyword Don Giannatti).

Don current maintains a studio in Phoenix, teaches workshops all over the world, and writes for the online Photography magazine, Lighting Essentials (www.lighting-essentials.com)