Introduction to Light Meters

Don Giannatti
A free video tutorial from Don Giannatti
Photographer, Designer, Author and Educator
4.5 instructor rating • 4 courses • 95,276 students

Lecture description

Welcome to this free series of classes on using a hand held light meter. While we will touch on "exposure" our main focus is on the use and handling of a hand held meter.

Learn more from the full course

Using a Photographic Light Meter

How to use your hand-held light meter in digital photography. Specifically created for beginners.

02:03:20 of on-demand video • Updated

  • 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
English [Auto] You get me in this class on light meters. My name's Dunshee Netti I'm a photographer and a designer you may know me as well and a lot of the social media places and I run a Web site called Lighting essentials as well as a Web site called Project 52 which is for photographers who really want to up their game and get involved with an assignment a week with real critiques and real honest to god real world assignments. So let's talk about the light meter. The modern light meter I say that and I kind of laugh a little bit because my light meter is anything but modern. It's a Minolta four. And I bought it 25 years ago still hangs around my neck on most shoots although sometimes I don't use it as much as I used to because I've gotten very very familiar with white over 25 30 years of doing it. One of the things I like about a light meter is its consistency. And one of the things that I hear a lot in digital realms these days where people are talking about whether they should or should not use the meters. They'll say well just chimping in that that's fine. You can do that. I've done it in the past and will probably do it tomorrow or the next day we all chip in. But one of the things that happens when people are saying just that in as they've been doing it for a long time. I've been doing photography for nearly 40 years. Trust me when I say I can ship it in pretty darn fast cars I know what the values are. I don't if the sunlight is in pretty much any situation. I know my Ayahs sells upside down and backwards. I know the reciprocity. If you don't know what reciprocity is are we're going to cover that too. Well one of the things that light meters do that histograms don't is that they show you exactly the value where a histogram. They'll say Well Chip it in use the histogram will histogram will show you the upper right wall for the lower left wall where it falls in the black or falls into white. But once it falls in the white How much over that does it matter or does it take into account and it matters a lot. A bright situation can beat the histogram a dark situation can also be the histogram. The light meters never pool. I use a Minolta 4 meter it's a very old meter and I use it primarily for ambient light and flash. Now we will cover reflected light ambient light and flash in this class and we will also talk about a light meter that's built into your camera which is a reflected light meter. We have to talk a little bit about the meters themselves. Many of you probably have a much more modern meter maybe a psychotic 3:58 or a sonic 3 0 8 or any other brand of meter if you don't have the dome. This class probably isn't for you because we're really talking a lot about ambient reading Flash readings with the dome. If you're looking for some information on your camera meter probably jump ahead to that particular chapter because it'll be covered in there. We're not going to get into all the variations of exposure that's a different world. We're going to talk about light meters what they can and cannot do for you and your photography. And again if you'd like to know more about photography in general hit my web site lighting Desch essentials dot com. And we do tons of stuff there on photography. So let's talk a little bit about what white readers actually do.