Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Metering Light

Do you struggle with exposure? We all do at times. Have you ever tried to find the correct exposure by interpreting histograms only to find none of your adjustments worked? Isn’t it better to get the exposure correct the first time?

I have been way to trusting of my “in” camera light meter. I shoot with a Nikon D700. The D700’s light meter has a very advanced computer which has programmed thousands of possible exposure settings. The meter averages the light based on how you set aperture, shutter, exposure compensation and ISO. Then it selects the exposure from the data base. Does it cover all situations? Well no, we have all seen bad exposures from the "in" camera reading.The “in” camera light meter is an incident or reflected light meter. It measures light being reflected off your subject. Many times a difficult exposure requires that you measure ambient or available light.

Using an external light meter is the answer. You select your ISO and shutter speed, press the button and you have the correct aperture. Once you know the ambient light measurement it is easy to set corresponding exposures to achieve your desired image.
For portrait work a light meter is a must. Studio shooting requires various lighting setups. You will need to know both incident and ambient light. Both modes are available on your light meter. Knowing the light enables you to create stunning portraits.
So dust off your light meter and practice both indoors and outdoors and discover what a difference external metering makes.
Everyday presents a new photo opportunity… so keep looking and shoot!

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