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tomorrowstreasures
01-12-2009, 01:12 PM
I tried to quickly scan through to see if my question has been answered previously in the threads - did not see it so thought I would pose it.

I have a new hand meter and am very unsure of where to position the meter
when -
-a- i am metering people
-b- i am using cordless flash units
-c- i am metering a party scene - using a flash and want the background to be similar to the exposure of the party goers.

I am sure there are other situations but these serve as a good starting point.

Ben H
01-12-2009, 01:26 PM
Do you have a light meter, or a flash meter? If you're mainly using flash as a primary light, you'll need to use a flash meter (one that measures exactly as the flash triggers) - and generally, though I'm no expert, you place it where you subject is, and fire the flash into it from wherever the flash source is.

That gives you a reading on the correct settings to set your camera to to get a normal exposure.

tomorrowstreasures
01-12-2009, 02:02 PM
Ben - thanks so much for feed back!

It is a sekonic zoom master l-508 and has the flash capabilities - but it also has a dome gizmo that can retract - which I understand when to retract but not sure where to position the dome. the instruction manual did not offer that information.

Ben H
01-12-2009, 02:10 PM
Basically, you are always metering where your subject will be, so basically where their faces will typically be.

But I know very little about light meters other than what I've read or podsorbed - I'm sure someone else around here will chime in...

Marko
01-12-2009, 04:25 PM
I usually meter in front of the subject below the chin, but I have seen different photographers meter differently.

If there is no subject I will meter the area that I want well exposed, dome toward the light source.

These are just VERY general guidelines though.....lucky for you digital gives instant feedback

Hope that helps
Marko

tomorrowstreasures
01-13-2009, 09:23 AM
I usually meter in front of the subject below the chin, but I have seen different photographers meter differently.

If there is no subject I will meter the area that I want well exposed, dome toward the light source.

Marko

that answers my question! thank you !

mindforge
01-13-2009, 10:24 AM
You know. Kick me in the face, but I don't use a light meter. I just flip out a grey card with black and white and take a shot and go. I usually do another card for every light change. It lets me quickly see breaks for post processing. It also helps later. I am pretty good at guessing the temperature after an initial custom WB.

On the other hand, if I could stop buying lenses I would probably stop and buy a meter.

Marko
01-13-2009, 10:57 AM
Before digital, light meters were a must and I have 2 quality meters from those days. Now many digital shooters are shooting without them and using the in camera meter and/or histogram and/or checking the LCD screen instead of a meter.

Travis
01-13-2009, 11:05 AM
Before digital, light meters were a must and I have 2 quality meters from those days. Now many digital shooters are shooting without them and using the in camera meter and/or histogram and/or checking the LCD screen instead of a meter.

does seem like a tedious extra step when you can see your results instantly

Marko
01-13-2009, 11:15 AM
But they are still useful, especially with lighting ratios in studio lighting.

Travis
01-13-2009, 11:24 AM
But they are still useful, especially with lighting ratios in studio lighting.

really?.. i don't know much about them... thought they were from the film days..

so a light meter will suggest a key/fill ratio?

I always thought of studio lighting to be so personal with regards to the result you are looking for...

I usually just start off taking a couple of images getting the key light properly exposed, then a couple more images get the fill light where I want it, then a couple of more getting the background or accent light where I want it.

maybe tens shots within five minutes of set up, no biggie for me, but i guess if your a studio pro time is money.

i actually like the trial and error process because sometimes my test shots lead me to a new idea or style, but i'm running out of gadgets to buy so maybe i'll look into grabbing one...:eek:

Marko
01-13-2009, 11:34 AM
so a light meter will suggest a key/fill ratio?

It won't suggest it but it will allow you to be SURE (by measuring the light difference between the key/fill/background) of what the ratio is for predictable results.

Travis
01-13-2009, 11:35 AM
It won't suggest it but it will allow you to be SURE (by measuring the light difference between the key/fill/background) of what the ratio is for predictable results.

ahh.. okay... gotcha!

tomorrowstreasures
01-13-2009, 11:40 AM
and especially when i really really struggle with light as it is and can use any and all tools availed to me!


MF - how does one use a grey card??

tomorrowstreasures
01-13-2009, 11:42 AM
really?.. i don't know much about them... thought they were from the film days..

so a light meter will suggest a key/fill ratio?

I always thought of studio lighting to be so personal with regards to the result you are looking for...

I usually just start off taking a couple of images getting the key light properly exposed, then a couple more images get the fill light where I want it, then a couple of more getting the background or accent light where I want it.

maybe tens shots within five minutes of set up, no biggie for me, but i guess if your a studio pro time is money.

i actually like the trial and error process because sometimes my test shots lead me to a new idea or style, but i'm running out of gadgets to buy so maybe i'll look into grabbing one...:eek:

i want to understand what you are saying here. can you dumb it down a little bit?

Travis
01-14-2009, 02:35 PM
i want to understand what you are saying here. can you dumb it down a little bit?


Sure... what part do you need help with?

Marko
01-15-2009, 10:52 AM
I think I can help.
In general a lighting ratio refers to how strong the main light (key) is in relation to the fill light and other lights. Here's an easy example:

You have a model sitting on a chair and the main light (8 feet away) is at her right so she is being sidelit.
-The right side is getting 1 'unit' of light.
-Then you have a fill light lets say it's right behind the camera and shining at the model again 8 feet away. The fill and main light are putting out the same amount of light.
-The fill light hits both the right side and the left side.
- So the right side is getting 2 units of light and the left side only one unit.
-This is a 2:1 ratio

In order to measure this precisely for consistent results, you can use a light meter to measure the lights individually.
Hope that makes sense.
Thx
Marko

tomorrowstreasures
01-15-2009, 11:10 AM
I think I can help.
In general a lighting ratio refers to how strong the main light (key) is in relation to the fill light and other lights. Here's an easy example:

You have a model sitting on a chair and the main light (8 feet away) is at her right so she is being sidelit.
-The right side is getting 1 'unit' of light.
-Then you have a fill light lets say it's right behind the camera and shining at the model again 8 feet away. The fill and main light are putting out the same amount of light.
-The fill light hits both the right side and the left side.
- So the right side is getting 2 units of light and the left side only one unit.
-This is a 2:1 ratio

In order to measure this precisely for consistent results, you can use a light meter to measure the lights individually.
Hope that makes sense.
Thx
Marko

well done, Marko! thanks for taking the time to do that !