Without light, there is no photography. It’s a good idea to get an understanding of how light works and how to expose for it. The best tool for that job is a good old fashioned light meter! By using a handheld light meter, you have the ability to read the light that is falling on your subject. If you’re using the light meter that’s built into your camera, you’re reading the light as it’s reflecting off of your subject and your camera can easily be tricked into giving you an exposure that you’re not looking for. When you’re using a meter in a specific area of your choosing, you’re getting a more accurate reading and you’re in total control of your exposure.
If you’re shooting with a digital camera, you can always check your LCD screen and histogram to see if your exposure is correct… But wouldn’t it be nice to know your exposure is correct right from the start so you can focus on shooting? If you’re shooting film, it’s crucial that you’re exposing properly because you don’t have that safety net of the LCD screen! Using a light meter is a tried and true method that’s been around forever. And for good reason!
Not only is this an effective way to get exposure, but it’s a great way to get familiar with reading light on your own. When you start to read the exposure of light in all different scenarios, you start to understand just how strong the light is from scene to scene. If you’re ever in a pinch and you don’t have a meter with you, you’re more likely to know what your exposure is just based on previous experiences. Always be ready!
Watch this video on how to use a Sekonic Light Meter!
The KEH team would like to thank Matt Day for creating this blog (including images and video). To view more of Matt's videos, please visit Matt Day's Youtube channel.