- Nov 2, 2016
LIGHT METERING TIPS THAT WOULD TRANSFORM YOUR PHOTOS FOREVER
Are you snapping photos that still fall short of your expectations and they aren’t nearly as beautiful, vibrant, or crisp as you thought they would be?
Here is a bit technical information about light meter on your fancy DSLR camera in manual mode.
Where is the light meter on your camera?
First of all you’ll need your camera to be in Manual mode. (Not AUTO. Not A/Av. Not S/Tv.) You need to be in full manual mode. Next, look through your viewfinder, and then push the shutter button down halfway to activate your viewfinder display. Your meter probably looks like a series of vertical lines, with + on one end and – on the other.
What does light meter tell me about my photos?
The +and – symbols that make up your light meter are extremely important. As you work with different types of light, the indicator light on the meter will move between + and – depending on your exposure settings (ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed) and how bright or dark the light is.
If your meter highlights a value towards the + sign, it’s telling you that your picture is going to be overexposed, or too bright.
If your meter highlights more toward the – symbol, then your meter is telling you that your image is going to be underexposed, or too dark.
How do I use the light meter?
The meter it there to support you in balancing your exposure settings. You need to know a bit about the other technical settings, setting your ISO, aperture based on the light and your creative goals — then observing the meter and moving it to the middle to set your shutter speed.
How do you adjust settings to achieve light meter balance?
When practicing in Manual mode you have the capability of setting your own ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. However, this is where photographers often get stuck, because they aren’t quite sure where the right buttons or dials are or how to change them.
I’ve worked with a lot of moms and a lot of cameras and, unfortunately, the way to change each setting is different on just about every camera model.
First you’re going to want to locate the command dial on your camera (the one that scrolls). Some models have two command dials: one dial to control aperture, the other to control shutter speed. Other models have only one command dial. When the camera is in Manual mode, using that dial without pressing any other buttons will adjust one setting (typically shutter speed).
To adjust you aperture setting, you will have to simultaneously push a button on the camera and operate the command dial at the same time.
Take a few minutes now to figure out how to change ISO, aperture, and shutter speed while in Manual mode for your specific camera model. Then go grab a subject to practice with, snap some photos, and give the light meter some practice!