You probably already saw it on social media, but I also want to give some attention to it on my blog of course.
This week saw the release of my brand new instructional video “Mastering the model shoot : the light meter”
A lot of people have asked me when I would make a new instructional video series in the style of the very populair “Light” series, my answer was always that I would make a new video as soon as I had a lot of information that I did not already share on other videos, because just like you I don’t like to spend money on something I already saw.
After the release of my book “Mastering the model shoot” and the workshops connected to the book I got so many ideas and I still got a lot of stuff that did not make the book (there is limit to the amount of pages :D) that I decided now would be the time to release a brand new series of instructional videos.
Everything is new.
We have a new approach to filming, we now film everything in 4K for extra quality (videos are presented in 1080P) and we use different camera angles, text will appear on screen to explain the more difficult parts, and all videos will cover different topics so you can buy the ones you like and are not forced to pay for something you don’t like (although I think they are all more than worth it of course).
The first video is called “Mastering the model shoot : the light meter”
In digital photography this is without a doubt one of the most talked about topics and to be honest you also hear a lot of stuff that is, now how to say this nicely, well….. not really helping (was that ok?).
In over 70 minutes I take you through everything you need to know about the light meter, topics include :
* reading the meter
* which meter to buy
* reflective vs incident
* where to aim the meter
* how to calibrate the meter
* working with strobes
* working with ambient
* mixing strobes and ambient
* working with white backgrounds and black
* how to keep detail in the blacks with a technique called light in light (and how to meter it)
* histogram vs the meter
* how to trigger the meter
* apps and film
* and much more……
I’m joined in the studio by our model Manon and next to the explanation on the meter we will also show you in easy to follow (and copy) examples. This is a very complete video on the light meter and I’m sure you will run out and buy one if you don’t already have one, or understand your meter beter if you already own one.
The video is priced at EU 29.95 (US app 35.00) and can be ordere via our webstore or via the direct link here :
Often I get messages from people that their light meter is not reliable outside, inside no problem but outside…..
Do always remember that outside there is also ambient light.
Let’s say you have a small flash system (the system flashes like Canon/Nikon/Sony) and your shooting full manual and get a reading of F5.6 inside, now when you go outside a day later and you get F11 don’t expect that the strobe is actually on F11, it could very well be that the strobe is outputting only F8 or lower.
The meter works very simple
When you press the button to meter in strobe mode (the lighting bolt) it will actually wait for a pulse and start metering, now the pulse from the strobe is registered of course and the meter does it’s work BUT if the ambient light (on the giving shutter speed) is higher than the strobe the meter will of course give you the F stop for the ambient light (since it overpowers the strobe).
So the next time you’re outside and want to check if your strobe is registering, or if you suspect a problem…. first set the strobe on the lowest setting and meter, now start raising the strobe and if the meter value doesn’t change you know you’re metering ambient (or in other words, ambient is overpowering the strobe).
So don’t bash the meter, understand how it works
now let’s look at some solutions….
Often I’m asked where to point the meter when metering.
You have to realize that the light meter is an incident meter, meaning it meters the light falling on the meter…. so if you know which part of the subject you want to be lit correctly you hold the meter in front of that part. In the studio this often means you meter towards the light source, however sometimes you don’t, like in this shot that I took during the Photokina.
Often light is coming from the front or the side, however it can be very interesting to use light from the back.
Now how do you meter something like this?
In fact it’s very simple.
An incident light meter will meter the light falling on the subject and give you the correct reading, if you put that value in your camera you’re subject will be properly lit. Now a lot of people tell you different things about light meters, ranging from “you don’t need one” to ….. well let’s put it this way a lot of confusion is caused.
Trust me when I tell you that a light meter is just a tool, it gives you a way to very quickly get a proper exposure and it’s not hard to use. As you can see in these examples I metered the front of the face of the models and put that exposure in the camera, the only light source used is an Elinchrom Ranger behind the model, so the “scatter light” actually lights the model and is metered. In a studio environment it will often (99.9%) means you’re metering towards the light source, but as you see with this setup I now actually metered towards the camera. Just remember that you hold the meter in front of the area you want to be correct and meter “the light” that is hitting THAT area, it can be the strobe straight on, but also scatter light or ambient light.