Today 2 links to guestblogs I recently did for PhotoWhoa and Sekonic.
A few days ago I got an email from someone who asked me “where to point the meter outside”.
The main reason he was confused because some people would say :
“Use the histogram and don’t get a meter”
Well I won’t even go into that one.
“Always aim towards to the camera”
This is wrong, I showed this in a video a while ago, and it’s easily explained.
When you aim towards the camera and move the light to the sides (but keep the distance the same to your subject) the meter will show different readings, but the light should stay the same due to the inverse square law, also the model will go up in brightness which is of course not correct, the quality/direction of light should change but not the brightness of your subjects skin.
“Always aim towards the light source”
This is what I teach people.
And in my opinion it’s the best way, by doing it this way you are metering the light hitting your subject and you will have a perfect/proper exposure on the area you meter your subject. HOWEVER having said that now comes the problem…
Over time I’ve written a lot of articles on the use of the light meter, and also some about the calibration of the meter. This has fueled some discussion and also made some people doubt their methods even more than before, so I thought that it was time for a revisit of this topic.
Why calibrate the meter
In fact you are not calibrating the meter, but the combination of the meter and the camera/lens combination.
Remember that every camera can be different, and that if ISO100 is correct it could be off for ISO200.
Knowing all this makes it easier to understand why the meter out of the box is not 100% accurate.
The quick and easy way
I’ve been experimenting a lot with the calibration process and found that if you calibrate to a QPcard101 and get the numbers to read app 128.128.128 for the gray patch you are pretty accurate. However there are some things you do have to realize.
Today a very special video.
First of all it’s the topic of the video.
For years I’ve been using a light meter and to trigger the strobes I’m using a second sky port (or Pocketwizard) to trigger the strobes and meter the light, however this is of course not perfect. Sekonic already has modules for pocket wizard, but somehow there were no Elinchrom compatible versions so I always carried the second sky port with me…
Until a few weeks ago someone got me an interesting piece of gear.
It’s a module that you place in the Sekonic light meter and you can not only trigger the strobes…. but you can do more, for that you have to watch the video.
The video is also special because it’s the first video in the “The DOORhof is always open” series.
This is a new videopodcast we are working on and will see regular releases, most videos will be short news, tips/tricks items but once every 4-6 weeks I hope to release a longer videopodcast with a guest and some interesting topics. Because this is the first video I ask you to be gentle, we will learn along the way . I want to give my deepest thanks to Aletta Armee for designing the intro and bumpers, you rock.
For more information about the DIY module read on:
It seems to bring out the worst in people.
It seems to set parties in war mode.
It seems almost religious for some people.
It seems that some people think you suck without.
It seems that some people think you suck with it.
It seems that some people think you are old fashioned with it.
It seems that some people think you are trendy when you use it.
It seems that some people think it takes away all your creativity.
It seems that…..
It seems like this blog post is about the new “old spice”, but nothing is further from the truth, it’s about a very simple tool… the light meter.
Something a lot of people struggle with when calibrating the light meter is the calibration… on this blog I have a special selection on light meters (check it out ).
When I teach my students to calibrate the meter to the camera I always use an 18% gray card and shoot this in a as flat as possible light situation and make sure that in the workflow I use the values for this card are 128.128.128
Here is where the confusion starts.
Some cameras are calibrated different, cameras use reflective metering and are set in values between 12-18% gray. Meaning that some cameras will yield different exposures, which can be compensated. A lot of this has to do with the gamma curves and different colorspaces. For example when we look at LAB a gamma curve of around 2.47 will Yield a 128.128.128 value, but mostly gammas of 1.8 and 2.2 are used in colorspaces like sRGB and ProPhotoRGB.
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