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Using a light meter in camera

From: Up and Running with Studio Strobes

Video: Using a light meter in camera

Well, up until now we've kind of been eyeballing the shot seeing if it's And when I look at the playback I want to look at the histogram.

Using a light meter in camera

Well, up until now we've kind of been eyeballing the shot seeing if it's bright enough or if it's too dark, but that's not the best way to shoot. As a matter of fact, there are some great in camera options that can help you make sure that your image isn't too dark. Or too bright, or in other words properly exposed. So the first thing I'm going to do is quickly take another picture of Valerie. And when I look at the playback I want to look at the histogram. Now I can get to the histogram on my camera by just pressing the info button a couple of times.

You may need to check your manual to see how to enable it on playback. So the nice thing about a histogram, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to be able to read one. Is the left side of the image shows me all the dark pixels and the right side of the image shows me all the bright pixels. Now if I look at this histogram I can tell myself, yeah it's a little bit dark. I know there's a lot of black elements in here. There is the black background, there's the black dress, Valerie has black hair so I'm definitely going to see some more areas on the darker side, but I think I can open this up a little bit.

I can shoot to the right, overexpose it or open up the exposure and I'm using this as a reference. So to do that, I'm simply going to open up my aperture instead of messing with all the lights. So I'm bringing it down to 4.5. And you'll notice the histogram in this shot is more to the right. There is more light falling on to Valerie's face. And I can really control this in the post to make it exactly the luminance levels and the skin tone that I want. But I have a lot more material to work with.

There's another feature that I like to use, and a lot of people refer to this as the annoying blinkies or that black flashing thing. And they don't know how it got turned on, and they don't know how to turn it off. Well, this is actually very useful because what it can do is show you if parts of the image are overexposed. And if they're overexposed, you've lost the detail in that image, which most of the time you can never recover. So I'm going to switch over to my Menu settings, and it's called Highlight alert. And I'm going to simply select it, enable it, and now when we go back and we take a picture the good thing is no blinkies, which means it's properly exposed, but let's turn it up a little bit.

Rich, could you do me a favor? And we're going to take the, the octagon light that you had turned down earlier and crank that all the way up to ten. >> At ten. >> Okay. So I'm going to go ahead and take this picture. And now we have two types of feedback. Not only is my histogram pushed all the way to the right but you'll notice the areas that are over-exposed have that black, flashing part of the image. Now this is to the extreme. Now let's change the power output of the light. We're going to slowly dial it down. Just until those little blinkies go away.

So Rich, let's try splitting the difference. We went from say five to ten. What would seven, seven and a half look like? >> There you go. >> Pretty good, no blinkies. If I wanted to bring up the luminance, I could keep tweaking it and turning it up just until I start seeing those black flashes and turn it down a little bit. We'll give it one more shot, Rich. So, maybe eight and a half? >> 8.5. >> Now, even with that adjustment, it's still is a little bit overexposed.

I can see that from my histogram. I have a spike on the far right, and I have parts of the image that are blinking black. So, I know that it's not exactly what I want, but these are two great features that I always use to make sure that my picture is properly exposed in camera.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Studio Strobes
Up and Running with Studio Strobes

62 video lessons · 6461 viewers

Richard Harrington and Abba Shapiro
Author

 
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  1. 4m 6s
    1. Welcome
      2m 4s
    2. What you should know to get the most from this course
      2m 2s
  2. 6m 26s
    1. Shooting with strobes
      1m 23s
    2. Strobe lighting allows you to shoot with an increased depth of field
      58s
    3. Strobe lighting has faster recharge times than flashes
      1m 39s
    4. Strobe lighting is good at freezing action
      48s
    5. Strobe lighting offers many modifiers to shape light
      1m 38s
  3. 7m 34s
    1. Continuous lighting is easier for a beginner to understand
      1m 47s
    2. Continuous lighting makes it easier to achieve soft-light looks
      2m 57s
    3. Continuous lighting is useful if mixing video into the shoot
      2m 50s
  4. 20m 47s
    1. Buying piecemeal vs. buying a kit
      2m 29s
    2. Criteria for selecting lights
      5m 57s
    3. How many lights do you need?
      3m 0s
    4. How much power do you need
      5m 37s
    5. Mixing brands
      3m 44s
  5. 16m 40s
    1. Monolights and flash heads
      2m 22s
    2. Reflectors and diffusers
      3m 54s
    3. Lighting stands and booms
      3m 49s
    4. Power pack or power supplies
      4m 29s
    5. Sync cable
      2m 6s
  6. 19m 7s
    1. Handling the lamp or bulb
      2m 52s
    2. The role of the modeling light
      4m 36s
    3. Keeping lights cool
      1m 46s
    4. The master and slave relationship for lighting
      4m 5s
    5. Essential controls
      5m 48s
  7. 14m 59s
    1. Connecting the sync cable
      3m 16s
    2. Using a wireless transmitter
      7m 7s
    3. Slaving with a speedlight
      4m 36s
  8. 34m 6s
    1. Setting shutter sync speed
      4m 56s
    2. Setting an initial aperture and ISO
      2m 28s
    3. Controlling power output
      3m 1s
    4. Moving lights (the inverse-square rule)
      2m 8s
    5. Using a light meter in camera
      4m 4s
    6. Using an external light meter
      1m 45s
    7. Test shooting with one light at a time
      2m 5s
    8. Putting it all together
      1m 39s
    9. Controlling exposure with power or aperture
      1m 6s
    10. Refining exposure with ISO
      1m 39s
    11. Tethering to a laptop
      5m 22s
    12. Checking the shots on a computer
      3m 53s
  9. 31m 38s
    1. Modifying strobe lights
      1m 9s
    2. Bouncing the light with a reflector
      4m 26s
    3. Bouncing the light with a bounce card
      1m 12s
    4. Shaping the light with a beauty dish
      3m 5s
    5. Diffusing the light with an umbrella
      5m 50s
    6. Diffusing the light with a softbox
      4m 49s
    7. Focusing the light with a snoot
      6m 58s
    8. Modeling the light with grids and honeycombs
      2m 2s
    9. Using flags to restrict the light
      2m 7s
  10. 14m 50s
    1. Three-light setup
      6m 52s
    2. Three-light dramatic portrait
      4m 59s
    3. Four-light setup
      2m 59s
  11. 46m 56s
    1. Take the challenge
      55s
    2. Solution
      29s
    3. Portrait challenge 1
      8m 6s
    4. Portrait challenge 2
      3m 10s
    5. Portrait challenge 3
      12m 55s
    6. Portrait challenge 4
      3m 19s
    7. Portrait challenge 5
      4m 28s
    8. Portrait challenge 6
      9m 5s
    9. Portrait challenge 7
      4m 29s
  12. 39s
    1. Next steps
      39s

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