Back in the days of film cameras, being able to accurately judge a correct exposure without having to fish around for a light meter was extremely handy. To do this, photographers would use the Sunny 16 Rule. Now that we have light meters and histograms built into our digital cameras it’s easy to dismiss it as a relic of a bygone era. However, knowing a simple and accurate formula to calculate a good exposure can save you time and be very useful. And if you want to try film photography, it’s a must-know rule.
Light meters have been a bit out of fashion for a while – although you’ll get my Sekonic from my cold dead hands! – but they have started to make a little bit of a comeback over the last couple of years. It’s partly due to the resurgence of film and cameras that don’t contain built-in meters but also the value that some photographers find it provides in their work. The only problem is light meters can be expensive!
Well, now there’s a new open-source incident light meter that you can build yourself for less than $50 – assuming you can find a Pi selling for RRP. It’s been created by VEEB, a group of Switzerland-based photographers who’ve taken to building their own kit. The Photon was created to provide incident light readings for shooting with Pentax Hasselblad and other old film cameras the VEEB team had that don’t have built-in light meters.
While they were once a fixture in every studio and photographer’s gear bag, light meters seem to have fallen out of fashion ever since digital photography came along. And while it’s true that we now have a lot more options for exposing our shots, the humble light meter can still play a very valuable role in nailing the shot quickly and consistently.
The cost of messing up the exposure of a shot, twiddling some dials and shooting another isn’t as expensive as it was in the film days, light meters can still save you a lot of time and hassle. And in this great video, Daniel Norton walks us through how to use a light meter, along with some tips and tricks to make your life a little easier when using one.
There’s always a lot of talk about “getting it right in-camera”, often by people who shot on film and didn’t realise how much the lab compensated for their shortcomings when they dropped their film off to be processed at their local high street place. They go on about various “rules” and “correct” ways of doing things and one of the big ones is exposure. And, well, a lot of the time even exposure can be quite a subjective thing.
In this video, James Popsys talks about exposure after having some of his images criticised for being overexposed. And, well, yes, he does admit that they are a tad brighter than he’d planned, but he still maintains that there’s no such thing as a “correct” exposure and I can completely see his argument.
The producers of Netflix’s show Love is Blind reached out to photographer Megan Saul to offer her a gig. It would be an opportunity of a lifetime… if only it weren’t paid in exposure instead of real money.
The whole manual vs auto thing for me isn’t really much of a debate. And whether you prefer to use auto or manual, you’re still going to need to understand the underlying principles of photography and how your camera “sees” a scene in order to get the most out of it and the best possible images you can that achieve your vision.
Coming to you from Paul at Photo Genius, this video compares the differences when shooting multiple scenes using both manual and auto exposure controls. It’s a good illustration of why automatic isn’t perfect for everything (or potentially even most stuff, depending on what you like to shoot) and how understanding manual can get you that control you need.
What is a stop of light? Essentially, it’s a relative quantity of light. Either half or double of a pre-existing amount. But what does that really mean? And why does it take Rob Hall 8 whole minutes to explain it? Well, that simple concept comes with a lot of implications in photography, and it applies to everything from our ISO, aperture and shutter speed to flash power, flash distance, neutral density filters and more.
Understanding what a stop of light is and what it implies are vital for creating good and consistent exposures in photography, and it’s one of its most basic principles. If you don’t understand it, it can be difficult to figure out what problems might be occurring when you shoot an image and it isn’t what you expected.
We’ve all been there at some point or another. We’ve misjudged our exposure, knocked a dial, the sun’s disappeared behind a cloud, or maybe our flash just hasn’t recycled yet. Whatever the reason, we’ve all had underexposed shots that we would actually quite like if we could better see what’s going on in them.
Well, in this video, commercial food photographer Scott Choucino shows us how he recovers those occasional underexposed shots using Lightroom. These same techniques will also work when using Adobe Camera Raw into Photoshop, too.
For those who’ve never seen TheCrafsMan SteadyCraftin on YouTube, you’re in for a treat – even if you already understand everything contained within this 25-minute video. For those who have, you know exactly what to expect. I’ve been following this rather unconventional channel for a while now. It covers a lot of handy DIY and crafting topics as well as the occasional random tangent.
Today’s random tangent is the topic of exposure as it relates to photography. Although our host is a sock puppet, the principles are explained very well, in a manner that most people will be able to grasp quite easily – and probably find quite entertaining, too. So, if you’ve struggled to make that switch to “M”, this video may just help you out.
Everybody knows the exposure triangle by now, right? ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Once you know your scene’s exposure value, you can just balance out the three to get a good exposure. And as you adjust one up or down, you need to adjust another in the opposite direction to compensate. Well, what if one of them isn’t really anything to do with exposure?
That’s the argument put forth by Chris Lee of the YouTube channel pal2tech, and it’s a compelling one. Back in the days of film, it was a little different, and your ISO really did reflect the sensitivity of the film stock to light. These days, though, with digital cameras, not so much.