How To Use a Light Meter: Flat Light | Andre D. Wagner | Skillshare

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How To Use a Light Meter: Flat Light

teacher avatar Andre D. Wagner, Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

2 Lessons (11m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. How To Use a Light Meter

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About This Class

This class shows Andre’s method of working with a light meter to properly expose scenes while still working fast to capture fleeting moments in the streets. You’ll learn how to meter scenes correctly so that your images will have great tonality and shadow detail.

Meet Your Teacher

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Andre D. Wagner



Andre D. Wagner (b. 1986) is an American artist and photographer born in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a 2010 graduate of Buena Vista University with a BA in Social Work, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Wagner's photography explores the poetic and lyrical nuances of daily life; using city streets, people, public transportation, and the youth of the twenty-first century as his visual language. His work is rooted in his life experiences, as he believes that's the foundation to the minds eye. More than a documentary statement, his photographs are aimed at creative expression. Wagner remains committed to film, developing black and white negatives and making his own prints in his darkroom.

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2. Introduction: Hey, school share. My name is Andre Wagner. I'm a New York City photographer. And today this class is gonna be about how to use light. So I'm just gonna talk a little bit about how I meet her. How? Hold the meter. And just like what my settings are and just the different options that are on the light. Are you doing guys look great. Do another quick needed to read it. 582. Still 500. Still pretty flood like swings. 3. How To Use a Light Meter: So this is just a basic US iconic light meters l 3 58 It's really nice guys, the head on top, it swivels. Also, if you're shooting in low light, it has AH led light on the screen that lights up. So that's really useful. And then you have we have to ISO settings. Here's which is great So I'm shooting film. I have the 18 800 eso logjam, but and I can hit this and I can have like a second. I also lost. So maybe if I'm walking around with two cameras in the other film is ah, 400 speed. I can set it there and I can gonna go back and forth and take like, reading readings. So this button down here is the mode setting. The letters are not visible, but I can switch from in being late to flash had a scene court. But also I can connect to a channel if you have pocket, was it? So the mode that we're gonna be using today is ambient light. So I'm shooting 400 tracks, but I'm pushing it to 1600. And with film of black and white film, I like Teoh compensate for the shadows and I kind of like overexpose. It could make sure I'm getting the detail in the shadow, so I actually set the meter 800 Although I'm shooting the film at 1600. Um, I think everybody should kind of test out what they like and how they like to expose film. It's all kind of depending on you know what your aesthetic is and what you're into for me. I really like to have open image where, you know, you're just detailed throughout. Obviously, sometimes if you have special cases, maybe I'm shooting like a silhouette kind of image in an hour meter for the highlights or something. But for the most part, I like to have a good detail in the shadows. Um, when I'm walking down the street like I said, I want to make sure I'm getting detail in the shadows. So if I'm walking down the street and I have the buildings are on my right hand, side in the streets, on my left hand side and just kind of dependent on where the sun is, If the sun is shining over my left shoulder and it's coming towards where the buildings are . I like to just turn my meter and I want to meet her towards the shadows. So they know I turned the meter this way and I just hit my meter, but in here and then it gives us they're setting. So we have 500 of the second and F 11 for the opportunity meter reading this 500 1000 of a So I mean, the key thing is really knowing how to hold your light meter when you're out here doing your readings. Because even though the let the light is pretty flat right now, if I just hold it straight up like this is reading 1000 f A. But if I turn it in, you know, tours these buildings over here, I'm getting to 50 if a and that's actually where I want to shoot that because I want to compensate for shadows, I'm going to get detail in all parts of my scenes. So it's really important that you don't just put it straight up to the sky, because then you're just only going to be exposed for shot for highlights. And if I were to go shoot like this, the only thing that would really come out is maybe, like, you know, really like colors, white shirts, you know, grey hoodies. And I wouldn't really get any detail in the darker grays blacks, and that's you know what? I really want to get the details. I'm gonna turn my light meter here, and I know right now it's 2 50 FAA on. I could just walk down the street and shoot it. That seven. I mean, a lot of cameras have meters in them, and I don't personally like to use in camera meter. I have one on this camera, but if I were to do a meter reading, it would tell me the same reading as if I was holding on my light meter up into the sky. And that's not the meter reading I want, because that's only for the highlights. And I want to meet her for the shadow. So it's 2 50 f A. If I'm gonna use the in camera meter, I'm not going to go here meter. I'm gonna point towards like, a corner or to the shadows and get the meter reading and then shoot with that reading because that's a more accurate reading especially for black and white film. Are you doing guys look great. Changing by 1000. I mean, the lightest kind of changing a lot. Right now, in and out of the clouds. It's pretty much sons in front of me a little bit to the left. So I'm gonna take my incident meter and I pretty much on a meter opposite of that. So I'm meeting for the shadow. So right now, meter, I'm getting it is 1000 f a. So that would be a proper meeting meter reading for this scene right here. Way just left Union Square. Now we're pretty close to Bryant Park. It's gonna walk around a lot of people lunch, break and stuff. So just going to see with the actions, like a beer. So, yeah, I'm just gonna do like, a quick light meter tests and again, Like I said, you never really want to hold the light meter. Just stay to this guy like this. You really want to kind of bringing in towards the shadows. So, like, right now, just kind of do it towards myself. Meters at 2 50 f A. That looks about right. It's kind of cloudy or on the shady side. So it's a proper meter reading like me to read in the 582. I don't No, You got out of the corner. Still 500 a out of the shadows A little bit. So I'm going to another reading 500 A. Yeah, about 500 f A The phones on the right side. Now somebody put my incident meeting to the offices. Take my reading like still 500 life Still pretty flood. Every guy like you bikes wins everything.