A little bit about the light meter
Todays fact :
How to make Frank sad….
Sometimes we work together with a company that sells some of our videos, and don’t get me wrong we love those guys and we have had a great relation, so this is not to bash them in any way but it does EXACTLY show what’s “wrong” with photography today.
Recently I recorded a new instructional video on the use of the light meter called “Mastering the model shoot : the light meter” this video explains not only how to read and use the meter but also shows examples of light setups that are normally really difficult to figure out and take a lot of test/trial and error shots while with the meter they can be set up in seconds. The video literally shows everything a photographer should need to know about the meter.
The responses on this video has been incredibly well so I thought why not offer them this video also for a nice action, right?
Imagine my surprise when I got this response this morning:
Actually we were reviewing this Lightmeter video and it looks great, no doubt but its just that we feel the light meter nowadays is only used by very few photographers. It was mostly used in the early 2000s and before.
So we may not get good sales for this deal. Can you refer us some other product of Frank which is doing great now a days?
Would love to know more details if there is any.
The fun thing is, and really mean this… this is one of the things I hear A LOT…. and it’s just very short sighted.
Let me give you an example
You go the doctor and you have to have surgery.
You are on the bed and just before you close your eyes you hear this Doctor :”Hummmm nurse where is the appendix again?”
Nurse :”Pfff I don’t know, why don’t you just start cutting and if it’s not there you can always close it up”
Doctor :”good idea, but with my experience I will probably be close enough”
Sounds ridiculous right?
Well it’s about how photographers perceive photography today, we will just take some test shots, compare it on the “digital polaroid” on the back and we will correct the rest in Photoshop. Or even better… I can guess it very good… I’m normally about a stop off… (Yeah that’s double the amount of light so pretty close dude)
Or how about this one, a real story:
“I never ever use a light meter…. it just doesn’t make any sense…. you know why?… I love to overexpose all my shots by about 0.5 stops to get my signature look, so a light meter….. (scuffs) not for me”
Yeah “dumbo” so how do you know to over expose by 0.5 stops if you don’t know the correct setting.
And don’t even get me started about videos online that get thousands of views where photographers claim they don’t use a light meter because models are not 18% gray…. that’s reflective metering smartypants not incident, in fact that’s why you SHOULD use a meter because your camera tries to make everything 18% gray…. and I can go on and on and on and on.
The light meter is a tool, it’s just like a ruler a carpenter uses it’s not an old fashioned tool it’s hypermodern, there are versions with touch displays, there are apps on your phone that can do it. The light meter is not a vampire that will sucks all the creativity out of you at night when you leave it too close to you on your nightstand (btw don’t think I sleep with my light meter).
The light meter is a device that meters your light
In photography light is our language.
If people would take the time to LEARN that language they would find that they don’t need a meter to take photographs but that the meter is a tool that will help them to INCREDIBLY speed up their workflow, get CONSISTENT results and cut down their time in Photoshop and Lightroom AT LEAST in half, and on set probably tenfold.
People discarding the meter as pre 2000 are still thinking light changed when we switched to digital, but in essence it didn’t, we still need an Aperture and shutter speed and ISO, that didn’t change… I don’t tell you you NEED a light meter to take the photos you see from professionals, heck even a lot of pro’s don’t use a meter, what I do tell you is that if you want to make those (or your) photos QUICKER and more CONSISTENT you should really try a light meter.
In all these years I teach I have converted more people to a light meter than you can count (and I can remember), NONE of them came to my workshop with the idea they were missing it, MOST (if not 99% of them) leave the workshop with they idea they actually need a light meter for the simple and pure speed I set up my lights.
And that’s all it is… a very simple tool to help you with that.
And to be honest if you take the 70 minutes to watch the video you will actually know the meter by heart, because in essence it’s incredibly easy to use and to operate (despite of what some people tell you online)
So to make a long story short :
Head over to https://frankdoorhof.com/web/shop-videos-etc/direct-video-downloads/ and select the light meter video and use the code “light” and get a 20% discount (about the same the other offer would have been).
But I do ask you, and I normally don’t do this that much…. feel free to retweet, repost and tell people about this little rant… because I really do feel sad that a tool that is so handy for photography is put into such a bad light (no pun intended).
I will keep this code active for the next 1-2 weeks.
And if you try it on all our other videos… well it might work too 😀
Here is also the trailer we shot for this video :
Again this blogpost was not made to bash the company which we consider as dear friends (we really do) but to actually point out a “prejudice” I encounter all the time and to be honest I don’t know how it ever was created but I really wish people would think before they take their position against the light meter.