Portrait and wedding photographer Laurence Kim has started using a light meter again. Yes, he’s even using it for digital photography! He’s writen a post about why you should too.
Unless you’re taking pictures of perfect 18% grey all day, your in-camera light meter is not as accurate as you may think. Darker or lighter subjects will fool the meter into giving an incorrect reading. The counter argument to this is almost always the histogram. Can’t you just look at that and adjust accordingly? Nay, says Laurence:
“Remember that the histogram on your camera is NOT the raw data, it is the histogram of the camera’s processed (i.e. corrected) jpeg – even if you’re shooting raw. Thus it will to a degree mask the inaccuracy of your meter reading.”
Laurence is using the Sekonic L-758. Once you’re convinced to start using a meter again, read the rest of the post for a guide on how to use it properly. To go further, check out his next post on spot metering for portrait photography. As he says, “I don’t know a simpler way to get a perfect exposure.”