Art Adams of ProVideo Coalition has published a story on how he uses an incident light meter. He’s using the Sekonic L-758Cine, for his HD video work. If you’ve been waiting for a more advanced and in-depth look at how filmmakers use light meters, today’s your day!
Art writes his goal is to try “to understand how his tools interact with his brain,” using his light meter as just part of his creative arsenal. He makes the point certain techniques that may have worked well for film get more complicated when working with digital HD cameras, whose contrast and gamma vary greatly between manufacturers and settings.
He goes beyond instructing you how to use your meter, instead focusing on how you can interpret what your meter tells you. He writes, “Incident meters can allow a more intuitive way of working than spot meters. …With a bit of experience it becomes fairly easy to light a set by eye so that it looks good and then hold an incident meter in the area where you want tonal values to look “normal.” As people move around a set they naturally become brighter and darker, and you can take control over that by using an incident meter to determine where those “normal” spots are and make sure the “non-normal” highlights and shadows fall within the camera’s dynamic range.”
The full, three-page article is replete with charts, real world examples, and tidbits of filmmaking wisdom. Check it out on ProVideo Coalition.
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