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Photography 101

Lesson 11 of 55

How To Measure or Meter Light

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

11. How To Measure or Meter Light


Class Trailer



The Camera is Simply a Tool


How Does a Camera Work?


How to Adjust Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO


Exposure Triangle


What is a Stop of Light


Reading Exposure Via the Histogram


Blown Highlights or Clipped Details


White Balance & Color Temperature


No Such Thing as the Correct Exposure


How To Measure or Meter Light


8 Key Points to Understanding ISO and Image Quality


Understanding the 3 Primary Metering Methods


How to Get Perfect Exposures in One Shot


Equivalent Exposure but Different Images


Compensating for Light and Dark Scenes


Starting with Automated Modes


Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode


Portrait Mode on a Fashion Shoot


Landscape Mode on the Beach


Sports or Action Mode


Macro Mode with Food Photography


Creative Effects Mode - Floral Photography


In-Camera Processing


A Glimpse into RAW Processing


15 Tips When You’re Having Trouble Focusing


3 Primary Types of Autofocus


Single Shot with Portrait Session


Single Shot with Action Shots


AI Servo with Action Shots


Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection


Shutter Speed and the Reciprocal Rule


How to Hold a Camera and Panning Tutorial


What Makes a Great Photograph?


How to Capture Candid Moments


How to Find the Right Light Direction


5 Basic Compositional Theories


The Power of Cropping


Color Schemes


Diving into the Narrative


If It’s Not Working With, It’s Probably Working Against


More About Your Camera and Lenses


Understanding Megapixels


Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras


Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Demonstration


Prime vs. Zoom Lens


How the Lens Affects Composition


Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG


5 Tips on Memory Cards


10 Tips on Buying Gear




The Good Karma Jar


Posing and Action Shots with Female Model


Posing and Lighting with Female Model


Posing and Lighting Couples Portraits


Lesson Info

How To Measure or Meter Light

In this video, we're going to go over the light meter in detail and this is why we know basically how to adjust our exposure we can adjust our exposure with our shutter speed our appetites are so but how do we essentially no where to start out with I mean, how do we get that first exposure to be roughly where we want it to be? So what we need do is we need to understand how that light meter works and then we need to adjust according to it and then get our correct exposure. Now let me go ahead and show you what I mean instead of talking through it okay, we're gonna hit the live you button right now just so we can get our screen just to show up here so go ahead and hit the live you and right now you can see that the screen is actually extremely dark we can't really see anything, so the first thing to do is actually go down to an after that I want for the overall scene, I think for this scene it looks really beautiful at around two to f two point eight so that's, the first thing I'm gonna...

do is I'm going just my apter based on the overall composition that I'm going for okay, so let's go ahead and just go down two point let's go to point out so right now, you could see that the exposure based on this live you exposure preview is actually pretty close to where we wanted to be. Now let's say that the shutter speed is up kind of high let's say that we're at one one thousandth of a second well, that the camera itself is going to basically give me a reading on that light meter, and you can see this light meter at the bottom of the screen. The light meter generally is going to range from negative to or negative three stops. Right now, we have negative three stops on this camera all the way up to plus three stops right in the middle where that little arrow is or where it says zero that is what the camera is telling you is that technically correct exposure? We've already gone over basically talking about how well exposures are really about the artistry, so different types of exposures, it really just matters on the scene, whether you're going for something brighton area, whether you're going to something a little more dark and dramatic, it doesn't matter so long as you shoot the correct exposure for what you're going for artistically. So kind of take what it's saying, what that camera saying is that technically correct exposure just as a great assault is telling you this is what it thinks is technically correct based on the meat oring mode you're using, we're gonna talk about metering modes and a follow up video, but to the left of that little meter we know that it's underexposed and to the right of that meter we know it overexposed and in the middle that's where it's telling you its second correct? Okay, so let's, go ahead and as I bring my shutter speed up, you're going to see that little meter is going to keep pulling to the left now one four thousand a second that's actually, the shutter limitation on this camera, we're all the way at negative three stops now if I go in and I raised the aperture, it can't really go down any further. So what you see is a little tiny arrow that points to the left of three stops. Some cameras only go to negative two stops on the plus two and the negative too side. If you see that arrow that's kind of saying it's way off to the one aside, well, you need to make some adjustments before your meter is going to appear within that little light metering range. So what? We're gonna do it just make that adjustment quick to get our meter back. I'm going to go back to f too we're gonna go ahead and slow down the shutter and if I just halfway to press the shutter release button, our little light meter pops back up on that display and I can see it again. So right now I'm at negative to stop, so I know that if I want to adjust being my shutter speed well, I'm going to go one stop up! We're not a one. One thousand now we're one stop underexposed and now I goto one, five hundred now one, five hundred a second and a half two and is a one hundred. This is where the camera is telling me this is a technically correct exposure for this scene, but I still need a judge for myself and that's where I really I'm gonna use things like my history. Ma'am, we can see from this view right here that the history ram is a little bit pulled to the shadow side. So what I might do is click down and we'll go toe one, four hundred seconds. This is where I'm going to say is my correct exposure, brighter tones is gonna yield a better picture is going to yield more flattering skin tones. So so long as I'm not blowing everything out and I'm getting what I want, I want to err on the side of brighter for this type of a scene. All right, quick, general tip, because you know, pie just mentioned a very important note that I want to briefly emphasize, he said, so long as you aren't blowing anything out, you want to err on the brighter side. So this technique is known as e t t e r or exposing to the right remember history ram now, this doesn't mean that you blow out your highlights, but rather that you will get a cleaner image if you were exposed to highlights then e t t l or exposed to the left, which would make the image darker, so rule of thumb when you want to maximize tonal range in a shot and maximize image quality e t t e r exposed so that your leader is pushed us far to the right without actually blowing out any highlights and without clipping any shadows, okay, so back to the video. But for right now this looks great what I'm gonna do is pop the camera off and we're gonna go and take our shot the one thing I'm going to do here though is I am going to add a little bit of a feel like actually exactly what that's going to do so olivia why don't you grab the silver phil so what we're doing here is we're actually grabbing light from the sky and were filling it into her face so all I'm gonna do is bring this underneath and you can see how it opens up that catch lights in the air does a really great job of adding additional light and what we're going to take it before and after so why don't you hold that I'm going to go back here I'm gonna take this camera right off my tripod we can stop recording on this I'm gonna turn it off movie mode so let's just go ahead and move this to the side now with that little bit of a bump we call it a bump basically could this slight fill light it shouldn't be going too much where it's going to be over exposure is going a little bit of light I'll take a look at the history and if we see anything blown out we'll make adjustments but it should be okay go and turn on my auto focus real quick I'm gonna back up just a tiny bit beautiful okay now this looks gorgeous. I love this shot, but we could get a little bit of extra fill with this reflector. Now watch what the reflector does libby let's add it and go down a tiny bit little bit lower. There you go, perfect, right? They're beautiful. Okay, now, just in looking at these on the back of my camera, I can see a major difference that feel like it just adds a little kiss of life that kind of fills in all the shadowy area on the face. It's very, very nice for a shot like this. Now I'm gonna do is take a few more portrait. So what I'm gonna do now is, well, let's, get a little bit closer. I wanna get a shot of these beautiful eyes of yours. Go chin down a tiny bit and eyes right up above my lands there. Perfect.

Class Description

Learn how to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.

To a photography beginner, the gleaming complexity of a new camera seems to demand an arsenal of expensive equipment and a long legacy of training. This is a common misconception – beautiful, professional-grade shots are within reach to any with a mastery of the basic mechanics of photography.

Join Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge for a thorough, practical exploration of the fundamentals. Photography 101 teaches you how to use standard, inexpensive equipment to:

  • Explore the inner mechanical workings of your camera
  • Learn how to recognize good light and modify it to your needs
  • Make the elements of manual mode - aperture, shutter speed and ISO - work for you
Take advantage of the flexibility and control offered by your camera’s manual mode by shadowing Pye on 5 days of shooting at 8 different locations. You’ll learn how to capture both crisp action shots of moving subjects and classic portraiture with posed models. You’ll also gain a sense of what makes a great photograph, and how to mix professional staging with candid, humanizing moments.

You will walk away from Photography 101 with SLR Lounge's Pye Jirsa as a better photographer, and you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images; all with no more gear than you started with. 

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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I watched this class "live" and was simply amazed at the amount of information Pye covered. Yes, he talks a little fast, and since I was streaming the class I couldn't stop it to review anything, but this guy really knows his stuff and explains it very well so I absorbed quite a bit. Bye is enthusiastic, clearly enjoys his craft, and delivers excellent information to students in a light heartedI and fun way. I think some reviewers are a bit harsh about his humor. Lighten up, people! His examples and the additional information his co-host provides are very worthwhile and you can tell the course was well thought out. I plan to buy the class to help me get back into DSLR photography.


I really enjoyed this class. I am not a beginner, but there were still things I learned here that I found helpful. I really enjoy learning from Pye. He is quick, gets to the point and doesn't spend a lot of time going over and over the same point. There is a wide variety of things that he covers, so really something for everyone. I would recommend purchasing this class if you want to understand your camera better, improve your technique and start taking better photos.

Joy Bobrink

I have tried to learn photography myself via the internet / YouTube but always felt like I was missing something in my foundation. Sure I can zero out my meter...but why? How do I know the settings I've selected are the correct ones? I've been circling this drain for a year until this course. WOW! Pye has SO MUCH information in every video. He doesn't just stand in a classroom and talk, he's out in the field actually putting his settings into his camera, talking about why and why not and then shooting. He's hands on the entire course. You don't just hear him, you see exactly what he's doing! I'm a visual / listening learner and this is my eureka moment! Thank you Pye! Watching the Exposure video and how you changed the settings yet maintained the exact same exposure was mind blowing. Awesome course! I would recommend this to anyone new to photography or anyone that feels like they don't have all the info.