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Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers. by Zack Arias

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Using a light meter. Know your shit.

Q: I’M GOING TO ASK YOU THE SINGLE MOST CONTROVERSIAL QUESTION IN PHOTOGRAPHY. SERIOUSLY—I’VE SEEN PEOPLE GET REALLY WOUND UP ON THIS ISSUE. WHEN USING AN INCIDENT METER, DO YOU POINT THE DOME AT THE CAMERA OR THE LIGHT SOURCE? (I POINT IT AT MY KEY LIGHT AND IT’S USUALLY DEAD-ON BALLS ACCURATE.)

A: All right. Light meters. Do you need them or not in the digital age? Let’s have a discussion about meters, calibrating your cameras and lenses, and really nailing exposure. A number of folks are going to hate this answer.

I’ve often said that we don’t need no stinkin’ meters in digital. We have our screens on the backs of our cameras, histograms, etc., but I always add a caveat. You don’t have to have one; however, ...

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