Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer

Cinematic Excellence at 24 Frames a Second

Can You Really Use A Light Meter App?

The Studio Setup
If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you have probably picked up on the fact that I am a big fan and proponent of using a light meter. With Sekonic's release of the 478D they increased the functionality of what a meter can do and made it more affordable. But what if you don't have $389? Can a free light meter app, or one that costs $4.99, do the job? That's what I set out to explore and the answer may surprise you.
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What Is The Point Of A Light Meter In The Digital Age?

With the proliferation of digital cinema cameras these days, I often get asked, "Do you really need to use a light meter? After all, isn't the whole point of working with digital- 'What You See, Is What You Get?'" While a case can be made for that perspective, I believe that by doing so you miss out on the power, efficiencies, and knowledge that working with a meter adds to your skill set. Here is why I think the light meter is a critical tool to use with digital cinema cameras.
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Lighting 101: Using The Meter

[HIGHLY RECOMMEND WATCHING THIS FULL SCREEN]

Welcome to the language of light! In the Lighting 100 series of videos you will be taken through the basic concepts you need to understand and master in order to creatively use light to tell visual stories. In episode 101 Ryan reveals the need for, and the use of the light meter, an often overlooked and misunderstood tool. But through the proper use and understanding, it can allow you to shape light in a whole new way.

At the end of this video I show a couple of helpful tips for working with the Sekonic L-758Cine, and make mention of additional tips on my blog. After the jump you will find the tips I demonstrated in the video as well as three additional tips you might find useful:
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