How to use Flash Meter

Here are some tips on how to use flash meter.

Flash exposure meter is designed to read light falling on it for a fraction of time. We can measure the brightness of studio flash light with this meter and find out, at what aperture we can shoot.

While shooting in available or continuous light, we need to know required aperture and shutter speed settings on the camera. In case of flash light, shutter speed is not to be taken in to account, (Except for shutter synchronizing speed of an SLR camera with focal plane shutter.) We can use 1/60 or 1/250 shutter speed and we must set the required aperture correctly.

To take reading with flash meter, first set the ISO of the flash meter. It must be the same as the ISO of digital camera or the ISO of the film, we are using.

Select the mode for incident light reading or reflected light reading. If we select incident light reading, then go near the subject and point the meter towards the flash light. Ask some one to fire the flash or if you can connect the flash cord with the meter, then fire the flash with the click button on the flash meter.

The meter will show required f-number for that particular flash.

If more than one flash lights are used, then repeat the process from all lights. Keep a record and you will be able to adjust the distance of different light in such a way, that the the aperture setting is not exceeding three f stops. Yes, final settings are subject to the requirement of the subject and composition, which is influenced by personal liking.

Finally, take reading by firing all flash lights. The meter will show shooting aperture in terms of f-number.

Now let us read about how to use flash meter for reflected light. For reflected light reading, switch the meter to reflected light mode and take readings from camera position, by pointing the meter towards the subject. If the meter has spot reading option, then we can precisely measure light from high light and shadow area, otherwise, go close to the subject and take reflected light readings.

If the meter has multi-flash reading option, then select that mode to measure multiple flash fires. In this case, first set all the lights for required contrast and then take final reading on multiple flash mode. Go close to the subject and point the flash meter towards the camera. Now fire one flash. Say for example, it shows f-4, then upon firing flash light for two times, it will show f-5.6. If you fire for four times, then the meter will show f-8. This way we can decide the shooting aperture and find out, how many times, we have to fire the flash.

This technique is only applicable, when there is no movement in the subject.

Read about:

Exposure meter

How to measure light with exposure meter

How to use flash meter

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