Tip Tuesday: A “Handy” Light Meter

Photography Tips for Beginners


Whether you know it or not, you have a light meter on you at all times…your hand!

Try this: Go outside and put your hand out right in front of you so your palm is perpendicular to the ground– like you’re saying “stop” to someone. Now, look at your hand while you slowly turn your palm toward you and away from you– kind of like that move in “Single Ladies.” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go watch that music video right now!) Watch how the light reflects differently on your hand as you swivel it in front of you. Make note of when the front and back of your hand go in and out of “shadow” vs. when they’re fully lit. When I’m deciding which direction to shoot in (people, street scenes), I often do this little trick to “preview” how the subject will look before they are in place for the shot. By observing the angle and depth of shadow on your hand, you can adjust your subject accordingly!

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