Wilted [166/366]

Get a damn handheld meter, will ya? Ok, that's harsh. But, it's a major pet peeve of mine.

I love getting emails from other photographers asking me how a certain shot was done (I admit, I leave out details in my posts - after all, I have to keep up an appearance of intrigue). I proceed to describe the scene to him using basic concepts and units of measurement in photography. What irks me is getting an email back asking what power I set my strobes.

Ugh. A Strobist. And a self-proclaimed Professional, too.

A Strobist is someone who uses the on-camera strobes off-camera to light their scene. There's a whole community built around these little gadgets. They are really cool and have become more and more powerful each and every year.

I have absolutely nothing against these shooters with the exception that not many of them use basic tools to measure and quantify light.

The reader who emailed me was hoping I would give him strobe settings like 1/2 power or -5 EV. That's all well and good, but unless the person you're talking to has the same equipment, it doesn't translate into anything meaningful.

Using a handheld meter is a way to quantify your light. By translating your scene into units of light, anyone can go out and reproduce it, regardless of equipment.

Here's how I shot this rose for those of you with basic photographic knowledge:

Windowlight coming from camera right measured f4 @8th

Softbox on the background is f1.4

Gobo to block light from hitting the stem read at f3.5


Using measurements, rather than equipment settings, is a better way to communicate and break down how an image was shot.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Wilted [166-366] Hasselblad 503cw / Imacon Ixpress v96c with Hasselblad 120 f4 CF Makro-Plannar #16 tube - f4 @8th 50iso[/caption]