Teaching Erin how to do some long exposures.
I’m not sure Erin realized how many test shots I’d be taking of her when she signed up to be my photo assistant.
She is holding my Polaris light meter. It is pretty much the cheapest one you can buy that isn’t awful.
A light meter is helpful when using strobe or flash lighting. Your camera has no way of metering light that is only around for a fraction of a millisecond. You have to take a test shot. Adjust. Take a test shot. Adjust. And keep going until you dial it in. A light meter is a good way to figure out your aperture, ISO, and shutter speed without a bunch of trial and error.
You don’t NEEEED a light meter. You can do the trial and error method if you wish, but it is a serious pain in the patoot. Especially if you are working with more than one flash.
If you are interested in learning the basics of using a light meter, Mark Wallace has a great video you can watch here.
Q:What lens do you use for your macro shots?
For my more recent macro shots I have been using a Sigma 50mm macro lens. It is very sharp, has a pretty big aperture, and is under $400. It also works great as a portrait lens.
However, I would only recommend that lens for macros in which you are in a controlled environment. The working distance is very short and if you wanted to do handheld outdoor macros, it would be a huge pain to use.
If you have studio lighting, a tripod, a macro rail, and subjects that do not move… you can get some incredible shots. You can even add extension tubes to the macro lens to get an even more macro-y lens.
If you want to do more outdoorsy macros of (non-dead) bugs and flowers and things that move around, you should look into a macro lens that is 100mm or more with image stabilization. This allows you to stay further away and not disturb the wildlife. It is very hard to handhold macro shots without a stabilized lens.
When buying a macro lens, make sure that it has 1x magnification. Some manufacturers call certain lenses “macros” even though they only do 0.35x or so.
Which makes them jerks.
Just some pictures of some old flames.