Questions about Light Meter and correct exposure during shoot.

Started May 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Arved Senior Member • Posts: 1,455
Re: Questions about Light Meter and correct exposure during shoot.

bm bradley wrote:

place the key @ 125deg camera right and bit high.. sun works great for this and the fill @30deg camera left level with the lens ... just ball park numbers... you'll see right away where the lights go after a few shots.

My (limited) experience tells me that the farther from the lens axis the fill light is placed, the more likely it's going to create it's own shadows. I would caution to put the fill as close to the lens axis as possible and/or use as large a lightshource as possible (shoot through umbrella or softbox.

With all due and sincere respect, this is just my opinion. There are masters of light here who know better than me, and you may be one of them. It's just that the idea of putting a fill light off-axis, as you suggest, has caused me problems, and seems counter-intuitive to me to the concept of fill light controling shadows. The OP's question seems to be a good example of the rules needing to be broken to produce the required results, and your suggestions may be much the same.

Since you're basically suggesting split lighting (main and fill nearly opposite of each other), I can see where this is likely to work. I just see it as a bit risky, not having tried it myself. I would also caution that since the main light is from (slightly) behind the subject, to watch for flare, and be ready to flag the main light to avoid it.


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- Arved
'Highlights next to shadows to create detail, depth, dimension and added color saturation.' - David Ziser

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