You guys. I took photos of my kids and all of the things for WAAAAAAAY WAAAY WAAAAAAAY too long (like a whole year of using my camera almost daily) without understanding what a light meter was, and how to properly read it. When I think back to that moment when I discovered this absolutely CRUCIAL key to getting properly exposed photos, like, I'm legit embarrassed. But hey! When you don't know, you can't help that you don't know, right?! So thats why I'm here to help ALL OF YOU not make that mistake. Hopefully this will be the game-changing kind of tool for y'all that it was for me.
Now would be the time to go grab your camera. Trust me, it will make life easier to see this first hand.
Ok, this is probably what your camera's light meter looks like:
Ok so- when you look through your viewfinder you can either have little tick marks that resemble a number line, or on your LCD screen a number line that looks similar to the one above, right? Ok now TECHNICALLY speaking, a "properly" exposed photo will be when your light meter rests at 0. Meaning: that between your aperture setting, your shutter speed selection, and your ISO, if your light meter falls right in the very middle of that number line, your photo should look pretty dang good as far as the amount of light in the photo. I typically shoot photos with the widest aperture that my lens allows, so adjusting my shutter speed is the first thing I personally change when attempting to get a properly exposed photo. If your light meter is looking something like this, your photo will be underexposed, aka too dark.
If you look through your camera's view finder and see that your light meter is weighted to the right, your photo will be over exposed, or too bright.
In summary, if you can familiarize yourself with your camera's light meter, I think you will quickly find yourself getting better photos in any lighting situation in no time at all. Just simply adjust your settings such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO until you find that your light meter is weighted to the middle. Once you feel like you have mastered this skill, you may even find that you prefer to and intentionally over or under expose your photos if you're going for a certain look or feel. I know this was a lot of information, so if its confusing, or you have a question about it, as always, please reach out to me and I'll be happy to clarify or re-expalin.
cheers to your frame-worthy-pics,
Natalie, aka, run-on-sentence QUEEN