Meter Made

An off-camera incident lightmeter will give you the best exposure for a scene, but if you know how to use your camera's built-in reflective meter, you can still get good results. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

■ Use Auto Exposure Lock (AE-L) to take a light reading from one part of a scene, then lock that setting as the exposure for the shot.

■ Use a gray card: Zoom in and focus on it to let the camera's metering system suggest an exposure based on a midtone. Use AE-L to hold this exposure setting while you reframe.

■ Try bracketing your exposures. You can do this manually, but your DSLR probably has an autobracking function that allows you to set the number of frames and stops of over-or underexposure to use.

ADAPTED FROM 500 LIGHTING HINTS, TIPS, AND TECHNIQUES BY ROD ASHFORD (ROTOVISION, 2007; $20)

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