Saturday, February 12, 2011

Free Light Meter iPhone app

Is that a light meter in your pocket? Or are you about to make a phone call?

I think I might have just discovered the coolest app for photographers. Very cool indeed. It is a light meter for your iPhone. Now it is free so it does, of course, have it's limitations. It is, after all, not a "real" light meter. But it is free. And I find it's pretty dang good, and for the outrageous cost of FREE everyone should own it.

It simply measures reflected light. Meaning, you just have to aim it at your subject to get a reading.

Here is how it works. Just launch the thing, ignore the ad at the bottom, and pick the variables you know you want. So if you are shooting a portrait, then you probably have a great idea what you want your Aperture to be based on the DOF you are shooting for. Next, lock in the ISO for the situation you are shooting in. Outdoors in normal daylight? 400 is a great place to be. Aim the phone at your subject, and the app will measure the reflected light off of your subject, and presto you know your shutter speed.

Now it is not perfect, but it will certainly get you very close to where you want to be. You can still trick the app if you have too much back light, for example, but for most situations, it can take a lot of the guess work out your shot.

Here are a few screen shots. In one you will even see that you have the option of showing additional information to include the histogram.

You even have the choice in displaying in whole stops or one third stops. Go pick this thing up now. It is perfect for beginners to start visualizing the balance that has to happen in an exposure. Something we spend a great deal of time learning in the Photography 101 course at the PhotoTips website. 

Name of the app: Pocket Light meter
Available at the iTunes Store. Just click here.


Brett Rose said...

Another app called "Field Tools" that I found recently is a depth of field calculator. It too comes in very handy for planning shoots and scouting locations.

ohho said...

There is also a Light Meter Free:

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