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Getting to know my first meter: The Illuminati IM100A wireless light and color meter

I was attending a workshop with Matthew Jordan Smith years ago when I saw first-hand how a photographer used a light meter. At that time he had a Sekonic meter. I remember him explaining how he never does a shoot without one and that it was one of the most important pieces of equipment he owned. He went on to demonstrate how he metered around his set and around his models’ faces. Metering every light individually, more than once and then how he would meter all the lights together at the same time. He would then combine all those numbers together and get this perfectly exposed image. It was fascinating! I instantly drooled over the piece of equipment and realized I needed one.

Flash forward years later to the day my fellow Photofocus Author Kevin Ames called to inform me he would be sending me an Illuminati IM100A Wireless Light and Color Meter. Side note people…dreams do come true. Maybe not when you want or expect, but with hard work and determination they do! I was officially going to have a light meter. 😊

First impressions

It came in the mail immediately noted:

  1. It is very lightweight and compact, which I love.
  2. It comes with this great hard mini carrying case that so conveniently holds the meter and all of its extra little accessories.
  3. The instructions are super simple and basic, just what I like.
  4. There is an app for your phone that you use with the meter.
  5. You can meter foregrounds and backgrounds, set strobe ratios and monitor/manage multiple light sources, including flash. It can also continuously monitor the ambient light and color.

White balance

Confession time folks…sometimes I get lazy and let the camera choose the white balance. Yep, I said that. Not the best idea, I know. Since I have gotten this meter, never again! It made the world of a difference when I was recently shooting with some members of the Cache Valley Photographers Club. We went to this old abandoned building in Logan, close to where we meet each week. When we got there, someone asked what white balance they should use. The area was quite shady with the sun setting behind the walls and everything was covered in graffiti. Bright, vibrant, crazy graffiti with different colors coming in from everywhere. Some people’s cameras were reading a bit blue while others where grey. Then, out came the Illuminati Meter and boom, problem solved. I started wandering around the different areas people were shooting and testing the color readings. It was crazy to see just how different the color temperature was from one place to another. I shouted out the readings to some of the other members and they plugged them into their cameras. They where shocked to see how far off their camera’s white balance settings really were.

Words of wisdom

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a quote by the one and only Tony Corbell, (photographer/lighting evangelist) “I have been promoting the need for, and importance of, light meters for the past twenty years. Now for the first time, there is finally a new way to measure light and color that is affordable and accurate, with cutting edge technology. Illuminati is here and I for one will use it every day.” It’s a new must people and it is changing the photography world!

Read more about the Illuminati meter.

Purchase an Illuminati meter here.

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