Are you eyeballing your exposure? Do your photos tend to be underexposed or overexposed from time to time? Are you 100% sure of your settings? I might just have the solution you need.

What is exposure?

Let’s get back to basics real quick. Exposure is the amount of light that reaches your camera sensor. It’s set with important three elements: Aperture, shutter speed and ISO. That’s what we call “the exposure triangle.” An inaccurate exposure can have two consequences on your photos.

1. Underexposed images

When there’s not enough light recorded on the sensor. The photo will look darker than the real scene. Remember when you started taking pictures with Manual mode and all you got was all black images? That’s right, those were heavily underexposed photos.

Smiling female athlete underexposed
It can be tricky to correctly expose a backlit scene. This is an example of an underexposed picture. We tend to lose details in the shadows.

2. Overexposed images

On the opposite, an overexposed image if when too much light is recorded on the sensor. The photo will look brighter than reality. (We’ve all had those “white pictures moments” at some point.)

If you’d like to learn more and understand better the aperture, shutter speed and ISO relation, head to this article.

Smiling female athlete overexposed
In the opposite, an overexposed image is too bright. We lose details in highlights.

The solution to perfectly exposed pictures

Sure, you can eyeball the scene and do the “trial and error” technique on a DSLR (consisting of taking a photo and then looking at the result on playback and adjusting accordingly). If you have a mirrorless, you can look at your live view and see how that looks instantly. Still, there’s room for mistake as your “eye” and interpretation of the scene might not actually be the most accurate lecture. That’s just not precise enough to get perfect exposure time after time.

The solution relies on an extremely precise and accurate instrument: A light meter. As I shared in a previous article, I’ve never really been the kind of photographer to use a light meter. I was sent an Illuminati light meter to test and write a review on. Contrary to what I believed, I finally realized I had a tool in my hand that could really help me get the right exposure all the time.

The Illuminati is a tiny and convenient (and cute!) device that wirelessly syncs to your smartphone/smartwatch/tablet (you name it). It measures ambient, continuous and strobe lighting. I like to think of it as the contemporary, faster, cooler, mega pimped version of the traditional and older light meter. Oh, and I haven’t told you everything yet …

Smiling female athlete correctly exposed
A perfectly exposed picture.

An enlightening surprise for last

The Illuminati is more than a light meter. It is also a color meter! It reads precisely color temperature (in Kelvin). This allows us to nail the perfect color balance 100% of the time. Not too long ago, when a photographer needed to have a light meter and a color meter, he/she had to buy two different devices. An “all-in-one” solution didn’t exist (yet). Thanks to advanced technology — and to the guys behind Illuminati Instrument Corp — we can now benefit both advantages in a single tiny one. Even better, this two-in-one device is sold for less than half the price of one color or light meter.

You can save 20% off the Illuminati IM-150 light meter through December 6, 2019! Just use the code PHOTOFOCUS during checkout.