How to Use a Foot-Candle Meter

A foot-candle meter is a type of light meter which measures the light intensity in your picture. These meters are actually very simple to use and will help you to set the camera correctly and ensure that the photograph is exposed correctly. The foot candle is a measure of brightness which is a non SI unit. The definition of this unit is the Lux per square foot.

These light meters will assist you to calculate the best lighting required to light the picture or video scene correctly. This will make it much easier to take the best photographs possible.

Step 1: Preparing the Meter

Most light meters have a number of different measurement modes which will be useful for different purposes and needs. Turn on your meter and check that the batteries still have enough charge to work correctly. If you're not sure how to read the meter, then you should read the instruction manual which came with your meter. Put it in the right mode to measure foot candles. Normally it will be capable of measuring in Lux and foot candles. The mode is normally adjusted by rotating a dial on the meter itself.

Step 2: Positioning the Light Meter

Stand where your subject is holding your light meter and use this to measure the light by pointing it towards the camera. These meters work by having a plastic dome on top which gathers light and calculates the foot candle intensity of light in the area. You need to point the plastic dome towards the camera or hold it at the lights.

Step 3: Measuring

To measure the intensity of the light, press down the measurement button when the meter is pointed towards the camera and in the same light as the subject. Hold the button down until your meter confirms that you have measured the light in that area correctly.

Step 4: Light Readings

The light reading will then be displayed on the meter. It should give you the amount of light which falls on your subject in foot candles. It should also be possible to press a button to convert the reading into an f-stop aperture measurement which makes taking photos even easier.

Step 5: Measuring Lights

While the meter is normally used to measure the amount of light falling on subjects, it can also be used to measure the intensity of light falling from individual lights. This is very easy to do. Instead of pointing the meter at the camera, you should point it towards the light that you want to measure. By measuring the light, it will be much easier to ensure that the photograph is correctly exposed and that it looks perfect.

Remember that the light meter will not measure movements in background lighting. You might still need to test and tweak your lighting to get the best results. A light meter is a must have for anyone trying to take photographs or videos, whether they are working indoors or outdoors.