I can't start shooting if you don't know how your camera think!!!
Let's talk about light meter!
We can easily devide lightmeter in 2 big category:
Reflective and Incident
Any modern digital camera has a internal reflecting lightmeter, who reads the amount of light reflected by the subject.
I’m canon user in digital and canon cameras has 3/4 differents software settings to mesure the light:
If you shoot the same photo on a tripod put the camera in Av or Tv and shoot 3/4 photo changing just the meseure settings you will have 3/4 different kind of photo
Because the camera is going to meter differently in every shoot
-Evalutative Meterings i think is the most used metering mode, I don’t like it a lot,
This mode analize the entire image and gave you a medium exposure and it value also the exposure on the focus point. This mode is considered a 'default' or 'auto' mode.
- Center weighted Metering evaluates the light in the middle of the frame and its surroundings and ignores the corners. Compared to Evalutative mode , Center-weighted Metering does not look at the focus point you select and only evaluates the middle area of the image.
- Spot Metering only evaluates the light around your focus point and ignores everything else. My favorite
- Partial metering works the same way spot metering works, but the size of the area is a little larger.
My advice for metering mode is practice…practice…practice, none are good or bad, depends on you, on your personal way to interpreter each photo. I like spot metering,it works for me, when I know the exposure for that point I can easily understand the effect on the entire image.
And Now.... Handy light meter!
I own a sekonic l-358, Jose Villa model (I'm a bit addicted to his stuff!)
When you meter with an handy meter usually you have 2 different kind of metering mode: Reflecting (same as we describe before) and Incident.
Incident metering reads the amount of light falling on the luminospher. ( I use handy lightmeter when I shoot film).
Now depens where you will place the lightmeter, there is a specific metering method for b/n and another for color... after that you can meter for hi-lights to have moody style or for shadow if you have more dreamy look.
We will go deeper in this topic soon!
Basically this is the main difference, Now you need just practice!