(2) To take an incident reading, place the dome in the same relation
to the light as the subject you are photographing. Hold the meter near your
subject and point the meter's dome toward the camera. The meter's dome is
similar to a three-dimensional subject, and you are lighting it the same
way. If the sun is high, then most of the light is falling on the top of
the dome and the bottom is in shadow, just as your subject is.
subject is backlit, then the meter's dome should be backlit the same way.
Once again: Hold the meter near the subject and point the dome toward the
camera lens. That's all there is to it. Read where the needle is, set the
calculator dial, select a shutter and lens combination, and take your
picture. This is the most reliable method of getting an exposure.
(3) There are a couple of other advantages as well. For example, you
don't have to hold the meter close to your subject as long as it's in the
same light as your subject. Thus on a sunny day, you only need to hold the
meter in the same sunlight and make the light fall on it the same way as on
the subject, and you'll get a good reading (fig 1-14).
Incident light reading technique
b. Reflected light readings are almost the opposite of incident
readings. In this case, you are reading the light coming from the subject
and entering your camera lens. This is the same method, in principle, that
cameras with built-in meters use.
To take a reflected reading, you point
the light meter toward the subject. There is no dome in front of the light
sensor, so the light reflected by the subject is what makes the needle move.
Now for many subjects, this will give an accurate enough reading, because
the great majority of photographic subjects are "average"; that is, they
contain a whole range of brightnesses from very dark to very light which, if
all scrambled together, would be a middle tone of gray. Look back at the
description of an average subject in Learning Event 5, paragraph 4a.