Online Photography Courses

by Nick Carver


Light Metering Course for Film Photography
Master MANUAL Metering
for Film

55 Video Lessons
self-paced online course [?]
  • 8+ Hours of Video Instruction
  • 11 Field Demonstrations
  • Unlimited Email Support
  • Lifetime Course Access
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed [?]
$300  Now $199
Add to Cart

"Can I just say that you blew my mind with the Precision Method. It gives me more confidence with my exposures and helps me previsualize my shots like never before."

- Hayes | More Testimonials

Course Summary

Analog film photography: you either “get it” or you don’t. For those of us that “get it,” we know film offers a look, workflow, and shooting experience that digital simply can’t match. It’s beautiful, it’s tangible, it’s real, and, best of all, it’s alive and well! But unfortunately, film isn’t getting any cheaper. As the raw materials become more difficult for manufacturers to acquire, prices will continue to inch skyward. That’s why it’s vital to minimize wasted film due to poor metering, botched exposure, and needless bracketing. “Stay broke, shoot film!” Amen to that, but let’s not waste frames if we don’t have to!

That’s why I’ve created this online course - to teach analog shooters of all skill levels how to get spot-on exposures with consistency and predictability. I almost never bracket my exposures when shooting film. Exposing those extra frames always feels like a waste. But the only reason I’m able to get accurate exposures on the first frame is thanks to good, solid metering techniques. The very same techniques you’ll learn in this course.

In this online course for Mastering Manual Metering for Film Photography, you’ll learn “The Precision Method for Manual Metering” - my simple step-by-step process for getting the perfect exposure on the first frame. Through classroom instruction coupled with in-the-field live demonstrations, you’ll see how to apply this method using a Pentax Digital Spotmeter or Spotmeter V, any variety of Sekonic Spotmeter, the Reveni Labs Spot Meter, and just about any in-camera light meter. So regardless of what light meter you have or what camera you’re using, you’ll learn how to master manual exposure. From "The Precision Method" to alternative methods for manual metering, this course covers it all. Bracketing, reciprocity failure, dynamic range, light meter modes, metering with filters, pushing and pulling film - it’s all here.

So stop losing frames to poor technique and become a master of manual metering today!


Online Photography Course Outline
  • Section 1: Introduction
    • To get you ready for the course, this section will cover some basics guidelines and advice to keep in mind as you progress through the lessons - pitfalls to watch out for, common mistakes to avoid, and how to get the most out of each section.

  • Section 2: Measuring Light
    • Learn the two measurement systems for light that we use in our metering process. Understanding these measurement systems is vital to maximizing your efficiency behind the camera and light meter. Then see how these measurement units impact your control of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.
    • Discover the true meaning of "correct exposure" and how to utilize this concept in your metering process.

  • Section 3: How to Use Your Light Meter
    • As we dive into using your light meter, you'll learn the differences between reflected and incidents meters and why reflected meters are so much more useful in non-studio-based photography. We'll also cover the functions and operation of the Pentax Digital Spotmeter, the Pentax Spotmeter V, as well as any variety of Sekonic Reflected Spotmeters, including how to "line the meter up" correctly for an accurate exposure.
    • And here you'll learn how to do "The Precision Method for Manual Metering" - Nick's tried-and-true technique for getting the perfect exposure. This simple step-by-step process is the foundation to this entire course and will be your answer to getting correct exposures with certainty and predictability.
    • Watch live demonstrations of "The Precision Method" both in the classroom and in the field so you can see how it's done in real-time.
    • Learn about "dynamic range" and how it impacts the metering process.

  • Section 4: Applying the Precision Method for Manual Metering
    • Watch 5 live demonstrations of how to apply The Precision Method out in the field using a variety of equipment.
    • Learn how to get a spot-on exposure using this method on each of the following types of light meters:
      • On the Pentax Digital Spotmeter
      • With any model of Sekonic Spotmeter
      • On 3 different types of in-camera light meters
    • Learn how to use the 3 different metering modes as well as the 3 different varieties of metering displays found on in-camera light meters.

  • Section 5: Alternative Methods for Manual Metering
    • For those times when The Precision Method may not be practical, here are some alternative methods for manual metering.
    • Learn 3 different techniques for figuring out your metering that are faster than The Precision Method (although slightly less precise), including techniques that negate the need for a handheld meter entirely.

  • Section 6: Some Useful Tips
    • This section will cover some simple tips and advice to help you get the most out of your metering process, including:
      • Is it better to under or overexpose your film
      • How and when to bracket exposures
      • What is reciprocity failure and how to correct it
      • How to factor in bellows extension
      • Metering a light subject vs metering in bright light

  • Section 7: Advanced Techniques
    • The advanced techniques covered in this section will take your metering skills to the next level by showing you how to determine the exact dynamic range for any film and how to use that information to improve your metering process. You'll learn, too, how to determine if a given scene is falling within your film's dynamic range and, if it isn't, how to address that problem.
    • Learn how and why to push or pull film.
    • When it's appropriate to rate your ISO different from box speed.
    • How to meter with filters like neutral density, center ND, color filters, contrast filters, and polarizers. You'll also learn a simple technique for determining the perfect graduated ND filter for high-contrast landscape scenes.


  • Section 8: Reveni Labs Spot Meter
    • This section is devoted entirely to use of the Reveni Labs Spot Meter. The topics covered include:
      • Using "Precision Method Mode"
      • Single spot metering
      • Average metering
      • All menu functions
      • Tips for better aiming

  • Section 9: Example Metering Sessions
    • In the final section of this course you'll see several more live demonstrations of the metering process out in the field, bringing together all the topics you learned in previous sections.
    • Nick will take you through his thought process for manual metering after-the-fact on several difficult scenes.



To view the complete list of lessons for this course and to preview 4 of those lessons, check out the free course preview here.



Who's This Course For?

Intermediate Shooters

This course is marked for Intermediate shooters, but that really just means you aren't brand spankin' new to photography.

You don't need to be intermediate in your light metering or manual exposure skills, but you do need to be at least intermediate in your understanding of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO and how to adjust them on your camera. Please see the note below under "Requirements" for more clarification.

This course teaches you how to master light metering and manual exposure control regardless of subject matter - landscapes, portraits, travel, nature, macro, cityscapes, anything - and regardless of camera type or format - 35mm, medium format, large format, rangefinder cameras, SLRs, view cameras, color print film, color reversal film, black & white, whatever. It's not restricted to any one type of photography, camera, or film. This course does not, however, cover studio lighting or flash. This course is strictly for available light photography - be it artificial or natural light.

If you are interested in any of the following, then this course is for you:

  • How to get consistent, predictable exposures
  • Reducing your reliance on bracketing
  • Reducing wasted film due to botched exposures
  • Increasing your percentage of spot-on perfect exposures
  • Eliminating "guess and check" or "spray and pray" picture-taking

If you are already adept at manual metering and exposure control, then this course is not for you. If you are already trained in Ansel Adams' "Zone System" and are applying it successfully, then you don't need this course. If you are currently getting great exposures with your current metering techniques, then you probably don't need this course. But if you have only done piecemeal lessons on exposure control and metering (e.g. through YouTube, blog posts, a book here and there) then this course will help connect the dots and fill in the gaps in your knowledge.

Also, this course is specifically for analog film photography. Although most of the techniques discussed in this course can be applied equally to digital cameras, this course does not address digital photography.

If you’re still unsure whether this course is right for you, email me at .




Equipment Requirements:

For this course you must have either a handheld reflected spotmeter or a camera with a built-in light meter. This course will teach you how to use all of the following light meters but the techniques you learn will likely apply equally to other light meter brands/models:

  • Pentax Digital Spotmeter (preferred)
  • Pentax Spotmeter V (preferred)
  • Reveni Labs Spot Meter (preferred)
  • Most Sekonic Spotmeters*
  • Just about any in-camera light meter

*Sekonic meters without a viewfinder for the reflected meter will not be sufficient for this course. For example, the Sekonic Flashmate L-308X technically has a reflected meter built into it, but it is not a spotmeter in the traditional sense as it has no viewfinder for aiming the meter precisely.

The following meters are not addressed specifically in the course but are great alternatives to the Pentax meters:

  • Soligor Digital Spot Sensor
  • Soligor Spot Sensor (Version I or II)

Please note that this course does not cover the use of incident light meters. Incident light meters are more suited to studio lighting than available light photography (the reasons why are covered in one of the lessons). Because this course does not cover studio lighting, the use of incident light meters is not addressed.

Although I prefer the Pentax Digital Spotmeter (the Pentax Spotmeter V is a close second) and cover its use extensively in this course, you are not required to have a Pentax meter. I have an entire section devoted to the Reveni Labs Spot Meter, which is another excellent choice. In lieu of a Pentax or Reveni Labs meter, any Sekonic spot meter and just about any in-camera light meter will work too. If you are unsure about your meter's compatibility, email me at .

As for camera requirements, any analog camera that allows the user to control shutter speed and aperture settings will be suitable for this course. The techniques you'll learn in this course are applicable to all types of film cameras - from SLRs to rangefinders to view cameras and everything in between. You'll also learn how to apply these techniques to any film format - from 35mm through medium format up to large format.

Get 10% Off the Reveni Labs Spot Meter!

I've partnered with Reveni Labs to offer my students 10% off the full price of a Reveni Labs Spot Meter! Just enroll in this metering course at full price or as part of my discount packages, then contact Reveni Labs at to claim your promo code for 10% off the full price of the meter.

Skill Requirements:

You do not need to have any previous training or experience in light metering or manual exposure control. You do, however, need to have at least a basic understanding of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO and how to adjust them on your camera. You need to have a good grasp of how these tools affect the image (i.e. the shutter speed affects motion blur, the aperture affects depth of field, and ISO affects grain) and what their respective measurement systems are (i.e. the shutter speed measured in time and the aperture measured in f-stops). Beyond this basic knowledge of exposure control, no further expertise is required on your part.

If you feel you need more help with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, I have course offerings which cover these topics.


What's Included

This online photography course is composed of:

  • 55 Video Lessons
    • Over 8 hours in all
    • 11 in-the-field demonstrations
  • Downloadable Worksheets & Cheat Sheets
  • Unlimited email support from Nick Carver
  • Lifetime course access

This is a "work at your own pace" course, which means you can take the course at whatever pace works for your schedule. All lessons will be available to you from day 1 so you can study as fast or slow as you wish. To learn more about how the course works, visit this information page.

Throughout the course, you will have unlimited email support with a direct address to Nick Carver. Emails are typically answered within 2 business days depending on my volume of emails. Phone and/or online chat support is also available for an additional charge. Drop me a line for rates at .

55 Video Lessons
self-paced online course [?]
  • 8+ Hours of Video Instruction
  • 11 Field Demonstrations
  • Unlimited Email Support
  • Lifetime Course Access
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed [?]
$300  Now $199
Add to Cart