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How Much Light?

How Much Light?
by Gary Woods

Photography is all about manipulating light but in order to manipulate it you need to know how much you have right now. Serious photographers will spend hundreds of dollars on light meters to know what settings to use on their Digital SLR cameras but recently I found a $30 accessory from Luxi that when combined with your iPhone will do most everything those light meters will do.

The accessory consists of 2 parts, a plastic adaptor that slips over your phone with adaptors available for iPhones 4, 4S, 5 & 5S and a free companion app. The adaptor puts a diffusion dome over the front-facing camera that makes your phone look like a standard light meter and when you start the app and hold the phone near the subject pointing back in the direction you're going to shoot from it gives you the correct aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings.

The app gives a continuous read out and when you're ready just press the Hold Button and it will lock the settings. Then, you can walk back to your camera and makes those changes. Also, the app will allow you to specify the ISO setting for example so you can get a read out on the proper depth of field that you're looking for.

If you're on your way to becoming a serious photographer before you drop the big money on a light meter Luxi looks like an inexpensive way to step your photographic output up a notch.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc