I am trying to understand how to use a flash/light meter to assist in balancing flash and ambient light ... and I've wandered into a swamp of deep confusion. I know that there is something very simple that I am missing ... but what is it?
Mine's a Sekonic meter and I looked to the Sekonic site for help. Here I find (for the outdoors fill-flash case):
"The first step, then, is to take a reading on the subject. On an overcast day, the foreground and the background should be receiving approximately the same amount of light. A typical reading on a dull, cloudy day at ISO 100 would be about 1/60 at f/5.6. Most photographers prefer their fill flash to be about two-thirds to one stop below the ambient light, but this is entirely a creative decision. Assuming that you prefer one stop, take flash readings until the meter reads "f/4", one stop below the ambient level of f/5.6."
It is at the last sentence that terminal brain-fade sets in. How is it possible to add light using a flash-gun(s) and then get a lower light meter reading than the initial ambient reading? The ambient light hasn't gone away.
At this point, all further advice and instruction becomes quite useless to me. I just can't get my head around the basic idea.
I know you can chimp your way around these issues and just use trial and error to get a good mix of ambient and flash ... and I do. But I would like to be more systematic about things. I'd like to understand what I am doing.
I'd be most grateful for advice.