How to Turn Your Phone Into an Instant Light Meter

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The action button on the new iPhone 15 Pro opens up endless ways for us to tailor our phone experience to how we interact with it.

For film enthusiasts and analog photographers, I’ve found the best way to use this new button — as your light meter. There is no need to carry an extra piece of gear in the camera bag; minimize your carry by getting the most out of your iPhone. The video above will give you the full rundown of how and why I chose this action, but if you prefer to read step-by-step instructions for an easy follow, here we go.

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Step 1: Open “Shortcuts”

Here’s where we will build out a Shortcut that will activate your light meter app.

Step 2: Create a New Shortcut

Click on the “+” sign in the top right-hand corner, select “Open App,” then choose your light meter.

Step 3: Name Your Shortcut

Once you’ve selected your light meter app, click on the “v” at the top of the screen, select “Rename,” type “Light Meter,” then click “Done.”

Step 4: Assign Your Shortcut to the Action Button

Now that your Shortcut has been created, navigate to “Settings,” search “Action Button,” and scroll over to “Shortcuts.” Now, click “Choose a Shortcut” and select the “Light Meter” Shortcut you created.

Step 5: You’re All Done!

To ensure you did everything correctly, close your iPhone, then long press the action button to engage your Light Meter. You’ll need to allow the action button permission to open the Light Meter Shortcut, so be sure to look at your iPhone to unlock it with Face ID.

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There are plenty of ways to customize the action button on the iPhone 15 Pro, but this is the best method for photographers. When I choose to go out and shoot film, I simultaneously choose to escape screens and modern tech. This action button Shortcut gives me the best of both worlds. I can keep my phone with me in case of an emergency, and I can access my light meter without even having to open my phone. There’s no temptation of social media or the irritation of digging through screens to find my light meter app. It’s instantly available with a simple, tactile press of a button – kind of like how a light meter should be.

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