If you are new to video production, lighting can be a complex subject. There is indeed a big difference between the perception of light of our eyes and that of the lens of a camera or a camera. These need a LOT more light than you might imagine producing good quality images. But there are many other aspects of lighting to consider when preparing to create a video.
It is best for you to approach them all correctly. The following tips will take you step-by-step through getting the best light for all your types of videos.
Best Camera Settings For Low Light Photography
Low light photography is something that we all must deal with as photographers. You will need a camera that is comfortable in low light, whether on the rise in ISO or on the focus. For static subjects, choose cameras with stabilization on the sensor, like most recent Panasonic, Sony, and Olympus. If you plan on taking pictures of the night sky, try getting a full-frame SLR camera.
Each year, camera sensors have more and more improved specifications to meet consumer demand. If you are a beginner, take a look at these recommended low light camcorders to capture beautiful photos and videos no matter how dark your scene is.
Step 1: Prepare for the shoot
Whether you’re shooting stills or videos, one of the basics is spotting the locations ahead of time is a good idea. Beware of natural light entering through windows and casting shadows, as the weather outside can change quickly. If you have an adequate choice of lamps (we’ll look at this aspect a bit later), it’s best to avoid natural light due to its volatile nature. Indeed, it can change in an instant if the sun decides to hide behind clouds, and for a video, this can be a big problem, the intensity of the light changing from one shot to another.
The best environment for a shoot is one in which you have full control of the lighting.
Step 2: Choose your options and types of lighting
These are inexpensive clip lights. These lamps are affordable, versatile, and can be set up in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, the absence of dimmer and light diffusers can lead to too harsh or too intense lighting.
Light without filter is known as cold light. A diffusing mechanism helps distribute the light evenly, creating warm or soft light, and can be improvised even at a low cost. So when working with clamp lights, it is strongly advised to use broadcast equipment.
These lamps can also be pointed at a surface such as a wall, ceiling, or reflector to create a soft light, which is infinitely better than blinding your subject and creating an unflattering image.
Specifically designed studio light kits can be acquired for a budget of 50 to 500 Dollars, with all you need to install them. These kits typically use large fluorescent lights and include efficient diffusing devices.
Those including tripods should be preferred as they can be set up quickly and generally provide more light output. They are also often equipped with switches on the back to control the number of light bulbs on, which provides better control over light output.
Top of the line
In high-end lighting systems, you are likely to pay as much for a single lamp as you do for a full midrange kit. But for that price, you’ll get extra features like broad-spectrum dimmers, remote control, the ability to change color on the fly, better diffusion, and higher wattages.
Before investing in these lighting systems it is best to rent them first to verify that they will meet your needs. If you plan on doing regular video shoots, the investment is well worth it but unless you specifically need these additional features, you will be wasting money investing in those expensive lights when cheaper solutions nearly produce the most. same result.
Step 3: Install three-point lighting
The most common way of configuring lamps is three-point lighting. This configuration consists of the main lamp, a fill lamp, and a rear lamp. The main light should be the strongest of the three and provide most of the light for your subject.
The fill lamp eliminates the shadows caused by the main lamp. It should be less intense than your main light so that it eliminates shadows while not producing an overly flat image.
The rear light separates your subject from the background, creating depth and also avoiding an overly flat image. It can produce harsh light (without scattering) because it will not produce any shadow visible by the camera on the subject anyway.
Three-point lighting will perfectly suit your needs for interviews, promotional videos, webinars, and many other types of filming.
Step 4: Choose the color temperature of the light
Not all lamps produce the same light. Depending on the filament contained in the bulb, the light may appear more or less “hot” or cold “in the lens of the camera. This difference is also noticeable by the human eye.
Consider the bright ambiance of a doctor’s office (cold fluorescent light) and compare it to that of a cozy living room (warm tungsten lamp). This concept is called color temperature and can be measured on a Kelvin scale (see image below).
If possible, it is best to avoid mixing lamps with different color temperatures. This situation can lead to poor color balance and produce unnatural video images.
Step 5: Pay attention to glare
Eyeglass wearers, while generally considered perfectly friendly, can be your worst enemies when it comes to lighting. Glare on glasses can be a big problem, especially with lamps with large diffuser boxes.
One trick that helps reduce this problem is to raise the lamps and look through the camera viewfinder until they are no longer visible through the spectacle lenses. If raising the lamps is ineffective, try moving your main lamp and fill the lamp further apart, while keeping them relatively aligned. In the image depicting the lighting at three points above, your main light should be around 3:15 a.m. and your fill light at 8:45 a.m.
If your subject is able to remove their glasses, this is a good last resort, but not always possible. It is best to put your lighting in the best possible configuration before asking it to change its appearance for a technical reason.
With the basics now established, you can experiment with the lighting options that work best for you. Try adding lamps to your backgrounds, fashioning new lights, or experimenting with a green background!
But be careful, like many things in video and photos, to go further in lighting is to embark on a slippery slope that can lead to thousands of Euros of equipment and mastery in design lighting.