The key to great photography (or videography), is understanding lighting. Understanding light and paying attention to it is one of the quickest ways to improve your photography.
As George Eastman, founder of Kodak said “Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”
All around us, light comes from a variety of sources, both natural and man-made, and we can use it in a number of different ways to create different moods and atmospheres in our images.
In smaller productions (home videos or photos); smaller light sets can be used. Not all videos need professional lighting. But some extra production could be helpful.
Here are some great tips and tricks for how to get the perfect lighting for video.
Reflectors are great. These are just two sided pieces of fabric stretched out over a flexible oval/board frame. They are great because they compact, lightweight and cheap. Reflectors don’t have a huge amount of power and they need light to reflect so they are great for just filling in shadows on faces or lighting up details that can be lost when the lighting is too low.
Clip on LED lights. I love these, they are easy to use, portable and offer good lighting. Some have the option of connecting several together which helps to build our own intensity depending on the space where you will record.
Ring lights. They are a great choice for vloggers because they create attractive catchlights in the subject’s eyes and help eliminate shadows.are perfect for emphasising details on photographs and videos. The ring light's circular design allows users to use their cameras in between the hole of the ring light enabling them to focus on specific details of the shoot.
LEDs Lights. Have become an increasingly popular lighting choice for creators who work in both photo and video. Continuous, portable, and loaded with features, LEDs are some of the most versatile lighting options on the market
So, now that we have a notion of the types of lights, let's see how to adjust it to get the best results. Set up 3-point lighting
The most common setup for lights is called three-point lighting. It consists of a key light, a fill light, and a backlight.
Imagine that your subject is at the center of a clock, with the camera at six.
The key light is located approximately at four. It should be the brightest of the three and provides the bulk of light to your subject.
The fill light is approximately at eight, and eliminates shadows caused by the key light. Your fill should be about half the intensity of your key so that it still eliminates shadows, but doesn’t produce a flat-looking shot due to the fill and key lights matching too closely.
The backlight located somewhere between one and two, separates your subject from the background. This creates depth and prevents a flat-looking shot. Your backlight can be hard light (no diffusion), as it won’t create shadows visible to the camera on the subject’s face.
Pro tip: Look at your subject through your camera’s lens. That way, you’ll be able to see your lighting as your viewers will see it. This perspective may reveal issues you couldn’t see with your own eyes.
In conclusion, the three-point lighting will serve you well but if you want there are of course many many more types of lights to use in your video so explore and experiment and see what happens, that’s the best way to learn!