How you direct your lighting depends on the mood of the scenes you want to create. In this article, you will learn what aspects to control to achieve what is the best lighting for videography.
Features Of A Good Lighting Setup
High-end video lighting equipment does not guarantee quality and appealing videos. You should know how to operate these and use them to your advantage. But, do you know that you can produce a good quality video even with inexpensive tools?
The essential tip is: you should have control over what you shoot. Create good quality footages by controlling the look of your subjects—in which lighting plays an essential role. With proper lighting, you can add texture and color to the scenes. You can even change characters’ appearances from friendly to grim using lighting techniques.
As one behind the camera, you are not only a technician but a director. Learn how to control these aspects to make any lighting setup work for your project.
Positioning your light means adjusting the length, the direction, and the angle of shadows that your lighting instrument casts.
For example, placing your light source near the camera, in front of your subject makes a scene flat. It is less dramatic and projects fewer emotions. However, if you move your light a bit farther to the side, you create more depth.
Quality of light refers to its hardness or softness. Hard light is high contrast lighting as there are bright highlights and dark shadows in the same frame. It creates edgy and dramatic footages.
Soft light, on the other hand, brings out soft edges and shadows on your subjects. It is more flattering as it does not highlight wrinkles and creases with sharp shadows. It still has contrast but only creates a soft gradient of dark to light.
Two factors determine a light’s softness and hardness. First, the distance between the light and the subject—the nearer the light, the harder it is on the subject. Placing the light farther from your subject will make it softer.
The second factor is the intensity of the light. A smaller light source will give off a more intense light, creating hard light. A light source must be relatively larger than the subject if you aim to create soft light.
The overall brightness of a scene may be referred to as a high key or low key. High key lighting illuminated everything in your frame. Directors use high key lighting to project upbeat and happy scenes. Be careful, however, that your footage is overexposed.
Soft key lighting is a bit dark and more dramatic. Soft key lighting uses shadows for scenes that aim to project mystery, suspense, or drama.
Light Shape And Color
You can manipulate the shape of your light source by using any item that can partly obstruct it—tree branches, window blinds, and more. It’s all about focusing the light on areas where you want it. It also adds drama and depth.
On the other hand, light color directly affects the look and mood of your scenes. Use gels to alter the color of your light. Yellow hints sunshine and summer; light blue gives off a more chill vibe, and red and orange hint sunset.
Basic Video Lighting Technique
Three-point lighting is the most common video lighting technique to illuminate a subject. It uses three main types of lighting:
- Key lighting –The light is focused on the subject, making it stand out from everything else in the frame. A key light should be placed on either side of the camera that the subject is facing. Remember the light positioning techniques mentioned earlier to achieve your desired effect.
- Fill lighting is used to fill in dark areas when the key light creates shadows on the subject. The fill light is installed opposite the key light.
- Backlighting – a backlight is positioned behind the subject. It is used to create contrast, making the subject stand out.
What is the best lighting for photography depends on what feelings you want to affect your audience. Be a director. Keep learning and practicing how to manipulate the key aspects that affect your lighting setup. Learn more about lightings here!