See the Light.

Basic tips on lighting your video.

Lighting can be very complicated for many small businesses that want to make video content. There’s a lot to get your head around. 

There is a big difference in how our eyes perceive light compared to a camera lens. Cameras require a lot more light to produce a quality image than you might imagine. Additionally, that light needs to come from the right direction.

Here are some points to think about before you dive into your next video production adventure:

 1.  If you plan on shooting a lot of video content indoors, it pays to get yourself at least one good LED light, even if it is a single ring light connected to your phone. You can watch a good review of different affordable LED lights here.

2.  Soft natural light is best. Not harsh light. To get soft light (from an intense light), you can bounce light off a white wall or ceiling. Bounce means to direct your light source to a wall, so the light then bounces more softly onto the subject you are filming.

3.  If indoors, windows are an excellent natural light source but don’t shoot with a window as a background, as your subject will be silhouetted. Have the window to the front and side of the subject, and use the natural light as your main light, or key light (as they say in the business).  

4.  Avoid overhead lights that cause nasty shadows on the face. Unflattering shadows can make eyes look like black holes, not a good look.

5.  If outdoors, avoid shooting in harsh light. Half shadow and the half sun is a bad mix. Cloudy weather is excellent as it provides natural diffusion (soft light), and so is shooting during the golden hour (an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset).

6.  Adjust the exposure so the person/product you are filming is exposed correctly. If you have the best lighting and inadequate exposure, your image will not look good and either be grainy or have the highlights blown out.

7.  White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic colour casts so that objects which appear white in your video well appear white instead of light blue or peach. Make sure your WB is LOCKED OFF for each shot to show true white.

We hope this has given you some guiding principles on what to think about when it comes to lighting your next video creation.

Remember, social media videos can benefit hugely from having simple shots shot well, with good lighting. Like many other things, lighting takes perseverance to achieve consistent results. Keep at it, and you’ll be an expert in no time!

If you work with Clipo we will talk through what lighting strategy will work best for you, and exactly what equipment and approach you will need. 

Find out more about all the services Clipo provides.

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