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Video lighting for many productions can be done surprisingly simply. Follow along for some video lighting tips that are easy to set up and include some very versatile videography gear. Whether in the studio or in the field, lighting for video can be accomplished in several ways.
Enhance Natural Lighting
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Just as with still photography, lighting for video can be done with natural or ambient lighting and a few reflectors.
In order to get good video lighting from natural light or ambient artificial light, you will need to watch the angle and intensity of the main light. A high angle of a light source such as the Sun at Noon will cause some unflattering shadows under the nose, eyes, and chin of a person as the main subject.
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Adding one or two reflectors to redirect light to fill in those shadows will give much more flattering and natural appearance to the person being filmed. This method also works with inanimate objects as the subject.
An alternative that gives you more control over the intensity and color of the fill lighting for video is to add in an actual video light or two as fill lighting. If your video light features include adjustable power levels and color temperature controls then you can seamlessly blend the light in any way you need.
Replace Natural Lighting
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A wonderful aspect of many high-quality video light features are how powerful they are and that you can adjust the color temperature from warm to cool.
An example of high-quality lighting for video comes from Ikan, manufacturer of high-quality video gear for any budget, the Lyra LCX21 soft panel light with DMX. It is powerful enough to become the main light you base exposure on in many situations indoors or outdoors.
Replacing the natural or ambient light gives you creative control over lighting ratios and color balance but you may sometimes have to find a way to tame extremely bright sunlight or stadium lights. This may include moving to an area of open shade or using an overhead scrim or tent.
Overpowering the ambient light gives you as the cinematographer more options than simply modifying the light, but you need to have a fairly powerful lamp to make this work.
Imitating Natural Light
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In your studio, you can take complete control of every aspect of your video production. Video lighting tips for use in your studio may require several lights at once in order to achieve a natural lighting appearance.
Lighting ratios, main light intensity, and light color temperature are factors that will impact your choices for how to light up the scene. Using high-quality lighting for video such as the Ikan Lyra LCX21 panel lights open up quite a lot of creative possibilities for your video lighting tips and techniques.
A feature I like in lighting for video studios is DMX control capability. DMX controllers can adjust multiple lights at once and you can even program to change during the scene being filmed, just as natural sunlight may change over time or quickly as a cloud passes by.
Keep It Natural
photo by Moyo Studio via iStock
In video productions, a natural look and feel is often a key aspect of creating a believable scene or a scene that a viewer will enjoy watching. High quality lighting for video combined with learning and using video lighting tips and techniques will help you keep your video productions looking natural while being well lit.