When we watch videos, and we do it every day on our phones, laptops and TVs, we enjoy the content by watching what is in front of the camera. But for a video to be successful, what happens behind the camera is just as important as what happens in front of the camera.
One of the most important aspects of good video is lighting. Without good (and proper) lighting, it is almost impossible to record a video that will catch the attention of potential viewers. Therefore, in this blog we write about lighting; why it matters, and what are some common ways you can use light when shooting video without spending a lot of money on it.
WHY DO YOU NEED LIGHT?
The purpose of the camera is to somehow function like the human eye and receive light to perceive the environment. But no matter how good today's cameras are, the level of light they receive is still not as good as the human eye can do. Because of that, cameras need light extra that will help them in the way they perceive things around them.
That is why light should be seen as an auxiliary tool in video recording; a tool that is essential in recording good quality videos. Cameras have the ability to compensate for the lack of light in a certain way, and this is achieved by increasing the sensitivity of the camera to light (this setting in the camera is called ISO).
But the more the camera's light sensitivity increases, the more image quality in the video is lost. This means that the video quality decreases as the ISO number in the camera increases. The same goes for images, not only cameras, but also mobile phones when set to manual shooting give you the option to adjust the ISO level.
If you want to record a video that is good looking, with a clear and high quality image, you need to reduce the camera's sensitivity to light. This is where the lighting comes into play, which if set well will help the camera to perceive the environment well and appropriately, without struggling too much to see what’s in front of it.
TWO CREATIVE WAYS
There are a number of types of lighting used in film production, but many of them require a large budget and a lot of equipment. Given that in this blog we are thinking about shooting videos at home, we will mention the two most common types of lighting, for which you do not need to invest a lot of money, and yet they do a great job!
1. Natural light
This is the cheapest option when it comes to using light in your videos, as it does not require any financial investment on your part. If you want to record video at home, it is enough to stand near a larger window from which daylight enters, and thus you already have lighting for your video. It is recommended that you don’t do that while the sun is shining directly through the window, because that will make harsh shadows on your face. But there is something else!
For a better effect, try not to turn directly to the window with your body, but slightly to the side. That way the brightness of your body and face will not be equal and shadows will be created on the side of the face that is not facing the window. This is a technique that is often used by professional videographers to record an interview or monologue.
You can also use natural light when shooting outdoors. But as with shooting indoors, you have to keep in mind that natural light can change. The weather can be sunny for a moment, and a few minutes later it can be cloudy. Such a change in natural light will significantly (and negatively) affect the quality of your video.
Therefore, if you want to record video using natural light, it will be good on the day when you record to know what the weather forecast will be and to plan your recording accordingly. In any case, try to shoot in the same conditions - your video should be recorded when it is only sunny, or when it is only cloudy, so that there are no major differences in lighting.
2. Lighting with only one light
The idea and placement of lighting with only one light is almost the same as that of using light from a window as a light source. This type of lighting is the cheapest option that does not necessarily include natural light, and it is often used to illuminate people or products when shooting professional videos.
Its advantage over natural light is that with this type of lighting you are not limited by the weather, nor do you have to shoot only during the day.
You can use different sources as a light source in this way of lighting. From a home lamp, or a reflector (something you can start with) to a professional video light (something you should strive for).
In order for the shadows of your face not to be sharp, in this type of lighting it is recommended to soften the light. Light softening can be done in several ways. But the main idea is to have some kind of material that you will place in front of your light source, which will prevent it from illuminating you directly. If you do not want to spend money for this purpose, you can find many creative ideas on how to do it online.
Lighting is an important and necessary part of a good video. In this blog we have briefly tried to show and prove that you do not have to spend a lot of money to light a video well. It takes a desire to learn and to be creative! In the next blog we will write about another type of lighting which is one of the most common ways in which professionals illuminate people during interviews or monologues.