If video production is not an existing part of your company’s milieu, getting started with the right elements can make a huge difference.

Good lighting is an important part of making your video look and feel professional. In all likelihood, the lights you keep in your home or office will not work well on film (fluorescent lights, for example, tend to make things look a bit green). Having light sources chosen and placed correctly will make a big difference, ensuring that colors pop and that your image is clear and bright.

We put together a basic primer on what you will need to help get you started.

Light Sources for Filming

Key light

This is the main light that will be pointed at your subject. A common placement for the key light is about 45 degrees to either side of the camera, and about 45 degrees up from the subject.

Fill light

This light fills in the shadows created by the key light. You will know the fill light is placed correctly when the shadows behind the subject disappear. If instead you see two sets of shadows, you need to dim the fill light.

Note: As a corner-cutting measure, you can use a reflective surface to bounce reflected light from the key light back into the shadows. You can do this with a white foam core board, which is easy to find and costs only a few dollars.

Back Light

This is optional, and is often used to create a warm, “halo” effect around subjects being filmed. Place the back light behind the subject, about 45 degrees up. The same effect can be created by filming outside, when the sun is about 45 degrees up from your subject’s head and shoulders.

Cost of Video Lighting Equipment

The type of lighting kit you use will vary based on your budget and preference. A set of studio lights can cost anywhere from around $100 to thousands. If you plan to integrate video into your company’s marketing on a regular basis, it will be worthwhile in the long run to invest in a solid video lighting kit. We found this helpful review of 10 reasonably priced video lighting kits from Adorama, to give you a sense of what’s out there.

Or, if you’re of the DIY persuasion, here’s a thrifty alternative: from the Makezine blog, how to simulate the effect of excellent studio lights for under $200.

Want to Know More?

This is just a quick introduction; for more detailed info on the subject, check out 20 Lighting Tutorials for Film and Video by FilmmakerIQ.

Anything to ask or add? Tweet to us at @SproutVideo or leave a comment below!

Written by Laci Texter

SproutVideo blog contributor. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Posted March 18, 2013

blog comments powered by Disqus