In this episode of Creator's Lab - the series produced by Epidemic Sound that aims to support the online creator community with valuable how-to and tutorial videos, covering everything related to video and photography production - Dean Rojas takes us through basic lighting set ups and offers some tips and advice for what to do and how to invest in great lighting for your videos and films.
“Lighting is one of the most essential tools to make your video look more professional, cinematic etc. it can really make or break your film,” Dean begins and as a professional videographer he shares his do's and don’ts.
“We’re going to narrow in on three-point lighting,” Dean explains, adding “it’s the most basic, fundamental lighting set up that’s going to be used in interviews, in cinema, on people –– and it’s exactly what it sounds like: it’s three points of light hitting your subject –– these are your key light (your primary light source), the fill light (used to fill in the shadows on the face left of the key light), and the back light (or hair light, used to separate your subject from the background).
How do you set this up? Well, “I’ll typically use soft boxes to diffuse light on my subject and soften their features and I’ll use a harsher backlight to create more separation from the background,” Dean explains and he will usually position his interview subject a couple of feet from the background to allow the backlight to separate even more, adding “I’ll typically use half the power of the fill light, or not even just it at all – so the look that ill typically go with consists of just the key light and the back light”.
So do you need to invest in these light sources? Dean shares a little trick, saying “a trick I like to use a lot when I’m shooting interviews is I’ll position my subject next to a window and I’ll use the natural light as a fill light”. As a professional, Dean advises that “lighting is up to interpretation and there’s a lot of freedom for experimentation… play around with your lighting setup to suit the mood of the story you’re trying to tell”.
“I cannot stress enough how important lighting is,” Dean concludes and though it may require a little investment and some time and effort playing around with set ups and getting familiar with lighting to make sure it works for you, it’s a worthy investment. He finishes by saying “spending a couple hundred dollars getting yourself some lights can really change the game!”