In this video, learn how to create good lighting on a tiny budget.
- The human brain is very good at autocorrecting the real world. This is why it's quite difficult to take good photographs and shoot good videos because your brain is often lying to you about what you're actually looking at and the camera really doesn't lie. So what we're going to be talking about in this video is lighting and how to make your subjects look good with or without fancy lights. So first up, let's talk about three-point lighting. This is a simple way to get good lighting using only three lights. Here's a lighting demonstration.
Genuinely speaking, the most boring way to light something is straight on from the front. Switching to this diagram view, you can see that the light is right in front of the model's face and everything comes out flat and a little bit boring. Now let's slide that light around to the side. Offset it about 45 degrees from the subject. This means that only one side of the face is fully illuminated. This is called the key light and it will be providing most of the illumination in the shot. It's currently rather dramatic though, casting heavy shadows across the far side of the face.
This is where the fill light comes in. This is positioned 90 degrees anticlockwise around from your key light. You can see the relative positions in the diagram view. The fill should be either a less powerful light or it should be moved further away, whichever is easiest to achieve with your gear. The fill light literally fills out the dark shadows on the far side of the subject from the key light hence the name. The final and actually optional step is to add a backlight. This is directly opposite the fill light behind the subject and is used to add visual interest and definition to the edge of the subject popping them out from the background.
The back light will often be quite intense or of a different color. If you have three lights who can set them up like this, you're going to have a pretty decent shot. You don't have to have extremely expensive lighting equipment to do this kind of thing. Any kind of light would do the job whether it's a desk lamp or a torch or even a light on a phone. It'll just be harder to work with them and you won't have as much control. If you do want to invest in some new lighting, check out LED lights. These come in a range of prices and are very easy to use and they run really cool and you can even operate them off batteries.
None of this is much use though if you don't have any lights and don't have the option of getting any. But thankfully, we all have access to one extremely powerful light, the sun. Use the sun right and you can get great results entirely for free. It just comes down to careful positioning of your subject and your camera. If you're shooting an interior, for example, you can get a powerful key light simply by positioning your subject next to a window. As well as getting your lighting right, you also want to avoid common lighting mistakes and this is where your brain's amazing autocorrection features make your job harder.
You need to stop seeing like a human and see more like a camera. That means never putting a subject directly between a window and the camera. Because you'll either have your subject surrounded by a giant white halo or they'll be entirely silhouetted. Cameras simply can't handle that kind of extreme contrast like your eyes can. Final tip is that if you don't have access to fancy dimmable lights, don't worry because you can still do it the old fashioned way by simply moving the light further away from your subject.
- Getting started with HitFilm Express
- Setting up a camera and lighting
- Making a shooting checklist
- Shooting on a green screen
- Transferring from camera to computer
- Converting video formats
- Importing videos into HitFilm
- Using essential editing techniques
- Using multiple tracks
- Making color corrections
- Working with keyframes and composite shots
- Creating titles and lower-third captions
- Exporting and sharing video