Join Eduardo Angel for an in-depth discussion in this video Picking your location wisely, part of Corporate and Documentary Video Lighting.
- We were shooting a documentary piece that included a couple of girls having coffee and catching up early in the morning. The only available time to shoot at this location was at noon, far from the ideal time of day in terms of light quality. A great advantage was the amount of light. We had plenty. In fact, we had so much light that we could diffuse it and harness it, add a little bit of fill light, and call it a day. We scouted the location and determined three possible shooting spots using a Smartphone application called Sunseeker, that determines the sun's movement and helps us plan ahead.
The first location on the west side of the cafe and closer to the street wouldn't work well for us, as we would be blocking the cafe's main entrance and we also had too many people in our frame, requiring additional model releases. Our second possible shooting location was an open field with direct sunlight on the south side of the cafe, looking straight through the cafe's main facade. The frame was very flawed. It would have been hard to control the changing sunlight and we faced the same logistical challenge regarding model releases.
Our third option and the one we actually went with, was on the east side of the cafe with some shade and dappled sunlight. We liked the perspective and depth created by the tables and we could easily blur the background, which included people and cars, by using a wide aperture. In addition to the time of day and the very limited time we had to shoot, we encountered an additional lighting challenge. We had to shoot directly into the sun, which is something that we normally try to avoid. However, this position provided the best angle and the best light for our story.
Each chapter begins with a strategy session, and includes tips for capitalizing on natural light, repositioning the camera, and getting the final shot. Eduardo closes the course with a wrap-up of the shoots and some final thoughts on shooting video for corporate clients.
- Choosing your location wisely
- Working with natural light
- Picking a camera position
- Lighting the scene