Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video A basic light kit, part of Lighting a Video Interview.
When you first get started, you're probably going to invest in a basic kit. A basic lighting kit has a handful of elements that are common. Of course, things will vary by brand. We've got one here. Jim, why don't you walk us through what we've got. >> Yeah, a nice little modular case like this that has everything you would need to do an interview is a good way to start. And if we open this one up, it's got some examples of three or four fixtures. In this case, three that you would need for an interview. Why do you need three? Or two or three or four lights instead of 10? Well, if you follow basic three point lighting, we're, we're having that number of fixtures to fulfill the needs of key backlight, background, whatever those, those three things are going to be.
I'll show you a lot of choices and the kinds of fixtures you can pick. This one has a, a, a very low cost Tungsten package in it: three light fixture with some stands and it should you know, take care of, of most of your needs for the most basic interview. >> Now with the lighting stands themselves, they're designed to be lightweight and you'll see that if you turn these, they actually telescope up and get quite a bit taller. So these particular stands are actually three stages and they'll let you get the lights all the way up from the base of the ground to eye level. You're going to want to be careful with these though because they are so lightweight, it's very easy to actually knock them over and smash your gear.
So later on when we're setting up the lighting for the interview, you're going to see that we actually take some safety measures using sandbags and taping down the cords to minimize any potential accidents. Jim, what's the advantage here of having multiple compartments, you know, as you grow your kit over time? >> well, for one thing, protection. You don't want a metal bang, banging against metal. It keeps things organized so when you open it up, if you have a system, which, which I encourage you, you know where everything is all the time because usually you don't have a lot of time when you arrive at a location.
So implementing a routine, including setting up your system as a kit, goes a long way into saving time in that respect. And in our kit here, we have one important item for safety, the gloves here. One of the things to keep in mind with these early kits, is that you're probably going to have lights that get hot. Later on, we're going to explore things like LED lighting and those are much cooler to the touch but it's a good idea to still be safe. Wearing a good pair of gloves is going to cut down on a couple things. First off, it's going to minimize any burns or injuries.
Secondly, it's going to cut down on any transfer of oil from your hands to the light. >> That oil or skin oil has something to do with creating a chemical reaction on, on the bulb itself, decreasing the life. Yeah, so safety for your hands and keeping the equipment lasting longer. So there's lots of things in here with the kit. You'll also find other compartments to hold other items that are going to be useful but remember a good solid case is going to be flexible as you go forward because it's going to let you go ahead and build that up over time.
Having extra compartments and room to grow is going to give you some space, so you can go ahead and add extra pieces as you build your kit out. Now, Jim, this initial investment may seem scary to folks but you know, what do people really need to understand about lighting? Is this something that is going to buy and wear out in a couple of years? Well, generally speaking, lighting is a good investment because unlike cameras and some of the other equipment that is constantly changing every year, this will last you a long time. Even when you upgrade to newer technology or, or equipment that meets different needs when you're shooting, this stuff will always be in, in your kit in the background as backups or, or to have more specific tasks.
So as far as the initial investment you get it back because you're going to have it longer and you're going to get use out of it longer. >> And if this equipment gets damaged, one of the things you'll often see, is it's relatively easy to repair. These bulbs are usually serviceable by you, the end user, and you can actually get things like the power cord serviced and these are solid. Most of these are made out of metal and are designed to last. So with that in the mind, the basics outta the way, let's continue to explore some of the essential equipment.
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- Creating a lighting kit of essential gear
- Working with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO
- Determining the emotional tone and genre of the interview
- Choosing a background
- Finding the best angle
- Using three-point lighting
- Lighting backgrounds and faces
- Color correcting light on set