Lighting is a critical component of any video. Whether you’re shooting a corporate video, a short film, or even a vlog, the quality of your lighting can make or break your footage. In this article, we’ll explore why lighting for video production cannot be overlooked and we’ll share tips on getting perfectly lit footage.

Why Good Lighting Matters

Good lighting is vital for several reasons. First, it helps to ensure that your footage is well-exposed. Without proper lighting, your footage may look too dark, too bright, or have unsightly shadows or glare. You want to make sure your viewer can easily see everything happening on-screen.

Secondly, good lighting can help create a professional-looking video, making it more engaging and enjoyable for viewers to watch. If the footage isn’t aesthetically pleasing, they won’t stick around to watch your entire video. Finally, lighting can help to convey the mood and tone of your video, supporting the story you’re telling.

How Lighting Sets the Mood

Lighting can play a significant role in setting the mood of your video. Different types of lighting can convey different emotions and feelings to your viewer. For example, harsh, bright lighting can make a scene feel tense and uncomfortable, while soft, warm lighting can create a sense of comfort.

Color temperature is another important aspect of lighting for video production. It can affect the mood of your footage. Warm lighting with a yellow-orange hue can make a scene feel cozy and inviting, while cool lighting with a blue hue can create a sense of distance and isolation. It’s important you get it right!

5 Tips for Perfectly Lit Footage

Now that you understand why lighting for video production is such a crucial element for setting the right tone, let’s explore some tips for mastering lighting with every clip you film.

1. Use Natural Light Whenever Possible

Natural light is one of the most flattering and versatile types of lighting available. The best part? It’s free! Shooting in natural light can help create a more organic and authentic look for your footage, especially if you’re shooting outdoors or in a location with a lot of windows. Take advantage!

When shooting in natural light, you just need to pay attention to the time of day and the direction of the light. For example, the midday sun can create harsh shadows, while the morning or late afternoon light can be softer and more aesthetically pleasing. When shooting indoors, try to position your subject near a window if you want to utilize natural lighting to the full extent.

2. Invest in Good Lighting Equipment

While natural light is great, it’s not always reliable or available. It can also be challenging to schedule filming around something as unpredictable as the weather. That’s why it’s smart to also invest in lighting for video production by purchasing some good equipment. A basic lighting setup is all you need and includes essentials such as a key light, a fill light, and a backlight. This is known as the three-point lighting technique.

The key light will be the main light source and will be positioned on one side of the subject. You want this light to be brighter than the others, as it will illuminate a majority of the scene. Then, the fill light will be used to soften any shadows the key light creates. Place this on the opposite side of the subject and make sure it’s a little dimmer than the key light.

Finally, don’t forget to use a backlight as well. This will separate your subject from the background, creating depth. Position your backlight behind the subject and direct it toward the camera.

3. Control Your Light Sources

Mastering lighting for video production doesn’t end there! Once you have your lighting equipment in place, you’ll need to control your light sources. You can do this by using light modifiers such as diffusers, reflectors, and flags that will shape and direct the light. Let’s break down what each of these is.

A diffuser is a translucent material that softens and spreads the light. You can place this in front of a light source if you want to create a softer, more flattering effect on your footage. A reflector is a shiny material, which will bounce light back onto the subject. This is ideal for filling in shadows that may have been created by the key light. Then, you’ll have a flag. A flag is a black material that blocks light. You’ll use this to create shadows or prevent light from appearing in scenes where it’s not wanted.

4. Try Using Color Gels

Color gels are colored, translucent films that you can place over your light source to create a specific mood or atmosphere for your footage. For example, an orange gel can create a warm, cozy mood. These can be especially useful for creating a specific look or tone in more dramatic videos.

Another use of color gels is to match the color temperature of different lighting sources. So, if you’re shooting a scene that has indoor and outdoor lighting, you may need to use a gel to match the color temperature of the different light sources, ensuring the lighting is consistent throughout the scene.

5. Test Your Lighting Setup Beforehand

While you may be eager to dive into filming, another important element of lighting for video production is conducting a final test before hitting the “record” button. This will ensure you have achieved the desired look and that your lighting is even and balanced.

Once you have everything set up, take some time to adjust your camera settings accordingly. In manual mode, you can adjust the exposure to the desired aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Then, be sure to take some test shots to make sure the lighting is hitting your subject evenly without creating harsh shadows or bright spots. From there, you can continue to make adjustments and take test shots until you get it just right.

Of course, you can always edit your footage in post-production. However, getting it right before filming is going to save you a lot of time and hassle later.

Let NG Productions Handle Your Video Lighting

Can you master video lighting all on your own? Absolutely! However, if you’d rather let the experts take control, the team at NG Productions is here to help. We have everything needed to create perfectly lit footage for anything you need to film, whether it’s corporate videos, vlogs, or anything in between.

Our Orlando video production company, NG Production Films, can communicate effectively and efficiently to produce high-quality video production. We have over a decade of experience in producing the next video production project for your organization. Call NG Production Films today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 407-233-3236 or fill out our contact form for a prompt reply.