Good lighting shows the viewer that you are professional. Light guides the viewers’ eyes, so knowing how to manipulate light is crucial. In this section, we cover several lighting styles.
What you will learn
You will learn different looks using natural and artificial lighting.
Natural light includes shooting at high noon, in the shade, using backlighting, at dusk, under hazy skies, and by the window.
Artificial light includes:
The priority is learning to use daylight. And the first rule is to get that sunlight facing the subject, not you.
The lighting can be harsh and unflattering if the midday sun is overhead.
There are several ways to deal with this.
Shoot subjects in the shade.
Set up a reflector. This requires finesse. It’s easy to ruin the natural light look.
Be sure to weigh down your stand. Otherwise, it will tip over.
Set up a diffuser. This not just reduces harshness but also adds softness.
How to Avoid Midday Light
Of course, another way to avoid midday light harshness is to avoid shooting at noon.
One method to create a soft lighting effect is to place the light behind the subject.
Keep Light Off Lens
Keep the sunlight off the lens any way you can. Unless, of course, you want an image with lots of flair.
With window light, you can create the same looks used by painting masters throughout history. They studied light, and you can too.
Contrary to what most amateurs think, overcast or hazy light is ideal. You won’t have to deal with choppy and unflattering shadows.
You will unlikely use lights outdoors because the sunlight is too bright. You will need much more light power than you can carry.
This light packs 18,000 watts. Use portable lights in dimly lit places.
Even if there’s enough room light, you can improve the look by placing a small light directly in front of the subject.
You can achieve a flattering sculptured look by placing the light off to the side at 45 degrees.
The Late Night Look
Place the light directly overhead the subject to create a dramatic, rugged look.
TV news anchors look
Use two lights on either side of the camera for good video news or narration light. Shadows should be very soft with lots of detail.
Lighting is what beautiful and dramatic images are all about.
You saw a wide variety of lighting styles, each relatively easy to do. As you learn each one, think about how to use it in your movie-making.
Make a 1:00-2:00 video of yourself in different lighting situations.
Example, near a reading lamp, by the window, kitchen light, porch light.
The point is to study different kinds of lighting.
You can also comment on which ones you like and don't like and explain why.