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Do you suffer from bad lightingtus?
It’s a condition that affects many online video creators, myself included. When it strikes, it can cause outbreaks of ‘can’t see you screen’ or ‘weird shadow face’.
There is a cure and thankfully it’s inexpensive and painless.
The cure? A video lighting setup
In Ireland, bad lightingtus is hard to avoid. Even at noon on a winters day, standing outside, there may not be enough light to illuminate your face.
For days like this, or when there is no natural light available I will show you how to execute 2 point lighting.
I’m using this lighting kit (affiliate link), inexpensive and enough to make you visible on screen even on a cold winters day.
How to set up your video lighting and avoid bad lightingtus'Bad Lightingtus' is a condition that affects many online video creators, myself included. When it strikes, it can cause outbreaks of 'can't see you screen' or 'weird shadow face'.Click To Tweet
Avoiding the squint
The instinct for lighting is to face directly into the light and this works well for illuminating your subject. But it has a side effect. Presenters squint. Try as you might, it’s almost impossible not to squint when a bright light is shining into your face.
The second side effect of bad lighting is ‘flat face’. Direct lighting robs your face of character. It flattens your face with a single white light.
To avoid ‘flat face’ use 2 point lighting.
Isn’t that supposed to be 3 point lighting?
3 point lighting is a technique used in film and television to light people.
The three lights are:
1. The key light
This is the light that does most of the work. It’s a strong light placed front left of the subject. Because the light comes from the side it eliminates squinting and adds shadow to the face, sculpting it to enhance bone structure.
2 The fill light
This is a softer light placed to the front right of the subject. You may need to move it further away to get the soft effect. It’s called a fill light because it fills the dark side of the face that is cast into shadow by the key light.
3. The back light
This light separates the subject from the background. It should illuminate the rim of the subjects head. This light is essential when you are using a green screen to get a crisp background with no bleed.
I’m not using green screen and I have a two light kit. So I’m just using the most important of these two lights in my demo.
Even if you get the placement of your lights right, you can still end up looking dark in the frame. This happens when your background is more brightly lit than your subject. Automatic or phone cameras will compensate for this background throwing the foreground into darkness.
When you are setting up your shot check for strong light sources in the background. Avoid shooting against a window or bright background. The solution can be as simple as closing a blind or spinning the camera around another way.
If there is a reflective surface in the background of your shot, your lights will reflect back at you. One way to combat this is to flag your lights?
I use a dark piece of card and lean it up against the light, tilting it in until it eliminates the reflection. You will need a helper to hold this in place whilst you shoot.
Now you are ready to create your own video lighting setup. Let me know how you get on.
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