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BASIC VIDEO LIGHTING

The very basics of good lighting for video evolves around 3 point video lighting.

What that means is that to get a good even visual on a video interviewee it’s usual to use a key light, a background light and a fill light.

The positioning of these lights is often initially determined by the room in which the video is to be filmed; the reason for that is that depending on the size and shape of the room, its contents and existing light, the director and cameraman will need to judge the best positioning for their contributor; after that they will know where the camera is likely to be, and then where the interviewer will be, and then, finally, where the video lighting needs to go.

It’s usual to put the key light, which accentuates the facial features, on the side towards the interviewer, this gives luminescence to the subject and tends to be more flattering. If, however, you were doing a dramatic piece, or a heavy-weight political interview, the technicians may decide to key light from the opposite side giving the interviewee a more defined, but slightly darker, more serious appearance.

You’ll see this effect used many times on political interview programmes where the Director wants to give the impression of putting the interviewee under a bit of pressure.

The backlight does what it says on the tin, lights the back of the subject/area and creates space between the subject and the rear of the video image. And finally, the fill light helps to get rid of dark or shadow areas.

Good video lighting isn’t an exact science because every venue will be different and the required style vary, but for a good basic tutorial one of our industry colleagues has done a useful video on how too achieve reasonable 3 point video lighting, here.

For good, quality video images that include human subjects, it’s essential to understand the basics of 3 video point lighting. Once this is grasped, the next question is what colour temperature should you be using, but that’s for another day!


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