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Lights, camera, action! 3 Low budget lighting solutions for indoor video shoots

Lights, camera, action! 3 Low budget lighting solutions for indoor video shoots

The big question when filming inside is – Do I need extra lights or are the natural light conditions enough? Lighting play a pivotal role in how your footage turns out, plus if you get it right it will save you a whole lot of time when editing. Surprising as it might be, it makes more sense to concentrate on getting the lighting right before diving in and investing in a new flashy camera. Even high-quality cameras don’t have it easy when it’s dark, they have to work hard to achieve decent image quality in low light conditions. Try moving the lights to different spots in the room and checking the camera monitor to see how their position affects the light conditions.

1. Interviews

To avoid casting shadows on sitting or standing interviewees, it’s best to use two light sources – one placed on either side. Soft boxes make a huge difference to the quality of the light and can be picked up from as little as €25. Soft boxes are an ideal solution because they don’t create too much glare or get super hot. They also provide a softer, more natural looking light, which in turn adds to the mood of the interview. If you have enough space it’s worth putting a light behind the interviewee, as this will make them stand out from the background more.

2. Vlogs

Vlogs are almost always filmed head-on and most of the time only need one light source, which is why lots of vloggers rely on sunlight to provide a bright background. Mixing natural light and artificial light makes for a bad combination, depending on which light source is brighter. For this reason it’s best to just use one light source – close the curtains and use artificial light. Soft boxes can also be used to record vlogs because the provide a warmer light than LED alternatives. Another useful piece of gear worth considering is a daylight lamp (€30). For more tips on how to light your vlog read the The 5 Deadly Sins: 5 Errors, 5 Solutions article.

3. Indoors

If you’re at a trade fair or exhibition you’ll probably be recording in lots of different places, in which case external lighting is an absolute must. Your best bet is to get hold of an on-camera light, such as a ring light (€50). Trade fairs are usually well lit, so as on-camera light provides just that bit little extra. At less well-lit events ring lights are the perfect solution: not only do they brighten up the area you’re shooting but they also help make whatever you’re filming stand out. This is a great effect which is especially effective with close ups and short interviews.

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Author

Oliver completed his vocational education at MAGIX and is part of the Social Meda Team since 2010. His favorite MAGIX Magazine topics are photo and video editing. He also likes to be on the road and writing travel stories for his blog Kaffeeersatz.com