In covering an event, one of the most crucial factors in videography is lighting. The amount of luminosity available determines whether it could be your friend or your enemy. The brighter it is, the more cheerful the mood appears. An absence or lack of light could make a scene seem sinister. It could also create grainy and blurry images or, worse, complete darkness. Let us discuss the many ways we are affected by lighting.
In an outdoor setting, the time of day can make or break the resulting videography production. The early morning or late afternoon sun reflects a bluish hue. The noon sun is brightest but it casts unattractive vertical shadows. Sunset light gives a caramel glow that is soft and romantic, making it ideal for weddings and parties. Although the sun emits free light, it isn’t always to the videographer’s advantage. Make it a habit to record with the sun behind the camera. If the camera faces the sun, subjects tend to have dark faces or become silhouettes altogether. If it can’t be avoided, use a reflector to bounce the light back towards the subjects.
For night-time gigs that are held outside, make use of whatever available light the party has. Garden lamp posts can provide you with the brightest light, but there are several softer sources that prove enough. Candles, Japanese paper lanterns, and tiki torches bring a yellow glow. Christmas and fairy or LED lights come in various colors that add fun colored lights to the image. If you have a say at the venue, choose flattering light colors like certain shades of purple and pink.
When indoors, don’t just rely on the available artificial lights. Open windows and allow natural daylight in. During an evening affair, there is usually an adequate amount of light available. You might even need a diffuser in cases where the lights are too bright. Keep in mind that tungsten bulbs give out a yellow tint and fluorescent lights make subjects absorb a lot of green. Some locations have dramatic lighting effects that videographers love. Churches, for example, emanate a yellow or orange shade that makes for a jovial atmosphere.
As backup, always bring at least one standing light. It can make up for areas that would produce bad quality footage or none at all. Keep in mind though that these contraptions can make guests and participants stiff and awkward. Lighting fixtures, especially those with high wattage, generate a lot of heat and cause others to narrow their eyes.
Great lighting adds drama and depth to the story. Editing time can also get cut in half if the lighting conditions are excellent. Work at making the lighting conditions your friend and you are guaranteed great raw footage and one step closer to being considered a master at videography.