Lighting Basics: 3 Ways to Improve Your Lighting
Have you ever taken a video on your phone and noticed a blue or orange hue? Or that your subject is too dark, or the video is too grainy? The likely culprit for your video woes is the lighting. If you’re not used to it, lighting can be tricky, but it’s the best way to improve the look and quality of your videos.
Despite what you may think, lighting doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t even have to buy anything to improve your lighting! For the purposes of creating super, simple videos on your own, all you need is natural light (aka a window), your phone and these 3 tips!
Location of the Light Source
Good, even light.
Back-lit is not good.
To make it straightforward and easy, make sure your subject (me in this case) is facing the window. That way the light will fall evenly on your subject. If the video features you talking, then you should be faced toward the window with the camera in between you and the window.
If your subject is back-lit, meaning the light source is behind rather than in front, then your phone will compensate for the brightness of the window by lowering the exposure, which results in your subject looking far too dark.
Color of Light Source
Did you know light sources have different color temperatures? Daylight is a bluer light, while the typical tungsten or fluorescent bulbs in your home or office are orange. This is why your videos may look orange or yellow when you shoot indoors. To avoid this, do not mix light sources. If using a window, then turn off all of the indoor lights.
Only natural light from window.
Mixed light with natural light from window and indoor lights.
Brightness of Light
Lastly, make sure you have enough light from your source to get a proper exposure. If it’s closer to evening and you’re running out of daylight, your video will start looking grainy and your camera will not be able to focus as well. If this happens, just wait until the next day to film when your subject is able to be lit properly by the natural light.
Not enough light from this window.
Too far back from any light source. Image gets grainy.