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

Tripp Films_Good Lighting Example_Natural Light_Lighting Basics

Good, even light.

Tripp Films_Lighting Basics_Back Lit Subject

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.

Tripp Films_Good Lighting Example_Natural Light_Lighting Basics

Only natural light from window.

Tripp Films_Mixed Colors of Light_Natural Light vs Indoor Lights

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.

Tripp Films_Not Enough Light Example_Lighting Basics

Not enough light from this window.

Tripp Films_Unflattering Light Example_Lighting Basics.jpg

Too far back from any light source. Image gets grainy.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions, and I hope this quick tutorial helps you improve your DIY videos!

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Branded Film: Boho Saint Jo