How lighting 💡 impacts the colours 🎨 and look of your videos 🎥

Hey there,


After diving into my personal stories and telling you about my digital stack to run my business, I thought it was time to dive into a few more technical subjects and continue to tell you my story.


Today, we’ll talk a bit about why lighting is so damn crucial for anything you do in video but particularly for the colours.


Lighting is crucial in creating videos because it can drastically impact the look and feel of the final product. The way light interacts with the subjects in the video can affect the colors, contrast, and overall mood of the footage. Without proper lighting, colors can appear washed out or muted, and shadows can obscure important details. This is particularly important when it comes to color grading, as the colors in the video can be affected by the lighting conditions during filming.


Therefore, it's essential to pay close attention to lighting in order to achieve the desired look and feel for a video project. Now that doesn’t mean you have to run out and spend a lot of money on lighting equipment but instead, you need to focus on 2 things:

  1. Having enough light in your scene to properly expose your footage, and the softer the light the better, depending on what you’re trying to shoot.
  2. Learn how to properly expose your camera to capture the light in the right way


1 Having enough light in your scene

Up until now I’ve rarely used external lights for any of my video projects and while I highly recommend using them if you can, it’s not necessary in the beginning if you can’t afford it or have space to travel with it.


Instead, what I’ve been doing is sit close to a window, as large as possible and if I’m lucky I have white curtains that I can pull in front. Using the curtains will defuse the light and make it softer as the light passes through the material first before it reaches me. This is particularly important when filming talking heads or interviews.


If I’m outside I try to shoot at either sunrise or sunset for the softer light or find a place in the shade, where ideally both the subject and the background are in shadow to not create too much contrast.


The important thing to be aware of is that as clouds pass by the sun or away from it, the lighting will change. For me, that’s a thing I just cope with but it might mean adjusting exposure or fiddling around in post, which is why an external light will always win in the end.


2 Exposing your camera

We’ll talk more about exposing cameras another day but the most common methods to expose LOG footage are (from best to worst):


  • Exposing using false colour
  • Exposing with zebras
  • ETTR (exposing to the right), commonly +1.3 to +2.0 stops. Personally, on our Sony camera, we expose +1.7 with S-LOG 3)
  • Using the histogram.


I won’t go into detail, so for now you’ll have to research these topics yourself if you shoot in LOG (which I recommend you do, when you have a bit of experience).


Back to lighting

As a video creator, it is important to understand how lighting can impact the overall quality of your videos. The right lighting can help enhance the colors and contrast in your footage, making it more vibrant and visually appealing. On the other hand, poor lighting can make your footage look dull and uninteresting.


To achieve the best possible results, it's important to pay close attention to lighting when filming your videos. This includes choosing the right lighting equipment, positioning it correctly, and adjusting it as needed throughout the filming process. By doing so, you can create videos that look professional and engaging, and that accurately reflect the mood and tone you're trying to convey.


In addition to helping enhance the colors in your footage, proper lighting can also help you achieve better results when it comes to color grading. By starting with well-lit footage, you can ensure that the colors are accurate and consistent, making it easier to achieve the desired look during the color grading process.


In short, lighting is a crucial aspect of video creation, particularly when it comes to the colors and overall mood of your footage. By paying close attention to lighting and using the right equipment and techniques, you can create videos that look professional and engaging, and that accurately reflect your creative vision.


With bad lighting, your videos quickly look bad even though it could’ve been really good. So pay attention to lighting and how you can work with it best possible to suit your needs and what you shoot and you’ll level up your filmmaking skills in no time!


That’s it for today’s post, I’ll catch you in the next one!



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