How to use lighting to make better content!

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How to use lighting to make better content!

Post by YTFRC » Mon May 15, 2017 4:25 am

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Re: How to use lighting to make better content!

Post by alohakid » Tue May 16, 2017 12:22 am

YTFRC wrote:
YTFRC - WOW What a difference... thanks so much for this... great info which I shall practice.


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Re: How to use lighting to make better content!

Post by Synthpeter » Tue May 16, 2017 11:04 am

I agree that good lighting makes a LOT of difference.
In particular, camera sensors that aren't very light-sensitive (older, smaller sensors and cameras with small lenses with low light throughput) will create a lot of "grains" in the video and poor colour definition and low contrast if they have to work in a darker room due to inherent noise in the sensor (all sensors have a degree of noise). The low light image needs to be amplified, but along with it the noise gets amplified too, so you get grainy videos.

I do however have to disagree with using lights of different "temperature" at the same time, unless it's a specific effect you're after.
Other than that, good advice to use proper lighting!


The camera will try to find the neutral gray colors and set the white balance (WB) accordingly (adapt to the lighting colour temperature), or you can set it to a preset white balance manually.
That of course assumes all the lights in the scene have the same temperature.

Mixing lights will confuse the auto WB and make one of the lights look unnatural and weird.
In my opinion it's better to stick with one temperature and set the white-balance accordingly. You can usually do this in the camera and/or compensate for it in the editing program afterwards (unless it's totally messed up).

If you have 2 very bright cold lights close to the subject, they're going to set the color temperature for that entire scene and the camera should be able to make it look OK if set to auto WB.
If you add in some warm lights, those will show up orange in comparison, or it'll make both lights look weird. It's much more visible on video than to our eyes, but you see the tendency in your video at 1:18.
It looks a bit nicer and warmer, but also there's less shadows so it looks better as well, however, the lower right part has a different colour tone than the rest of the scene and if you move things around in the scene they would change colour depending on where they are.

If the WB settings don't give you good results and you feel you need to mix lights to make it look more natural or pleasant, I would say put the lights next to eachother so they're coming from the same angle.

The issue is if you have objects that cast shadows, causing other objects to be illuminated by not all the light sources, but only some of them.
If you put them in different locations, in some cases you might have objects that are only illuminated only by cold light, and some object illuminated only by warm light, in the same scene.
There's aboslutely no way the camera will be able to make all of them look good at the same time.
Or an object might be illuminated by different lights from different angles, which will also look weird.
This is something you can never compensate for.

I'm not saying I'm better at doing this than you are. I AM actually using different temperature lights, partly because I'm lazy :) and convenient... also I bought both because I didn't know what would look best, as well as using the bench for repairing electronics so I needed more lights and just tried some different ones, which has lead me to this experience.

Currently I use cold lights left and right of my camera.
I also have two warm lights a bit closer to the left and right but a bit more overhead, but I had to stop using them because they were a bit too bright and took over, as well as messed up the white balance when all lights were used (and caused bad reflections in the metal tray).
I also have some halogen lamps (giving off warm light) in the ceiling which don't really affect the lighting UNLESS I lift an object up and bring it really close up to the camera, because then the cold lights on the sides can't illuminate it properly. Then the light in the ceiling takes over and the whitebalance gets a bit weird as the background is illuminated by the cold side lights and the object close to the camera is illuminated by the ceiling lamps...

I just mean it's good to keep this in mind if you want to set up more lights.
If you want to add more lights, use the same temperature on all of them (or put them at the same position, don't put cold left, warm right), otherwise you're just making it more difficult for yourself.
If you're gonna mix daylight and artificial light (extra lamps when filming next to windows), use cold lights.
The sun is hot yes, but really hot objects actually glow white. Less hot items glow red, which is confusing when talking about colour temperature because we associate red with hot.

And I OF COURSE know it's a budget thing.

But to put it short, do yourself a favour and stick to one colour temperature.
Again, other than that, great advice :)

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