Poor video lighting isn’t something you can only find on the web. Amateur videos of all sorts suffer from its effects.
I wrote a little article on three-point lighting at the Wikipedia that describes the most basic lighting setup.
The three point lighting setup may be simple but it’s useful in 80% of cases – or even close to 100% if you’re shooting talking heads.
As you can see there’s a remarkable difference when you go from top to bottom. Note: the second one was shot by iFilm.
So what are the guys at iFilm doing right? Here’s a short list for you:
- Use soft light – a single large softbox is enough
- Use a fill light – if you don’t have a large softbox
- Use a back light – see that highlight on her hair, it creates much needed separation between subject and background
- Use a background light – if you’re shooting talking heads, it’s best if you use a background light with a color filter (blue) to improve the separation between subject and background
Apart from lighting, it seems that a little make up and a soft filter complete the magic.
Some journalists and filmmakers have started using WebEx video conferencing to record HD videos. The same lessons apply here: light it well or at least take it outside. If you install WebEx for iOS on your iPhone, you should be able to find a suitable location and send video that’s well lighted. Just don’t pick up a spot in the sun, unless you are in Norway and it’s 10pm.