DIY Cinematic Lighting Setup – $50

DIY Cinematic Lighting Setup – $50


So this is our starting point:
the available light in the room. Lets see what it takes to
make it look like this: Using DIY lighting gear. Here’s what we’re gonna use: Some kind of big, white thing,
could be a shower curtain, poster board, I’m using a bed sheet. Then I went to a hardware store and found a work light,
normally used for construction. They’re pretty cheap, and these new ones are
LED, which is quite nice. Other than that, we will need a light stand, something with a ¼” thread, some tape, Blu-Tack, kitchen roll, a bit of paper, some little candles, and a lamp. So our natural light isn’t too bad, but it’s making some weird shadows and everything is the same brightness. It’s kinda flat. So lets turn off the house lights. And use the stud to attach our work light to the stand, pointing it directly into the scene. Its definitely not flat anymore, but because that work light is such a small light source, it’s leaving very harsh shadows,
and kind of shiny skin. The easiest way to make that light softer is to point it at the ceiling, so its bouncing off
as a much bigger light source. Now, bounced light is never as bright as the original. So we do have to use a wider aperture to get the same exposure. Thanks to that large light source, we now have much softer shadows, which I think looks more natural. To me this looks OK, but the light is coming from up high, which is making these shadows over the eyes,
that I’m actually not a big fan of. To fix that, we need to bounce the light
off something that’s lower down. That’s where the sheet comes in. You could hang it up with string, tape it to the walls, or use a couple of extra light stands to hold it up. There are plenty of options. I’m just gonna drape it over the curtains, since that’s easiest. Now we can position the light so its bouncing
off our sheet. And we have this: which to me looks more natural. That ceiling bounce from before just felt a bit clinical
for this kind of shot. Now, someone always asks,
“What camera did you use?” Well, I’m using my old Canon T3i,
that I bought 3 years ago. And I mention that only to say that you really don’t need a brand new, expensive camera. Anyway, back the lighting, I now think this wall is too bright. It’s kind of drawing attention to itself. So if we take some paper, and tape it to the edge we can block the light from spilling onto that side wall. Here’s with the paper: And here’s without: I think that makes the frame look a lot more balanced. Speaking of which, that background is pretty dark. (match lighting) It’s always nice to have some visible lights in the frame, helps to set the mood, while making things look more natural. So I definitely think this is looking better than what we started with, but I still think the background is a bit too dark. We rarely see shadows like that indoors. So I’m using the kitchen roll to make another thing we can bounce light off. After bringing in that lamp, it now just adds a touch of light that sort of looks like it’s coming from the candles. But it’s not too overpowering. Now there is a bit of a problem here. That light is reflecting off of this picture, which could distract the audience. But, if we change the angle of the picture, the reflection disappears. So lets grab some Blu-Tack, and use it to hold the picture in that position. And there we go. We’ve now got our main, soft key light, some candles for effect, and a bit of a background light to even things out. What I’m trying to show here is that lighting involves all the same principles, whether you’re bouncing it off a bed sheet, or a professional Scrim Jim. But, most of all I’d like this to be a reminder that putting a bit of time into the lighting makes a whole lot more of a difference, than buying a better camera. Just imagine what this lighting would look like in 4K, or even 8K. It would still be very flat, with weird shadows, just more detailed. It’s so easy to get obsessed with cameras, when I really think it’s everything in front of the camera, that matters most. That’s the idea behind these posters, which I’ll put a link in the description, it’s a great way to support me and these videos, but in the mean time, I challenge you to grab some household objects, and see if you can light a shot really, really cheaply. It’s not easy, which is exactly why we should try it. My name’s Simon Cade, this has been DSLRguide, and I’ll see you next week.


100 thoughts on “DIY Cinematic Lighting Setup – $50

  1. Hey! I love your videos! Got a quick question tho. What kind of lens do you use to film? I have a canon t3i and a 18-55mm lens (i think its the one the comes with every t3i by default). Would that be able to give me a cinematic look? Or do you recommend a 28mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.8? Or any other recommendations. Please help! Thank you!

  2. Beside the Lamp we brought here together in the beginning at 4:46 min we see another lamp in your direction…what kind of lamp is this?

  3. I love your videos. Although I'm a photographer, not a videographer, I love all of your videos. Unlike many of the big name photography Youtubers always boast and teach about equipment while vaguely saying it's the camera man that matters. You don't just say the the camera man matters, but also show how much the camera man matters.

    Thank you!

  4. I love your videos. Although I'm a photographer, not a videographer, I love all of your videos. Unlike many of the big name photography Youtubers always boast and teach about equipment while vaguely saying it's the camera man that matters. You don't just say the the camera man matters, but also show how much the camera man matters.

    Thank you!

  5. Great video!

    Would you recommend to buy more work lights and set them up or build a DIY soft box and attach the light to it?

    What do you think would make a perfect result if done correctly?

  6. i have learnt a lot frm ur tutorials ,,,i hav never thought that video making will be so easy after watching ur lessons..keep it up bro…cheers

  7. m a professional singer n v spend lot of money on music videos ,,,i was looking for a master who can bring down the damage of production…thanks mate…plz keep posting the good work

  8. Brilliant work! I've been considering upgrading my 600D but after seeing your vids I've very quickly realised there is nothing wrong with the camera / I just need to learn more 🙂

  9. Every one of your compositions are always incredibly dark and have a lot of shadows, but still this is pretty helpful

  10. So. My 7 takeaways from this:

    1. You are brilliant
    2. You are bloody brilliant
    3. It's about reducing (surface) light where you don't need it (walls, background)
    4. It's about putting light where you need it (the right light on faces if that's your subject)
    5. It's about motivating the light source
    6. Creating some depth with lighting some of the background. This adds to point no. 3
    7. Brilliant job!

  11. Is he really shooting on the t3i?? their is like little to no noise even when i watch it on my 24 inch monitor, i use a 50mm canon, with good lighting on my actors and background yet their is so much more noise than this so whats going on?? is it his picture profile because i've been using marvel cine and been wondering if my picture profile could be hindering my image

  12. what if in your shot you want the kitchen light to be seen, and it would clearly be on. would that mess up the lighting all together?

  13. In case no one has mentioned it the materials are ~$75. You did the conversion rate backwards, BUT! Still a great video and awesome reminder.

  14. Great video, thank you for sharing!. I did a test myself and the darker parts of the shot looks more grainer than yours. I tried 400 and 200 ISO but I can not reduce the grain. The face looks well lit but not the background witch is darker than the face. Any tip on how I can keep reducing grain in the darker areas?, My goal is to keep the background darker but without grain, thank you!

  15. Ur a star ! Whenever i start to think of buying expensive film gear i stumble upon ur videos and that changes everything.

  16. This 'bounce off lighting' was first used and discovered by Subrata Mitra, an Indian cinematographer. He was Satyajit Ray's asssistant. Satyajit Ray is one of the greatest directors of all time, but is mostly unheard in the western world.

  17. Dude, i never comment on youtube videos but i had to. I was into photography and bought a DSLR but i was never happy with the results i get.
    I used to blame my cheap DSLR for it … but you sir, changed the whole outlook.
    Now I'm getting better result with my same old DSLR.
    Massive respect for you for guiding begginers like us.

  18. why didn't I meet you when I lived in England lol!! you teach us so much and I really appreciate it! you make me realize I DO have what it takes

  19. Great tute. I thought it was only missing a soft rim light because your hair and the background kinda merges into one.

  20. hey you are like the best guid for filming ever so cinematic too your awesome mate ive done alot because of yo cheers

  21. I have a question, I using the same camera as you do but if I set up lighting like that, I 'll easy get grainy footage. How can you cope with that ?

  22. I just want to know how to manage or shoot in day light to make shot more cinematic specialy in long shot. I mean how to make long shot more cinematic in day light

  23. That was aamzing i love how simple you made it to understand love your vids bud keep it up. Your so right its not he tools its the way you use them

  24. Nice work. I like your style. I also shoot weddings with my 600D and use two flouresent tubes which makes my filming look professionel

  25. Most common mistake made in all movies starting from a low budget to a holywood one's is when you have glasses of wine on the table that is fully loaded and an actor who grabs it like its mug (not in this case). Cheers

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    Request a sample report @https://www.envisioninteligence.com/industry-report/global-lighting-market/?utm_source=yt-anusha

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