Effective Lighting For Increased Video Quality (ft. Freddie Wong)

Effective Lighting For Increased Video Quality (ft. Freddie Wong)


Hey there, I’m Freddie Wong
and I’m going to share some of my ideas on how you can
start using effective lighting to create a mood and a style
for your videos that’ll really engage your audience. [YouTube Creator Academy] So first, let’s talk about what
is good lighting and why might you want to have good
lighting. You might not think you know what good lighting is,
but you almost definitely know what good lighting is not. Now
when you see a video of someone who you can’t really quite see
or there’s a big window in the back and you can’t see their face
or there’s so much light that you can’t actually make out any details
or maybe the light just doesn’t say anything and doesn’t really
give you a mood or a sense of what the scene is about. Good
lighting helps communicate your ideas for the look of your video
and helps you connect your audience in an emotional way. Not only can
they actually see what’s going on, but lighting helps you share
your ideas by becoming a part of the story, or creating a
powerful mood. So I think good lighting is
lighting that effectively communicates the story that
you are trying to tell without being too obvious or without
drawing too much attention to itself. I think a lot of times
people think oh without light and they just go turn on every
light that they have and they make so very bright and garish, and it’s like well,
maybe you don’t need that much. What’s more important is,
expressing what you are trying to say, and if it’s more for a sort
of solitary scene or whatever it is and making sure that the lighting
matches up with the mood of what you are trying to create.
I think one of the best examples we have of this is not something
that I lit but something that our very talented director photographer
John Salmon lit for Season 3, Episode 2 of “Video Game
High School”. the whole story is kind of a
noir sequence that’s shot in a very different style than the rest of
the show. Generally “Video Game High School” is a very sort of evenly
flat, generally flat look and this was one where John got to
go crazy with the noir style and like very moody shadows because
it’s sort of a mystery that the character is figuring out. So, the
lighting there really helped accentuate the tone and the
mood of that piece and really makes that segment stand out from
everything else that we ever shot. [Lighting styles] How do you choose the best lighting
style for your video? With so many light and options
to choose from, pick the kind of lighting style that works best for the videos
you’re making for your fans. Like for example, if you’re doing a
vlog or making a comedy video, you might want to make sure that
your videos are a bit more brightly lit and a little more evenly lit because
you want people to be focusing on not necessarily on a dramatic
scene, but on the comedy or you as a vlogger-not as just by
adding a back light or a rim light. If you do something more
a little dramatic like an action movie thriller or music video, you might want
to consider adding more contrast or playing with the color of your lighting
so that your image feels more dynamic and exciting. Brightness,
contrast and color–these are the elements that can really help you
establish your own style and tell the story that you want to
tell or build the world that you want to create. So I think when you
start off, I think you’ll start playing with sliders and start
making things brighter or you know throwing color and
saturation in doing all these things because you want to make something
that looks cool and to be honest actually making something that
looks cool is not a bad place to start. But what’s important is that you
really think about what the choices that you are doing
in terms of altering the look of your image How that’s affecting what you are
trying to say. The easiest example would be like a horror scene. If it’s
supposed to be a horror scene, and everything’s brightly lit and
you can see everything, that doesn’t really communicate
exactly what you are trying to go for if you trying to make someone feel
scared. On the other hand, a really brightly lit horror scene often times
can stand out in that movie; it might ease your viewer into a
false sense of security if you’re going to hit them with
the jump scare later. These are all things that you can learn
very basically just by watching movies and being conscious
of the lighting choices that the directors and photography in
those movies are making. The simplest elements of lighting is
the brightness level. The brighter the light, often
the lighter the mood that you create; also, the easier it is
to see things. You can adjust brightness by adding light, or
moving it closer or further from your subject. Contrast refers to the
difference between the lightest part of your image and the darkest
part of your image. So maybe some areas of your frame are
well lit whereas others are intentionally darker to create
a more interesting texture. Adding contrast helps you create
a 3 dimensional look to your video to make it more dramatic. Changing
the color quality of the light is an immediate and powerful way
to influence the mood of your video. Cooler colors can
generally create a more calm mood or indicate say a night scene whereas
warmer colors tend to feel more intimate. [Lighting tricks] How many creators does it take
to screw in a light bulb? Ha, that depends on how many
lights you have. Ah, I feel bad for that. Now let’s
dive into some more tools that’ll help you get the most out of your
lighting. Different lighting angles are a simple way for you to adjust any
lights that you have to work with to create a new look or feel. Using
multiple lights is a great way to allow you more flexibility and
power to start to tell a story and create more of a mood with
your lighting. If you’re using an interior lighting
kit, the simplest light if you are going for a flat even look is your
front key light. This key light can also create
that magical light in your eye which is the key hole to your soul, the
little glint in there and sometimes that’s very important to make
your subject look a little more human and help you emote a little more
with what your shooting. If you want to start adding a
little more shade to your subject, try a Fill Light on the side and
a little farther away and back off to the side of your subject.
It will give your subject just a little more dimension and depth.
And if you really want to give your frame some texture consider,
adding a back light on the background; maybe even a room light from
behind my head or your head. It will give you a nice little halo
effect and really make it pop from the background. If you are
outside during the day, you may want to consider shooting
in the shade so that you are not squinting into the sun, but you
can still get a dynamic range of color where not everything is
blowing out. So there are a lot of different
kinds of light. So where should you start? Creators who make
specific choices of the types of light they use are able to connect their
lights a little more effectively. The different options for lighting
boil down to 3 basic choices: daylight the sun, practical lights
which are lamps or lights that you have lying around, or a lighting
kit lights that you buy or rent. Each on of these options can
be a good option. So let’s see which option is the
right one for your videos. Natural light is great because it
is super bright and the brightest known source in our galaxy. But there are
limitations.; mostly because you can’t control where it is. It’s completely
not up to you. A practical light, like a lamp or a lighting kit
which should be a little more limited in its reach, allows you
at least some more flexibility than the sun. You can choose if you
like to have a cool light like a fluorescent bulb or a warm light
like a Tungsten bulb and you can also position the light wherever
you’d like: change the angle contrast the lighting, adjust
the intensity of the light on the subject–so many things you can
do with a lamp. All in all, both sources can be good options but
what you use is going to depend very much on the kind of mood
that you are going for. Now let’s chat about when, how
and why to use natural light. Using natural light is a very
effective way to make sure the audience can, well see your
videos, but there’s also some very important things to consider
to make sure you’re not over lighting or creating distractions
for your eyes that might otherwise take away from what
you are trying to say. So when you are outside a lot of
things you got to realize is the sun is very powerful and is very little
you can do to combat the sun. Because natural light is so bright
and if you are directly in the sun, you can produce some not so
flattering effects like squinting, dark shadows, over
exposure where everything loses its color and looks washed out–
that is stuff that you generally want to avoid. If you are outside,
consider finding a shady area where it still allows you to take
advantage of the brightness and the quality of the sun’s light,
but doesn’t produce necessarily the same harsh shadows that can
sometimes cause your actors to squint or otherwise be
distracting. If you’re inside, try covering any windows that
you have with a diffused curtain or something so that way you
still get the sense that it’s daylight outside, but without
over exposing everything in your scene. Curtains or blinds can be a nice
way to quickly and efficiently adjust the light coming through
from outside. Adjust your camera sides, of course, or using
an ND filter can also help account for some of these challenges.
Another type of light that you can make yourself is to go and buy some clamp
lights that you can get at any home or garden store–the entire aisle of
light bulbs actually there. You get some Tungsten ones, fluorescent
ones–literally just buy a bunch of light bulbs and see how they look and see how
they look on camera and see how they affect the
scene and the mood and how powerful they are;
and once you have that in mind, then you can start
applying those tools. So if you do a vlog style
lighting set up and you don’t have a lot of time, the easiest
thing you can do is think about it like this: prioritize what is the most important
part of the frame which is going to be probably your face
and in general, light it evenly and light it in a way that doesn’t
make it pop out too much from the background. Easiest way to do this
is to get a lamp or two lamps from both sides of the camera
and some sort of diffusion in front of the lamp. If you can get
literally things like t-shirts a white t-shirt, a cloth, anything
that has a diffused source that you can kind of look through and
barely see through, that’s the kind of thing you’ll be looking
for you to throw over your lamp. Make sure whatever
you’re using doesn’t catch on fire. All these options just
give you more options in terms of how you want to shade the light
to tell a more dramatic or exciting story with your levels of contrast
and color. [Lighting tools] In the last part, we can go into
some detail about lighting tools like the fusion, gels and bounce
cards. The fusion paper, for example,
allows for you to make your light softer whereas a gel actually changes
the color quality of your light. Let’s say you want your subject
to have a soft glow or to make your subject feel a little more
approachable or casual. How do you do that if all
you have is a giant bright harsh light bulb shining on that
making him look well, scary and unapproachable? If you want
to soften that harsh light, you might want to consider using a diffusion.
A bounce card is basically just a giant white board which you make
out of Styrofoam or a poster board; and you use it to bounce light
from lighting source onto your subject to fill in shadows even out the
quality of the light or add light to areas where it’s not being hit
by the lighting source that you have. When you are outside, the
thing I think you need most is a bounce card because you use
that to fill in the shadows of your subjects face because
if that is what you will be focusing on that is something very important
especially for things like a close ups medium shots, a bounce card will
allow you to actually be able to shape the light coming from the
sun. Bounce cards are a diffusion cause a lot of times, direct sunlight is very harsh or creates shadows. You can throw up a
diffusion and make sure the shadows of the diffusion cover
the subject’s face and makes it a little more evenly lit. Often times
when we go outside, that is all we take along with us–a
bounce card and some diffusion. If you want your light to give off
a particular mood, consider giving a color that helps achieve that feel.
For example, if it’s a party scene, color lights work great in party
scenes. By giving your light a hint of color or a bolder color
you can change to mood of your scene and if yellow for example might
make you feel a little more joyful whereas a bit of red might send off
warning or danger. So in terms of really bold color choices, we did a video called Arcade Dominator or Redocs where I do action scenes once again inside
the arcade, and we went for a very neon look in there. It’s
almost like a party scene, so we were very bold with the colors we were
going for; so generally blues, purples magentas and we were all
over the place with it so it was an opportunity for us to determine the
mood, determine the feel in the space where generally you couldn’t really
see much if you just put the camera up and started shooting. Probably the
best part of lighting is that you can take familiar environments and
transform them. Thank you very much for watching.
If you want to check out more lessons like this one from the
Creator Academy, click over here. And if you want to see some of
the stuff that we do check out youtube.com/rocketjump
or just click over here.


53 thoughts on “Effective Lighting For Increased Video Quality (ft. Freddie Wong)

  1. Super interesante este video, me ha ayudado mucho, desde que soy Youtuber he batallado mucho para conseguir la mejor iluminación, gracias por compartir este video! Saludos!

  2. Awesome! Great to hear from Freddie, I haven't seen his stuff in a while I need to go back!

  3. My biggest issue in my small area is finding the best possible lighting with my ceiling lights and desk lamp! I always wondered i got such a warm look to the light (almost too warm) and i guess all i am needing to Invest in, at the moment, is a different type of bulb. Does anyone have any recommendations on what sort of lamp/light to purchase that could be useful for a small bedroom in general?

    Thankyou once again @YouTube Creators

  4. Thanks for making this video. Super helpful. I love that you have affordable options that anyone can try.

  5. Lack of light on my videos directly correlate to how heavy I had to rely on effects! I'm curious how many people Freddy had to direct the lighting in the film noir scene.

  6. It seems to me that the speaker's relentless gushing speech is less effective than it could be if he breathed and let the viewer breathe and think.

  7. unfortunately, this guy is rambling on and on.. i lost him and had to go over to other YouTube channels that did a much better job of dispensing quick and easy lighting tips.

  8. WOW, warm lighting. I am not sure whether I should to apply this lighting to my screen while capturing, or camera insert during teaching how to program MCU?

  9. cool, I was looking for tips of lighting set and audio recording and youtube promoted me several useful ones. Thx

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