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Old 05-29-2019, 07:16 PM
RGWelch RGWelch is offline
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Originally Posted by anton View Post
Great discussion. I have been looking at getting some lights so my youtube guitar videos look better.

What is the difference between the white umbrella lights and the bit more expensive square LED lights? Is one preferable to the other for shooting indoors?
The square LED lights are a smaller light source, would be better for video on the go. If you are handholding a video camera, moving around with it, then a on-camera mounted LED light might be good to have if you are in low light situations, or as fill light. They also are battery powered, so no power chord to worry about. However, if you are stationary, then they are a more expensive option to the umbrella and bare bulb option I linked to earlier, and are not going to provide better light, unless you want a harsh lighting look. I'm not sure why anyone would want a more harsh looking light, at least if you are just filming someone playing guitar, so I don't see a point in spending more money for that. Get a couple of light stands, bare bulb holders with some white/daylight balanced bulbs, and white shoot through or bounce umbrellas. All that can be had for less than $50 for a pare of them. A square LED light usually cost more than $50 for just one with a battery, and that doesn't include a stand.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:07 AM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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Making good progress with my setup. Thanks again everyone.

What would you suggest for a background? Got an orange wall that would be 1 foot or 2 away from my back. Thinking of draping a black curtain behind it..What do you think?
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:01 AM
Pat Foster Pat Foster is offline
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Of everything I read about lighting, I learned the most from this book:

Light: Science and Magic - An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

It tells you about how light behaves, what to use to get the lighting you want. It's written for photographers, but a lot of it applies to video too.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:38 AM
pipe dreamer pipe dreamer is offline
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Originally Posted by RGWelch View Post

Anyway, I would suggest you look on Amazon for some inexpensive light stands, some "daylight" white balance bulbs and holders, and translucent white shoot through umbrellas (24"-36" size should be fine). All this shouldn't cost you much more than $50 for the whole setup for a pair of these. You can set them to either side of your video camera, which I assume you have a tripod for, and you'll be all set to film yourself in just about any light condition except full daylight backlighting. In otherwords, don't sit yourself with your back to an unshaded window, and you should be ready to rock.

This is very helpful! I actually have some of these inexpensive light holders that I tucked away ages ago as I was daunted about where to place them! Anyway, inspired by the thread I just did a quick test and hey presto your advice is spot on. Funnily enough though the bulb just blew in one of the lights! so, it was a 135W 5500K 220V/50hz Tri Phosphor Ra>92. Most of those number mean little to me but just wondering if you'd advise a like for like replacement? they do seem pretty bright but I guess that's what you want when you say 'daylight'

Thanks and sorry if I'm hijacking the thread!!
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:28 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
Making good progress with my setup. Thanks again everyone.

What would you suggest for a background? Got an orange wall that would be 1 foot or 2 away from my back. Thinking of draping a black curtain behind it..What do you think?

As a photographer and video shooter, I'd recommend a mid-gray to dark-gray background instead of black if you only have a foot or two behind you to the wall.

Black background sucks up light and pure white backgrounds reflect light and show wrinkles and shadows. Unless you have room to separate yourself by 6-10 feet from a back ground, black backgrounds (or pure white) show too many wrinkles.

I regularly shoot both video and stills against either pure white or pure black, and we require 6 feet between subjects and backgrounds. When we are shooting pure white we have to over-light it to make it look pure white and not dirty.

A simple mid-gray looks nice. If it's a king or queen sized sheet, iron it before you hang it.

I use this portable frame kit for portable work when I need to set up and tear down (CliCk here) and it works with a king sized top sheet.

Hope this adds to the discussion…

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Old 06-04-2019, 09:20 AM
gfirob gfirob is online now
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I would add that the lighting instruments themselves are only the hardware. You need to think about (or learn about) what kind of lighting is pleasing and what is not. Which side of the camera or the subject to you want your key light to come from? How much modeling do you want and so on.

Regarding a background, I agree that black is death, but the best backgrounds are out of focus, which means you need distance between the subject and the background. This also speaks to the lens you use (wide angle or long lens).

The best advice I give people in this situation is to look at a lot of performance music videos, choose the ones you like and figure out why you like them, what it is in the production that has contributed to a pleasing look to you.

There is an odd inclination on many performance videos to use low lights with blue and or red gels on the lights, which almost always looks awful. You can always add red or blue in post production but it is almost impossible to take it out. So I would avoid the casual use of colored gels unless there is a compelling reason to us them.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:20 PM
anton anton is offline
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I picked up a pair of basic lights off Amazon based on this discussion. Finally got around to setting them up, its a definite improvement over regular room lighting.

I need to get some sort of backdrop cloth next, but its a start
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