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Old 05-20-2019, 11:35 PM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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Default Video recording question-lighting

How big of a difference do ring lights make when recording yourself play? It makes a difference for those who record close ups (makeup tutorials) , but for a recording with a camera that's 1.5 to 2m away, would it still hold its effect? I've shot a video with no ring light and the lighting was atrocious. Curious to hear your experiences!
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:18 AM
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You mean a ringlight vs. a standard light? Ringlight is just a bigger light source than a regular rectangular shaped video light. The longer the distance, the less difference there is in the quality of the light. Up close, the ring light will produce a flatter, more even lighting. But unless it's a really large light, it needs to be very close to have that effect, at least more so than a regular video light source.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:56 AM
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It can make a huge difference. Hard lighting, from a small light source, casts hard, deep shadows. Soft light softens contours and is more pleasing for videos. Different light sources can also exacerbate skin tone inconsistencies and blemishes making skin look blotchy. Soft light and makeup help smooth and balance these skin tones.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:09 AM
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I wouldn't use a ring light for video. In photography they are mostly used for fashion. Get some cheap work lights at your local hardware store and experiment with placement. Think key light, fill light, and background light.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:16 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Acuff View Post
I wouldn't use a ring light for video. In photography they are mostly used for fashion. Get some cheap work lights at your local hardware store and experiment with placement. Think key light, fill light, and background light.
This. And you do effective, cheap diffusion with white nylon from the fabric store draped over mic stand booms (or whatever you've got).
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
This. And you do effective, cheap diffusion with white nylon from the fabric store draped over mic stand booms (or whatever you've got).
Hi all

Or even inexpensive translucent shower curtains and gaffer tape.



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Old 05-21-2019, 10:28 AM
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I'm a professional photographer and videographer by trade. I shoot weddings for a living.

If you can spend a little bit of money on lighting, there are many options available these days for not a great amount of cash. Seriously, it used to cost a lot to get anything like the gear that out there now for chump change. Not all of it is high quality, durable gear, mind you. You'll pay for that still, but the bang for buck is great...except it's made it cheaper for my competitors to weasel business away from me (but I digress).

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.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:19 AM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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This gave me a wealth of information about lighting, a big thanks to you guys!

Im not familiar with the purpose of diffusing lights. seems like a big deal. does even out the light source, so it isn't concentrated in one direction?
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:48 PM
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It's in one direction, but from a bigger source. For instance, a window is one large light source, but the light is coming from one direction, the window. It's all relative. The sun is a small light source in our sky, relative to the size of the sky. Of course, the sun is very big, though, much bigger than our sky. But since it's far away, it's small in perspective.

As you are looking at the light that hits your subject, if it's coming from a small light source, it will create harsh shadows, and only light part of the subject. A large light source will give a broader "wrap" of light, so there are less shadows, and it will give a softer effect. So the idea is, the closer a big light source is, the softer the effect of the lighting will be, the shadows will have smoother edges and there will be less shadow length. The smaller the light source, and/or the further away, the more pronounced and defined are the shadows, so the effect is more harsh lighting.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
This gave me a wealth of information about lighting, a big thanks to you guys!

Im not familiar with the purpose of diffusing lights. seems like a big deal. does even out the light source, so it isn't concentrated in one direction?
Softbox lighting modifiers are large diffusers and they mimic window light. Soft diffuse light is generally flattering and it's popular for beauty and wedding photography. You can get very nice lighting by sitting so that your are lit by a window and using a reflector for fill. White foam core board or poster board makes a good reflector for adding some fill.

If you see a lighting set up that you like the look of you can backwards engineer it. Look in the subject's eyes and you'll see the lights reflected. That will tell you how many lights were used and how they were arranged.

If you want more character and dramatic modeling then a directional light source is better than a window or soft box. As I said before you can do some pretty good lighting on the cheap with work lights and materials found at Home Depot. The famous photojournalist Eugene Smith defined available light as "any light that's available."

When you want to add some warmth or color to your lights you can pick up some colored gels from a photo store. Don't be afraid to experiment.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:18 PM
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Yes, by all means you can experiment with windows. and reflectors...make use of available light. That is what photography is all about.

However, assuming this is for taping oneself playing a guitar, the idea is probably to just get good light on the guitar and player, so that they can be seen well in the video. I watch lot's of videos done at home by these players, and as a videographer I can tell you all the things they did wrong with lighting. But that's not the purpose of the video, and often the video is filmed in a setting where maybe they want a certain background in the video, or even what may be often the case is they don't want a certain background in the video. These restrictions often cause the player to sit in poor lighting, and since the camera used to film them is often in total automatic mode, it's not really set properly to even make the best of a bad lighting situation.

So with all this in mind, back to my original suggestion. I would tell almost everyone of the home guitar player film makers, just get a pair of lights on lightstands with large(ish) white translucent shoot through umbrellas to either side of the camera. Get the lights in a white/daylight color and the video will look reasonably good 99.9% of the time no matter what the setting, unless there is an extremely bright light source directly behind the player. That is a simple, fool proof setup that is cheap, easy to store, and can be replicated almost anywhere, anytime.

Now if you want to experiment and get creative with lighting, or shoot more outside where it's brighter than the lights...then you can do things all kinds of different ways, with all kinds of different results. There are no rules, and all the rules can be broken anyway.
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:13 PM
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As suggested for shooting playing guitar indoors, you can get inexpensive photo studio lighting from around $40 to $150

Check out this Amazon page

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=photograp...l_8zzi4txpex_e
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
As suggested for shooting playing guitar indoors, you can get inexpensive photo studio lighting from around $40 to $150

Check out this Amazon page

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=photograp...l_8zzi4txpex_e
Yes, this is exactly what I was talking about. $38 & free shipping.

https://www.amazon.com/Photography-U...gateway&sr=8-8
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
This gave me a wealth of information about lighting, a big thanks to you guys!

Im not familiar with the purpose of diffusing lights. seems like a big deal. does even out the light source, so it isn't concentrated in one direction?
Hi CLIS

Yes - it diffuses (spreads) the light and softens it.

We refer to direct light (bare bulbs, sun etc) as hard light, and when you use a soft box it diffuses the light (as do clouds, or sheer curtains on windows etc.). Hard light can be aimed into a white reflector (like a sheet of poster board) to soften it as well, and then bounced onto the subject. We don't want to turn a spot light onto a person who is playing/singing. We want to spread the light out so it looks pleasant.

All my studio strobe soft boxes are double diffused, and lined with shiny/aluminum surfaces so they bounce the light around and softens/spreads it. Video lights tend to not be as bright as strobes, so they often only need a single layer of diffusion. My normal video setup has 3 LED light panels (all the same color temperature). One as a key light, one less powerful as a fill light (from the other side) and a back light to highlight the hair.

You can get by with only 2. If you mix your video lights with room lights, you may get wonky colors.





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Old 05-29-2019, 06:19 PM
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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?
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