What You Need to Know Before Shopping for Lights for Video

In this detailed video, Basic Filmmaker gives you a complete overview of the things you need to know before investing in a lighting system for your video needs.

Any photographer or filmmaker knows that it all starts with light. The difference between a snapshot and a work of art is often the photographer’s ability to control the level of illumination entering a scene, directing it where he or she wants, and removing light when it is unwanted.

When moving from stills into video, I’d argue that lighting takes on an even greater importance, as moving images rarely offer the same level of post-production latitude afforded to still imagery, which can often be fixed with the simple move of a slider. Instead, the emphasis when shooting video is to get it right the first time, capturing as much of the final image in camera as possible.

Fortunately, manufacturers have stepped up to the plate to constantly produce better and better lights to suit every one of your cinematic needs. Large sources and small sources. Hard lights and soft lights. LED, HMI, Tungsten. The options are seemingly endless. But the endless possibilities can also make it difficult for new videographers to make purchasing decisions.

What does CRI mean? Why would you choose one color temperature versus another? What tools do I need to get the result I am envisioning for my project?

In this fun and informational video from the Basic Filmmaker channel on YouTube, the moderator does a great job of breaking down different types of light and lighting devices in a way that is easy to understand. So, if you are just getting your feet wet in the world of cinematography and lighting, do yourself a favor and have a take the time to check out the video. Your creativity and your wallet will thank you.

And if you really want to dive into video, check out "Intro to Video: A Photographer's Guide to Filmmaking!"

Christopher Malcolm's picture

Christopher Malcolm is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, fitness, and advertising photographer, director, and cinematographer shooting for clients such as Nike, lululemon, ASICS, and Verizon.

Log in or register to post comments