In videos, just like in photography, using the right lighting is crucial. The word photography, in fact, comes from the Greek words φως, φωτός, which means “light”, and γραφή, γραφής, which means “writing”.
It is light, in fact, that describes the space and creates the image, or in the case of video clips, the sequence of images. Without the right light, the image loses quality and it becomes impossible to create a good product.
When making stock videos, you must also take into account the competition: to sell well, the clips must be original and well made, otherwise you will be quickly overtaken by those who offer better quality work.
For this reason, it is important to have the most suitable tools available, choosing appropriately between camera and video camera, but also to learn how to navigate the most suitable lenses and select the best settings for your shoot.
If you want to go beyond standard shots, it is not enough to be satisfied with the classic lenses that the camera is equipped with, especially since these generally offer common and overdone views, which do not allow you to obtain particular effects and quality.
Generally speaking, the less technical means you have at your disposal, the more skilled you need to be: if the lights are poor, if the resolution is low and there are only basic lenses, it will become essential to call on all your skills to overcome the technical limits.
This does not mean that it is not possible to do a good job even with limited means, but it is certainly much more difficult.
Optimizing set lighting is important for the success of the video: this does not mean that a clip with perfect lighting will automatically sell better than one with worse lighting, but good lighting certainly makes the product more professional.
To achieve this, you need to make some important choices, such as deciding whether to shoot indoors or outdoors.
Depending on the locations where you choose to shoot, the brightness will also change and, as a result, different camera settings will be used, as well as additional lights if needed.
Indoors and outdoors have different brightness levels, as well as, of course, day and night. If you decide to shoot outdoors, you will need to organize your schedule so that there is not too much light.
The rule for good light is very simple: if you can keep your eyes open naturally without sunglasses, it means that the light is suitable.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of shaded areas. Not that shooting in the shadows is simple, on the contrary. In that case, you should film the whole clip in the shade to avoid burns in the background.
Weather conditions can help, for example, if the weather is cloudy, the flat light may help, but may not necessarily be the ideal solution for the type of clip you intend to film.
Stock videos, however, benefit from having a lot of freedom of choice, as there are generally no special scene requirements, unless you are sure you want to film under specific conditions.
Consequently, choosing whether to shoot a clip at night or during the day may depend solely on the taste and possibilities of whoever is filming.
The night has several advantages, from less competition on stock footage platforms to the charm of the setting. However, the night is more difficult to capture in many ways, including lighting.
Color temperature and backlighting, instead of direct light, can create very pleasant atmospheres and reproduce, for example, moonlight.
If it is true that light draws the image, then its quality and color can be used to give an interpretation to what is being filmed.
Sometimes it is not necessary to add too much light, just enough to give the right touch to bring out the authenticity and naturalness of the scene. Bear in mind that when it comes to stock, there is a wide choice: it is better to use, for example, the parts of the room that are naturally bright, so as to have to intervene as little as possible with artificial lights.
Furthermore, with regard to light color, you can play with colored lights and gels to obtain different temperatures and shades.
Color is often able to make the scene more interesting, especially when it needs to be illuminated in a particular way, as is the case, for example, if artists, musicians or tattoo artists are present.
Once you have chosen your subjects, whether they are indoors or outdoors, you have to establish what you want to communicate, because light plays a fundamental role on an emotional and communicative level.
If possible, the best choice is always to use good natural lighting and only carry out small touch-ups, never direct lighting. It is also very important to know how to play with light and shadow, in order to create a sort of three-dimensionality in the image, avoiding flat and uncommunicative scenes.
Outdoors, too, it is best for those who make stock to not have to use too many tools to artificially illuminate. All the more so as the more lights you add, the longer and more complicated the management of the set becomes, taking time away from shooting. There are, in fact, many techniques to make excellent videos, simple and marketable, which can be used both outdoors and indoors, as we explain with many examples in our course.
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