cheap lighting techniques
I am using the Canon XL-1 to shoot some stuff over the weekend.
I mostly work in post, but I have been on some shoots, and I was wondering if there are any tips on achieving nice light for a simple shoot?
Like I know there is a way to use 100 watt bulbs and China Lamps, how do you set that up and what do you need for all that?
Are there any inexpensive tips people might know?
Hi yes there are some simple set ups you can do. It depends a lot on what kind of lighting you are trying to do. If you’re trying to do interviews you would do one thing if you’re trying to film drama you would want to create more mood with the using lighting. A bit more detail would be helpful.
However here are some simple tips:
One china lamps are good, you can use 100 watt up to 250 watt bulbs. You are going to need some diffusion for the bottom of the china lantern as it spills light from it. Use some Lee gel 250 or 216 or opal diffusion. If you don’t know what I am talking about you can look it up on the net and even buy some craps on ebay. Maybe you have no time for any of that. Okay here is what you do. You can get that white gift wrap paper that you get when you go to Macys or other department stores, it’s kind of like draft paper you can also get it at art supplies stores and at gift stores as its used as filler in rapping presents so items don’t get damaged if you still don’t know what I am talking about look at the china lantern it’s the same paper the lantern is made from or you could use bleached muslin. Ok if all that is till about of your reach go find a white cotton bed sheet, but it’s really going to kill a lot of your light so you will need more light. Okay once you done that the next thing is that China lantern s throw light everywhere. While it’s a nice soft light it lights up in every direction. There are few things you can do, one you can paint the top half of the lantern so it only spills light down ward this could be helpful if you looking up and you don’t want to see a supper bright ceiling. Or you could paint half the side of the lantern so it only shines forward not in every direction. If you want something a bit fancier and more pro you could buy or get your hand on some Duvatin its black material used to block out light in comes in rolls. Again try eBay or check the net. No time for that either okay grab some black fabric and wrap it around and use some close pins or metal binding clips to attach. Okay as a last resort you can use heavy black garbage back but I don’t recommend this as it could melt under the heat. But I done it before when I was overseas and could not find anything I need. The next thing is you need to hang the china lantern; you should be able to use tape to rig it up. There are so many ways I could not begin to explain them all to you. But some tape and a ladder and some spring lips should do the trick.
Second if you have no lights you can go to home depot and buy a home depot 1000 watt construction light it comes with stand and all. First thing with this light is that you don’t want to use the light directly as it won’t look very nice. Find something white to bounce it off from. Use a ladder to help hold up the white card or foam core or even white wall will do.
You should get some dimmers from home depot for the china lanterns and get about couple of extension cords.
Okay there is a lot more to it and I am sure every dp will be telling me I am over simplifying it. But it can be done and you can make it look good just have to take the time to try it and test it out before going out and shooting.
This is a video I worked on where we used this set up for. Let me know what you think?
Awesome! Thanks Sir.
That video you posted looked great, and that lighting set up is what I am trying to go for. Like a 1:1 kinda commercial look, pretty simple.
I was able to track down some China Lanterns at Pier One Imports where they are always in stock, some stores don't have them year round.
I also grabbed some wax paper from a store to diffuse light.
I have access to a work lamp (like the ones at Home Depot) and I have a white foam board to bounce light off of. I may not need it however.
Thanks for the tips, I'll surely use them! If anything else comes to mind please post it.
Here is a short video with some unique video lighting techniques that may help you add a professional touch to your video.
Thanks guys! This really helps.