Web Shows: Lighting Tips on a Budget
Lighting is a very important part of web shows, but the budget for web shows will be reduced compared to full blown concerts. However, just because you are functioning on a budget does not mean that the light quality should suffer. The lighting that is used is just as important as the performance and content of the video. The key to getting the most from your lighting equipment is the ability to mix and match and be as flexible with the equipment that is on hand.
Using direct light is the easiest because it does not need to bounced
off anything or shaded. Think of this like the uncovered light bulb.
Almost any type of device can produce direct light which can be used to
create very intense shadows. Using a desk lamp found at home, it is
possible to easily create direct light.
3 Main Lights
Of any type of lighting, it is best to have 3 light sources. The main
lights should include a key light, fill light and back light. These
lights can be arranged in different positions to create different
lighting effects. When creating a web show, there is a lot that can be
done with only 3 lights. Experiment with how changing the angle of the
light changes the look of the video.
It is possible to create your own color gels with simple office
supplies. Color gels can be expensive and they are not always necessary.
To create your own, see about finding different colored transparencies
at an office supply store. These will be heat resistant, as they are
used on overheads. Simply tape it to the front of your light, and you
have an instant color gel for a fraction of the price.
Fog or Mist
In order for rain, fog or mist to appear on the camera, then it needs
to be back lit. Back lighting can easily be attained with any old light
that is found in your home. Simply swap out the bulb for a low wattage
so the back lighting does not overpower the scene. If you have too much
backlight, then it is impossible to see the performer's faces.
Range of Light Bulbs
Have on hand a range of different light bulbs ranging from 200 watts
to 500 watts. It is not necessary to buy the most expensive bulbs
either. These lights will not be on at all times so ones with shorter
life spans can help keep costs down.
The best way to be able to create directional light is to have the
light mounted on tripods. This way, you can be shooting and still
achieve the lighting you desire easily. There are special light tripods
that are relatively inexpensive and can be found in a local hardware
Light diffusers make the light appear as if it is coming from all
over instead of one direction. The easiest way to achieve this is to
bounce the light off a white wall. If this is not possible, then an old
white bed sheet can be hung in front of the light. It will be necessary
to build the framework to hold the sheet, though an old clothes drying
rack works well.
It is possible to do final light tweaks using video editing software. This is a good option if you do not have a lot of light equipment to work with.