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How to Light for Photography, Video and Film Shoots

Studio LightingGood lighting is essential to creating the best look for photos, video and film. Photographers and lighting designers use a variety of techniques and tools to light camera shoots. Special attention must be paid to the sources used and the direction in which they are positioned.  Intensity must be controlled to achieve proper exposures and to balance brightness between multiple sources. Color plays an important role in establishing mood and setting for photos and video. Also consider how shaping the beam might help to imply space or otherwise improve the captured image.

Follow these simple tips for good photographic lighting technique:
  • Even small variations in intensity and beam shape can have significant impact on the end result.
  • Careful positioning of fixtures will allow you to define space.
  • Color correction helps to create a cohesive look, but it’s also the basis for color enhancing camera effects such as white balancing to an overcorrected color in order to increase saturation of a complimentary color.     

The best recommendation is to make plenty of test shots, and to have the tools you may need ready. Practice lighting a scene to find color combinations that work well with your lighting kit, or explore diffusion and frost combinations that evoke indoor or outdoor spaces.  When you get on location you’ll know exactly which sources and filters to pull to get the shot.