Lighting is a hugely important element of filming. If you don't have enough light your video will either be grainy or your viewer won't be able to see you clearly or it may give your video ominous undertones. If you have too much light, you or your subject will be washed out.
You don't need to go out and buy expensive lights when you start making videos. You have a free lighting source available to you almost 10 hours a day, 365 days a year. Yep, the sun! And chances are you have at least one window in your house. Well here's how to use it.
If you're using your smartphone to film, find a window that has a wall opposite. It can be a blank wall, or even better, with a non-distracting painting or picture on it. Stand in front of the wall (not right up against it) with the window lighting your face.
If you're using a DSLR, you have the added advantage of blurring out your background. So find a window in front of a background that isn't too distracting. This can be a wall, but doesn't have to be. Either dial down the aperture and/or use a zoom lens to blur out the background. I would suggest not going lower than f4.0 as then the depth of field will be so shallow that when you move while on camera you may go in and out of focus. Also, the further you get away from your background, the more you'll be able to blur it out.
You can also use the window to light the side of your face if you can't stand directly in front of it and use what is known as a reflector to bounce light back onto the other side. A reflector can be many things. It can be a reflecting disk, a white board, polystyrene board that often comes in flatpack furniture, white foam core board, or almost any hard white surface.
How to take advantage of natural lighting
Recently I changed my home office around to take advantage of the natural light I have available. Check out what I did in the video below:
However, the only downside is you can't control natural light. So if you have a partly cloudy day you'll find that the sun peeks in and out from behind clouds your lighting will change when you are filming. So try and film on a completely cloudy or completely sunny day (as long as the sun isn't beaming directly on you).
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