Tips for shooting with artificial light

There are many ways that one can use artificial light to simulate the absence of genuine light. Here are 3 simple tips to make artificial light appear as if it is genuine light.

  1. When using artificial light you need to make sure that your lights are not directly facing your subject. Assuming you have a mid to low end camera, that can cause the subject to appear flat and unnatural. Either find a way to reflect the light, thus diffusing the light and causing the subject to seem more human.
  2. Positioning your lights can create several different moods within the shot. There are words in the business that you will come across that describe the different types of light: Paramount Lighting is referred to when describing the light is positioned above the subject to create a gentle shadow below the nose. Paramount Lighting is known to give the subject a more feminine look. Loop Lighting or Rembrandt Lighting illustrates when the light is off to the side of the subject creating a looped shadow next to the nose and a triangle on the cheek. Finally, split lighting which is harsh light on the side of the face to give the subject a more masculine look. Here are some examples of each.
Example of Paramount Lighting.
Example of loop/Rembrandt Lighting
Example of Split Lighting

3. Lighting your background to make your subject more prominent. Not lighting your background, although not a major issue in the cinematic world, can make the visuals less appealing for the user. I recommend using a tungsten light in the background when using a whiter light on the subject. This will show a clear difference between the subject and the background.


Austen Rudall – RGMedia

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