What's in this session?

  • Lighting does not need to feel intimidating
  • What is dramatic lighting?
  • Use fixed or flexible lights
  • The key to creating drama
  • The greater the contrast you can create in your video, the greater the drama you can project

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Look, lighting is the biggest factor when it comes to capturing great looking video. But if you’re a beginner, it can feel downright intimidating. In this video, I’m going share with you the absolute easiest lighting technique for getting that dramatic look, even if you’re just starting out. Well hey there, I’m Brady Shearer from Storytape.com, a cinematic stock footage site that gives you access to unlimited video downloads for one low monthly cost. We publish video production tips and tricks on this channel so make sure you hit the subscribe button below to get the next video, and if you like this video, make sure you hit the like button as well. I think we can all agree that proper lighting is a key element to a great video. But, lighting can also feel incredibly complicated. When I think about big productions with an entire team of people dedicated to executing the perfect lighting setup, I mean, it scares me just thinking about it. But here’s the kicker, lighting doesn’t need to be this intimidating. And I want to show you a simple dramatic lighting technique using just a single light to prove this point. What you’re seeing right now, is a scene we shot using this simple lighting technique. And to pull the curtain back a bit more to reveal what’s happening here, here’s a photo of our full setup and as you can see, aside from the candle which is only there for decorative purposes, we’re only operating with a single light in this setup. A single overhead light. And that’s the simple dramatic lighting setup that I want to breakdown for you. A single overhead light. Nothing more, nothing less. It gets better, because in this example, we’re not even using a video light, this is an actual light in our office. So we didn’t even spend money buying a light, we just used what was already hanging from the ceiling available to us. Of course, if you want more flexibility, you can use a video light. And in that case, I recommend the Westcott FLEX Light. The one I’m holding in this picture is the 1X1 Bi-Color Westcott FLEX LED Light, and while the FLEX Light is my go-to LED light for pretty much everything, it’s particularly useful in the single overhead light setup that we’re showing you here, because, as the name suggests, the FLEX Light is ultra-flexible, literally. You can bend it, you can shape, you can stick it into cramped spaces. Here are another couple of scenes we shot using this identical overhead lighting setup, but instead of an existing light in our office, we used the Westcott FLEX Light in our video studio. This gave us a bit more control over the look that we wanted, but at the end of the day, the lighting setup was identical. Now, you might be wondering, what makes this single overhead lighting setup so dramatic? Simply put, dramatic lighting is purposefully uneven. If you want even, uniform lighting, that will give you a more polished look, you generally will need to use more than one light and that’s where something like three-point lighting comes into play. Because with just a single light, you’re going to have great difficulty evenly lighting your subject. But in our case, when we’re trying to achieve a dramatic look, that’s perfect. Uneven lighting creates contrast. And contrast is the key to drama. In fact, the greater the contrast in your image, generally, the greater the drama. Simple as that. By now, I hope you have a solid understanding of this outrageously simple, and yet, highly powerful dramatic lighting technique. And even if you’re a beginniner, you can begin using this lighting setup right away. Want to know the best part though? Well, if you liked the look of the clips we used as examples in this video, you need to know that these clips can be downloaded instantly by you along with more than five-thousand other clips and used royalty-free in any of your creative projects. It’s all part of a platform we built for you called Storytape. Storytape.com, it’s a stock footage site that gives you unlimited access to thousands up thousands of cinematic video clips, shot in 4K ProRes, we add more than a thousand new clips every single month, and did I mention that there’s no download limit? Other stock footage sites will charge you anywhere between $200 and $500 just for a single ten-second 4K clip. Hundreds of dollars for just one clip. It’s insanity. Storytape.com gives you access to thousands of 4K clips, shot with our high-end cinema cameras for an affordable monthly cost. So go to Storytape.com and check out all that we have to offer. Again, that’s Storytape.com, where, finally, you can license unlimited video downloads on a single subscription, including every single video clip you saw in this lighting tutorial. Thanks for watching this video, and I’ll see you in another one.



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