Video Production Fundamentals: 6 Tips in Shooting Low-Light Locations


Light opposes darkness – this is a universal law. Without one, the other cannot exist, though; and without light, there isn’t going to be any good video at all. Lighting is key in shooting proper web videos. If you have to live with poor light quality, lack of detail or bad color, then what sort of video do you think you’d be able to produce?

There are a few things that can help you shoot better when faced with low light conditions. They include altering settings, or being able to come up with extra lighting. By themselves, video cameras are not designed to shoot in low light conditions. With less light, the video could end up with under-saturated images, muddiness, low contrast, grains and even noise.

Add Camera-Mounted Lights

It is pretty simple to add extra light with the basic camera-mounted light. The mounted light is most preferable since it is pointed at the very direction where the camera is shooting. Other choices include the utilization of pre-existing sources of light such as a portable light that the coordinator brought with him or a reflected light from an outside source.

Bigger Aperture Means an Enhanced Video

Aperture, also known as the iris, can be helpful in low light conditions. The smaller number of the iris, the bigger the diameter, meaning, more lights get to stream in. A setting of 2 is good but if you could have a 1.4 then that is the best that you can get. 

Learn the Science Behind Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is equal to exposure time, meaning, the lower the speed, the lengthier the exposure time is. Set it at 1/60th of a second for standard lighting but for low light locations, just lengthen the exposure time for every frame.

‘Need More Light? Use a Lower Frame Rate

Frame rate is the number of images that you are able to capture on film. You can use digital cameras at 24 frames each second. NTSC for American Television is at 23.976 while the PAL/SECAM for International Television is at 25.

Using progressive scan means having higher frame rates. The standard for most video cameras is at 30.

Lowering this rate from 30 to 24 fps allows for longer exposure, hence, more light could get in. This should brighten the video, the best thing that you can do when shooting landscapes or buildings.

Make ISO Your Last Choice

ISO is no less than the International Organization for Standardization. One of the standards that they were able to create is the scale for the speed of the film. If you don’t use this properly, you get to hear noise or see distorted images on the video.

Keep in mind that changes can either degrade or improve the video. Use ISO scale only when you have absolutely no other choice. 

Digital SLR Should Do the Trick

Using a DSLR camera for shooting videos can give you wide range of options which you can mix and match. Through trial and error, you will soon get the best possible image for your video. Study the settings and use them to your advantage. Find the one that can be used for low-light video shoots.

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