Good Lighting For Film & Video at Any Budget | Hallease | Skillshare

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Good Lighting For Film & Video at Any Budget

teacher avatar Hallease, Digital Storyteller, Video Producer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Mise En Scene (Framing)


    • 4.

      One Point Lighting


    • 5.

      Two Point Lighting


    • 6.

      Three Point Lighting


    • 7.

      Practical Lighting


    • 8.

      Gear Recommendations


    • 9.

      White Balancing, Color Temperatures & RGBWW


    • 10.



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About This Class

In this class, I’m going to teach some of the fundamentals of lighting yourself in videos. As video continues to be the shining star on the internet, learning to light yourself well can add a lot of value to your content. Whether you’re ready to invest in some simple gear OR you want to work with what you have available to you, I’ll go over different lighting techniques to make your videos have a unique look and feel. Do you want to experiment with RGBWW lighting so your videos can look like your favorite content creators? Okay, let’s do that! Do you want to figure out how to make that giant window in your bedroom give you an even dewy look? Okay!


This class will be great for anyone trying to learn the basics of lighting and framing regardless of your budget as a content creator. It doesn’t matter if you’re filming with a multi-thousand-dollar camera or your phone. Good lighting can take you VERY far! I’ll also cover some ideas around framing as well because I believe lighting and framing go hand in hand.


We’ll cover the following techniques and skills:

  • 1-point lighting
  • 2-point lighting
  • 3-point lighting
  • Working in mixed lighting conditions
  • Working with natural light and incorporating practicals
  • Color balancing & Picture Profiles and different lighting temperatures
  • Techniques to light yourself using minimal gear
  • Playing with colors in your lighting (RGBWW fun!)
  • Framing yourself in a space
  • Gear recommendations at any budget



My goal with this class is to teach you the fundamentals so you can begin to experiment with your lighting to help convey different emotions, build your personal brand, and enhance the story you want to tell.


For this class, you’ll need whatever device you shoot your videos on and a window that gets good light. If you have a basic light kit, that’s a bonus but not necessary.

By the end of this class, I want you to feel emboldened to make the most of whatever you have and if you’re ready to upgrade, know exactly what you need within the scope of your budget to make the most impact!

Meet Your Teacher

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Digital Storyteller, Video Producer

Top Teacher


I'm a digital storyteller, video producer, and YouTuber based in Texas. On my YouTube channel, I document my chaotic good life through documentary-style vlogs, tutorials, and reviews. I'm also the creative director of StumbleWell, my production company. We work with agencies/entities to tell their story through film and video while also creating original content.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] Hello everyone. I'm Halleas, a digital storyteller and video producer. Welcome to this much requested class, good lighting at any budget. I am so excited to demystify lighting and framing with you today. We've got a lot to cover in this class, but it's also going to be a lot of fun. Lighting can help convey a mood or feeling and help enhance your features, but it can often feel incredibly overwhelming. My goal with this class is to teach some of the basic fundamentals of good lighting. Then also give you some technical knowledge in regard to color temperature and incorporating different kinds of lights into your space. As your teacher, I want you to feel well-equipped to utilize whatever gear you have at your disposal and make the most out of your space, whether that's a big window, a set of LED panels, a bed sheet, or a prosumer lighting kit. Whatever you do or don't have is fine with me. We can work with it all. I think this class will be great for anyone trying to learn the basics of lighting and framing regardless of your budget as a content creator. It doesn't matter if you're filming with a multi-thousand $ camera or your phone. Good lighting can take you very far. Plus, I went to film school so you don't have to, if you don't want to. I want to share everything I've learned as a professional producer and run and gun filmmaker. For this class, you will need whatever you shoot your videos on and some light source. For some, that may be a Window. For others, it may be a basic tool light kit for. Many of you, it's probably somewhere in between, and that is fine. By the end of this class, I want you to feel emboldened to make the most of what ever you have. If you're ready to upgrade, know exactly what you need within the scope of your budget to make the most impact. I'm so excited to explore this topic with you. Let's get into this. 2. Class Project: Hello, and welcome back. I'm me, you are you, here we are. For our class project, I want to see your progress with lighting herself. I want a before, and after video, photo, or PDF. Show me how you used to light yourself in your space. Maybe pull from past videos you've made or recreate it, and then show me how you're lighting yourself once you've taken the class, and incorporated what I've taught you. Bonus points if you can walk me through your setup as well. I'm also all for using your project as a social media post if the spirit moves you. I personally love a good, here's how I light myself, IG reel or TikTok. If you decide to share your project outside the platform, make sure to tag me @hallease.mp4. Now, let's break down this class real quick. In the first part of the class, I'm going to briefly discuss framing because I personally think we can't talk about lighting without first talking about framing. If you don't believe me, just wait. Where you decide to put the camera can make a big difference in how you light yourself. Then we're going to go over three common lighting setups, 1,2, and 3 point lighting. With each setup, I'll try to show you a variety of ways to utilize different types of light. That way, whether you have some budget or no budget, you can see how this can work for you. In the second part of the class, I'm going to show you how to make the most of your phone, and your camera specifically regarding color balancing, and picture profiles. I'm going to talk through how you can approach situations with mixed light and color temperatures. Yes, we're going to go over how to incorporate RGBWW lights into your space if you so choose. Are you ready? I know I am. Let's do this. 3. Mise En Scene (Framing): Welcome back, and let's get into this first official lesson, which is all about framing or what the French call the mise en scene. The mise en scene is just a snazzy way of saying what's in the frame? Whether that'd be you, perhaps, even the angling, it's thinking critically about all of it. In this lesson, I'm going to go over how I framed this very shot and some good practices when framing. Again, this is a crucial step because you've got to decide where your camera goes first so you can figure out how to light yourself after. You're looking at me right now and it's aesthetically pleasing, hopefully. That's because I thought through these visual aspects when deciding where to set up my camera and ultimately place myself. The first thing I did was look for depth. Whenever I walk into any space that I'm going to film myself or a subject in, I try to find a place to put the subject and the camera that provides the most depth. In other words, it gives the subject enough space from the background. In some ways, this can be a stylistic or cinematic decision, which just means visually appealing. From a technical point of view, it can make the frame interesting, but not distracting or boring. For example, I could teach the entire class on a flat background like this, but are you interested right now? Is this visually even appealing for you? Or are you counting down the seconds until I get back to this, hi? It's okay. I was too, framing matters is what I'm getting at. I'll demonstrate it now by showing you a few different angles I considered before landing on this spot in my living room because we're still in these unprecedented times. I'm filming this class from home. Demonstration me. [MUSIC] Hello and welcome to my living room, in this demonstration, I'm going to show you how I walk into a space and what I look for in regards to framing. The big thing I try to do whenever I walk into a space is I think, how can I get the most depth out of the space? For example, the shot you're looking at me right now on, I am standing in the furthest corner in my living room, so that way you can see all the depth and space available behind me, because of that, I am separating myself from the background that much more. I think that's very important because you should think about your space and the background around you as a character as well. What do you see when you notice everything that's around me on top of noticing me as well? Welcome to my living room. I'm also going to show you a couple of other options that I considered before landing on the shot that you are watching me on for the main part of this lesson where I'm sitting at the desk and I'm also going to show you how I adjusted my desk for that shot as well. Let's keep moving through this. Let's go, here is a modified version of descolees who's sitting there with all the plants in the curated background. You'll see we have the same table here. We have those same shelves. There's a couple of new props in here because this is what my living room looks like before I set it up to shoot. But you can see it doesn't look too bad, except I'm ready to flush against the background. There's not really that much depth to me if you think about it of what's in frame, we're just getting me straight against the wall. When the reality is we can easily make some adjustments and just scoot things over slightly, and now we get way more depth. That's exactly what I did to achieve descolees that you were watching earlier. The first thing I did was I moved the camera. I'm going to go ahead and move it and I'm cutting to the whites. You can see what I do. But I went ahead and I moved the camera just to be right there. Now, the next thing I did was I ended up moving my whole table. I adjusted it so that way I can have myself sitting exactly where I wanted. Really quickly, I'm not going to go through the whole setup with you. But essentially what I did was I scooted my table all the way up to make sure that I was sitting somewhere in this realm, then from there, added in my lights and adjusted my background accordingly. In the shot that you see of me, you'll notice the piano is gone. I've added some props around me again, thinking about the full scope of my framing, the mise en scene everything that goes into it. That way you get a very full idea of who I am and what I do. Also, it's delightful to look at while you're learning how to light. Here we go. This is another open and airy look. Obviously, you'll see I'm backlit here because of the window. But I don't hate this. We're getting a smudge. We're getting more living room instead of couch. I don't hate this actually. We get a really nice open space. We see a little bit of my couch. We get these lovely bowls here in the corner. I'm back light right now, but that's okay because in the next few lessons we're going to learn about 1, 2, and 3 point lighting. Here is when I would start to add in lights to compensate for the fact that we have these epic windows. Now, I'm going to cut to another angle of myself so you can see how far off I am in a corner right now to get the framing of this shot. Everything is way over here so that you can see the full depth of all the space that my living room offers. That is how I'm thinking about framing myself. Now the demonstration Mia has shown you some concepts around framing. Take a look at the space you usually film your videos in. Where can you place yourself and your camera to find the most depth? Consider everything that you see in the frame as well, including yourself. It's okay if this takes you a while to figure out what looks good because it should. This took me like three hours to set up. Just FYI. It's okay if it takes you some time, especially if you're filming alone, whole different ballgame. Take your time and when you're ready, I'll see you in the next lesson. It's time to start lighting. 4. One Point Lighting: Welcome back. Let's officially start lighting. This class is called lighting at any budget. The easiest way to light yourself is by using the natural light around you. In fact, any time you've been outside or shot without any dedicated lights, you are probably using one-point lighting without realizing it. Congratulations, you're a baller. Every time you were taking a photo of your friend outside and said something like, "Hang on, face this way because you're a little backlit or the shadows are weird or it just looks funny," you are utilizing your one light source, the Sun, to the best of your ability. Now, let's translate that to inside and utilize the natural light in this room to light me. Demonstration holies, take it away. In this demonstration, I'm going to show you how I would utilize natural light of a space to light myself without any artificial lights at all. We're just going to work with the natural light that's coming into my living room. I thankfully have a living room that has very big windows, so this helps out a lot. But I think there are a few things you should always keep in mind whenever you are going to use natural light to light yourself. The first thing is where you position yourself to your window. I'm going to use this window right here to light myself. I have set up where I want myself to be as well. In the first lesson, the mise en scene, remember we walked through and I showed you different spaces or different angles that I think could work in this living room. This one isn't too bad either. The next thing, what I decided to do now is because I only have the natural light from a window, I now have to find a new space for myself to be. I can't be way off in a corner because the light from the window won't reach me over there. I have decided to sit on my little ottoman right here, right on the corner, and we'll switch to the other cameras so you can see what our framing is looking like. Here I am now, sitting on this ottoman. We still get a little bit of depth, not as much as I would like, but again, we're working with the one light source we have, which is the window. We're going to get some good light coming in. But the main thing that makes this work is the window's placement. I am sitting relatively at about a 45 degree angle away from the window, and so when it's lighting, it's going to light across my face like this. What that's going to do is it's going to create a very natural, what we call fall off off of my face, to give my face a very natural lighting. Since it's a window, it's also going to help light the background a little bit as well. Here we go, this is what it looks like, just using our one natural light to light ourselves as best as possible. Things to keep in mind with natural lighting, obviously, is if it's getting too dark, it's going to be that much harder for you to light yourself so think about the time of day that you decided to film. Like I said right now, filming this demonstration, I'm filming at 11:45, so the sun is more or less at its highest point. But for the most part, this is looking pretty good. Like I said, we have the hardest part of the sunlight hitting my face right along this side because I'm at a 45 degree angle to my window, and then we have a very natural fall off happening across my face. I think this type of lighting looks great on everyone because everyone looks nice in the Sun, I think. That's one-point lighting using a big window, which on a budget is going to be the easiest, cheapest, and best bet for sure. Now let's utilize one-point lighting using a physical light. We're not cheating, I'll close the windows so were truly only utilizing this one light. We're going to use this light. I really enjoy using this light because the modifier, this is called a modifier, the light itself is only right here, this is called the modifier, but I love using this light because this modifier creates a really, really soft light on the skin. I'm going to put it all the way up, 45 degree angle to me, aim it down at me right on the right side of my face and then we're going to adjust it accordingly to make sure it looks good. Let's go ahead and do that right now. Safety first. This light is a little heavy, so I have a sand bag to weigh it down so that way it does not fall. That looks good. Now we're going to angle it. I like that. Now we're going to hang on to it and grab our sand bag, place our sand bag on it. As you can see, it's pointing down, when I'm looking straight at the camera, it'll hit right there. It'll go a little bit further over, but I'm okay with that because this is going to be a one light setup, so I'm okay with it hitting a little bit right almost in the middle of my face rather than a harsh 45, that's okay. Turn her on. Striking. There we go. It's technically above me. You see how it's a little above me, but with these domes, I like to put it where it's hitting right there and I'm still getting that fall off. I'm going to make some minor adjustments. I'm going to go close our window so we're not cheating, but I'm going to now adjust the intensity of my light. I have it very low right now, and so I think I would like it a little bit higher so that we're getting a little bit more light. I'm going to turn it up. Here we are. Again, windows are closed. I can't block off all of the Sun coming in, but windows are closed, and as you can see here we are with one artificial light. You see, we get to now move. We don't have to use our windows. Our windows now become part of our mise en scene, actually if you want. You can see it's hitting right across my face, I'm getting some good fall off on this side, and so we're getting some pretty decent lighting on me with one light. I'm going to go ahead and show you a comparison now between using this one soft light versus our one natural window light so you can see the difference in how we each look. Now again. I'm using this light because it's nice and soft, it's giving a nice soft fall off, which I just enjoy as well. I'm going to also show you how to do this with a closer equivalent to a light panel, which is in our gear recommendations video, I will go into the different lights at different budgets. But I'm going to now show what it would look like if you used a light panel to do this same thing. I'll go ahead and put up a split view so you can see the comparison. Not terrible, we're still getting good fall off. It's just not as soft as I would say. I would call this a bit harsher light, but it still looks really good. I wanted to show you the difference because as you can see, it's doing the same thing, but it's a little bit what I would call harsher. The falloff on my face isn't quite as gradient as you would like with the soft light that I was using earlier, but light panels are a lot more common and a lot more cost effective options for most people if you are going to invest in some lights. One thing I will say is I did dim this light a little bit so that way it wasn't so bright. If the lights you have do not come with any dimming mechanism where they can be at different brightness, that's okay. The easiest way to dim a light is just to push it further away from you. This light, as you can see, is like maybe 2.5-3 feet away from me. If I wanted to make it not so harsh, my door is on the way, but I would move it back, so that way it's not so epic, not so bright on my face. Likewise, if I wanted to increase the intensity of this light, I would bring it closer to me if it did not have a dimmer, so keep that in mind as well. Just because your lights don't have a dimmer, doesn't mean you're trapped. You just have to make some adjustments of placement. Again, the big thing with using your artificial light is, you facing the camera, light is at a 45-ish degree angle away from you and is just above your face, tilted down shining. You want the goal of the light to hit right at the side of your temple, like right at your eye, so that way you have a nice fall off across your face. That way you can see what this looks like versus our one artificial soft light we used earlier and versus our window. We've officially shown one-point lighting with a couple of different lighting methods, not too bad. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you a two-point lighting and we're going to start adding some more lights and keep going. I'll see you over there. 5. Two Point Lighting: Welcome back. We're moving right along. Two-point lighting is really what most people use for any video they're working on, whether it's a vlog, a short documentary, or even a short film. Two-point lighting is the standard for lighting a subject, I would say. To limit confusion with two-point lighting, we have separate names for each light, your key light and your fill light. Your key light is the main source of light of the subject. In our case, it would be the light we used in the last lesson. Then your fill light is the second light you're using to fill out the subject. If both lights are artificial, each will be at a 45 degree angle away from you, slightly above your head and pointed down. The key light will be at a higher intensity than the fill light. The fill light will help add more light to your face, but still allow for some falloff, so you have a natural look to you. Notice again, we're not really worried about the background yet. We're just focused on lighting our subject well, but if any light makes its way to the background, then that's awesome. That's great. Let's utilize our window and one light source to do two-point lighting and you'll see how we can start to get lit really well with only a nice sized window and our one light. We're back here in our first setup that we used to just utilize our window. Now we're going to go over two-point lighting using our window and a single artificial light source. I'm going to go ahead and open our window back up. Here we are again, one-point lighting. We have our window about halfway open. It's hitting my face providing some nice spill-off. Now, we're going to incorporate one artificial light to act as our fill light. The thing to remember with this again, we're going to place our light at roughly a 45 degree angle from us again, raise it up, tilt it down. Let's do that. This is our fill. It doesn't need to be crazy bright. In this setup, our key is our open window. That is our strongest light because the Sun tends to be the strongest light. Then our fill light is our artificial light here to my left and we have it not very high up. Twenty percent is the intensity that we're going with, so it's not very bright at all. But you see now how it's starting to fill out this side of my face, hence the name fill light and you see, we get a pretty even lighting across the entirety of my face. Nothing's blasting it though. We don't have anything just blasting light straight in front of me. We're not getting any glare. What we're seeing is just a natural filling in of this side. As you can see, with just an open window and a single artificial light making maybe one strategic investment, you can look pretty well, I think. You can have your key and your fill and more or less have it settled, but we're not done. Let's go ahead and switch to our other background and now use two artificial lights and not any natural light to light me so we can see the difference. Let's head over there to that. We're back at our setup. [NOISE] Pulse, still there. Now we're going to show what we could do with two-point lighting. As you can see, I've already set up my lights here. We're going to go ahead and let this light, our dome, be our key and then we're going to fill in with this guy. As you can see, I am tucked away in a corner of the room as per usual. But here is our shot with no lights and our window is closed. Let's go ahead and turn on our key and figure out how we want to set up our key light and make sure it's in pretty good placement. Let's do that. Look at us and here is what we're getting with just our key light, looking pretty good. Again, 45 degree angle, angled up, down at me hitting. If anything, I would say it's a little low right now. Let's raise it up a smidge. Raise it up just a little bit more. One-point lighting with our dome. Looking pretty good. You see all of our falloff that we have right here on this side. Now, we're going to turn on our fill light to fill in this side of our face. Let's do that now. We're going to get this down to like 10 percent, so low. As you can see, here we are two-point lighting. We have our key on this side lighting the majority of my face and then we have our fill on this side just filling in to give more definition to my face on this side. I think it looks pretty good and bonus is our lights are hitting the background a little bit and helping to light it just a little bit. Not too much, but it is giving us a little bit more definition in our background. I think this looks pretty good. Again, I'll throw up a comparison between using one artificial light in the setup and now using two artificial lights in this setup. Now we're going to stay here in this setup and we're going to incorporate one more light. I think this is great for the majority of videos you can create as a content creator across your platforms. I think this looks professional and really nice. However, we have one more light that we're going to throw in. It is going to be a good time. I will see you in the next lesson. 6. Three Point Lighting: We've slowly been adding more and more lights. Let's add in one more. We've had our key light, we've had our fill light. Now let's add our halo light or back light. I love adding a halo light or back light. I've heard both terms used because they help to separate your subject more from the background and give them literally a halo around their shape. If you're a designer and illustrator, you think of a halo light as the real-life version of drop shadow, demonstration me. Take it away. I am back. We have our two-point lighting still set up, you'll notice a new third light is now behind me and we're going to incorporate this and create our halo light or our back light as well. Now a few things to think about when incorporating a halo light or back light. It can be a little tricky, especially if you're doing this and setting this up by yourself because you want it to hit right at the back of your head, like at your temple. That way it's just creating this halo effect around you. But usually, you don't want it in your shot, you don't want it visible. What you want to do is you want to try to place it just out of frame so that way it's not in your picture because usually, people can tell if you have a satellite in there and they're like, wait a minute, that's weird. Unless you're doing the whole deconstructed set thing, which it's becoming popular right now or you just acknowledge that you are in a space that is for filming, that's becoming a thing. But for now, we're going to pretend that that's not the goal. The goal is to hide our lights and make it look natural that were there. The first thing I'm going to do, and this is just another one of our lights here. I'm going to go ahead and raise it up more or less what I think it needs to be at. Probably there. Let's start with that. It's the same idea. Instead of it being necessarily at a 45-degree angle in front of you, have it be out of frame at a 45-ish degree angle behind you, to the backside of you on either side. For this angle, I think we might be able to wedge it right over here, just out of frame. In fact, are we out of frame? We are out of frame. Very bright. Let's drop it down a little bit. There we go. This is where we start to have to finesse and y'all are going to have to help me out. You see where we have it right now. Really strong, harsh hitting us and it's not quite back enough. We're going to make some adjustments here. Something else I'll do is I'll put my hand more or less where I think my head will be to make sure it's hitting where I want it to, so it's hitting there. I'm trying to see if I can fake it on this side. We might have to go on the other side, which is fine, but I don't know why. I just want to try to have it here if I can. That's not working. Let's switch sides. [NOISE] Yeah, there we go. Softer. Right there, you see how my hand is super bright right here. I'm not quite hitting it where I want it to be right now. If we look at my hand, you'll see exactly when it comes in, so you see dark, dark, and boom, that's where it's hitting, right there. I would need to stand right here in order for my back light to actually hit me. Whereas I want to be actually all the way over here. I'm too far away, what I'm going to do is something that I think anyone can do with just anything. Find something in your home that can be as tall as you, [LAUGHTER] or at least give you a guide to go off of. I'm going to put, this is like my little third camera that I'm using to help film this class. I'm going to put it right where I would stand and I may use that as my guide to figure out where to put this light. But I spend so much time playing to try to figure out what will look best. Now what I just added is very subtle and you see how it's hitting, right more or less at the back of my head. I'm going to make one more little adjustment because I think we're almost there, just like turn, and then are we in frame? This is when I yell, this is when I start playing and playing. [LAUGHTER] Eventually you have to just let it be. I'll just as a cinematographer and you all are all going to be your own versions of cinematographers by the end of this class because that's what lighting is. It's the cinematography, framing, lighting and you can just tweak and tweak, and eventually, you do have to just start filming. You have to just accept it and start filming. I like how this is looking. As you can see, it's hitting right at the side of my hairline. Now, if I were being super duper epic, I would keep fiddling, and fiddling with it. But for now, for this shot, I think that's pretty good. I like it because and you can see right where that's where it hits. There you go. You see if I put my hand there, I'm covering it and it's not haloing me anymore. Now it is. Now, this is pretty harsh. You will notice that I decided to go with a pretty harsh light. I don't have any covering. There's no covering on that light. I'm just letting it happen because sometimes I like my halo light to be a bit bam, like really hit to separate me, especially because my hair is darker. Now if you're someone with finer hair or your hair is blonde, very bright, then yeah you may want to not have such a harsh light as your back light. You might want some things to be a bit softer and really far removed from you, just really offering something soft behind you. But I don't mind this because my hair is really dark and thick, but this is pretty much what a halo light and back light does. It just literally accentuates you that much more from the background. I would also say that three-point lighting is a bit more what you see in a studio environment, so they tend to have a key, a fill, and a back light or a halo light. Yeah, something to think about. Their goal is really to separate you from the background as much as possible. With all of that, back to desk colleagues to round out this lesson. The halo light can be a bit tricky to incorporate because it usually can't be directly behind you or it ends up being in the shot, which is becoming somewhat popular actually like a deconstructed set or a set that's a bit more metal. Like we're solely aware that I'm in front of a camera filming right now. But generally, you like your lights to not be seen when filming. Your goal is to have your halo light at a 45-degree angle to either side behind you, just out of frame. You're trying to aim the light right at the back of your head. It's a subtle difference, but I think it really adds a lot and gives that little [inaudible] mixture. I'm saying that visual thoughtfulness. Just FYI, focus right here and with that, we've covered the basics of lighting. Is there more? Definitely, if you're up for it and interested, here are some terms to look up and start playing around with. We didn't touch negative fill at all. We didn't touch chin lights, that's a thing right now. Light modifiers, I mean, the list goes on and on. There's so much you can do. Now we're going to move into the next phase of this class because once you've learned the basics of 1, 2, and 3 point lighting, you can start to incorporate other lighting sources to enhance your measles thin. In the next lesson, we're actually going to move away from this setup. We can incorporate some practical lights and color lights. I'll see you over there. 7. Practical Lighting: Hey, you, welcome back. You'll notice things look a little different now. I was saving this angle of my living room just for this lesson because I have a few practical lights in it. For this lesson, we're going to start incorporating practical lights into a scene. This is exciting because it's how we start to combine everything we've done so far with our framing, giving our image some depth and separating ourselves, the subject from the background, but also creating a mood, a vibe, something razzle-dazzle to the frame. So let's define what a practical light is. A practical light is a light that is visibly present in the scene. Low key, it's a way for the cinematographer and lighting crew to work in lights without having to hide everything to light their subject. Remember in the previous lessons how I mentioned, you generally don't want lights to be visible in a scene, here's how cinematographers get away with that. Practical lights. I've used practical lights in my YouTube videos pretty regularly. It's an easy way to turn a meh background into wow background. So I use them a lot. So for example, I'm talking to you now from my kitchen. I think this background is actually pretty nice. It's giving clean, it's giving professional, it's a vibe. It's like, oh, are you a HDTV [NOISE] home person? Now, I'm going to go turn off all the practical lights. Here's what we have when we turn the practicals off. This isn't a bad shot, but now this doesn't feel so polished anymore and you're realizing, wait, she's filming a class in her kitchen girl what? It's giving me unprofessional. You know what I'm saying? That's the power of practical lights. My friends that is the power. I'm going to go turn them back on so I can look more professional. One sec. Much better. A few things to consider when incorporating practical lights into your scenes. One, experiment. If your space has lights built-in, turn them on and off after you've lit yourself first and see what they add or don't add to a scene. For example, in this apartment, the kitchen space has counter lights, which is obviously very helpful for cooking if you're cooking late or whatever. But it also is a really lovely accent. I decided to turn those lights on. My kitchen also comes with these little Edison incandescent bulbs right above the sink in the middle island. Again, I decided to turn them on because I think it just brightens up the space that much more. When I was first setting the scene up, I made sure to experiment. I turned the different lights on and off to see what would work best in framing myself and also offering me a little bit of a backlight as well. Something else I love to do when filming is if there is a door to a bathroom or a second room in my background, I'll just crack the door open and turn on the light. Again, it just continues the depth a bit more. You'll see in this camera for my second angle, I actually have the bedroom door open in the background and I have it cracked and you can't see it, it's really faint. But I also have a little bed nightstand light on in there as well, just to make sure we don't lose too much darkness back there that it doesn't get too dark. Now, again, experiment. This can always be something that you maybe decide you don't want to do. Maybe you've hidden a lot of props in your bedroom, for example, or you've moved things out of the way to film and you've put them in the bedroom. But for me, I wanted to really have a second shot that was just as long and nice and giving length and depth as my first shot as well. This is my hero shot. I did want to make sure that this shot look the best, I'm incorporating a lot of different practical lights, everything I've talked about in this video because this is the shot that you will see the most. But I also wanted to make sure that my second camera shot over here again has some depth, like we talked about in the first lesson. A lot of depth. I'm far off into the corner making more depth. Then also I have a light and you can see one of the lights in my frame. I made sure to adjust my second camera to where you still got one of these lights to also help orient you within the space a little bit more. Then finally, I made sure to leave my bedroom door open just a little bit. Again, we're not closing off and ending the depth there, we're letting it go even further. That way it feels like my apartment is a lot bigger than it actually is. My apartment is not that big. When incorporating lamps, make sure they're far enough away from you to not interrupt your main subject lighting. It also helps to have them pretty far away, so they're giving a nice softer light. If you're someone who films in your bedroom a lot, think about incorporating some desk lamp or nightstand lamp into your background. Actually, you know what? Let's do this real quick. Let's head over to my bedroom and I'll show you. Welcome to my bedroom. As you can see, it's pretty basic. It's a bed four white walls. I think this will actually be a really great example of how to incorporate some practical lights. Because I know a lot of content creators that film their videos in their bedroom because it's just the easiest place to do it. In this room, I have one big window all the way over here to my left. I've purposely closed it because for this, I don't want to use it because the time of day right now, the sun is just really harsh and it's not as soft as I want so we're not going to use that light. But I do have my main light right above me hitting me and giving a little bit of fall off to the background. So not too bad. I think I'm lit pretty well as is. But again, this is pretty boring, I would say. Let's incorporate some practical lights to just help make this as nice as possible. Obviously, it's not going to be this amazing [LAUGHTER] shot, but it's better than nothing. You can do a lot with it just a little bit and that's the point of this. First things first, remember our first lesson was framing. Where I'm sitting matters. I am currently at the farthest corner away from the bed, sitting on the literal corner of my bed. As you can see, I have most of the room behind me. I'm creating as much space and depth as possible within the confines of a pretty small room actually. The next thing I'm going to do is incorporate our bathroom light over here. I'm going to go ahead and go and turn it on just so again, we're extending the depth of the shot even further. We're going to play around with just having it all the way open. Let's just see what that does. You can't even see into my bathroom. Now we're getting an interesting orangey hue from the bathroom light. Don't hate that per se, we'll see if we still like it in a second. The next thing we're going to do is we're going to start incorporating some practicals and overall cleaning up our background even more. Let's see if we can add in a practical. Over on my husband's nightstand, he actually has a little bed stand light. Let's go ahead and just turn that on and just see what that adds. What does that do? Now we're getting into some fun color stuff. Oh, interesting. Again, we have our bathroom light which has a certain hue to it. Again, we will get into color temperatures and why they matter in another lesson, stick with me. But we have our bathroom light, and then we also have our night light, which also has a similar hue that we're getting from that. I don't hate this. It looks like it's coming right out of me which we could love or not love that. Let's see if we can play around with the movement. You can play around and move things. Don't be afraid to do that. I love how it's creating that bow right there. That's interesting. I don't need that. Let's do some cleanup. Well, notice that my side has a lot of things on it. This side is a bit messy. We do actually live here, so [LAUGHTER] it's a little messy. Let's clean it up a little bit. Then you know what I'm going to do? I have a little humidifier in my bedroom, I'm going to turn that on because it has little lights built into it. This is going to be fun. Let's clean this up. [MUSIC] This is looking good. Now, let's incorporate our light. This one actually changes color. [MUSIC] We started off with this, and now we have this. Again, really subtle changes we've made here. We've incorporated a few practical lights into this bedroom scene. If I wanted to take things a little step further to make things align with other parts of this class that I've shown you, I would probably incorporate a few plants. I just love plants. They're really easy props to incorporate into your mise-en-scene, into a set and they add a little bit of color, they add a little bit of literally life into a set. In fact, let's go do that real quick. I'll be right back. Let's add this one, it's nice and big and green. I like that. I like how it's falling off. Don't hate that. I don't hate that. If I wanted to take things a step further, I'd probably get a plant that's a little bit taller to give us less space here if negative space is not your jam. I like negative space because then you can do things with text on screen, you can have things appear. I think that plant will work. Then let's put something in this corner here. Let's grab another plant. I really like this one. [NOISE] ZZ plant. Because it almost hides the light if we want to. If we want to, might not want to. I feel like this is a pretty good look considering everything. Once again, we've incorporated three practical lights into this demonstration. We have three lights all more or less in the same color. We have myself being lit by one light right here. This is a one-light setup. I'm not doing a key and a fill, just a single light on me, and we have a little bit of extra light coming from this big window. I don't have it opened at all, I actually have it closed as far as I can close it. But just to add a little bit of leakage of light into the space to light the rest of the room and that's the point. I want to show that how you can make these little incremental changes can really add a lot of production value to the overall look of your video. That's a wrap on this demonstration, let's head back over the kitchen me to round out this lesson. Now, take a look at your spaces and your practical light sources and see if that changes your mind about your framing and depth. There are also a ton of YouTubers you can watch who incorporate practical lights as well. Go watch your favorite creators with a new eye for more inspiration. In the next lesson, I'm going to make a few gear recommendations for various budgets, and then after that, we'll get into a few more technical considerations before rounding out this class. I'll see you over there. 8. Gear Recommendations: Let's talk tech, let's talk here. I'm going to try my dandiest not to go overboard because as always, everything you do in regards to lighting should enhance the story you're trying to tell and you don't need lights to tell a good story or get your message out there. But lights have gotten really cool as of late, so this will be really tough for me. Everything I recommend in this video will be available in the resources sheet. I'm just saying. My most cost-effective recommendation, as always is going to be the sun. It's an amazing piece of equipment that is always at your disposal and you can manipulate it as well. You can purchase a reflector or a bounce for pretty low cost. You can utilize the sun as your key and then put your reflector or bounce as your fill. Here, I'll show you real quick. Demonstration me. A quick demonstration on using a reflector. We are here in our one lighting setup using just a window. I have one window open, the other windows are closed. You could easily open those as well to give yourself some more ambient light in your background. I'm going to open my reflector carefully. [LAUGHTER] As you can see how it is now getting the light from the window and bouncing it off. The goal is to place it in a way that has it bounce that light onto you. Shift it from side to side and you can see where it's hitting. In fact, I'll show you. If you focus right over there you can see how when I adjust it, it moves, and that's how you can tell where the light is hitting. Now I know I'm sitting right about here, so I'm going to have it be right there. I'm just leaning it up against a chair right now not even doing anything amazing, and there you go. As you can see, now the reflector is bouncing from the window, hitting and bouncing onto this side of my face. It's very subtle but as you can see, it fills the space out. Depending on what kind of reflector or bounce you get, they can be different colors. I think this one actually comes with a bit of yellow or orangey tint to it as well. As you can see I have it on the silver one right now, but it works great and it is a very easy thing to do. Here is the gold side of the reflector as well just so you can see what the difference is. Here's me with the white side of the balance. Now, obviously you're constricted with this method to certain times of the day and specific directions. But again, it's a very cost-effective method to light yourself pretty well with minimal gear. You're welcome. If you want the freedom to roam and maybe utilize the sun plus a movable light source and you don't want to break the bank, these next few options, they're for you. For the longest time, I owned these light panels from Smith Victor. Y'all listen. These lights right here, I've filmed short documentaries with these lights, client videos with these lights, countless tutorials with these lights, and tons of YouTube videos with these lights. You can buy a full kit for around $200. Two panels; your key and your film. The power for them, the stands, and the soft showcase to put them in, all comes with it. They're also dimmable and you can buy batteries to go with them as well so you can roam around without feeling the need to be plugged in. It's a really good deal. The con for them is they are only set to day light. That will make more sense in the next lesson, just stick it out with me, but just know that. They are only set to day light, you can't change the color temperature. The next slide I can recommend is this little guy from aperture. It's called the Aputure MC and it's an RGBWW light which means it can go through a combination of lighting colors. It's magnetic and can be controlled from your phone using their app. It comes with a silicon softbox and a compact little carrying case too. Everything you need for lighting on the go. It's a snazzy little light. You can buy one or two of these to act as your key in your fill or use them in combination with the sun and incorporate one as an accent light, for your background maybe or as your halo light as well. Now let's get into the lights I've been using throughout this class. A reminder, I'm a filmmaker. I run a production company. I own this gear because it's my livelihood. Do not go out and buy this stuff just to buy it. Instead graduate up to it as you slowly start to require different pieces of equipment to tell an engaging story. I used to own two of those Smith Victor light kits, so four lights total. Again, I loved them, they were so good. Now I own three amaran P60c lights. Like the MC lights, they have a lot of different color temperatures, they come with soft boxes I can add to them as well to soften the light some. I have the three light kits, so my key fill and halo light all-in-one. They can also be controlled by the app as well and have a lot of different pre-built in settings to mimic different kinds of light sources, so a lot of value. These lights do not come with stands. That's a separate investment you have to make on top of buying the kit. I would also recommend purchasing some sandbags because they are quite heavy and the last thing you want is for you to drop a light and break it because that's a bummer and they're expensive. A quick tip on that by the way, and this goes for a camera tripod or a light stand, always have one leg of the stand facing the same direction as the piece of gear that it is holding. That way, if it does fall, it does not fall on you or your subject, which would suck. Finally, I also own two amaran COB 60x lights with two types of modifiers. I love using these to light myself with a super soft light modifier like they're light dome many are their lantern. I will say though, you can get a similar effect by taking a less expensive light and just throwing a bed sheet over it to soften the light that much more too. Anyway, I've used these lights to film my original web series. This could have been an email. They work really well for independent production while providing a lot of control and ease of use for a small gaffer team. By the way, a gaffer is a person or people who light the set and do what the cinematographer asks, that's all. Are there other lights on the market? Definitely. I haven't even talked about light tubes which are getting big right now, they're all over the place, or all the potential modifiers you can get and use as well, but that's neither here nor there. The point here is to show you that you have options. Again, the biggest advice I can give about purchasing gear is just start where you're at. If you have some gear recommendations, don't be shy, share them down below with the community. In the final lesson we're going to talk about color temperature and how to strategically incorporate RGBWW lighting into your setup. After that we're wrapping up this class. Yeah, I'll see you over there. 9. White Balancing, Color Temperatures & RGBWW: Last lesson for this class. In this lesson, I'm going to touch on white balancing, color temperatures, and RGBWW lights if you feel so inclined to include them in your setup. Let's get into color temperatures first. To be honest, I really struggled where to put this part of the class, because if I'm being for real it should probably go in the beginning, but I really wanted you to jump right in so you can just start learning the basic methods of lighting and worry about color temperatures later. There you go. Throughout this class, every light I've used on myself as the subject has been set to daylight, a light color that mimics the sun. Anywhere from 5,000 Kelvin to 6,500 Kelvin. Kelvin is how light color is measured. Most of the lights you buy will be set to daylight already. However, you'll notice when I started incorporating the practical lights, a lot of them weren't set to daylight, they had more of an orange hue to them, a little bit. This is usually going to include most of the lights in your home, lamps, apartment lights, nine times out of 10, they have this orange hue to them. That color temperature is known as tungsten, or you'll also hear the word incandescent thrown around. But basically, they aren't daylight, which daylight again, is varying shades of blue, the higher the Kelvin number. Now, I'm telling you all of this because if you decide to mix different light sources or only use the practical lights you have like your lamp or whatever light is built into your apartment, you'll want to white balance your camera to match. If you film on your phone, for example, it automatically takes a best guess and color balances what it perceives as daylight. If you have a phone made in the last two years, it's probably doing a pretty good job actually, but sometimes it's not, and it's really annoying, and/or sometimes it'll shift to the color temperature in the middle of filming. Also very frustrating. If you are going to film yourself on your phone, who isn't? We all are. I would recommend getting some third-party app that gives you more control over your phone's color temperature. There's a ton of them out there. I'll recommend two. First, it's a video editor and capture app in one, Adobe Premiere Rush. Once you're granted access to your phone, you can toggle off the auto white balance. You'll often see it shown as AWB, and then you can slide to different color temperatures and more or less you can eyeball it. Again, using the rough Kelvin guide I've told you. That way, it's more or less white-balanced correctly. I have an Adobe Creative Cloud account, so Rush is included, along with a whole bunch of other creative apps, so it just makes sense for me to use this one. The next app you can use is called Filmic Pro, which I don't think you need to pay for this app, I think you can still have access to this using the free version. With this, all you have to do is open Filmic Pro. Filmic Pro is actually really cool because it gives you full control of everything your phone can do. All you have to do is go right into the corner here and it actually shows you in the corner the temperature. You see my script. But it actually shows you the temperature right there, and it's taking a best guess at what everything is. If I tap right on these three circles, I can also once again toggle off and on the white balance and lock it if I want to. Just by tapping on the AWB, again, that means auto white balance, I can white balance auto lock on record, I can auto white balance, so essentially turn it on, and then I can white-balance lock. If I figure out where I like it and I just want it to stay there, I can just lock it to that place. Again, here in Filmic Pro, you can see it has a whole bunch of different settings based on the types of lights that it thinks are most common. This one would probably be considered tungsten, which is correct as here it's going very blue. Then we have daylight represented here by a sun. We also have this one right here, which is cloudy, which has a little bit more of an extra hue to it because when the clouds do cast over the sun, it does give a different color, and then finally, this is probably considered their incandescent. Then A and B, which basically are different methods that you can use to change and create the white and custom white balance for yourself. As you can see, you can play around and drag this indicator within their color wheel, and again, just eyeball it if you want to. That's really cool too. If you're a mobile content creator, I highly recommend this app, it's really good. Also, of course, the Adobe Rush app is great as well. Now, for those of you using some point-and-shoot cameras, cinema camera, mirrorless camera, DSLRs, then you'll find similar color temperature settings in there as well. Again, the default is usually going to be the AWB, auto white balance, but you can go in and change that to be daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, etc. Also, something else you can usually do with DSLR cameras, mirrorless cameras, higher-end point-and-shoot cameras like the ZV-1 that I showed you, is you can actually custom set the white balance yourself. If you have a white piece of paper, maybe grab one from the printer, or you can maybe find something in your space that's as close to actual white as possible, then you can hold it up to the camera and tell it to calibrate the white balance to that sheet of paper, or you can buy a very inexpensive color card from Amazon for example. Again, I'll link a few recommendations in the resources sheet, but you can hold that up to the camera as well, and then it can set and match the color temperature with extreme accuracy. The moment we've all been waiting for, let's incorporate some RGBWW lights into our space. Let's change backgrounds to something more content creatory. Welcome to my home office. I figured this would be the place to incorporate some RGBWW lights, so let's get right into this. As you can see, I have my computer open, I feel like this is a type of background that you usually see content creators who maybe your gamers, or content creators who teach how to edit things like that have in their background, so you get an idea of what they do professionally as well. Now, first thing about incorporating RGBWW lights into a space, it's actually a lot harder than you might think. You actually need it to be pretty dark, so that way you can see the colors when they're represented. The first thing we're going to do is we're going to try to get it as dark as we possibly can in here. If you have blackout shades already built into your space, cool. But this is also another reason why when you see content creators who incorporate RGBWW lights, it's usually pretty moody. You don't usually see any windows in their space and whatnot because they're trying to get out all of the sun so that way they can have complete control over how everything is represented. We're going to try to cover those up with some blackout curtains, or professionally, if you're on a set, you would try to cover them with what's called duvetyne, which is this very thick black fabric that you can purchase to cover things up and create one of those words that I talked about on a previous lesson, negative film. I went ahead and put some duvetyne on those windows and now this is what we're working with. As we can see, pretty dark in here. Now, you all know me, I love a good practical. I'm going to go ahead and turn on my desk lights and make sure they're nice and dim to add a bit of practical light to the background, and I'm going to make sure they're as low as they can possibly go, which they are. This is a vibe, I feel. [LAUGHTER] This is actually cute. This is a vibe. But, again, the whole point of this incorporate RGBWW. In the gear recommendations class, I mentioned these Amaran MC lights. I'm going to go ahead and have one be on one side and one be on the other. I have this one set to red. Very simple red color, and I'm going to go ahead and put this directly behind my laptop. Nothing amazing. I'm just going to place it behind my laptop and I'm going to put it as close to the wall as I can get it. I want to do that because as you see the closer it is to the wall, the closer it works its way up the wall, creating more dynamics in the space. Now, second color, I'm going with a blue. There we go. I'm going with this blue color on this side and I'll explain why in a second. But what we're going to do is we're actually going to put it on this side, and similar to our red, we want to get it as close to the wall without creating too many shadows. You see the shadows we're getting. We don't want those shadows. Or I could do this. Will it stay here? Oh, I liked that. Will that stay? I think that will stay. I don't hate that. How do we feel about that? I like that actually. You can see now, we have incorporated RGBWW lights into our space, and we have now created a pretty dynamic-looking background on a pretty flat surface. Now you'll notice in the past demonstrations, I was always trying to angle myself to find as much depth as possible in a room. But this room is pretty small, I really can't angle myself well without revealing my window or without revealing all the things that I have off-camera that I will not show you. [LAUGHTER] In this space, the only way I can do what I need to do is by being flat directly against the back of a wall and hope for the best, and that's when RGBWW lights can really come in handy in separating yourself from the background, from an otherwise boring background, if you will. A few more tips to keep in mind about RGBWW lights if you're going to incorporate them in your space. First thing, remember, your space needs to be pretty dark. At least with these smaller lights, that's the only way they'll be bright enough to actually give off good color for your video, so you have to do that. The second thing is, once again, don't be afraid to incorporate some practicals. Practicals still can add a lot of value even in an RGBWW space. The third thing, if you're unsure about what colors to use, I have some thoughts. First thought, incorporate a color wheel. It's very easy. All you have to do is Google color wheel, pick one color that you know you want, and then pick the color directly opposite that color on the color wheel. I started off with red here, and then the opposite of that color would be somewhere in the blue space, so I picked a blue, and that offers a nice balance, warm, cold into my space. Another thing you can do is use your RGBWW lights to enhance your personal brand. If your personal brand has a color palette already, utilize that in your space. The biggest advice I can offer with RGBWW lights is to do it with intention. I personally don't really do RGBWW very often. But, as you can see, I know how to do it pretty well. We have covered a lot of content in this class. Hopefully, I've given you some serious food for thought. Let's wrap this up. 10. Conclusion: Hey y'all, you did it. We are here. Let's review everything we've learned in this class because wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. It was so much. At the top of the class, we covered the measles sin because good lighting starts with great framing and blocking. I walked you through my space and gave you some food for thought about how to place yourself in different environments. Then we covered 1, 2, and 3 point lighting using a combination of whatever natural light is available as well as powered lights. Then we started to incorporate practical lights into a space to give even more depth to our framing. I made some gear recommendations, whether you're just starting out or have some coins to play with. Finally, we covered technical aspects of color and making sure whatever camera or device you're using to film is white balancing correctly. Then of course, I rounded out the class with a few RGB best practices so you can live your best colorful life if you so choose. Of course, if you decide to post your project on social media, feel free to tag me. I love seeing what you all create, truly it is such a joy to see it. With that, I think we're done. Yeah, we're done. Again, I'm Hollys endeavoring to persevere as always. Thank you again so much for entrusting me with your time. I do not take that lightly, I am so grateful to you. I hope you had fun. Like truly, I hope you had fun. I will see you when I see you. Happy lighting y'all. [MUSIC]