Lighting for Videographers: Create a Professional Look without Expensive Lights | Scott Baker | Skillshare

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Lighting for Videographers: Create a Professional Look without Expensive Lights

teacher avatar Scott Baker, Filmmaker

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      What is Dynamic Range?


    • 3.

      Reading a Histogram... It's Quite Easy


    • 4.

      White Balance & Colour Temperature


    • 5.

      Vignettes / Aberrations / X-Pattern


    • 6.

      UV Filters and Their New Purpose


    • 7.

      Polarizers, Why They're Essential


    • 8.

      ND Filters and How They Level Up Your Skills


    • 9.

      Variable ND's & Gradients


    • 10.

      Macro Filters, Let's Take a Closer Look


    • 11.

      Filter Shapes, Sizes, & Rings... Oh My!


    • 12.

      Getting Good Exposure


    • 13.

      A Few Exposure Examples


    • 14.

      Shooting in Extremely Dark Scenarios


    • 15.

      Shooting in Extremely Bright Scenarios


    • 16.

      3 - Point Lighting


    • 17.

      Front vs Back Lighting


    • 18.

      Hard vs Soft Lighting


    • 19.

      Banding... Beware of the Black Bars


    • 20.

      Lens Flares & Ghosting (not the dating kind)


    • 21.



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About This Class

Join filmmaker Scott Baker for an in depth introduction on Lighting for Film, Photography, and Videography, and how to do it with minimal to no lighting kit (ex. Sunlight and Existing Lights) If you want to give your films a more professional and creative look, this is the foundation for understanding how use light to create that cinematic feel.


  • Camera Settings — colour temperature, white balance, histograms
  • Lens Filters  — polarizers, NDs, UVs and how they solve problems and create compelling shots
  • Lighting Techniques3 Point set up, Hard vs Soft lighting, Using Reflectors, and  more 


  • In Extremely Dark or Bright conditions
  • Live Events when you don't have control of the lighting
  • With minimal lighting equipment


Whether you're an aspiring Cinematographer, Vlogger, or Beginner Videographer, this class is for all. And it doesn't matter if you're using a high end camera or your phone, these techniques still work, and they can be done with regular lights used in everyday life (including the sun). There is some equipment I will recommend, but even those are inexpensive. 

To make sure you thoroughly understand the material there are plenty of diagrams, tutorials, and real life examples. All designed so you finish this class feeling confident, and excited to use the knowledge and skills you've learned to take your filmmaking to the next level

To learn more about the Emotions of lighting (and other ways to connect with your audience) check out this class... 

Meet Your Teacher

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Scott Baker



After graduating from film school in 2008 I dove straight into the Toronto film industry Directing and Producing a variety of projects such as music videos and short films that have screened at festivals such as Tribeca and Toronto International Shorts. In between projects I also work on big budget film and television such as Suicide Squad and The Boys.

When not on set I'm on the road working with bands, shooting documentaries, and creating other independent projects. Even while traveling for vacation I can't seem to put my camera down, because when you're passionate about something it becomes second nature.




Instagram: https://www.instag... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Class Introduction: Hello everyone. My name is Scott Baker and I began in the film industry in 2009, working on major films and TV shows, while also directing my own short films, documentaries, and music videos. If you've taken any of my other classes than welcome back. If this is your first time, then it's great to have you. In this class. We're going to dive right in, starting with a more in-depth look at some of the more advanced settings and tools that are cameras offer. Because if we want to get the most out of our camera, we need to fully understand things like reading a histogram or what dynamic range is. From there, we will learn about the different types of lens filters that can create interesting looks and help us in difficult lighting situations, especially neutral density filters and polarizers. And after that, we will spend time expanding our knowledge of lighting. Things like low-light conditions or the difference between hard and soft light, will also learn how to do it with a minimal to no lighting kit. The material in this class comes from my hands-on experience in the industry. And it's designed with easy to follow diagrams and graphics. Tutorial videos explaining not just how to do things, but why we do them. And best of all, you'll learn from real-life examples and go behind the scenes with me to see exactly how these films were created. So without any further talking, let's get started. 2. What is Dynamic Range?: You've probably heard lots of photographers, filmmakers and camera enthusiasts in general talk about dynamic range. If you're unsure of what exactly that is, it's the difference between the darkest and the lightest tones of the image. However, most of the time when people are talking about it, they're referring to the maximum dynamic range a camera is capable of. In plain terms, how well a camera's sensor can capture light. More specifically, how well a camera can capture the details in the shadows and highlights of an image at the same time. Dynamic range is measured in stops, and the human eye can see up to 24 stops. While most cameras only have a range of about 12 to 14. This is why we can look at a scene or landscape and see a sunny blue sky as well as all the details in the foreground. Whether the foreground is buildings or people. But when we try to capture the same scene on camera, we have to either properly expose the sky, Meaning losing detail in the shadows of the foreground, or we properly expose the foreground and lose details in the sky. Therefore, cameras that have a larger dynamic range are more versatile because they're better at recording images that have higher contrast between the light and the dark. Why is this important? Because by understanding what dynamic range is, the specific dynamic range of our camera, we can work within these limits to make sure we capture the best looking footage and images possible. Dynamic range can be different from camera to camera because it's determined by the camera's sensor. Dslr and mirrorless cameras tend to have higher dynamic ranges than compact cameras or phones. And one of the main reasons is the size of the sensor. Because the bigger the sensor, the more information it can record, which results in a better dynamic range. 3. Reading a Histogram... It's Quite Easy: First of all, a histogram is a graph that represents the pixels in an image. The left side of the graph represents the blacks or dark areas, and the right side represents the whites or the bright areas. And the middle section represents the mid tones. 0 equals pure black and 255 equals pure white. A quick look at a histogram can tell us if our footage is under, over or well exposed. In a perfect scenario, the graph should touch the left and right edges of the histogram, but it doesn't spill up the site. The graph should also have a nice arch in the center. A histogram that looks similar to this would indicate a well exposed image. The arch is the important part to watch if it shifted to one side or the other. That's okay. In this example, we can see that it is shifted to the left, but there's still white and black along the edge. The same with this image, which is shifted to the right, but still has white and black along the edge. All this means is that the mid tones of the image are either a bit darker or a bit brighter, but still properly exposed. When the arch shifts too far to one side and does not touch the other edge. That is when we have problems. In this example, there is a large gap on the left side and its edge is completely white, indicating the image is lacking any black, meaning the image is going to be too bright. This example is the opposite. There's a large gap on the right side and the edge is completely white, indicating that the image is lacking any whites in turn, meaning it's going to be too dark. We may also see what's called spikes, which will touch the top edge of the graph. This is also called clipping. If this happens, it means there's been a loss of detail and the clipped areas are often very hard to recover, especially in the highlights of an image. When this happens, we need to make adjustments to our settings or to the composition of the image to bring this spike down. Another way to help us see exactly which parts of the image are overexposed by using a setting called Peking or zebras. This setting will make any overexposed areas of the image flash or show a black and white striped pattern when previewing the shot on the camera screen or an external monitor. Hence the name zebra. 4. White Balance & Colour Temperature: Before we discuss creating our own custom white balance settings, we first need to understand color temperature. Color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin and represented by the letter k. This scale runs from about 2 thousand to 13,000. K being the weakest light and 11 thousand k being the strongest. Think of 2 thousand kelvin being represented by a candle with warm red and orange tones. And as the temperature goes up, the color of the light transitions through the color spectrum into blue and white tones. 11 thousand K, which is basically the sun and will be pure white. Instead of always adjusting white balance settings. Why not just let auto white balance do its job? If the lighting in the scene is consistent throughout, then this can work. But auto white balance will struggle when there's multiple light sources that have significant temperature differences and they're mixed together. For example, a room with fluorescent lights, which give off a green tone. But there's also daylight coming in through the windows which have a blue tone. If this happens, auto white balance will try to correct for both and ends up falling somewhere in the middle and not giving a proper balance for either light source. If we find ourselves in a situation where auto white balance or the other presets don't work. Then we'll have to manually WIP balance the camera ourselves. I'll demonstrate this on my Sony DSLR. So keep in mind that the menus may look a bit different, but the process remains the same. And it's actually much easier than you may think. Once the scene is lit and ready to film. Go into the menu settings and select white balance. Then scroll through to find the custom presets. On some cameras, you may have to select the Custom Preset first and then set its balance. For this Sony camera, I'll select the set option. The next step is to set the white balance. And for this, I highly recommend picking up a set of these white balance cards. There's small and inexpensive. If you don't have these cards, a piece of white paper can also work. Or find a neutral color in the scene, such as gray. Snap a photo to see the result. Then select the custom preset to save it under. We can then choose which custom setting we want to use. We will set it to custom setting number one. Then if we go into the menu, we see that custom one is set to 3200 K. After doing that, if you're not quite happy with the result, feel free to experiment by choosing different shades to set the white balance to. But keep within the black and white spectrum. Using an object that's blue or red will dramatically change the look in a very unnatural way. That's because the camera will think the light in the scene is all red or all blue. And we'll correct for that by balancing it with the opposite color on the color wheel. 5. Vignettes / Aberrations / X-Pattern: Before we get started learning about the different types of filters and how to use them. I want to first discuss a few technical terms that will make the following lessons easier to understand. The first one we'll discuss, you may have already heard of it's called vignetting. Vignetting is when the corners of an image fade darker than the rest of the image. This is a popular effect you may have used on Instagram. And maybe you think this could be an interesting look. But if this occurs while filming, it will be impossible to fix in editing. The only option will be to crop the photo or the footage. However, as you've seen in Instagram, it's extremely easy to add this effect. It's best to avoid having this happen to the original footage or photos. Vignetting is also more likely to happen when using variable and Ds or when using NDAs on a wide-angle lens. Or especially if you do a combination of both. It might sound cool, but the X pattern is not something you ever wanted appearing in your footage or your photos. You'll know you have this problem because you'll see a darkened area in the shape of an X right across the middle of the image. This pattern is usually caused by rotating a variable ND filter past its maximum setting. Using a variable and D with a wide angle lens can also increase the chances of this happening. But by adjusting the focal length and or your position to the subject. These are two ways to fix this. If it doesn't work, then you will have to reduce the ND setting. Another thing to be cautious of when using filters is stacking. Stacking filters is when you add more than one filter to the lens at the same time. An example, adding multiple ND filters or combining a macro filter with a polarizer. Although it can be very useful to solve difficult lighting situations or to create some really interesting looks. Stacking too many filters forces the light to pass through more glass elements, which can reduce the image quality through loss of sharpness or other aberrations in the image. Another term you'll hear in the following lessons is chromatic aberration, also known as color fringing. This kind of distortion creates a colorful outline along the edges of objects in our image. It usually appears where there's high contrast between light and dark objects. An example, being a dark object with a bright sky as its background, using higher-quality lenses is the best way to prevent this. But we can also avoid this by using higher focal lengths and higher apertures. 6. UV Filters and Their New Purpose: The purpose of a UV filter is to block out ultraviolet light. Old photography film stocks, we're very sensitive to UV light. And if you didn't use the filter, your photos would end up with a blue haze. However, modern film stocks and digital sensors just aren't as sensitive to UV light anymore. Instead, these filters have picked up a secondary use to protect the sensitive glass of our lenses from dust, dirt, water, and scratches. Some filmmakers and photographers prefer not to use them because the added layer of glass can cause a very minimal reduction in image sharpness. And the occasional lens flare or ghosting. If you feel the same and you choose to film without a UV filter, just take extra care with your lenses to avoid anything that may come in contact with them. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have them on hand to quickly add in case you find yourself in a scenario where there may be debris, dirt, rain, sand, or anything else flying around that could possibly come into contact with the lens. For example, when I'm filming live concerts, I always have a filter on. But for controlled environments such as an interview, I will remove the filter. 7. Polarizers, Why They're Essential: Just about every program has tools to easily adjust saturation and contrast. Some even have D hazing tools, but none so far have the ability to effectively fixed glare, reflections or lens flares. So if you don't want those appearing in your footage, it's important to have the right tools. And a polarizer filter is one of those tools. When it comes to reflections, glare, Hayes and scattered light. Polarizers can reduce their presence and even eliminate them if they aren't too strong. Another effect they have and something I really like as a personal preference, is that they boost the saturation and the contrast. Polarizers are most useful when filming water, snow through glass or any other reflective surfaces. I especially like using them when filming outside and want to capture beautiful footage of the sky or water. Notice how it brings out more detail in the clouds. And it boosts the saturation of the sky. Being able to better control the strength of the reflections from the water, we're able to see more detail. And again, that saturation boost makes the footage look much better. First, we need to understand how they work. Please be patient as I'm about to get a bit nerdy, but trust me, it's worth. Lightwaves reflect in different directions when it hits uneven surfaces. Polarizer works by stopping some of those lightwaves from entering your lens and only allowing light to enter from certain directions. And because of this, it is also allowing in less light. Combine these two factors and it will also affect the colors. But how does the filter do this? Well, these filters have a dichroic coding. Dichroic meaning showing different colors when viewed from different directions. This coding is made up of molecules that are lined up facing in one direction. Because the filter is constructed with two layers of glass, were able to rotate the filter while it's attached to our lens. And when we do this, it changes the direction of the lines in the filters coding. In turn, blocking out light from different directions. As we rotate the filter, we can see how the image changes. Using a polarizer filter. We can't just screw it on and think that we're ready to go with every new shot or change in lighting, will have to adjust the filter until we find that sweet spot that works best. Polarizers are a very useful tool to have in your kit. If you don't already have one, I highly recommend getting one from there. Have fun testing it out. The best way to learn and get a hands-on understanding is to go out and photograph landscapes, preferably on sunny days. Take the same photo width, the filter, and without the filter to see the difference. Just as I have done for this lesson. 8. ND Filters and How They Level Up Your Skills: Neutral density filters, or more commonly referred to as ND filters. Their purpose is to reduce the amount of light entering the camera without affecting the colors, contrast, or sharpness of the image. They're like sunglasses for our lens, but not fancy sunglasses that changed the color of things, hence the word neutral. Well, ND filters are labeled in many ways. The most common is the ending number, often written as n D2 and D4 eight and so on. An AND2 filter allows half of all light through it. An MD4 filter allows a fourth of all the light through it. And an NDA eight allows an eighth of all the light to pass through and so on. We can see in this chart, every n d stop cuts the amount of light in half from the previous Andy stop. For every n d stop light is reduced by one f-stop on our aperture. Meaning if we add an MD4 that will reduce the light by two stops. One, we see the image gets much darker. What that does is allows us to open our aperture by two stops from 5.612 to 2.8. We see there we have the exact same exposure, but a slightly shallower depth of field. Or if the shutter speed is set to 250, we can lower it to 60 to get the same exposure. Now if we adjust our ND filter by two stops, we can see it gets substantially darker. Based on that flashing exposure meter, we know that it is underexposed. But what this allows us to do is adjust our shutter speed from 250 down two stops to 60. Which once again gives us that same good exposure. And in this case, we are also now double our frame rate in accordance with the 180 degree shutter rule. Now you may have noticed that as I adjusted the shutter speed, I went down more than two settings. We'll see that from 250 goes to two hundred one hundred and sixty one hundred and twenty-five. However, each of these settings does not count as a full stop. Full stop is double. If you're going up or half if you're going down, which is why in this case, going from 250 down to 125 counts as one-stop. And from 125 down to 60 is another stop. Nd filters are most useful in bright conditions. When we want to have a shallow depth of field, match our shutter speed to the frame rate or to capture motion blur. But we're unable to do so because the light, most often the sun is too bright and will cause the footage of the photos to be overexposed. If we change the settings to get good exposure, we lose the desired effect. For example, we want a shallow depth of field to separate our subject from the background. But it's too bright and we already have the ISO as low as it can go. So we either use a really high shutter speed, which can make the footage look choppy, or we use a higher aperture. But this means we lose that shallow depth of field. By adding an ND filter, which cuts down the amount of light. It allows us to lower the aperture or the shutter speed to achieve the look we want without overexposing the footage. For photographers, this affects the shutter speed. The best example being moving water. If we raise the shutter speed to get good exposure, the motion blur is lost. But with an ND filter added, we can lower the shutter speed and capture motion blur while still properly exposing the image, giving the water that soft blur. 9. Variable ND's & Gradients: Now that we understand how ND filters work, why we use them, and how to use them. Let's take a quick look at two different types, starting with gradient filters. Gradient ND filter, also called a, G and D, is quite simple. This filter transitions from light to dark and is often used to balance the exposure in an image that contains high contrast between bright and dark sections. Perfect example of this is a bright sky and a dark foreground. By matching the transition of the filter to the horizon or wherever the harsh light change occurs, it better balances the exposure of the overall image. When it comes to gradients. Most people prefer a square filter because it's easier to adjust the transition area. And that's because the filter is larger than the diameter of the lens. The second type is a variable ND filter. These are very popular because they give us the ability to precisely choose the intensity of the filter simply by turning the outer ring two different settings. The maximum and minimum and D setting will change depending on the type of filter. But the two stop to eight stop variety is the most popular. The advantage of the variable ND filter is that it's like having multiple Andy's attached at once. For example, an ND two to five allows us to switch between four levels of neutral density in a matter of seconds simply by rotating the ring. Being able to make these adjustments quickly is perfectly when filming concerts, weddings, or other live events. But like any piece of equipment, even something as awesome as a variable ND, it does have its disadvantages because of the design. As we rotate to the maximum and the setting, we can sometimes get that X pattern we talked about. The other issue is with vignetting. Both vignetting and the X pattern are issues that can be fixed by dialing the ND, setting back a little bit, and then adjusting the other settings on our camera to compensate in order to still get a good exposure. The other option, which is what I've done, is purchased two filters. One that is an N d2, five, and the second that is an NDC six to nine. Going with two filters won't eliminate these issues 100%, but it does reduce them significantly. When it comes to choosing which kind of ND filter is best for you. It really depends on what kind of filmmaker or photographer you are. For live event filmmakers, I suggest variable and Ds, ranging from two to nine. If you're filming music videos, narrative films, or documentaries, I suggest a set of square filters with a Mapbox setup. Photographers. I'd go with variable Andes. Or if you do long exposure and night sky photography, then the higher end D's in the range of 32 to one hundred ten hundred. Those will help you capture those stunning night skies best. Whatever kind of ND filters you decide are best for you. One thing is for sure there are a very important piece of equipment to have an understand in order to take your film-making and photography to the next level. 10. Macro Filters, Let's Take a Closer Look: Before we go into detail about macro filters, Let's take a quick look at the lens. You'll see that on the focus ring of every lens, there's a minimum focusing distance at one end. And the other end is usually an infinity symbol. As we know, the lower the focal length, the closer we can be to a subject and still be able to get focus. This 85 millimeter has a minimum distance of 1.1 meters or about 3.5 feet. Whereas the 35-millimeter has a minimum focusing distance of 0.7 in meters or about one foot. If the subject is closer to the lens than the minimum distance indicated, it will be impossible to focus. Minimal focal length on a 35-millimeter is one foot or 0.3 meters. As we see here with my hand. If we try to focus on my fingers, it is impossible. Bring in the macro filter. Essentially what a macro filter does is reduce the lenses focal length, in turn, reducing the minimum focusing distance. These filters are available in a range of water called diopters. If you wear glasses, you might recognize this term because it's also used to describe the amount of positive or negative magnification that's needed for I corrections. But because we want to amplify the image, macro filters are only described in positive numbers, such as plus one plus two plus four, going all the way up to plus ten. The higher the number, the more magnification. We can also stack these numbers to increase the magnification. But remember, as light passes through more glass, the quality of the image will start to decrease. It's also worth mentioning that when using a macro filter, we won't be able to focus to infinity. Macro filters are constructed in two ways. Single element and double element. Single element filters are significantly cheaper, but also produce lower-quality images. Most often, this lower-quality results in less sharpness along the edges of an image. Or as chromatic aberration along the edges of elements within the image. If you find this is happening, it can usually be avoided by using a higher aperture. But if you want to have full freedom with your lens and the aperture, then a double element filter is what you need on these filters. The second element is actually designed to correct the defects of the first element. These filters may also be referred to as achromatic filters. With all close-up work, the depth of field will shrink the closer the camera is to the subject. With some macro filters, it can even be reduced to just a few millimeters. In this case, you'll likely want to use a tripod or adjust your aperture to increase the depth of field. Quality. Macro lens can be expensive. But if you are a photographer and macro photography is your niche or you do product filmmaking for things such as jewelry or food, then it's worth investing in a specialty macro lens. But if it's not in your budget or it's not something you'll use often. Than macro filters may be the best option for you. 11. Filter Shapes, Sizes, & Rings... Oh My!: When buying filters, you'll also notice they come in two shapes, square and circular. At first, this may not seem like a big difference, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Let's take a look. Square filters slide into an adapter that attaches to the end of the lens. And they're great because they can be used on any lens regardless of its size. They can also be stacked easily. Because the square filters are wider than the diameter of the lens, there's significantly less chance of vignetting or that X pattern. However, they are more fragile. Take longer to set up, take up more space, and there's less options when shopping for variable and Ds. Circular filters are more durable. They take up less space and are quick and easy to set up. And they have lots of options when choosing variable and Ds. However, they are more susceptible to aberrations such as the X pattern and vignetting. And because they come in specific sizes, the only fit the lenses with the matching diameter. However, step-up and step-down rings can easily solve this problem. If you choose to go with circular filters, then my suggestion is to buy the larger filters because they can always be used on smaller diameter lenses. If you use the step up ranks. Whereas if we put a smaller filter on a larger lens, if the difference is too much, the filter will cut off the corners of the image. What are these rings I've now mentioned a few times. Well, they're basically just adapters that allow us to attach a circular filters, two lenses with different diameters when using these rings. The first number is what will screw into the lens, and the second number will screw into the filter. Every filter will indicate the diameter somewhere along its frame. And to find the diameter of your lens, most will have it printed on the inside of the lens cap or somewhere on the lens. And it's represented by this symbol. The setup I have is a perfect example of what I've just described. I have a variable ND two to five, and its diameter is 82 millimeters, but the lens is 77. In this case, I have to use a step up ring because the first number matches the lens diameter of 77 and the second number matches the filter at 82. Meaning I'm stepping up a size. If the difference in diameters cannot be matched with one ring, then you'll have to use multiple rings. So it's best to buy an entire set, especially since they are not that expensive. 12. Getting Good Exposure: First, why is it called exposure? It's because every time the shutter opens, the camera's sensor is being exposed to light. And to know what a properly exposed image is, we need to first understand what causes underexposure, overexposure. And we must be able to recognize it. An underexposed image occurs when not enough light hits the camera sensor, resulting in the image looking to dark. When this happens, details will get lost in the shadows and the darkest areas of the image. And can often make it difficult to separate the foreground from the background. An easy way to create an underexposed image is by using a high shutter speed and a high aperture together. An overexposed image happens when too much light hits the sensor and it looks washed out. Although it's easier to see the background and foreground, details of the image still blend together and can get lost in the highlights of the image. An easy way to make this happen is to use a low aperture and a low shutter speed when in bright conditions. Now that we understand those two, Let's take a look at a properly exposed image, which is basically finding a nice balance between the other two. It's not too bright and it's not too dark. There are two quick ways to check this on your camera. First is by using the exposure meter. If the market is too far to the right, it means the image will be overexposed. Too far to the left. It will be underexposed and 0 being the optimal spot. But that doesn't mean that it always has to be exactly at 0. With most cameras, as long as you're within this range, the image will have good exposure. But if the meter is flashing, then you've definitely gone too far to one side and will either overexposed or underexposed the image. The second way is by looking at the histogram. As we know, the three settings that decide our exposure, our aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Aperture controls how much light is. Let in. A smaller f-stop number equals larger iris opening, meaning more light. A larger F-stop number means less light. Shutter speed controls how long light is let in. It's measured in fractions of a second. So a smaller setting such as 130th, means the shutter is open longer, allowing more light. And a larger number, such as 1 500th, we're letting less light. Iso is how sensitive the camera's sensor is to light. A smaller number means it is less sensitive and will need more light. And a larger number means it is more sensitive and will need less light to get a properly exposed image. Two important things to remember. First, that natural sunlight is the strongest kind of light. And second, the higher the ISO is set, the more grain, also known as noise the image might have. Depending on the lighting conditions of the location that we're filming in. We'll have to adjust these three settings in different combinations in order to achieve the desired exposure. But before we begin playing with settings, let's find a good starting point. To do that, we must first select our frame rate. For this example, we'll select 24 frames per second, which is the common frame rate used for cinema. Next, we choose the shutter speed. And if we follow the 180 degrees shutter rule, we must select a shutter speed that's double our frame rate. We chose 24 frames per second. And since there is no 48 frames per second option, we can choose 50 and that will do just fine. Then for the best quality, we want to choose our cameras base ISO, for my camera that's 200. But each make and model can be different. So find out what your camera's base ISO is and set it accordingly. Lastly, we choose our aperture and we choose a setting based on the depth of field that we want. Now the chances of following these steps and the footage being exactly what we want are quite small. So from here, we must assess each situation and decide what adjustments we can make that will give us the best image quality as well as the desired look we want the shot to have. 13. A Few Exposure Examples: For instance, we're filming a fast-paced sport outside and don't want Motion Blur. First, we'll have to set the shutter speed higher to eliminate that motion blur. And if it's a sunny day, we'll have lots of light. We can also use a higher aperture, which will also increase the depth of field. If it's still too bright, then we can add an ND filter. Now, what if we want more depth of field? Then we need to increase our aperture. But as we do this, the image gets darker. So to fix this, we would first remove the ND filter if we've applied it. And then we can adjust the ISO sensitivity if needed, while also trying to keep it as close to our base ISO as possible. If we're filming sports at night and don't want motion blur, will have to open the aperture by lowering the f-stop, which will reduce the depth of field. If we don't want the depth of field to be too small and narrow, then we may have to increase the ISO sensitivity if there's still isn't enough light. But what if we're filming live music in a dark setting, then maybe a bit of motion blur is okay to have. In this case, we can lower the shutter speed instead of adjusting the ISO or the aperture. For concerts, There's also the possibility of adding more light to help achieve better exposure. Now imagine we're filming an interview inside and using practical lights instead of outside using the sunlight, then we will have much less light than outside. But now we have more control over the light. And because there's very little movement, we don't have to worry about motion blur. And we can now reduce our shutter speed to the lowest setting possible based on our frame rate. In this case, a shutter speed of 50 frames per second. After that, we'll choose the appropriate aperture to give us the depth of field we want. And finally, if needed, we can adjust the ISO. As you can see, there's seemingly endless combinations that we can use to properly expose our footage. It just depends on what we're filming and the look we want to achieve that determines how we've set our aperture, shutter speed and our ISO. 14. Shooting in Extremely Dark Scenarios: When we find ourselves filming in low-light scenarios such as indoor concerts, wedding receptions, or just filming at nighttime. As we just learned, we risk the footage being underexposed. We know that having enough light hitting the camera sensor is the most important thing. When we find ourselves in extremely dark scenarios, we need to allow as much light into the camera as possible. And there are ways to do this, instead of simply just increasing the ISO really high, making our footage look grainy and noisy. Once again, follow the a 180 degrees shutter rule and set the shutter speed to at least double the frame rate or higher depending on the action and level of motion blur you're comfortable with. For rock and roll concerts, we don't want to set it too low because of motion blur. But for something slower paced, it can work just fine because there's very little movement. But in extremely low lights scenarios will most likely want the shutter speed as low as it can go according to the 180 degrees shutter rule. If it's a decision between a bit of motion blur or being underexposed. I'll take the little bit of motion blur. You may feel differently and that's okay as long as you understand the decision you're making and why you're making it. Next, we want to open the aperture as much as needed or as much as possible. Remember, the lower the aperture number, the smaller the depth of field that will have if the depth of field becomes too shallow. One way to balance this is by using a lower focal length, which gives us wider shots and increases the depth of field. Keep in mind that prime lenses can achieve larger apertures of 1.8 and even 1.4, which zoom lenses cannot do. If you find you're filming in low-light scenarios often, I highly recommend getting a 24 millimeter or 35-millimeter prime lens. Or if you can get both. If you are using a zoom lens in these scenarios, then it's best to keep the focal length as wide as possible. Not only will it provide more depth of field, as we just mentioned, but more importantly, it will allow the lens to use the largest aperture setting that it has. If you're filming indoors, see if there's any light sources that you can set up nearby, such as Windows or existing lamps that you can add to the shot. If shooting outdoors at nighttime, make use of street lights, lights from cars, buildings, and even the moonlight. So long as it makes sense that these light sources are in the shot, according to the story that you're telling. If you have a lighting kit at your disposal and a talented dp, then there's no reason your footage should ever be under or overexposed unless you mean for it to be that way. If you don't have a lighting kit because you're filming on the go, or have a very small budget, then these are two things you should have with you on every shoot that can make a big difference. A 51 reflector kit, which allows you to bounce, block, or diffuse the light. And the second is a small pocket light with adjustable color temperature. It's perfect for adding fill light to dark areas and backgrounds, or in small areas that larger lights can't fit into, such as vehicles. All we're doing here, setting up this little pocket light just along the dashboard behind the steering wheel. It can fit in such a tiny little spot. And this is all we need in order to get that added bit of light to illuminate the subject inside the vehicle. If we also kill the lights from the vehicle. Now, this is the result. 15. Shooting in Extremely Bright Scenarios: On the other end of the spectrum, letting in too much light can also cause us problems. When this happens, the footage is overexposed. It can also be referred to as being blown out or washed out. This usually happens when filming outdoors on sunny days, especially if we're filming near water or in snow because of how reflective they are. Sometimes adjusting our three exposure settings can solve this if it's a low contrast image. Meaning everything in the frame is a lighter in color and there are no hard shadows. As soon as there is a higher contrast with darker objects, you'll see that when they are properly exposed, the background loses detail because it's too bright. And if we expose the background properly, then our subject loses detail because they are too dark or silhouetted. How do we solve this problem? First, we want to drop the ISO to the cameras base ISO. After that, we can choose a high shutter speed or a higher aperture, or a combination of both. If we still can't achieve the shot we want after adjusting these settings, then we'll have to use some external tools. As we learned in the filter section, we know that we can add a polarizer to help bring out the details and colors of the sky. We can also use ND filters, which will allow us to open up the aperture and achieve smaller depth of field if we want to blur or soften the background. There are also some very simple and inexpensive things that we can do to manipulate the light itself, such as using our 51 reflector. Using the white side, we can bounce light onto subjects to eliminate or soften shadows. The silver side can add the most light, while the gold side creates a warm amber light. The diffuser softens Hard Light and spreads it more evenly over the subject. And the black side will block out any unwanted light. The idea of bouncing, blocking and diffusing light is to help balance the light in the image so that it's more even because a lower contrast makes it easier to get a balanced exposure. Other things to be aware of are where we position the camera and the subject in relation to the sun. Don't have the subject facing the sun. This takes away depth from the shot and the subject ends up looking flat. It can also cause them to constantly squint and blink. When filming against the sun. Be aware of your focal length. Using wider lenses are more susceptible to lens flares. While having a tighter shot can help reduce them. When deciding how to best expose the footage. Always choose the brightest spot of the person's face to properly expose and use that as the starting point. It's best to have the main focus of the shot properly exposed. Viewers will forgive us or not even notice if there are some underexposed parts. But they will definitely notice if there's a distracting white spot or glare on the person's face. Filming in shady areas is always another option. However, depending on the content of what you're filming, it may not work, but it is worth considering as another or as a last option. Another general guideline to remember is that if you're stuck between having to over or underexposed part of the image. It's always better to have an underexposed foreground then an overexposed background. And that's because the background will usually take up more of the frame. There you have it. What can cause overexposure and how we can work around it to make sure we still get high-quality footage. Even when we don't have the luxury of a full lighting kit. 16. 3 - Point Lighting: First we'll start with the key light, which is the main source that lights are subject. And the fill light is used to balance the lighting from the key light by softening or eliminating any shadows on the subject, followed by the back-light, which helps to separate the subject from the background into achieve this setup. Let's look at this diagram. The key light is placed in front of a subject and off to the side at about roughly 45 degrees, shines directly on the subject. If filming outside with natural light than the sun will be our key light. The fill light will mirror the key light and also shine on the subject, but it's not as bright. And if you're using just natural light than using a reflector to bounce the light works as a fill light. And the backlight is placed behind the subject, pointing it there back to create a rim of light around them. This helps separate them from the background. To go one step further, we can make it a four-point setup by adding a fourth light to illuminate the background, which adds more depth to the shot. The three-point setup is ideal for interviews, but isn't a mandatory rule, especially when filming a narrative film or music video. When filming interviews, it's always a good idea to keep this technique in mind, but feel free to get creative and make adjustments to find the look that you want. 17. Front vs Back Lighting: When lighting a subject using front lighting, it provides a very clean and clear image, but it often provides very little character or emotion to the shot. It's often used for sports interviews, vlogs and newscasts, or even to create online courses. It certainly has its time and place within filmmaking. But overall, it creates fairly boring compositions. If you're lighting from the front and want to add a little more depth and life to the shot. Then consider lighting the subject at a bit more of an angle from the side. You can even play with the lighting from a high or a low angle. Backlighting, on the other hand, is a fantastic way to make your footage look more cinematic as it can add depth, contrast, and give the shot more feeling. This is especially useful when filming outdoors, and you don't have a lighting kit. See how simply changing how the light hits the subject can dramatically change the look. My main point is that it's perfectly okay to have shadows. In fact, I encourage it. Having a range of light adds depth to our shots. Whereas the more light added, the flatter our image can become just like a newscast. When you're setting up your shots. Keep this in mind. If you're filming a blog or possibly an interview, go with the front lighting for a clean shot if you want to. But if you want your shots to look more cinematic and create depth and shadows and emotion, then backlighting is the technique that you'll want to use. 18. Hard vs Soft Lighting: When deciding how to light a scene, there are generally two types of lighting that we work within. Hard light and soft light. And then of course, the many degrees in-between, essentially hard and soft light is just the manipulation of shadows. Hard lighting creates harsh shadows and lines. It's often a very bright directional light that leaves little to no transition between the highlights and the shadows. And it usually creates a high contrast within the image. Hard Light is often used to emphasize something within the frame and draw the audience's attention. It can create a sense of opposition, difficulty, and tension. It's often used for villains and it's a staple in the film genre. It can intensify scenes, create a sense of power, or depict two opposing forces, whether they be people or ideas. When it comes to creating hard light, almost any light source can be used so long as it's strong enough and the sun, as we know, is the strongest source. The key is to not use any diffusion on the lights. Instead, we can use flags to block and shape the light or other things at our disposal, such as thick curtains, blinds, or any other material that light cannot penetrate. The other thing that we must do or not do is use too many lights because without the shadows, hard light cannot exist. When creating hard light. What can't be seen is just as important as what can be seen. On the other end of the spectrum, we have soft lighting. And you'll notice that when scenes and characters are lit this way, they are more evenly lit and the shadows don't have definitive lines. Instead, we can see a more gradual transition between light and shadow. And the shadows are not necessarily black. Soft lighting basically creates a lower contrast image. Really good examples of this are product and fashion photography. And it's always used for interviews because as the audience, we want to see the subject and their emotions clearly. It's also often used for romantic scenes in common as it creates a more relaxed in upbeat setting. When the weather is overcast. That is nature's perfect example of soft lighting because the clouds act as a diffuser to the sun. We can copy this technique with our own equipment when we want to create soft light. Using diffusion can soften and spread out a hard light source. Whether that's the Sun, our film lights or any practical lights. Or another technique is to use reflectors to bounce the light onto the shadows to help soften or eliminate them. In the following music video clip, you'll see examples of both these techniques used to the extreme. And we bounce back and forth between them to help emphasize the theme of assault. This 19. Banding... Beware of the Black Bars: Have you ever heard of the term banding or maybe the term rolling shutter? If you haven't heard of either of those, maybe you have seen this happen to your footage at some point. When we're filming on the go and relying on the locations, light sources. This is an issue you may run into. The first thing to know is that this will never happen when using natural light. Only artificial light can cause this. But not all lights. Certain types of lights send out the light in waves, just like a radio signal. Instead of a light moving at a consistent level, the waves cause it to have slightly different intensities. But because this is happening so fast, our eyes don't notice it. Our camera however, does notice these differences. That's because every time the camera records a frame, it snaps a photo of that exact moment. And when it does this, the cameras scans the sensor line-by-line to record the light that is hitting the sensor. But at the same time this is happening, the intensity of the light is changing as the wave hits the sensor, causing parts of the frame to be slightly darker. With that little science lesson, how do we get rid of this? Well, the first step is to check the camera settings. If you're North America, your camera should be set to NTSC. And if you're in Europe, it should be set to PAL, pal. Elsewhere in the world. You'll have to research which system your country uses and set it accordingly. Although this is not a 100% guaranteed solution, it does help because now the camera is set to the proper frequency of the lighting that's used in different parts of the world. If that doesn't solve the problem than there are a few other things that we can do. If we have a lighting kit and have access to the lights that are causing the problem. We can either replace the bulbs or we can use our own lights instead. If that's not possible. Because we're filming on the go or on a low budget and don't have a lighting kit, then see if it's possible to eliminate the light that is causing the banding. Our third option is to adjust the shutter speed and try to match the lights frequency as best as possible. This is actually a good example of how motion blur works. Depending on the shutter speed, the amount of light wave that hits the sensor is increased or decreased, which causes the bars to be either more defined or less defined. It also affects the number of bars that we see. Notice that as we increase the shutter speed, more bars appear, and they are more defined. When we lower the shutter speed, allowing for a longer exposure, we capture more movement of the lightwaves, which causes the bars to become softer and less frequent as they blend together, essentially creating motion blur. You may also notice that certain light sources, although they don't cause banding to the entire frame on camera, they create a flicker. This is common with TVs and other types of screens. And that's because light sources such as these don't emit light in waves. Instead, they turn on and off extremely fast. So fast that once again, our eyes don't pick up on it. Our camera, however, is able to catch this because when it records a frame, sometimes the light will be on and sometimes it will be off, causing that flicker that appears in our footage. In these situations, it's best and easier to just turn it off or green screen them so you can add video to it in post-production. 20. Lens Flares & Ghosting (not the dating kind): Lens flares are definitely something we've all had pop-up in our footage or our photos. Whether we meant for it or not. Usually, but not always, ghosting happens as well. If you're not familiar with the term ghosting, it's a type of lens flare that creates rings of light. It looks similar to ripples on water. Some of us may like the effect, and for some of us it may drive us crazy because it can create a glare and reduce contrast by adding a haze to the image. Whether you like them or not, it's worth understanding what causes them and how to avoid them. If we want to do that. This is caused when light hits glass in a certain way. And our lenses are full of glass. And this glass is intended to bend the light and directed onto the camera's sensor to create an image. But because glass is also reflective, when a strong light source, such as the sun enters the lens, the light can also bounce off other camera elements. And when a streak of light bounces in a certain way, that is what creates a lens flare. With that knowledge, it makes sense that the more glass elements in a lens, the higher the chance of getting lens flares. Meaning zoom lenses, are more susceptible than prime lenses. First, as we mentioned, using prime lenses will help because they have less glass elements. Using a lens hood, which are designed to limit how light hits the lens. This is a quick and easy way to reduce or eliminate lens flares. And there are three shapes of lens hoods. Round, which is the most common and often used for standard telephoto lenses. Then there's petal and square lens hoods. Both are used for wide angle lenses because their shape is designed specifically to prevent the hood from cutting off the edges of the image. I know this may seem counter-intuitive because we're adding an extra layer of glass. But you can get uv and D and polarizer filters that are designed with a special coating that reduces the flares. Even a slight change in the angle can reduce or even eliminate the problem. Using lower apertures that let in more light can also help. Because with higher apertures, the beam of light that's passing through the lens is more concentrated. The more concentrated the light is, the more distinct the flares become. Think of it as a spotlight versus a floodlight. If there's dirt, dust or other particles on the lens, that's just more stuff for the light to bounce off of. Love it or hate it. Lens flares and ghosting will always be an element of filmmaking and photography. But now you know how it works and what you can do to work with it or work around it. 21. Conclusion: We've reached the end of this class, and I hope you enjoyed it and we'll take what you've learned here about lighting and related camera settings to evolve as a filmmaker and continue to practice and hone your skills and be sure to share your work here on Skillshare, as well as liver review. Good or bad. It helps me create better classes in the future. Thank you so much for joining me and I wish you all the best with your filmmaking.