Production Stills from recent projects...
BizVid Communications is a San Diego based video production company owned by Bill Gruber and Caz Taylor. Together we have over 50 years of video production experience and we like to blog about video production, marketing and business.
August 22nd, 2011
Being a San Diego video production company, we are often on location and like to video tape our subjects or product in the out-of-doors. We have found that there is no better resource than God’s creation to make pretty pictures. But like any location, light is always a consideration. Light can be the camera’s best friend or its worst enemy. Just how does one make sure that light is a friend, you ask? Any lighting director or directory of photography will tell you that light is made to be a friend by the way it is controlled.
Let’s use sunlight as the example. On a very bright day (as you will see in the video associated with this post), the sun will invariably cast unwanted shadows on the subject to be video taped. So, enter the FlexFill. The FlexFill is a handy little tool with a selection of two specific functions designed to fit any situation. When configured for reflection, the shiny side can be used to bounce light from the source to the subject. Doing so fills in unwanted shadows. When the shiny sheath is removed, the FlexFill can be used to diffuse a strong light source so that the diffused light s evenly distributed over the subject to be taped. The concept is simple but on those really bright days, it is great to have control over our friend, light.
August 2nd, 2011
As a leading video production company in San Diego, BizVid Communications has found that one of the key elements separating professional videographers from amateurs is lighting. If you’re shooting a video which intended to represent your business, both the look and the message need to speak highly of you. While you may not have the lighting equipment and flexibility that a pro would use, here are some simple tips for using available light sources to light your video.
Use balanced, even lighting wherever possible. When outside, avoid shooting your subject with the sun directly behind them. So many times, you’ll see a video with a person or object standing in front of the sun or a strong light source and they are just silhouettes.
The sun is a powerful light source but it can be very high contrast. Avoid unflattering shadows by staging your action to stay away from direct sunlight (aka: the shade). The same goes for staging your subject in or around dark shadows. It’s hard for a camera to properly capture both for extremely light and extremely dark areas so try to make sure everything in your shot is close to the same level of brightness. The more balanced the light, the better.
When inside, a professional will often minimize all light existing sources and then bring in their own so they can control color density and the visual environment for as long as needed. Since you probably won’t have that luxury, use the flattest light sources you can, to provide an even, balanced look. Those flourescent spiral light bulbs (CFL’s) can be a great light source for videography. If there’s one in a nearby lamp, try to bring it close to your subject (while still keeping it out of frame).
When bright, direct sunlight is in the room, it may either wash out the subject or cause silhouettes. When your subject has harsh shadows on their face or on surrounding surfaces, turn on a nearby lamp. It’s light will bounced off a wall or other surface to diffuse the shadow. Remember, the rule of thumb is to keep the shooting environment as flatly lit as possible (avoiding extreme light and/or dark areas). It draws attention to the subject, instead of the surroundings.