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> Video Production Blog, how to make a video?
Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 21 2011, 02:00 PM
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Semi-Professional Light Kits:

These light kits are made for studio work, radiate little heat and create soft shadows. Usually these kits are also made to be transportable in compact form, so smaller TV or video crews can carry them on field with ease. Their price range can vary, but you can find some pieces from roughly 50$ and up. On of the cheapest light kits are fluorescent ones, and they include:

- stand
- softbox/umbrella
- bulb socket


Stands

As far as stands go, we have 3 basic shapes in this category:

Single Light Stand:


T Bar Light Stand:


Oblique Light Stand:


All these shapes can have specific function, but in general, you will want most of your lightning sources to be closer to the ceiling then floor, and this is why stands are so important. Light sources emit light from above. Single light stand is great for beginning semi-pro videographer, T-Bar stand is good if you want to set multiple sources on one stand, and oblique light stand is great for places where you need greater accessibility or place the light source directly above the object.

Softbox vs. Umbrella

With the right training, a good photographer can use either of these devices to obtain the results they desire. For a beginner, a basic understanding of how light works should be obtained before tackling the subject.

Softboxes

When it comes to lighting, softboxes can offer you the most (and best) control and most uniform lighting. Multiple shapes are available, ranging from your standard rectangular or square to octagonal. They are double diffused, producing softer light than your other lighting options. Softboxes are more effective at reducing shadows, and can be used with brighter lighting (unlike with other methods, where too much light can wash out your photos).

However, softboxes are the most expensive option. In most cases, they are also hard to setup (especially when compared to umbrellas and brolly boxes), making use of them on location difficult. Quick setup softboxes are available, but the standard assembly softboxes offer you more versatility.

Umbrellas

There are two different types of umbrellas that you can use for photography: reflective and shoot through. Either option you choose, there are two large incentives for using umbrellas: they are the cheapest lighting modification option, and extremely easy to transport and setup. They produce a soft look, and the light falls nicely onto your background.

Umbrellas are also the most difficult to control and produce the most spill. If you use too much light with them, unlike with softboxes, you will wash out some elements of your photos. Also, if you are not extremely careful, you will get a small black center in the catch light in your subject’s eyes.

Brolly Boxes

A newcomer to the market is the brolly box. This item combines the quick assembly of the umbrella with some of the advantages of a softbox. A typical brolly box will have an outer white lining for shoot through lighting, with an inner black lining that fits around the head of your light to contain and eliminate spill. Used correctly, they can produce results similar to a softbox of the same size. Additionally, brolly boxes are as easy and convenient to setup and breakdown as an umbrella, and only slightly more expensive.

Brolly boxes generally have more light output than softboxes, but are not as robust as they offer less diffusion and cannot handle as much lighting. If used too far away from your subject, your light fall off will greatly diminish.


Lightning Kit Bulb Holders/Sockets:

3 forms that appear more frequently are single, dual and multiple bulb sockets. They mount on the stand and are capable of providing enough power for continuous time. Usually made for studio use, these sockets are more robust then regular ones that you can find at home or on work lights.

Single and Dual bulb holders with integrated umbrella holder:


Standard four Lamp Holder without any addons:



FAQ Section:

- What lightning kit is best for me?
That depends on the function. If you just started with your studio, the usual 3-point lightning setup will require at least two stands with single bulbs, two umbrellas/softboxes, and one smaller key light (preferably on a mini stand too). There are many economy lightning kits that have this in mind, so you can buy some of them relatively cheap. Here are examples of these kits, sold with the bags for easy transport:

Cowboy Studio Cheap Lightning Kit (~60$)


3-point Kit with muslin backdrop and stands (~130$)


2400W 3-piece lightning kit with reflective umbrellas (~150$)


- How big space do I need for this setup?
Bigger is better, but size creates other acoustic-related problems. So a proper balance must be found. As with many other things, always measure twice before buying anything. You should have enough space to have your entire object in-frame, have room camera stand, key light, fill light, and background light. All these stands will create obstacles in the room, so try to leave yourself couple of free corners for your gear, and to be able to walk through studio without needing to displace anything.

- Can I make some of these lamps myself to save some money?
Yes, but be careful about your investment, calculate the costs and work hours with the final result. There is a reason why this gear costs so much (and some of them are really cheap). Factory-made sockets and stands are more sturdy, and flexible then DIY ones, and DIY projects can often cost more then mass-produced factory kits (specially if you buy some tools for the job).



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Sinisa Cekic
post Dec 21 2011, 09:39 PM
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Another great article Ivan,I enjoyed reading this smile.gif !


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 21 2011, 10:37 PM
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Thanks my friend smile.gif


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- Check out my GMC Profile and Lessons
- (Please subscribe to my) YouTube Official Channel
- Let's be connected through ! Facebook! :)
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Bushybrows
post Dec 22 2011, 03:06 AM
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This is great, this knowledge will certainly help me with my videos. At the moment, they suck haha. Thank again.
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 22 2011, 05:42 PM
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Take your time, and stay tuned. We still haven't touched the "red button" smile.gif


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- Ivan's Video Chat Lesson Notes HERE
- Check out my GMC Profile and Lessons
- (Please subscribe to my) YouTube Official Channel
- Let's be connected through ! Facebook! :)
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