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Old August 13th, 2019, 02:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: NY USA
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Help me set up my Lighting

Hello all,

I am currently using an iPhone 8 plus to shoot my videos. In the future I am looking to upgrade to a Sony A6400 or something similar. Want to definitely shoot in 4K without crop. Before I upgrade my camera I would like to get my lighting in order. I am an audio professional and just getting into video. Based on the Youtube links below - Please advice on the kind of light you would recommend as well as how to position it. I would like to avoid huge soft box lights. I have a pair and they are ok but take forever to set up. I would like to have lights that can be attached to a tripod above the phone or on mic stand with a proper adapter. (I have a ton of mic stands)

Do I need one light above the iPhone or to lights positioned to the left and right of the phone?

My video wIth soft box lights:



Here is a couple without:



Eduard Manvelyan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2019, 10:23 AM   #2
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Re: Help me set up my Lighting

Lighting is one of the more creative things that can be done and takes time to master. What you most likely would need to do is cover your "person" shots with basic 3 point lighting or possibly 2 point if you like some deeper shadows for modeling. 3 point is a key (main light), fill (less intens light to fill in shadows) and back (light up back of subject to seperate from the background they are in front of) Here is a pretty inexpensive kit that I found on B&H
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...2855/KBID/3801
You can then use just a single light for equipment close ups, play around with different colored gels and because they are battery powered easily use at different locations.
Remember the kit I linked to is really only designed to light a single person, it won't do a whole stage and may or may not be enough for 2 people. Hope this helps.
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Old August 15th, 2019, 03:21 PM   #3
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Re: Help me set up my Lighting

Quickest/easiest setup (if you need to reset each time), is to bounce a strong source off a white ceiling. Problem is, you give up almost all control over that light, which will fill and spill everywhere unless flagged carefully (not an option for fast setups).
Second fastest option is a strong source through a diffused umbrella. Pops open in a second, and you can keep the light and stand tucked into a corner when not in use.
Either way, I'd recommend a COB type LED light for power output, cool running, and versatility of adapters.
The Godox brand SL-60 or similar 'monoblock' style lights with a Bowens front accessory mount will allow you to use dozens of cheap modifiers. I'd suggest two units if you're going to use them as key/fill.
Eventually, if you want to add some more style or interest, you can look into LED light strips or string lights as a background element (very popular with many YouTubers). You can see the results of such a look here (along with a breakdown of how it was lit).
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Old August 16th, 2019, 02:23 AM   #4
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Re: Help me set up my Lighting

The setup you use for the second videos has shadows, the only thing of course is your hand on the pick guard has multiple shadows which shows where the lights were. I tend to think the best results come from an old fashioned key - part of the 3 point lighting technique, with a software light on the other side. Sometimes I will bounce a Fresnel on a tight beam from the ceiling, which as said still spills, but not so much. In your videos you have screens in the background, so a forwards facing light source to give depth is not so important - and in yours a few shadows in the background, or lower light levels will make you stand out.

The strange thing was the picture softness. Has youtube mangled your definition. It shows as 1080, but looks SD which is very odd. As you have a good guitar collection, showing them off is vital, so the lighting you've already designed by skill or luck is good enough as it is, but the image quality needs some investigation
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Old August 18th, 2019, 12:21 AM   #5
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Re: Help me set up my Lighting

Thank you all for your responses. So far I ordered this light: Neewer on Camera Video Light Photo Dimmable 176 LED




Its cheap and it will allow me to experiment with light placement and see if I need one or two more. It has a dimmer and 2 filters.

That way when I decide to invest in better lighting I will know exactly what I need and not spend a lot of money buying blind (at least I hope so). I will definitely try to aim it at the ceiling as well directly at me and see what gets me better results.

Will definitely keep my eye on the Godox sl60 as well.

As far video quality - I shot at 1080/60 frames but did a bunch of panning and zooming which reduced the quality. Since I shot these videos, I have invested in a better tripod (so my phone won't get slightly tilted as I connect a monitor via thunderbolt to see what I am shooting. I had to rotate the videos 1.5 degrees in order to straighten them, then had to crop to get rid of edges that reduces the quality. In fact since than I found how to mirror my iPhone screen on my iPad wirelessly.

I have decided that going forward I will shoot at 4k 60frames as my iPhone 8 plus allows me to do so. I was hesitant to shoot at 4k before because I was afraid my computer (late 2013 MacBook Pro) would not be able to handle it but if worst comes to worst I will just convert to 1080 on import to final cut pro.

As far as I know shooting at 4k will allow me to retain more quality even when I do panning and zooming.

Is that correct?

Because I am performing I opt to go for a single live take whenever possible and then cut the video footage up and apply a lot of "Ken Burns" ( as it is called in final pro) to simulate a multi angle footage and add some movement to a static shot.

What youtube does mess up (only in the YouTube app though - internet browser is fine) is the sync between audio and video. I usefully export in H264. Is there anything else in the export settings I should be doing?

Last edited by Eduard Manvelyan; August 18th, 2019 at 01:42 AM.
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Old August 18th, 2019, 03:09 AM   #6
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Re: Help me set up my Lighting

Yes - sort of. The killer though is the lens in the phone. The sensor is tiny and the lens is tiny too. 4K is a numeric standard and you'll find a good lens and larger sensor at 1080 may well out trump your 4K. If you look at a single pixel, can the lens quality land a tiny spot on just this one pixel? No, it probably covers at least 4-10 pixels at it's most sharp focus. That's the trouble and of course if you zoom, you are using a cheat to give the zoomed in image while a real lens changes the multiple lens configuration retain the quality throughout the range. Phones can't do this.

I've got one of the lights very similar to yours on my large format camera, for interviews in horrible lighting where it is at least one bright light. In my studio, it's useful thing as a low brightness key. The small size producing shadows. rather diffuse shadows, but useful. At the very least you need a source to create shadows and a source to fill them in - it gives depth. I'm a traditionalist, I still like 45 to the side and 45 up as the 'perfect' face light, and then the fill can be a bit more flexible as to location. I'm old enough to still have an 800W linear lamp redhead kit, with diffuser on the barn doors for fill. If I could buy an LED that did what they did, I would need no more. A big knob to control the beam angle from fierce and narrow to bland and wide. Some barn doors to stop light in certain directions, and then with some clips, a large sheet of diffuser for soft - and even two or three different types of diffuser. Now - we have less control, and soft lights are rarely tweak able - they just do big and soft. If you live in a city, visit the video rental houses and hire some for an afternoon and experiment with what they can do. Money well spent.
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