Creating the perfect YouTube video involves an awful lot of different factors that you need to get just right. There’s the way you present yourself, there’s the script, there’s the subject matter…
But then there’s also all of those smaller factors that people all-too often overlook. And one example of this is the lighting.
People obsess so much over video quality and resolution etc. that they forget they need to think about the quality of the real image before they take the video! And actually, a bright video taken with a low-quality camera is almost always going to look better than a dark video on a high quality camera.
There will be more noise in the latter and it will be harder to make out what’s going on!
So how do you go about getting that lighting just right?
The great thing about lighting is that you don’t have to spend anything to get it perfect. The best lighting in actual fact is natural lighting and if you can find a nice large window with no blinds or netting in the way to block the light, then this will do a fantastic job of lighting any subject.
To make the most of this, you should set-up the shot so that the light from the window will be coming in at the side of the subject (which is likely to be you). This will light one side of your face more than the other, creating a sense of contrast and depth and being more flattering than ‘flat light’. This is known as ‘Rembrandt’ lighting and is a great effect if you can pull it off.
The main problem with relying on natural lighting though is of course that it isn’t always going to be available and you can sometimes be left with nothing.
The solution to this problem is to use lighting equipment and here there are two popular options among YouTubers. One is the ‘halo ring’, which is a ring of bright light. The only problem with this is that it can show in your eyes and create a ring-like effect around your pupils.
Another option is ‘soft boxes’. These are large boxes that emit light but dampen it on the way through to create a less harsh effect. Using these you can make sure that all of your shots are bright and crisp and that your audience will be able to see your videos clearly.
Of course as you get more ambitious, you’ll have the option to create more elaborate and interesting lighting. A great example is to use colored lighting, which you can accomplish relatively easily using a colored bulb. This will allow you to light gadgets and all manner of other things using cool green or purple lighting effects. Invest in a couple and you can create a lot of amazing looks this way that will really set your videos apart! Experiment and get creative!