Simple lighting makes cleaner, more natural images, while reducing production hassles.
By now, it's old news that video for the Internet should be simple in order to conserve bandwidth and constrain file size. Complicated images and frequent movement produce artifacts, dropped frames, and an overall quality that almost equals the first attempts of Thomas A. Edison. (This used to somewhat be the case with home DVD as well, but DVD-burning software is improving dramatically.) Lest we forget, video is nothing but recorded light, so the simpler the light patterns, the simpler the images, moving or still.
What if you don't share your vacations with an eager world, at 15 fps in 1/8-screen windows? Simple lighting is still desirable because it takes less equipment and power, it looks more natural, it's kinder to performers, and it's easier to create. So let's run through these advantages and then see how to finesse great images out of simple setups.
Cut Down on Hardware
Priced a professional lighting kit lately? Wrestled six halogen work lights into your car trunk? Tried to light a 12 x 12 room with four lights on one electrical circuit? The fewer the lights, the milder the hassle and the lower the power drain. A big lighting outfit may make you feel like the big guys on your first time out, but it soon feels like swimming with an anvil.
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