Reply To: Lighting: would like guitar strings & fretboard to be a touch clearer


I don’t know why I keep losing my posts when I edit them but it just happened again. Here’s my reply: I use 22 watt led bulbs (150 watt equivalent) in floor and desk lamps pointed at the ceiling to light up the scene for guitar and keyboard performance videos. You can also get more light by shooting at a lower frame rate. For example, 60 fps requires a 1/120 sec. shutter speed, while 24 fps only requires a 1/50 sec shutter speed, letting in much more light at the same iso. When you raise the iso you also introduce noise, which works against clarity of detail. Use an online depth of field calculator to determine the lowest f-stop (widest aperture) you can use to keep all of the subject in focus. In a pinch you can lower the shutter speed past the norm to get more light (eg. shoot at 1/30 sec shutter speed with 24fps). Also, shooting 4K will bring more detail than 1080P HD, even when seen on a 2K monitor or Youtube.
Another thing to consider is that you can brighten a dark scene in post by adding brightness and contrast. But as others have said, nailing focus is probably more important than anything else. Getting close with the right camera angle is important. And if you have a dark fretboard, your fingers may show up better than against a light fretboard.

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