Male: Today we're going to go over a little bit about on-camera lighting. On-camera lighting is generally a last ditch sort of lighting effort when you really just need some light for you to resolve the image.
Female: Either for fill or that's the only light that you have available.
Male: That being said, they've come up with a lot of really interesting ways of softening the light and making it look as nice as it can.
Female: To begin with, there are fixed and non-fixed lights. Most of the older cameras will have a light on the side or underneath or on top that's fixed and there's nothing you can do about it. These cameras are becoming less and less seen in the market and then you're going to go into the other cameras where you actually can add the lights to them.
Male: A lot of the cameras have a light mounting point, a shoe of some kind, that allows you to sort of mix and match and choose which light you like. They're all small and battery powered usually. Some of them can actually run off the battery that's on your camera as well.
Female: Right. For instance, I think this camera – is that what this is, the electrical shoe here for something?
Female: And then you have the regular one for your battery powered there. So it charges right off the camera. But in this case, you're going to plug it into a power pack, a battery pack, which is actually better for you because you're saving your camera battery.
Male: Right. Exactly. They tend to eat battery life quite quickly.
Female: They look just like the little holders inside what they used to call cigarette lighters in your cars.
Male: They use them in news a lot obviously because you can't light up a news setting.
Female: And they're usually working fast.
Male: The bad thing about these lights is they're generally pretty straight on and they hit your talent very harshly and they light them with big shadows.
Female: Deer in the headlights look.
Male: Usually when the option is that or nothing, it's better to have that.
Female: One tip to do when you do have a light that's on a camera and you don't have a choice, for instance, he's taller than I am so if I was holding the camera like this I'd be lighting him from underneath. I want to get a little bit higher than him in lighting him above. That would give less problems with the shadows if that's your choice. Or in a case of a camera like this, you can tip the light up and shoot it to the ceiling and have the ceiling, if it's a white ceiling, bouncing off your light and give you a little bit better, softer light.
Male: Right. And also, of course, backing up and putting a little more distance between you and the subject, reframing a little longer by being further away and it doesn't really blow out your talent's face.
Female: Some lights will have an arm to them in some way. This one goes up a little bit higher and so it's not going right in the person's eyes. There are other ones like this is an arm attachment that comes off to the side and you would set it to the side like this and you would set your light right there and then again, it's coming to the side instead of straight into their face. That makes it a little softer, a little easier, giving more of a fill light instead of a straight on hard light.
Male: They're generally daylight, color temperature balanced and you can use them just like you would a normal studio light. You can put gels in front of them, diffusion material, all these things you can do to get the best light quality out of the lamp that you've got.
Female: If I was shooting nights or weekends, I would take a friend or family member with me or if I had a reporter with me, and if I had a camera that had the light on a battery pack, I'd actually have them hold the light off from a distance so I would get a little bit better shot than that straight on. If you do have one of these older cameras, you can put a little flag to bounce it off like that by using a clothespin or gaffer's tape or whatever and that will help a little bit from the harshness.
Male: So in conclusion, an on-camera light is generally a last minute solution to a lighting problem, but it's definitely worth having in your kit just because you often find yourself in the choice of no image or a poorly lit image.
Female: They vary from prices from under $100.00 to clearly up to $1,000.00. The larger kits are going to have more tricks for them; you're going to have barn doors. You're going to have the dichroic filters. You're going to have the arms and all the other stuff. So think about that. Some of the kits are very small, but if you need something, if you're going to be doing a lot of shooting outdoors or a lot of shooting with just that one light, go in and really invest in the better kit.
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