3 Tips for Shooting Great Low-Light Footage on Any Camera

Are you having some trouble shooting in the dark? Chrystopher Rhodes form YCImaging has 3 tips to help you film better low light footage on any camera.

“… a lot of people think low light shooting means no light shooting,” Rhodes begins. “The problem I see with a lot of low light videos is that misconception that you have to be shooting at a super high ISO to be considered shooting low light and you have to use literally no light available to you. Well, that’s not the case at all.”

The first tip that Rhode presents is to find light in our surrounding environment and get your subject as close to it as possible. “One typical mistake that a lot of people do is they go out and they instantly just start increasing the ISO when in a low light film,” says Rhodes, and while that is fine and that’s going to gradually increase the exposure, without actual light, your footage is going to come out flat.

The second tip from Rhode is to be aware of the background and to use the darkness to your advantage. Basically this means that you don’t always have to have your subjects fully visible. It’s okay to have them silhouetted when the background is aesthetically pleasing visually. “A lot of times when people are low light filming, they feel like the subject always has to be lit … that’s not the case at all. If you have a background that is aesthetically pleasing to look at, it’s gonna better most of the time for you to just expose for that background [and] just have your subjects be completely dark or semi-dark.” The viewers are going to know that the person is your subject; we don’t always need to see their face or expressions.

The last tip Rhode has is to supply your own light at times. You don’t need to have super fancy lights either; you could even just use your cell phone. Rhode himself used a little powerful LED light in the video. “Most of the time, supplying your own light for low -light shooting is an amazing idea,” says Rhodes.

In summary, knowing and using your environment’s lighting to your advantage, bringing your own lights, and knowing that it’s okay to not always have your subjects lit will help you shoot better footage in low light settings.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's Managing Editor.

Related Content