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Thread: Not enough light maybe? Need some help!

  1. #1

    Wink Not enough light maybe? Need some help!

    I'm an absolute beginner here so please go easy on me!

    • I'm using a GH4
    • FalconEyes SO-28TD (for my fill light) @ max 5600 brightness
    • Yongnuo YN-300 (for my key light) @ about 75%
    • I totally forgot to setup a rim light.

    I shot this footage flat/log, (Cinelike-D), ISO: 200.
    I guess my question here is --- does this look like enough light? It sure seemed like enough at the time but now that I'm seeing the footage I'm not so sure.
    Top image is the original captured footage, bottom is slightly color-graded (and not very well)...
    Any insight or recommendations super appreciated!
    Tlighting.jpg


  2. #2

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    Hi,

    You are right that there is not enough light, but it doesn't necessarily mean that your light's are not enough. It's more a composition issue.
    Video lights that can light you from such distance have to be extremely powerful and because of that those lights are super expensive (you could buy 2-3 GH4's for the price of one such light).

    That's why for YouTube videos people tend to film themselves in medium or close up shots, so that they can position the lights very close to themselves in order to get stronger light.

    I would suggest the following:
    1. What lens are you using? It seems to be a wide angle lens and far away from you. Generally you want to put your camera much, much closer (at arms distance) with lenses that are 16mm - 35mm Full frame equivalent. That way you will be able to position your light MUCH closer as well and that will instantly increase the brightness.

    Something like this:


    2. In your specific room, if you want to keep this angle, i would close the door to get rid of the tungsten (warm yellow light) that's spilling from the other room / corridor because it creates a mess. The corridor lights are probably 3000K and your video lights are daylight 5600K. You can mix warm lights with daylight, but not like this (it should be controlled).

    3. Think about some more practical lights (lamp, RBG LED, fairy lights etc) to illuminate your background and give your room (shot) character.

    4. You should also shoot with 400 or even 640 ISO in this situation to help with the overall illumination. If you use practical lights on your walls / door, then you should not see too much noise in the shadows there.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    Post your progress as well
    Last edited by RL_Sensei; 05-16-2019 at 06:07 PM.

  3. #3

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    Expanding on what's been said:

    In terms of how much light you have at your disposal you should have enough. You are already at ISO 200 and your GH4 should comfortably go to 600 ISO if needed (which would let you capture 2.5 times more light). So to improve on the image, you are looking at making changes to your arrangement.


    Those small LED lights don't produce the most elegant lighting. There's nothing wrong with the LED lights for what they are, but the best lighting comes from large surfaces. That's why people gravitate to softboxes like you see in the picture above.

    If you want to stay with the LED lights, you want to get them as close as possible to your subject. I would also use a modifier. For instance, when I use LED lights like your YN-300, I'll put it on a stand with a shoot-through umbrella. This gives you that softer light / larger surface effect. You lose some light power in the diffusion, but you can cope with that by raising the light output and the camera ISO.

    Finally, I strongly recommend you let a window do some heavy lifting. LED lights at their best won't produce the quality of light that your average window can give you by letting in sunlight. Consider rearranging so that the window is at least part of your setup. I would try to make it the key light, then use the LED as a fill. But the window might at least act as the room fill. For context, if I were shooting exclusively with LED lights and no sunlight, I would want the equivalent of 4 of those YN-300 to do 3-point lighting. I double up the key (for a larger surface) through an umbrella, then one for fill through an umbrella, then a hair/back light. In short, if you are not going to work with those many lights, take advantage of a window.

    And as a side note on lighting, consider a pair of CFL softboxes.

    One more bonus point: unless you know what you want to do with the grading, you may want to ignore the Cinelike modes, since the more natural modes will produce a more finished image that should look good and sit better with less grading. I'd say once you sort out lighting, try out all color modes to see which one feels best with your final setup and room, and just use that.

  4. #4

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    @JoChicago & Sensei --

    I cannot put into words how helpful both of your responses were... I'm literally printing these out to reference often..

    Really appreciate your time!

    T

  5. #5

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    [QUOTE=RL_Sensei;226623]
    4. You should also shoot with 400 or even 640 ISO in this situation to help with the overall illumination. If you use practical lights on your walls / door, then you should not see too much noise in the shadows there.

    This sounds great but when I start bumping up the ISO (600-800) my exposure meter shows I'm way over-exposed... Probably an insane question but should I maybe try out a UV filter in the process so I can increase my ISO?

    I currently have my ISO at 200, Aputure at 1.7, shutter at 50.

    Thanks again!!!

    T

  6. #6

    Default

    No problem, happy to help.

    Re: ISO
    The point of raising the ISO is only to increase the brightness of your image, and you only want to go as far as needed because they higher you raise the ISO the more you start losing image quality (although the GH4 should be ok at least to 600 ISO or so).

    Neutral Density filters (ND, for reducing light) are only really used for filming outside during a sunny day. In doors you'd never really need to reduce light, the permanent fight is to increase light.

    One point to consider is that the audience usually prefers images that are a bit over exposed, and Panasonic has a tendency to under expose a bit. I usually set my Panasonic camera to aperture priority mode and 1/3+ exposure. So try over exposing the shot a bit but not too much and only use the ISO as needed to improve brightness.

    A note on operation: if you are not comfortable yet with the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter, ISO), then consider using an assisted mode like aperture priority and let the camera handle things. You control the image using the exposure compensation. This is not cheating or amateur, I shoot almost all my professional assignments for photo and video using aperture priority, and I get the shot twice as fast as my pro photo friend that insists on all manual.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommytime555 View Post
    This sounds great but when I start bumping up the ISO (600-800) my exposure meter shows I'm way over-exposed... Probably an insane question but should I maybe try out a UV filter in the process so I can increase my ISO?

    I currently have my ISO at 200, Aputure at 1.7, shutter at 50.

    Thanks again!!!

    T
    Shoot at f/2.8 as your base, shutter 1/50 and then expose with ISO.

    If you want to keep the f/1.7 (if you don't run in to focusing issues) and you are over exposed, then it's a good thing. It means you can add diffusion between your and your LED to soften the light. Diffusion will probably have a -1 stop effect on exposure.

  8. #8

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    I have learned a TON today.... Can't tell ya how appreciative I am of your time... Wow.

    Thanks so much.

    T

  9. #9

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    I too have learned plenty here. Good thread, cheers.

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