A Simple Mistake to Avoid with Natural Lighting

Feb 14, 2023

Light can be a tricky thing. It’s often that subtle adjustment that separates ‘home made’ from ‘serious contender’. But if you get it wrong it can actually make things look worse.

In this article I want to highlight an issue I’ve come up against when creating content in my office.

For the most part I’m an advocate of getting content out there. Which means spending some time on making sure it’s right but not allowing perfection to interrupt the publishing process.

The less time I spend messing about with aesthetics the more time I have to get the message right. So thinking before I press record can really help me avoid having to repeat the process later because I made a technical mistake.

When it comes to lighting you have two options.

Artificial and natural.

A lot of people opt for natural because it’s easy. And with modern cameras the need for bright lighting isn’t as important. But natural light can have it’s own practical challenges.

Here’s an example.

 

My office has two windows (one in front of me and one to the right). This is intentional because it means I can position my camera on my desk and use the window in front of me to light my face.

On a cloudy day I don’t have many problems with this because the light is diffused.

On a sunny day  I could potentially have issues because my room faces south and the light is too strong in the morning. Fortunately I have shutter blinds so I have some control over this.

However if I decide to film some content in the morning and then realise I have to refilm some of it later in the afternoon, I can run into problems.

The reason is because the sun has moved around the side of the building and the light has changed.

Now when I try and cut things together, it looks weird.

So, sometimes it’s just easier to close the blinds and switch on my studio lights.

With studio lights you have complete control and every session will look more or less the same, assuming you have some ability to cut out or reduce the natural light in your office.

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1) If you want to get started with video using your smartphone then try my online course Smartphone Video Champion

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