Shine a Light: Using Natural Light in Video Production

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There’s something truly magical about capturing Nature on the big screen. The haunting landscape imagery in Tarkovky’s Solaris, the cosmic beauty of Terrence Mallick’s Tree of Life – elements of Nature interspersed liberally throughout the film can serve as a powerful cinematic device. Be it the bright orange glow of a mesmerizing sunset, or the pale, glimmering moonlight, casting shadows against an occult sky, Nature makes an astounding protagonist, with an energy that flows abundantly in every frame.

Shooting video outdoors can be, both, challenging and rewarding, depending on your skill and creativity. It doesn’t require the most breathtaking view and it doesn’t cost you a dime! Natural lighting is a gifted cinematographer’s playground, and can be immensely beneficial to a person with a background in professional photography. This is because it teaches you the art of sculpting an image with the palate of light and shadows to add more definition.

It’s no surprise, after all, that Kubrick got his start as a photographer, and why legendary cinematographer, Roger Deakins, recommends photography to all aspiring cinematographers.

Sculpting with Sunlight

The difficulties of filming in natural lighting aren’t restricted to an outdoor shoot. Sometimes, you’re required to shoot a scene indoors, using natural light that’s perhaps streaming in through a tiny window. This is arguably more challenging than shooting outdoors as it puts a limit on the number of angles you can try when filming your actor or scene.

Invest in a the Right Camera

You don’t need the most expensive equipment to create a brilliant film or video, but you can certainly improve your chances of getting high definition results with a high resolution lens. Experiment with flags and reflectors to use natural light indoors and outdoors in a way that adds another layer to the scene.

Consider the Weather

You don’t plan a vacation without checking the weather of your destination spot – and your video production process should be no different!

Whether you’re looking to shoot a scene in the scorching heat of a desert, or a heavy downpour in the midst of wild tropical jungles, make sure to observe the movement, time and angle of the sun to get that perfect shot you see in films like The Revenant.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

That’s right – clichéd as it may seem, it’s absolutely true: practice makes perfect! The best way to master the craft of principal photography is to practice filming in natural lighting. You’ll learn something new each time as you begin to use natural light to heighten scenes for dramatic effect.

If this is beginning to sound a bit too complex for a business owner just looking to shoot a corporate video, or a performer trying to shoot a music video, simply get in touch with a professional video production company.

Outpost Worldwide caters to a diverse range of clients, including reputable businesses as well as individuals, for on location and studio production.

Contact us today and let our directors and videographers help get the lighting for your video just right!

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