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What’s the difference between hard and soft light for video?

Lighting creates a visual mood in a video, and there are two main types used in video creation. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned content creator, it is necessary to know the differences between using hard or soft light for video, how to create them, and which one works best for your recording. In this article, we will cover these topics to help you dive into the world of lighting. Read on to get more information.

What is soft light?

Soft lighting is a form of light that is bright but balanced, with few strong shadows. The shift between light and shadow is significantly smoother and more gradual. There will be few to no shadows on your subject's face. And if there is a shadow, it is not as dark as it is with harsh light shadows.

You can think of how things appear on a cloudy or overcast day, with clouds providing a diffusion between the sun and an item. This is how subjects look when you use soft lighting in video.

How to soften light for video?

How to make a soft light for video? The most important thing you need to know in terms of soft lighting for video is this principle: the larger the light source is relative to your subject, the softer the light will be. So basically, what this means is that a large light source is going to give you soft light. Now we can increase the relative size of our light source in two ways. One is increasing the physical size of the light: how big the light actually is. And the second is going to be how close that light is to your subject.

There are two commonly used ways to increase the size of light source.

If you want to create homemade soft lighting for video without using extra tools, it will be a good idea to bounce the video light off of a wall, a ceiling, a piece of cardboard or anything like that. When we do this bouncing technique, it's really important to bounce the light off of a neutral color because the light is going to take on the properties of that. So if you're bouncing off of a green wall or a red wall or something like that, the light on your subject is going to have a green or red cast. It's really important that you choose something like a beige or white ideally so that you're not getting any sort of color discoloration to your light.

Another way is to use a softbox to create soft light for video. The objective of a softbox is to diffuse light to give your photographs a more natural appearance and feel. A soft box light for video is composed of a translucent material that is coupled to a light source, usually a speedlight or strobe, which is mounted on a stand. The inside fabric is normally white or silver, bordered by a black cloth on the outside, and wrapped around a framed box with a diffusing panel.

Softboxes are used by filmmakers and photographers to soften and disperse light by increasing the size of a smaller, brighter source. They also have more control over the form and direction of the LED soft light for video than an umbrella. Soft box lights have the extra benefit of generating a natural form and light as if created by a window because they are frequently rectangular in shape.

The size and form of the softbox you choose will be determined by your aims. However, keep in mind that a larger one will provide very soft light, but it will also require enough light output to fill the box.

As aforementioned, distance is another factor to consider for soft light. The closer it is to the subject, the softer the lighting is. Even though it's the exact same light and pretty much the exact same angle, the difference is now it is physically closer and the light is able to wrap around your face more before falling off. It's just physically bigger in relation to the subject. Therefore, it is softer now.

Under this principle, if you are working in a really tight space where you don't have a lot of room, a LED panel is probably going to be your best bet. And the best small soft light for video YouTube is suggested to be 12 inches wide, which gives you a larger light source and is easy to be poisoned close to you.

What is hard light?

Hard light is a concentrated, frequently intense source of light that creates sharp shadows and emphasizes a particular area in a photograph.

The line between the light from the shadows is particularly sharp and distinct in strong lighting. Your subject will produce a definite, hard shadow when they are under direct, direct light. Consider how things seem on a sunny day when the sun is shining straight on an object as an example of harsh light.

How do you create hard light in vides?

Setting up a single point of light that casts highly definite shadows and gives your photo a high-contrast appearance with precise gradations between light and shade is how hard light is achieved.

An example of a light that produces harsh light is a camera flash. It may be used off-camera to produce softer shadows or on-camera to produce harsher shadows.

When should you use hard light VS soft light for video shooting?

Soft and hard light produce various visual emotions. When to utilize each one is as follows:

Your subjects will have more richness, depth, and dimension under hard light. Hard light's high contrast characteristics produce a strong feeling of drama and give your images an edgy, gritty appearance. To give their subjects the appearance of strength and seriousness, photographers employ a harsh light source. Additionally, it is employed to give specific scenes in drama, action, and film noir films a gritty, hard-edged feel.

It is more flattering to use soft light for video. It has a more natural appearance and gives your subject an inviting, pleasant air. Compared to strong light, soft light is more forgiving and needs less retouching. It may be used to reduce wrinkles, cover acne, and enhance the sparkle in someone's eyes. Photographers frequently employ soft light for shooting fashion, cuisine, travel, and portraiture.