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Key light for video: Three basics to know

Key light for video is the most important light source in video creation. It offers the main illumination for what you are filming. It helps create the mood and atmosphere and draws attention to certain areas. If you want to learn more about it, just read on to acquire the following topics:

  • What is video key light?
  • What is its purpose?
  • What are the differences between high and low key lighting in video shooting?

Use COLBOR CL220 as key light for video

What is key light for video?

Key light refers to the primary source of lighting in a scene. Key lights are often placed high and to one side, opposing the location of the camera. Moving main lights closer or farther away from the subject, adjusting their angle, or utilizing additional directing tools like reflectors or scrims can all be used to create a dramatic effect.

It draws attention to the shape and depth of on-screen subjects and allow video creators to alter the mood of a scene. The number of light sources they utilize, the specific properties of those lights (color temperature, brightness, etc.), and the placement of those lights may produce a broad range of moods, from secretive and tragic to light and hopeful.

What is the purpose of key light in video production?

It serves as the primary source of exposure for a video creator. Key light for YouTube videos is essential for correctly exposing and accentuating the outlines, dimensions, and forms of a subject and its surroundings that show on screen.

The entire tone of a scene is determined by how a video creator manipulates or complements the primary light. They use several videp lighting methods within video key light to generate diverse aesthetics. A key light in film is commonly utilized in a three-point setup to produce dramatic effects.

Low key VS high key lighting in video: What are their differences?

These are two video lighting techniques that produce significantly different moods and aesthetics. The high-key one decrease lighting ratio in the scene, which results in reduced contrast between the darker tones and the brighter sections. Alternatively, low-key lighting casts a large portion of the scene in shadow and creates a stronger contrast between the light and dark portions of the image.

High key video lighting ensures brightly lit subjects

This key light for video allows subjects to be brightly illuminated, with more fill light and softer shadows. Fill lights add ambient light to a scene while decreasing contrast.

When to use

It is usually used in advertisements for food and beauty items. Brightly illuminated scenes frequently convey an uplifting atmosphere and a good message. This style may also convey honesty and openness, making it the key light for video conferencing or instructional films. Your video material and lighting should complement one another to make the message consistent and apparent. If you filming a solemn subject in high-key lighting, it may appear insincere.

How to achieve

The idea is to use a lot of light and subtle shadows. Large softboxes or diffusers may be used to strongly illuminate a location while avoiding harsh shadows on your subject. The larger your light source, the softer your shadows will appear. Lighter backgrounds are also required, which helps to reflect and accentuate the ambient light in a scene.

While the idea is to soften and decrease shadows, never place a light right in front of your subject because this will flatten everything. Place it 30 degrees or more away from the camera. This perspective, when paired with a well-lit scene and fill light, will provide complexity to your subject without casting harsh shadows.

Low key lighting allows you to capture drama in videos

When using this type of key light for video, the shadows are darker and there are fewer whites and midtones. Chiaroscuro is when an artist creates a dramatic mood by using a great contrast between light and dark to pull the viewer's focus to one portion of the frame. Low-key lighting, which is distinguished by its dark shadows and enigmatic ambiance, plays a similar purpose in video today.

When to use

For videos that are more somber, dramatic, or narrative, low-key lighting is frequently employed. It is common in portrait photography and works nicely in black and white. You're less likely to see low-key lighting employed in marketing or promotional materials because of its somber atmosphere and stark contrast.

How to achieve

You must restrict ambient illumination in your environment and carefully manage your key light for video if you want low-key lighting. It works best when photographed against a black background since white or light-colored walls reflect light easily. You may also minimize light and manage what bounces around by strategically placing dark cloth. Natural light may be used to capture low-key photos and videos, but stricter set and environmental controls are needed.