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How to set up lights for cooking videos?

Lights for cooking videos make the food look delicious. They offer natural and consistent lighting, playing a big role in hooking viewers. In this article, we will explore how to set up the cooking lights properly. After reading, you will get the fundamental principle and know some setup techniques.

COLBOR CL220 best light for overhead cooking videos is used with a reflector.

Set up lighting for cooking videos at home with natural light

To set up lighting for cooking videos at home, firstly, you should find a location where you can get even lighting for the longest time. A north-facing window typically makes an excellent shooting location. When shooting video, you usually work over a longer period of time than when capturing still photographs. And the natural light might change as time and weather change. Therefore, when recording cooking videos, you are advised to monitor the light and accordingly adjust the white balance and fill cards.

Go for artificial lights if you want consistent lighting for YouTube cooking videos

Artificial video light is another excellent choice. It delivers steady, consistent light and various color temperatures and can be turned on at any time of day. It brings the following benefits to your cooking video shooting.

Consistency: Artificial light won’t be influenced by the time of day and weather. It offers lighting of the same color temperature and brightness when the setting is always the same. This ensures consistent illumination during long-time shooting and provides a better viewing experience for your cooking video viewers.

Won’t be limited by time: It's a kind of lights for cooking videos that can be used at any time of day, so you don't have to plan your shots around the weather or daylight availability. You are free to set up and shoot anytime you would like. You may even capture process video one day and final shots the next, knowing that the lighting will be the same.

Flexible adjustments: It is considerably easier to modify and manipulate your lighting to your liking. You can physically move the light source and even change its strength. This allows you a lot of freedom not just while making videos, but also when experimenting.

The COLBOR CL220, for example, is a good light for shooting cooking videos that you can use. It is adjustable in color temperature and brightness, so you can set it up as you like. Moreover, it features 96+ CRI and TM30 Rf94 and Rg102+ at 3200K. This means that it can reveal the real color of your cooking videos.

Use light setup for cooking video that creates bright and soft lighting

Proper lighting is the key to making high-quality recipe videos. Here are some tips that you can follow to set up lighting for YouTube cooking videos.

Set up Lights for cooking videos using 3-point lighting

Key Light: It is normally placed 45° from the camera, aiming 45° down on the subject. If the shadows are too harsh, a diffuser should be used.

Fill Light: To reduce the shadow cast by the main light, the fill light shines on the subject from a side angle. It is usually diffused and roughly half as bright as the main light. If your light is too bright and casting too much shadow, you may soften it by directing the fill light towards the reflector and reflecting the diffused light on the subject.

Back Light: This light, sometimes known as the rim, hair, or shoulder light, shines on the subject from behind, differentiating it from the backdrop.

Mind the camera position and use whiteboard to avoid shadows

You should keep an eye out for shadows. Depending on the type of tripod or stand you're using for your camera, you'll want to be sure the light isn't being blocked by one of them and casting a shadow in your image. You can use a huge whiteboard opposite your light source to soften the shadows.

Turn off ambient light and wear in white, black, or brown to avoid mixing colors

To avoid undesired color casts, switch off any ambient lights (overhead, lamp, etc.). Turn off the ambient light, which is either highly orange or somewhat green, and use the lights for cooking videos you're setting up to better manage the scenario.

When recording films, you should also be mindful of what you wear because the color of your clothes might reflect (either physically in your cookware or as a shadow) onto the scene. When filming films, you have the option of wearing white, black, or a brown apron.

More tips for shooting cooking videos

Use a tripod to your advantage. Mount your camera on a tripod to free up your hands and ensure you get blur-free, stable footage. This will eliminate camera shaking, level up your picture, and assist you in honing your composition skills - always a plus.

Remove the clutter. A disorganized surface means amateur. Clean your surfaces and get rid of any odd things, such as documents, before recording.

Make a plan for your video sequence. Make a short storyboard of the recipe or set down the instructions in a notebook before pressing the Record button, so you have something to refer to while recording.