Video

The Importance of Lighting for Video.

A few days ago our very first online course at Lynda.com went live. As is always the case, when we look back at a fin­ished project we find lit­tle things here and there that we could have improved or done differently—but I am very proud with what we have here.

This project has been an unbe­liev­able learn­ing expe­ri­ence and an impor­tant pro­fes­sional mile­stone for us. This is also a very mean­ing­ful moment for me on a per­sonal level as I have been an avid fan and user of Lynda.com for more than twelve years. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have learned from the videos on this web­site. Even with top­ics that I’m very com­fort­able with, like Adobe Light­room, I usu­ally find a new trick, a dif­fer­ent approach to teach or present a cer­tain tech­nique, or even ideas on how to orga­nize my own edu­ca­tional content.

Many peo­ple don’t know that Lynda.com was founded in 1995 by hus­band and wife team Lynda Wein­man and Bruce Heavin. They made a $20,000 invest­ment from their per­sonal sav­ings and drew upon their expe­ri­ences teach­ing com­puter graph­ics, ani­ma­tion, inter­ac­tive design, and motion graph­ics.
After almost two decades of hard—and smart—work, the com­pany has blos­somed into a vir­tual video library with more than one mil­lion pay­ing mem­bers, more than 2,200 courses (100,000+ indi­vid­ual videos), and 450 full-time employees.

lynda.com online training tutorials

Who are the authors of all these won­der­ful videos? The courses are cre­ated by “200 care­fully selected indus­try experts, work­ing pro­fes­sion­als, and vet­eran teach­ers who are the best in their field, pas­sion­ate about their sub­ject mat­ter, and know how to teach.” Being invited to join this elite group is, and will always be, one of the most hum­bling expe­ri­ences of my life.

Another fas­ci­nat­ing fact about Lynda.com is that more than half of the For­tune 100 com­pa­nies, six out of the top 10 adver­tis­ing agen­cies, 16 of the top 20 media com­pa­nies, 40% of all U.S. col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, 31 state gov­ern­ments, and all branches of the U.S. mil­i­tary are active mem­bers. Sur­prised? I was too, but we shouldn’t be once you con­sider the amount and qual­ity of the con­tent being offered, that an aver­age of 24 new courses are added per month, and that the entire library can be accessed for a tiny invest­ment of $25.

Right now it’s got to be pretty obvi­ous how much I admire this com­pany! Now, let’s briefly talk about our course.

It is enti­tled “Light­ing Design for Video Pro­duc­tions” and includes top­ics such as:

  • Under­stand­ing the role of lighting
  • Light­ing inte­rior and exte­rior scenes
  • Direct­ing the viewer’s attention
  • Enhanc­ing mood in a scene
  • Achiev­ing great light under harsh conditions
  • Decid­ing on the right light­ing style for your story

I believe the mar­ket is flooded with “how to” videos: how to set up a light, where to put it, which but­ton to push, etc. All this is very impor­tant. But I believe that what most pho­tog­ra­phers tran­si­tion­ing into film­mak­ing and begin­ning film­mak­ers need most is the “why.” Why do you need to add a light here or there? Why would you use a portable disc reflec­tor at noon? Why is it that prac­ti­cal lights can be so incredibly…practical?

Here’s the thing—we can make a film with­out sound, with­out color, and with­out a sin­gle cam­era move­ment, but we can never make a film with­out light. As visual sto­ry­tellers, light is our color palette. With it we cre­ate mood, mod­ify shapes, high­light tex­ture, enhance or exag­ger­ate our subject’s phys­i­cal fea­tures, direct the viewer’s atten­tion to rel­e­vant details or objects, and estab­lish a time of day or a sense of space. By sim­ply using slightly dif­fer­ent light­ing approaches you can greatly enhance your video pro­duc­tions.
And that’s exactly what this course is about.

We edited “Light­ing Design for Video Pro­duc­tions” down to 46 min­utes. Why? Because that’s the per­fect length to watch some­thing dur­ing lunch time or dur­ing your daily com­mute (assum­ing you are not driving!).

Wanna take a peak? Here’s the direct link. I appre­ci­ate each and every one of you for tak­ing the time to read this, and if you have an extra sec­ond, I would love to hear what you think about it.

lynda.com online training tutorials

UPDATE: May read­ers and Lynda.com sub­scribers have been ask­ing about the equip­ment we used on our Light­ing course on Lynda.com. Here are the answers:

We used a vari­ety of lights, but the main ones were Bowens Limelite Mosaic 30x30cm Day­light LED Panel.
As our A Cam­era we used a Canon EOS C100 Cin­ema EOS shoot­ing to an Ato­mos Ninja-2 recorder. As our B and C Cam­eras we used a cou­ple of Canon EOS 5D Mark III. We used a vari­ety of lenses, but the main one was the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.