I have received a lot of questions about how to get most value out of DSLR cameras. There are
several tips out there on how to do get those nice looking shots, but the main advice is to have
enough light. By combining some good light setups, and nice camera compositions, you will be
shocked on how much difference it will make. And it don ́t need to be expensive or hard to do. I ́ll
show you in this video!
For this project, you need a floor lamp. Some sort of tripod. A piece of aluminum paper, some
tape and a window.
Steps: Set the right exposure on the camera. First you open the aperture as much as the lens
allows you. The lower the number is, the more open the aperture is, and the more light will pass
through the lens. Then you should set the shutterspeed to 50, since that’s the standard when
filming. Since more light passes through the lens, we can lower the ISO, to avoid to much noise in
the picture. The lower the ISO is, the less noise you get. In my opinion you shouldn’t film with
more then 400 ISO, unless you are filming with 5d mark III which doesn’t produce that much
By using a window, we can get a lot of nice light, free of charge. Try to move the one your are
filming, away from the background and closer to the window. He/her then gets more light from the
window, which ables us to lover the ISO even further. By zooming in, we can also make the
background blurry. The larger the aperture is, the shorter depth of field you get. Since I adjusted
the aperture to f4.0, I get a blurry background. Just by doing these simple steps, we have already
made a much better shot.
Now it’s time to set the white balance. Since the main light is appearing from the window, I will set
the white balance to cloudy or daylight. If you prefer having the background even more blurred
out, you can change to a faster lens. The larger the maximum aperture, the faster the lens is. And
the faster the lens is, the shorter depth of field you get. Some prefer to use a really fast lens, and
make the background very blurry. But remember that this makes it harder to focus on the subject.
Another trick to make the background more diffuse, is to block the light from hitting it. Sometimes
It’s a good idea to use a blanket. Be sure not to block the light from hitting the subject.
Find your tripod, or whatever tall object you find, and attach the aluminum paper with some tape.
Try to bounce the light appearing from the window, so it hits the shadow on the persons face.
Don’t bounce to much light, or else the light on his/her face will get to flat and boring. Its nice with
a little bit of shadow. Now let’s put up the lamp. Place it behind the person and point t towards
his/her head. It will create a nice halo around the person. Remember to use a directional light, so
you don’t light up the background.
What we have created now, is a set up called three point lighting, which is typical for shooting
portraits. The light from the window is the strongest hitting the persons face. Therefore it’s called
the key light. The bouncing light is called fill light, because it soften the shadows on the other side
of the face, and the backlight is called backlight. The last thing you can do before recording, is to
clean up the background and add practical light. A practical light is light source that is visible
within a scene. Practicals are nice to both make the background more interesting, and it makes
the light we put up more credible.
So that’s an easy and cheap way to make a three point lighting. Try it yourself. If you want to
upload your test, I can add it as a video response to this video. Just send me a message.