our ideas

Subscribe for the latest marketing tips and news.

[contact-form-7 id="925f436" title="Blog Subscription"]

Manipulating Light

michigan creative marketing

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose

Lets all take a moment to appreciate how awesome light is. Think about it: If the sun burned out right now, and all of the lights in the world went out, there would be a darkness that none of us have ever known. If the sun burned out, the world would also become -100 degrees Farenheit in one year… but lets not think about that.

Light is important for our everyday life, and it’s also important in video. Lets look at different ways that manipulating light can enhance videos:

1. Hard Light

Many times in video we aim to have our lighting set up very evenly and without too much contrast but, if you are looking for a look that draws intense emotion, this can be done by creating hard light and contrast. If you are doing an interview, this can be done by using one strong light from only one side. It also can be done by using light that is not diffused on any subject of your choosing.

Face Lighting Contrast

2. Gels

Lighting gels are an awesome asset for video production. Gels can be used to enhance natural coloring, or they can be used to create a visual effect that is unnatural. For example, using purple gels for a scene to make the room look purple. There are also diffusing gels that make lighting more even and less harsh.


3. Silhouette Lighting

This lighting trick takes more preparation, but it can be an awesome effect. It is seen in many artistic films and also in music videos. To set a scene with silhouette lighting, you need a really strong back light and a white backdrop. You then need to place your subject in front of the backdrop and you in front of your subject. Silhouette lighting can occur naturally as well, you just have to look for an area that has a strong light in the background and a dark area in the foreground, for example under a bridge or in front of a window.


There are a many, many other ways to manipulate lighting. One of the best ways to find out what lighting will work best for you is to just take time to explore different lighting; you can set up studio lighting and a camera and see how your video changes when you move the lighting around and try out new things to find the techniques that work for you!

Check out our video page to see examples of our work and how lighting can be used in video!

– Siobhan Findlay