With the days getting shorter, working with natural light when you need it may be a challenge. Sometimes you need a little help by creating your own light. I use flash, strobes, and my cheapest artificial light source… the video light.
Read more: Off Camera Flash Photography for Beginners
Here are four reasons why you must get your hands on a video light ASAP!
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No.01Add Soft Ambient Light
This is the most straight forward reason, but the results are amazing. I have several of these super affordable video lights to add more light to a room quickly.
It’s still really dark in the mornings, so trying to capture my daughter sleeping (without a lot of grain) would be nearly impossible without the video light.
My settings are the same in both photos, the only difference is that I added a video light with the diffuser attached in the second image.
Both images shot with 35mm at f/2.5 | ISO 800 | 1/200
You just add batteries, set it on a tripod and shoot.
No.02Create Back Light and Silhouettes
When it’s pitch black out, you can use the video light like you would the sun to create hair light, silhouettes, starbursts and more.
No.03Create Hard Dramatic Light
Remove the diffuser and play around with angles. You can also adjust the intensity of the light with a little dial on the back of most video lights.
No.04Create Studio Images on a Budget
I shoot a lot of studio with my kids and for commercial work, but I gave up my studio when we leapt at the chance to live overseas. Although I still bring out the big strobes when I need to, the small video lights pack a big punch.
I shot this in my living room with very dim (and flat) natural light. I wanted to add more dimension, so I set up one video light about 8 feet to my left and another just a few feet from my son for hair light.
I could have set up my strobes, but these video lights are a lot more handy and can sit on top of a cheap tripod. My strobes take up a lot of space, require umbrellas and need a power source.
Sometimes zero fuss is what I need.
Video lights are a great way to bring in light. Not only are they extremely affordable – they’re portable, most run on batteries, and you can model the light to what you’re envisioning in your mind.
Could you image having the ability to bring the light to your subject instead of vice versa?
I want to capture my kids everyday, but our everyday doesn’t always include pretty light, especially in winter. With the video light, I’m able to bring the light to my subjects instead.
Have you tried shooting with a video light?