How to choose the best lighting

Sep 1, 2022    4 min read

How to choose the best lighting for time lapse videos

Lighting can make or break a photograph - sounds exaggerated?

But give it a thought, and you'd realize that lighting is the backbone of photography. It helps you determine a photograph's mood, atmosphere, and tone, along with illuminating the subject.

The best part about lighting is that you can create a whole new look using the same shooting set, issue, and equipment; you can create a different look by altering the light intensity in the frame.

Now that you're aware of how important lighting is in capturing photos, let's also understand how to choose the best lighting while shooting your subject to ensure you always have the best-looking videos.

Start with what you have

Natural light

Natural light

For beginner photographers, natural light is the best starting point. It's the easiest and cheapest option available, and you can optimize it for different genres of photography.

But the biggest disadvantage of shooting in natural light is uncertain weather - one moment you have the sun shining bright, the next moment it's an overcast sky.

Getting work done under such circumstances gets a bit difficult and impacts your workflow.

Artificial lighting

Use indoor ceiling lights

Alternatively, you can always consider opting for artificial lighting options, such as your existing indoor ceiling lights.

If the ceiling lights aren't bright enough, consider using a desk light or a lamp as an additional light source. Placing the lamp just above your subject will deliver just the perfect illumination.

You need to be careful NOT to place the subject directly under the indoor lights, as it would create uneven shadows. The critical element is to keep the leading or key light the brightest.

Consistent lighting types

As you progress in your photography journey, you can consider investing in consistent lighting equipment such as:

LED lights or panel lights

Use LED lights or panel lights

LED lights offer the flexibility of continuous constant light while allowing different illumination depending on the model.

While LEDs are an excellent cost - effective option to start with (around $20 - $50 on Amazon), consider moving from a low-budget option to something with more features, as these entry-level models have less brightness control.

You will most likely have to spend over $1500 for something with more illumination, dimming control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a color temperature range that extends beyond daylight 5600K.

Studio lights

Professional studio lights

Studio lights allow you to control the beam's width and adjust the light stand's height. In addition, these lights offer multiple brightness and color temperature options and higher light output.

Studio lights are bulky and expensive, but their impressive lighting effects make them worth the investment.

External flash lights

External flash lights for shooting particular time lapses

External flashlights are a particular lighting option and are well-suited for shooting particular time lapses.

Investing in a good quality external flashlight is essential so you can pair it with your camera to create impressive lighting effects - just like the ATLI EON Auto-Sync LED Light that can be synchronized with the shooting interval. (Please contact our customer service for inquiry)

You can have the camera turn on the external flashlight only when capturing a photo with synchronization so that the light source won't affect the subject.

  • 💡 The external flashlight is best for shooting a long-term subject in a dark environment, such as mushrooms and fungi growing. 
  • 💡 The only drawback is that you can connect it only with a specific camera, such as ATLI EON time lapse camera. 

3 tips to set up your video lighting

Let's run you through three top tips to use and optimize your lighting gear:

  • Pick the lighting equipment that offers multiple brightness and color correction options to create unique and special lighting effects. For basic shots, the recommended range is 3000K - 6000K color bulbs. 
  • Placement of sunlight is essential - you can use three-point lighting or place your lights at different angles or distances to make adequate lighting. 
  • Use diffusion paper and tape it over your lights to create a softer, more subtle look. 

We hope these lighting tips help you choose the perfect lighting setup for different genres of photography.

With the right lighting gear, you can create mesmerizing lighting effects that will result in stunning photos, videos, and even time lapses.