Depending on the size of your wallet, you can go BIG or budget here. If you’re planning on doing professional production work for others, then by all means, go all in. Grab some nice, high-quality LED post lights, adjustable stands, reflective umbrellas, light bars, color film, fusion filters, light meters, deflectors, green/blue screens, and all that jazz; or if that’s not for you, run over to your favorite big box store and grab a box of LED daylight (not soft white) bulbs (~ $20/4 pack), a couple of stands or clamp-on utility light fixtures, maybe even a white T-shirt and a couple of heavy rubber bands. Once you have the lights, cut up the T and secure with bands as filters.
You’ll also find some reasonably priced lighting kits at the bottom of this article.
Whether you decide to get into chromakey (green screens) at this point is entirely up to you. For the cost involved ($20+) I highly recommend you grab the green/blue screen fabric now and prepare your studio to use it right from the start. Even though you may not utilize this method right away, it doesn’t hurt to have a curtain behind you to mask your surroundings, unless it’s already appealing to the eyes. This way it looks much more professional.
Lighting the Set
Time to get straight to the point……three points actually. A Basic 3 Point Lighting Setup is the key to properly lighting a featured focal object, or in our case the talent and/or guest. To see the way a typical studio lighting setup is used on a set, be sure to watch this video by Frameforest Filmschool on the subject of 3 Point Lighting.
We’ll begin with Darkness, which is the absence of light. Start with a dark room by removing all existing lighting. This way, you can keep it in check. When filming outside, you obviously cannot remove the sun, but the possible side effects should be considered. Before you start envisioning a lighting scheme for your next scene, first take into account the sun and existing lighting. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed at how much time you spend chasing shadows.
The Key Light is your main light source. Therefore, this light should illuminate the main focal point of the shot. The key light establishes the brightness of the scene and where the shadows will fall, and is the most visible lighting on the set.
The key light is normally placed at a 45 degree angle to the camera directly pointing at the established focal point of the shot, which is typically the talent.
Add Fill Lights to highlight areas of the scene. Fill lights should be softer than the key light. Fill lights can be professional lights behind the camera, or they can also be ceiling fixtures or table lamps that double as stage or scene props.
Fill lights can also be used to create special lighting effects. Place a fill light above a subject and you’ll get a “halo” effect, point the fill light low on your talent for a more sinister look. Different colored filters can also be applied to set tones.
The fill light is normally placed around 60 degrees from the camera, opposite of the key light. Anywhere between 50-75 degrees works, experiment with it.
The Back Light is located behind the main subject. This light helps give definition apart from the background, and removes contrast. The back light will be the lowest intensity light and can be diffused, if necessary, to further reduce contrast.
There are many different lighting set-ups to help you achieve different looks and get the shot you want, but knowing the basics will help set you on the right path.
Create your own professional lighting diagrams over at: lightingdiagram.com.
Maybe you want a little more than just a basic setup, more lights and more options, with a minor upgrade in equipment and size, you can have it all in one place.
This set includes:
- Fancierstudio 2000 Watt 10’x12’ Green Screen Softbox Lighting Kit Background Stand Included
- The Green Screen Lighting Kit includes Two 16″X24″Softbox One 16″x24″ Softbox For Hair light, 3 x Lightstand 6.5ft tall (One Boom Arm with Sandbag) sand not included, 2 x Light head able to hold 4 bulbs each One Light Head For Hair light Fit Single Bulb, 8 x 45watt photo video fluorescent bulbs And One 105 watt Bulb For Hair light, One 8ft high 10ft wide background stand one 10’x12’ green screen. The kit also comes with carrying case.
- These CFL light bulbs rated for 120v for USA standard. Please make sure before buying if your country uses 220v please do not use these bulbs they will pop or blow.
- Green screen videos can look amazing and can help any video that you produce stand out from the crowd. Videos are everywhere these days and the last thing you want to do is to spend a long time creating a very ordinary video which achieves nothing. Once you create your own green screen studio you have so much more flexibility to create great looking videos and really achieve the results that you are looking for.
- Benefits to a soft box is that it produces light which is more even than light coming from an umbrella. A softbox emulates the soft, directional lighting usually produced by natural window light. It softens and diffuses the lighting from the attached light source by transmitting the light through a diffusion panel.
Allows for use of two 4 light heads as your main light and the 105W as your fill light or hair light. Light output is adjustable with 4 light outputs. Use them in the studio as well as on location projects. This lighting kit is the most affordable kit on the market today.
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Lighting is one thing, but perhaps you want to build upon a “virtual studio”? Chromakey (a.k.a. green screeen) is an absolute necessity if you want to project yourself onto a space that doesn’t exist in real time. Physical studio equipment can also cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars!
This Studio portrait umbrella Kit is easy to use and setup. These lights work great with digital cameras. It is ideal for all level photographers. It is a complete kit:
- The kit includes: (4) 79″(7 Feet)/200cm Light Stand+(2) Single Head Light Holder+(4) 45W CFL Daylight Bulb +(2) 33″/84cm Umbrella+(2) 24″x24″/60x60cm Softbox+(1) 1.8 x 2.8M/6 x 9 ft Muslin Backdrop (Black, White and Green)+(6)Backdrop Clamps+(1)2.6M x 3M/8.5ft x 10ft Background Stand Support System+(1)Carry Bag for Background Support System+(1)Carry bag for Continuous Lighting Kit.
- (4) 79″(7 Feet)/200cm Light Stand: Solid safety 3 legs stages, capable for stable, heavy duty work. And use quick single action locks, providing fast precision height adjustment.(2)The single head light holder allows you to attach a bulb to a light stand and add an umbrella.
- (2) 33″/84cm white translucent umbrella can soften, broaden and diffuse the light output of any tungsten or studio flash source.(4)45W day-light studio light bulbs: equals to 200W regular incandescent light bulb output.5500K fluorescent spiral bulb generates a close match to natural daylight and a crisper view of the items being illuminated. It is best for photography lighting.
- (2) 24″X24″/60x60cm Softbox: Softbox diffuses the light and gives you perfect even lighting when you need for the best shots possible. With E27 socket, you can directly connect light bulbs, fluorescent lamps, or slave flash to offer the light.
- (1) 1.8 x 2.8M/6 x 9 ft Muslin Backdrop(Black, White and Green)+(6)Backdrop Clamps+(1)2.6M x 3M/8.5ft x 10ft Background Support System: The background kit is ideal for television, video production and digital photography.(1)Continuous lighting kit carry case+(1)Background support system carry bag: Great for transporting light stands, umbrellas, and other accessories.
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- (2) x UMBRELLA-STYLE SOFTBOX REFLECTOR 24 X 24 inch softbox with white square diffuser for eliminating shadow and softening light stream; made of black nylon cloth with highly reflective silver internal face inside to direct the light toward the object; additionally to be a silver photo umbrella for satisfying different effect photography shooting needs; few seconds to put up and fold soft box like umbrella; quick operation suitable for high-frequency moving studio setting
- (2) x PHOTOGRAPHY WHITE PREMIUM PHOTO SOFT UMBRELLA 33 inch premium quality nylon cloth diffuse studio lighting or reflect weak light toward objects; huge light-emitting area diffusing to eliminate shadow and soften lighting; providing a better environment for product photos taking, video making, portrait shooting, and broadcasting
- (4) x PRETTY SMOOTH SHAPE LAMP HOLDER photographic light head has better shape for holding when photographer adjusting lighting angle; made of engineering plastic for its durability; especially E26/E27 socket made of fire-resistant material for safety; general angles adjustable for satisfying photographer needs; convenient springs design for photo umbrella hole using elasticity of springs to hold the photography umbrella stick easier and faster relative to traditional secured knob
- (1) x PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC BACKDROP STAND KIT a pair of 6.7 ft background support tripod stands system with 3 sectional crossbars adjustable from 4.4 ft to 6.7 ft wide; portable, lightweight, but sturdy; diameter of largest tube about 1 inch (25.4mm ) think more than other similar crossbars; sturdy tube connector keep central tube more stable than other brand’s wobbly stand; suitable for many photography accessories, such as backdrop muslin or backdrop clips holder
- (4) x STANDARD PHOTOGRAPHY LIGHT BULB 23W high efficiency 110V-50Hz daylight CFL studio lighting bulb; service life about 10000 hours; Spiral fluorescent lighting lifting brightness to 1600 lumens; attached to E26/E27 socket of lamp holder; high CRI keeping original color of object in you photo or video
- (1×3) x PROFESSIONAL PREMIUM PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROP MUSLIN black, white, and green screen perfectly cover your needs; cloth made of complex material specially for photographic use; Backdrop without pocket design better for you to use backdrop 5 ft for width 10 ft for length or 10 ft for width 5 ft for length; good for studio photo taking, live broadcasting, photography video making, and game live playing
- (1) x PREMIUM QUALITY CARRYING BAG FOR PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT 420D oxford cloth material; durable and heavy duty; waterproof good for outdoor and moving; able to receive this whole studio photography kit.
Light Socket: The adapter swivels in all directions so you, or your stand, don’t have to get the light where you need it even with difficult angles. Max holds 105 Watt light bulbs.
Soft Umbrella/SoftBox: Works well to diffuse the light from any flash creating a soft even light for your subject. Light-weight and easy set up.