You can still get pro-quality lighting with a single light source.
Everybody wants good lighting, but not everybody has access to a bounty of lighting equipment to make it happen. However, if you know how to bounce light, you may not need much. In this tutorial, DP Morgan Cooper shows you how to do more with less using just one lighting unit and a few modifiers to get that professional look you're after.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nku2R9H3kT4
Okay, to be fair, if you have access to one pro-level LED, like the ARRI SkyPanel Cooper uses in the video, chances are you might be able to swing renting an entire lighting kit that you could use to create a more robust/complex lighting setup. However, if you don't have room for such a setup, or you are, as Cooper says, in a pinch—or even if you just don't want or need all the extra hardware—knowing how to utilize modifiers is an important skill to have.
For Cooper's setup you'll need:
- A light source (ARRI SkyPanel LED)
- RoadRags diffusion
- 2 black flags
- 4 C-stands
Now, this setup is pretty expensive, so if you're on a budget, you can always use DIY diffusers to cut the cost. There are so many cheap alternatives for diffusion, like white T-shirts or pillow cases. And any non-reflective black material would work great in place of those black flags. If you don't have C-stands, you could get your hands on some cheap mic stands—here's one way to convert one into a working C-stand. (I wouldn't do this if you're flying something heavy, like a light, because a mic stand would most likely not be able to handle the weight.)