How to shoot a low light video

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So you broke out the new video camera for your fabulous party, but the videos turned out dark, blurry or grainy? Happens to the best of us. Professional photographer Nigel Barker shares his expert tips for how to create beautiful videos at home with existing light.

How to shoot a low light video Professional photographer Nigel Barker shares his expert tips for how to create beautiful videos at home using existing light.
  • Always use a high definition camcorder when filming in low-light conditions.
  • Get comfortable with your camcorder's special functions and settings before your next event.
  • Think about the moments that you'll want to capture and where they will happen so that you'll know where to position yourself to get the best shot that already exists in the room.
  • Know where the light will be, especially if it's afternoon or evening, and try to keep the brightest lighting behind you.
  • Don't place your subject in front of a bright window, unless you have a very steady hand, a tripod, or they're asleep.
  • Try turning lamps sideways, open curtains or even arrange the mirrors to manipulate the light in your favor.
  • Once you’ve set the mood, adjust your camcorder's settings and try a few quick test clips to make sure you get the effect you're looking for.
  • Then begin shooting your subjects along with elements from the room around them to add context and variety.
  • Focus on capturing the sounds of the party as well—audio is half of the video experience.
Transcript NIGEL BARKER: Hi there. I'm Nigel Barker.

Today I'm going to help you use available light to make great home movies.

Home videos of special events make wonderful memories.

Using mood lighting can create a warm atmosphere, but without the right camcorder, your video may turn out too dark, blurry, or even grainy.

What you need is a camcorder that records in high definition.

This will allow you to capture your memories with amazing clarity and rich color.

And a camcorder like this one makes it easy to shoot beautiful HD video, even in low light.

The first thing you'll want to do is get comfortable with your camcorder's special functions and settings.

That way, you'll be ready to navigate smoothly while you're shooting.

Think about the moments that you'll want to capture and where they will happen.

That way, you'll know where to position yourself to get the best shot that already exists in the room, and it can come from anywhere--candles, lamps, and even mirrors.

Know where the light will be, especially if it's afternoon or evening, and try to keep the brightest lighting behind you.

This will illuminate your subject.

Don't place your subject in front of a bright window, unless you have a very steady hand, a tripod, or they're asleep.

Play around with it a bit. Turn lamps sideways, open curtains, or even arrange the mirrors.

If you position them behind you, they'll bounce the light across the side of your face, creating that lovely side lighting.

Now that you've set the mood, be sure to adjust your camcorder's settings, boom.

It's as easy as that. Then try a few quick test clips to make sure you get the effect you're looking for.

Now, find your subject, capture conversation by the fireplace, laughing over dinner, that special toast--you know--those moments that you don't want to miss in any light.

Shoot some elements from around the room, lit candles, the close-ups of glasses or plates, those little moments that make it so special.

Try to capture the sounds of the party as well.

And remember, have fun.

I'm Nigel Barker with Sony for Howdini.

For more great tips, visit sony.com, forward slash, howdini.



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  • Nigel Barker

    Nigel Barker Professional Photographer Nigel Barker has been taking the world of fashion by storm for the past twenty years. After stints in Milan, Paris and London, Barker opened his New York studio in 1996 and has never looked back. more about this expert »

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