The Importance of Lighting a Presentation

  |   Jun 29 2017   |  


The Importance of Lighting a Presentation

One of the most common things we film at VideoExperts are presentations and public speakers.  It’s essential to film these as quietly and unobtrusively as possible, but we also must achieve the highest quality of footage that we possibly can.  Properly lighting a presentation is one of the harder steps to doing that, but there are plenty of ways to light the presenter without distracting them or their audience. 

The first thing to consider is the position of the speaker and the lighting already in the room.  Are there windows?  How high is the ceiling?  Is the stage right under a row of lights?  Depending on the set up of the room, natural lighting can be extremely helpful.  If your subject is facing windows that are either big enough or close enough (and depending on the time of day) they may be well lit from those alone.  On the other hand, the last thing you want is to have windows behind the speaker.  Regardless of the time of day, the light coming in from the windows will always outshine your subject, forcing you to overexpose in order to see them.  When you get the subject looking normal, the windows in the background will look blown out. 

Next, take a look at the room lighting.  If you’re lucky, the presentation will be taking place in a room designated for keynote speakers and events.  There could be a stage or podium that has already been properly lit in relation to the rest of the room.  But more often than not, you’ll find yourself in a room lit entirely by fluorescent ceiling lights.  Once again, depending on the positioning of the speaker and the stage or podium, this could be enough light.  If not, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands and light the subject yourself. 

Recently, the VideoExperts team was out on location to film a day-long conference.  Because the presentations were taking place outside in a somewhat well-lit pavilion, we were able to place a single, powerful light directly in the back and center of the room and raise it up on a light stand.  It wasn’t disruptive to the presenters or audience, but it greatly changed how the scene looked in-camera. 

Below we have another presentation we filmed.  Notice how different the shot looks with and without light:

Regardless of how you light a presentation, you should always make your decisions based on how the scene looks in the camera, not how it looks to the naked eye.  You might barely notice a difference just looking at the scene yourself, but if you were to compare a shot without lighting to a shot with lighting, you would see a huge difference.  A little goes a long way when it comes to lighting, so you can often avoid disrupting the presentation while getting the results you need. Proper lighting is essential to creating a video that will sell your brand.  

For some more information, download our guide, 7 Things to Know Before Filming a Presentation.  

Was this article helpful to you? Please provide us with some feedback on your thoughts in the comments section below so we can address it in a future blog post.  

No matter the size and type of your production, VideoExperts can help. Contact us to get started today! 

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