Natural light looks beautiful and is free! It really doesn't matter what camera or smartphone you have, or whether you're looking to create an instagram story or an hour long documentary. Here are some simple ways you can use natural light to create more professional and beautiful looking videos for your business.


Open shade

If you're filming outside on a sunny day at midday you are going to get harsh shadows, unwanted contrast and people squinting. So look for places with open shade (open shade is a place that is shaded from direct sunlight but is illuminated by reflected light.) Examples of open shade are under trees and between buildings. The still above shows Edith helping me set up for an interview using open shade, the dappled light coming through the leaves looked pretty too!


Golden Hour

Golden hour / magic hour is the hour before and after sunrise and sunset. During this time the light is soft, directional and warm. You might have to get out of bed quite early, but once you look at the footage you've got you will be happy! One of the best ways to use golden hour light is as backlighting as you can see in the still above with the sun coming through the tree.


Window Light

This is also a way you can light an interview if you don’t have lights. Why not shoot indoors and use window light. You can have your subject facing towards the window light and it will create a kind of spot light look. You can also use side light from the window, this would be having your subject parallel to the window, which will create a more dramatic look as it creates more contrast, if you are finding that there is too much contrast, try using a reflector to bounce the light back onto your subject (creating a fill light). Finally back lighting, to use backlight hide the sun behind the subject and you may even get amazing lens flare.


Cloudy Days

A cloudy or overcast day gives you diffused light which is much softer than on a sunny day, no more harsh shadows and squinting. So if you need to shoot something outside and you see it's a cloudy day, get out of your home, studio, office quickly! If you think the visuals are too flat you can always add a bit of contrast when you are editing.

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