Lighting is one of the basic pillars of live streaming. There is a big difference in how our eyes perceive light compared to a camera lens. Cameras need way more light to produce a quality image than you might imagine. Additionally, that light needs to come from the right direction. So what to do when you want to go live and look like a pro live streamer?
When it comes to lighting, it has two components: color temperature and intensity.
Choose your light color temperature
Color temperature is a way to describe the light appearance provided by a light bulb. Based on the type of bulb, a light can appear “warmer” or “cooler.” Warm lights are yellow, and cool lights are white or light blue.
Typically measure color temperature in kelvins. A higher number means colder lighting, a lower number is warmer. For reference, candlelight (the warmest) is 1000K and a blue sky in the daytime (the coldest) is 10,000K. Whatever color temperature you choose for your shot, make sure it’s consistent across all light sources. Mixing color temperatures produces a poor-quality video.
If you are going to stream with a DSLR camera for your live streams, it’s better to go for the daylight color temperature in the settings.
If you’re live streaming using natural light, which is 5600k, your skin will look natural and there won’t be any yellow or blue tones in the picture.
Choose your light intensity
Intensity refers to the softness and hardness of lighting. Soft light is light that tends to "wrap" around objects, projecting diffused shadows with soft edges, whereas hard light is more focused and produces harsher shadows. Streaming shooters benefit from knowing how to turn a hard light into soft light because most people look best under a soft light source. If you’re lighting a person, you’ll notice they look quite different depending on whether they’re under a hard light or a soft light.
If you want bright lighting but need to soften it, here are some common ways you can refer to:
If you want to soften the light a little, but not too much, you can clip a piece of diffusion paper over the front of it.
A common option for bouncing light is a white foam core board. You can purchase sheets of these from your local craft store for a couple of dollars each. They’re easy to use and extremely handy. They’re only a few bucks each.
One of the favorite ways to soften a hard light is to put a soft box on it.
A soft box is a fabric box that mounts on your light. The light is inside the box, surrounded by four opaque “walls”, and the front of the box where the light comes out is nothing more than a diffusion fabric, similar to the fabric on diffusion panels. But it gives you the light quality and the control the way they do.
The last and easiest way is moving the light closer to your subject to increase the relative size or move it further from your subject to decrease the relative size. In other words, move it closer to soften the light, or further to harden the light. (Keep in mind this will also change the intensity of the light, so you might need to adjust your video camera settings to get a good exposure.)
If you don’t have lighting equipment, window light and natural light can serve as soft light sources, though be careful that the sun isn’t too harsh, shining directly onto your face.
Position your light source
The light sources should be in front of you or a little bit from the sides. If you put the main light source behind you, people will see only your silhouette. Three-point lighting is popular, but you can use two lights, four lights, or loop lighting as well. A three-point lighting setup uses three main lights — key light, fill light, and back light.
If you are not sure whether everything you have done is you need, you can monitor your picture through the monitor on the camera. A camera monitor will give you a clear view of what is being recorded. You can make sure that everything is in frame correctly, you can make sure that your exposure settings are right and everything looks exactly as you want while you’re recording a video. However I think a camera monitor is actually something that’s really useful to those that are new to recording video content, because not only it show you the picture that the camera can see but also show you the settings that the camera has, for instance you can see the exposure settings and whether or not the camera is actually recording.
Shooting with FEELWORLD T7 7" monitor
Lighting is not a small detail for live streams. Good lighting settings can increase the attractiveness and professionalism of your live broadcast. Give some thought to your setup and experiment with different styles. If you’re just starting out as a live streamer, don’t overlook your lighting.