Your lights on video in 5 easy steps

May 3, 2011 by CHAUVET DJ

By: Allan Reiss, product manager for CHAUVET®

DJs love lights. They give life to the music, people and dance floor. It’s why we take photos of our amazing setups, or better yet, video.  New to video and don’t know where to start? Here are five tips for getting professional-looking videos:

1.  Composition.
In other words, watch what you’re shooting and how it’s framed (or represented in the rectangular viewfinder). Look at what is in the front, background and sides of your light setup before shooting it and avoid things that would distract viewers from seeing what’s important, in this case, your lights.

Also, consider one of the most important bases of composition the “Rule of Thirds.” Imagine your frame is divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, resulting in nine equal parts. For some of your shots, try to place your light setup along the imaginary dividing lines of these nine equal parts and you will create a more balanced, interesting image.

2. Perspective.
Shoot your lights from every angle. Don’t just concentrate on a single position. Stay on a single position in order to capture all the effects your lights produce. When shooting, take close ups as well as shots of the lights from a wider perspective. Be inventive. If you need to stand on a table, or lay on the floor to get a more interesting angle, don’t hesitate.

3.  Steadiness.
Keep your camera rock solid and hold it with both hands or use a tripod whenever possible. While some movement can add creativity to your videos, especially when shooting lights, but ideally, movement should be intentional and not because you were not able to hold the camera steady.

4. Over-zoom.
Too much zooming will actually interrupt people from really seeing. Whenever you want to zoom in on a fixture, try to stay on the wider angle for a bit and zoom slowly. This will be less drastic for the viewer.

5. Flickering.
One last thing to remember when shooting video of lighting is to watch for “flickering” from your lights. Some light units, especially LED fixtures with low frequency dimming, may display a pulsating effect that is not visible to the naked eye. To avoid flicker from appearing on your video, adjust the shutter speed of your camera, however most cameras with an automatic set-up will handle the flickering for you.


Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs, Video Jockey Tips