Dramatic lighting – Revolution in YouTube videos

Chiaroscuro is an art technique that means light-dark in Italian, which is the basis for dramatic lighting. YouTube videos now widely use this lighting technique as well as dramatic effect. Annie Leibovitz’s work and Robert Mapplethorpe’s exemplify this well.  Using bold contrast between highlights and shadows creates atmosphere and emphasises volume. Is it possible to take into account different characteristics of dramatic light? Yes, it is. 

Ideally, there are two ways to create dramatic effects – 

  • Light intensity is referred to as brightness. The contrast between the bright light in one area and the dark light in another part of the picture creates dramatic lighting in low vital images.
  • Hard light is created when the light source hits the subject from the same angle, causing a well-defined and deep shadow on the subject.

You can create various dramatic YouTube video looks using any one of these concepts – or by combining them.

Let’s look at some possible ways to accomplish this – 

Using natural sources of light to create dramatic effects

You’ve probably heard not to take YouTube videos at noon on a sunny day because strong shadows form. Well, that’s exactly what you need for dramatic lighting! To create a compelling dramatic YouTube video instead of one that looks unflattering, you simply have to be creative.

A model placed under a tree, for instance, will receive some hard light that will pass through the leaves and create an interesting pattern. Window light can also be used to create natural hard light indoors, and this method also allows you to play with shadows.  

You can also use street lights, bulbs and lamps. YouTubers can also use computer or phone flashlights. 

Dramatic lights - YouTube video

Change the direction of the lights

Highlights and shadows are greatly influenced by the way the light is positioned. Dramatic lighting comes in various forms, and let’s look at some of them.

The light comes from behind

You create an extreme highlight when you place the light behind a subject. You will get a silhouette effect if you only use that as a light source. However, if you wish to get some details on the subject, you can use a reflector or a second light with less flash power at the front.

Dramatic lightings

The sidelights

It is possible to illuminate only one side of your model with one light, and adding negative fill to the opposite side will intensify the effect.

Dramatic lights - Side light

45-degree angle

In YouTube video photography, it is common to place the light 45 degrees from the subject. Ideally, it should be positioned above the head and slightly to the side. 

Adding dramatic light can help to make otherwise ordinary YouTube videos of your subject stand out, so be sure to try it. Please feel free to share your thoughts or questions in the comments section. Follow www.flintzy.com/blog for more YouTube tips!

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