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Back in the day, when moving images were created via film you couldn't get by without lights unless you were shooting on the beach. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But you certainly couldn't shoot anything indoors without lights and even today there is no nightshot option on a film camera. With today's video formats, lights are almost entirely optional, but this option often proves to be the difference between professional-looking video and home movies. Here are a few lighting options for the producer on a budget.

Reflective Bounce Board: The best light is the sun, especially if you're using a consumer camcorder. Generally speaking, consumer cameras consider anything indoors a low light situation. So the sun is good, but sometimes it's too bright, causing nasty shadows under peoples chins that your eyes will adjust to, but your camera's lens will not. In this instance, a bounce board can be used to reflect light into areas that are in shadow, revealing details that would otherwise go unrecorded. Anything that reflects light can be used as a bounce board'a thick white piece of cardboard, a thin sheet of metal, etc. You can buy one, you can grab whatever's available on your shoot, or you can make your own. For instructions, go to www.pictureperfect.co.za/bounce%20board.pdf

Guerrilla Lighting: Of course, if you haven't thought about how you might manipulate the lighting in your videos then there's no point in buying lights that you're not sure how to use. Even if you did know what to do with them, you may not be able to afford them. Fortunately, with practice you can arrange the existing lights at your location in the same manner (using a 3-point lighting technique or some artful variation of the same) you would use if you had lights dedicated to video production. Tips from the following site www.videomaker.com/article/7368/ may help you achieve the look you want without an expensive kit.

Light Kits: If you really feel you need lights and you know exactly what you do with them if you had them, but you don't have the money, you can try making your own light kit. The following sites www.dvinfo.net/articles/lighting/hdlightkit1.php and www.dvinfo.net/articles/lighting/spears1.php can give you some insights into that endeavor. If you're determined to buy an actual kit, if you can afford it and don't have the time or perhaps the inclination to build your own, then make sure you do your research first. A good place to start is the following site www.ifvchicago.com/process/prod_lighting_a01.shtml

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