Peek Behind The Scenes: Fall 2014

It’s time for another peek behind Edify Hub curtains.

In the last few Video Tip episodes, I’ve noticed major problems with the picture quality. Not only has the lighting been harsh and uneven and the focus inconsistent, but the image has also been very yellow. Even significant color correction in post-production hasn’t helped that much.

I shouldn’t be surprised. This was my studio setup:

Old Studio Lighting - Portable Halogen Work Lamps
Old Studio Lighting – Portable Halogen Work Lamps

That’s it. Those are portable halogen work lamps aimed at the ceiling to bounce onto the recording area. No attempt at color purity. No soft shadows. Just cheap, raw light.

And very hot, by the way.

I wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the video I was sharing with you, so I asked for some lighting advice from Mitch Jones. For a living, he designs professional network television studios. He really knows his stuff. On the side, he creates media productions for missionaries and other ministries through Christian Media Services (CMS) Productions.

For decent studio lighting on a budget, Mitch suggested three-point box lights with high-watt compact fluorescent daylight bulbs. He also strongly recommended setting white balance in the camera before recording, rather than trying to correct the color through software during post-production.

Here’s a picture of the next phase of my studio setup.

New Studio Lighting - Softbox Lighting Kit from Fancier Studios
New Studio Lighting – Softbox Lighting Kit from Fancier Studio

I expected to pay close to $250 for a light kit that met Mitch’s recommendations. After some research, I was able to find a Softbox Video Lighting Kit from Fancier Studio for about $170.

For about $15, I also added a White Balance and Focus Board to help with both pre-recording focus and white balance measurement.

I was also tempted to upgrade my video camera. A newer DSLR camera with remote focus and recording controls would save me some time and may produce better video. I just don’t have the budget for a new camera at this time.

For the next few months, enjoy the improved color and focus in Edify Hub’s Video Tips.

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