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I need to record a presentation at a conference.

I did it last year and the lighting was so low it was unusable.

i want to come prepared this year, so i need advice on proper lighting.

The subject is more or less static and elaborating on their powerpoint.

I can get them in front of a wall or screen for better background.

Can you recommend and lighting products that would be suitable for this scenario?

Also if anyone knows any good products so i can get good audio, it would be appreciated.

Just to clarify, it's a video.

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Keep in mind that powerpoints are sometimes held in darker rooms as that enhances the image beamd on the screen or wall. If you would add a light source for video, this would decline the contrast of the beamed image. –  Bart Arondson Jan 27 '13 at 22:59
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1 Answer

While I can't recommend any particular products and generally stack exchange communities are hesitant about product recommendations, what I can recommend is that at a minimum you should use two light sources offset to the left and right of the camera and if budget allows, put an additional light behind them facing up. Ideally, one of the lights behind the camera should be slightly less intense and/or further away than the other.

This is the concept of three point lighting. The lights in front are called the key and fill light. The purpose is that with only a key light, you will get unacceptably dark shadows where the camera may have a hard time getting a good image. The fill light fills in the shadows without making them completely washed out so that the shot still looks natural.

The light behind and below them is called the backlight and will illuminate their edges to make them stand out from the backdrop a bit more, but it isn't strictly necessary if you can't afford three good lights. The image will just seem flatter.

My recommendation for finding suitable lights is to visit the site for a popular online A/V retailer and look at the reviews of specific lighting products. I personally use B&H for a lot of my needs and I know lots of people also like Adorama.

It is also worth noting that in a jamb, you could use just about any lights that have the same color temperature (the tint of the light) but in general, the made for the purpose lights you would get from an A/V store will be the most durable, easiest to set up, and likely give a better result if you aren't experienced with lighting for video.

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Video cameras love "daylight" bulbs if you can get them. For my YouTube videos, I use fluorescent tubes - two just to the left of the camera, and one next to the subject on the opposite side (right of the camera). Tubes soften shadows, whereas bulbs often intensify shadows. Plus fluorescent tubes are pretty cheap! You can see the results on my channels, youtube.com/BrettFromLA or youtube.com/CreatedByBrett. (Plug!!) To soften light from bulbs, you can aim them at a WHITE wall, if it's close enough to your subject. –  BrettFromLA Feb 14 at 23:25
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