Capturing slow motion video requires a lot of time and practise in order to achieve the best possible results. Every element needs to be precise and accurate to help avoid any mistakes. Making sure that you are using the correct equipment is vital as even the smallest of errors could cause the quality of your video to be affected. In this Blog, we look at suitable lighting options in order to achieve the best possible slow-motion video.
Before we look into the lighting, let’s take a quick look at how to achieve slow-motion video to the highest quality. When shooting normal video, we need to look at the frame rate of the recording for the camera. For instance, if we shoot at 24 frames per second, we will stream together 24 frames in the space of a single second, producing motion. If you play back the video at 24 frames per second, this will play back the video in what is known as ‘real time’, as if you were seeing the person at normal speed in real life. There are two different ways to create slow motion video. The most common is to simply slow down the recording and leave the frames per second the same. The issue with this method is that it will make the change between each individual frame look jumpy and not a smooth transition, making your video look unprofessional. The second way to achieve slow-motion video is to record at a higher frame rate and then play it back at a lower frame rate. The addition of the extra frames in the lower frame rate will help to reduce any blur created and help to create a smooth motion in your video. This produces a more professional finish and is the optimum method to choose.
When shooting slow-motion, it is recommended using 2x the frame rate for your shutter speed. For instance, if you were shooting at 1000 frames per second, you would need to use a shutter speed of 2000th of a second. And when shooting with such a high shutter speed, this require a lot of powerful light to give accurate coverage. When shooting video, continuous lighting is the only real option, as flash lighting wouldn’t light your shoot up for periods of time and continuous lighting lets you see your light at all times. As with most videography, multiple lights are recommended in order to offer the best possible light coverage of the subject and to remove any unwanted shadows and reflections. We would suggest a minimum of two lights, but the more lights you do use, the better finished product. Now that we have looked at what is required for slow-motion videography, let’s take a look at some lighting that would be ideal for this.
The LED100D MKIII is a 100W Daylight Balanced LED light that offers an equivalent power output to that of a 1000W Tungsten light. The brightness of 11,000 lux (@1m) means that the light produces a high quality and professional light, offering the best possible results. The ability to dim the light from 100% down to 10% gives you lots of control over the output and allows you to adjust the lighting to suit any particular shoot. As it has a CRI and TLCI measurement of 97+, this means that the colours in your subjects are accurately represented and offer an extra vibrancy to your finished product. This version of the LED100D has been designed with videography in mind, as it now features a re-designed heat dissipation system, to allow you use this light over extended periods of time. It also features an improved cooling fan, that runs at only 18dB, making sure to not create any excess and unwanted noise during your recording. Even though the LED100D MKIII is usually a mains-power light, it is possible to use a V-Mount Battery and Battery Plate with this unit, making it ideal for moving between different locations for shoots. You are also able to control the LED100D MKIII away from the unit when using the Remote and Dongle (Sold Separately), perfect if you find yourself on a large location without the ability to be next to the light at all times.
The LED200B MKIII is a 200Ws Bi-Colour LED Light that offers both daylight balance and tungsten lighting, opening up the choices and possibilities for your shoot. Whilst most Bi-Colour lights split the power output between each colour temperature, e.g 100W for Daylight and 100W for Tungsten, the LED200B MKIII offer the entire 200W power output across the entire colour temperature range, meaning that you won’t miss out on any power. With a brightness of 16,000 lux (@1m), the LED200B MKIII creates a powerful and precise lighting, resulting in the highest quality results. Being able to adjust the power of the lighting from 100% down to 10% means that you have more freedom with your lighting and allows any needed adjustments to suit each individual shoot. In order to make sure that the colours of your subject are accurate represented, the LED200B MKIII offers a CRI and TLCI of 97+, helping to create an extra vibrancy and make your end product more appealing to the eye. The built-in cooling fan that operates at 18dB and the improved heat dissipation system means that you are able to use this light for extended periods of time without worrying about potential disruptions or power loss. If you find yourself on a large open production and need to adjust your lighting without being next to the unit itself, this can be achieved by used the Remote and Dongle (Not included), to allow for more freedom. The LED200B MKIII also comes with Bowens S-Type fitting as standard, which is the most common fitting currently available on the market, meaning that you are able to use a wide variety of different modifiers and accessories to adjust your lighting how you see fit.
The LED S300D is our most powerful LED Light we have available, offering an incredible 330W Daylight Balanced power output. Using the latest High-quality COB LED technology, the LED S300D is capable of achieving a brightness in excess of 65,200 lux at 1m, which is brighter than a 2K tungsten or 400w HMI, offering a super powerful lighting source able to offer ample light coverage. The LED S300D offers a CRI and TLCI of ≥97, creating a vibrant look for your shoot as well as offering an accurate colour representation. Featuring three built-in super quiet cooling fans as well as an Aluminium Alloy housing with copper tubing, this light will remain very quiet and cool during usage, and is able to be used for more than 12 hours with ease. The LED S300D is capable of being dimmed from 100% - 10%, meaning that you are able to adjust the light output to better suit whatever style of shoot you find yourself on. Controlling and adjusting the light is easy too, as you are able to either adjust the settings of the light from the main unit itself or by using the included remote control, which allows you to control either an individual light or multiple lights across 16 different channels and 5 different groups.
The LECO1000B II is our 100W Bi-Colour LED Light Panel which offers both daylight balanced and tungsten lighting. The difference between an LED Panel and LED Head is the way that the light is output. Our LED Heads feature LED Chips which produces a more concentrated and accurate light source, ideal for focusing on an individual subject. A LED Panel however features multiple LED bulbs, which helps to spread the light over a much wide area, suitable for multiple and larger subjects. The LED Bulbs are also Flicker-Free, meaning you can shoot a virtually any framerate, or any shutter-angle without fear of introducing flicker. It has a CRI of 95 for accurate colour reproduction, and a TLCI of 95 for impeccable colour consistency. As the LECO1000B features a smart-passive cooling system which efficiently dissipates and heat, it doesn’t require any built-in cooling fans which makes the panel noise-free, perfect when recording video over an extended period of time. Also included with the LECO1000B is a set of barn-doors, which are used to better angle the light source onto a particular area, helping to reduce any unwanted light drop-off. Even though the LECO1000B is predominately a mains-power light, it is also capable of being used with a V-Mount Battery, perfect if you require a portable yet powerful continuous lighting source. There are a few ways to control the LECO100B, firstly being by simply changing the settings on the panel itself. Secondly, you are able to use the included remote control to control the brightness of up to 99 units at one time from a distance of up to 50m. Finally, the LECO1000B also features a DMX 512 output, enabling you to control the panel from a DMX console, which is perfect for larger scale shoots.
Having looked into what is required for slow-motion videography and the types of lighting required to achieve this, you should now have the knowledge to achieve a high-quality and professional result.