External lights are a requirement when shooting attorney video.
If you shoot video indoors without using external lights you will have lighting problems. Guaranteed.
Lights for video used to be tungsten and very hot. Then came fluorescent bulbs. Those were awesome.
They were cool to the touch and flicker free. You could put them into a soft-box and create a great opaque soft, even illumination.
The problem with those soft-boxes is that they are big and clunky. You needed lots of space to put them up and store them away.
The good thing is they are ‘relatively’ inexpensive when compared to the tungsten bulbs and lights.
Then came LED light panels.
Light panels are made up of tiny LED lights. Dimmable lights. You can buy light panels in different arrays, wattage and brightness.
50 LED’s, 75 LED’s, 100 LED’s, 500 LED’s…
They are cool to the touch. They are much thinner and more compact than a big soft-box.
The problem is that they are really expensive. Really expensive.
A one foot by one foot square light panel at B&H Photo costs about $1,300…just for one light panel.
By the way, when shooting attorney video, you need, at a minimum, two of them. One for the ‘Key’ light (the main light) and one for the ‘fill’ light (to fill in the shadows you’ll get from using just one light).
There are of course different companies who make LED light panels that are less expensive.
You can now buy two of them (from a Chinese company) for about $1,000. Compare that to a fluorescent light box set of two or three lights, which you can get for about $300-$400.
What do I use?
I use LED light panels for myself and for my Lawyers Video Studio clients. They travel really well and are easy to set up and take down.
If you’ve got a spare room in your law firm to shoot video in and don’t plan on flying across the country helping other attorneys create great educational video, then you really don’t need the LED light panels. The fluorescent soft-boxes work just great and are less expensive.
Always remember when using your external lights, make sure your video settings, including your aperature, ISO settings and white balance have been properly set. Otherwise you’ll wonder what you did wrong when trying to edit your great attorney video.