How to: Filming in the Dark

When shooting on my iPhone in the dark or taking photos I noticed that the photo didn’t have as good quality as if it was taken in daylight and there was a lot of noise. I therefore felt it was necessary to do some research into how to film in the dark.

FILMRIOT, 2014. How To Light For Darkness! [25 October 2015]. Available from:
I came across a YouTuber called Film Riot who did a video called How To Light For Darkness! and I found it very useful. He said that two things to keep in mind when shooting in the dark is that the higher the ISO number, the more noise or graininess you will see in your image, and also the lower the f stop (aperture), the bigger the hole in the lens and therefore the more light gets let in, making the image brighter. He suggested two ways in which you can shoot in the dark. He firstly suggested taking an LED light or any other bright light source and facing it directly onto another surface that would then bounce it onto the subject. This would mean that the light would be less intense, but would still give enough light to light up the subject. He also said you could use a fill light or reflector if you didn’t want there to be harsh shadows. The other way he suggested was to take the film in daylight and then adjust it to make it look darker afterwards in post production. He said that he finds this way gives him a clearer image; however you need to be very careful when adjusting the lighting afterwards because if it is not done correctly then it may look too flat or too contrasty.

I decided to text out the first way he suggested, shining the light on a surface and reflecting it onto the subject. In this experiment I used the torch on my phone as the light source and then a silver reflector to bounce the light onto my model. I was really pleased with the results as the model was lit up well and clearly, but the background was still very dark and therefore it still looked like night time. Unfortunately I was not able to upload the footage that I filmed, so I will show you below in still images. The image on the left is when there is no light on and the image on the right shows when the light was being reflected onto his face.
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 23.00.20 Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 23.00.23

I then used a different light source; I used a street lamp behind him and then reflected that light onto his face. The image on the left is when the is no light shining on him and the image on the right is when the reflector is being held up and reflecting light onto his face. You can see a massive difference between these images and I am really happy with how clear they came out; however there will be no street lamps in the middle of a forrest, which is where I am planning on filming.
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 23.00.51 Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 23.00.49


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