Lighting for my videos.

I can’t afford the fancy lighting for professional photographers.  I don’t have the space to set up that type of lighting, either.

Joe dabbles in photography when the whim hits him.  He has a lot of stuff scattered throughout our house…in places where it can be stored….to create a fully functioning dark room and for proper lighting of his subjects.

When I started making videos for YouTube I “appropriated” some of his lights.  Hey, they were shoved away on the shelf in our bedroom closet and not being used.  He was gone on the road and not home to declare that the lights were his.  😀

Like most things in my life that require expertise….of which I have not one iota of…..I pretend that I do.  😀

For quite a long time I used his lights in my room for filming.  I have a standard overhead light and sometimes harsh sunlight coming in through the window blinds.  I tried to combat the shadows with my genius.  :/

My lighting for several years

My lighting for several years

These lights are of the “Older” variety with the ceramic doodads that hold the light bulbs.  You can purchase similar lights at a hardware or a farm store.  The farm store will sell them as “hatchery” lights to keep the little baby chicks warm after they hatch out.

You can see, from the above photo, I have the spring clamps attached to the handles of the cupboard doors above my work table.  Sometimes this lighting works but mostly I get a lot of shadows.

Last week, I asked Joe to help me with setting up my lighting in a better way.  Notice I said “My lighting”?  Using HIS lights.  😀

I had him watch a video on making light stands with PVC tubing.  I’ll include that video at the bottom of this post.  He went to our local big box hardware store to purchase the items  he would need.  Within about 20 minutes he had me all fixed up.

The lighting in my room after Joe did his magic

The lighting in my room after Joe did his magic

The PVC tubing light, to the far left in the above photo, took him about 5 minutes to cut the pieces and attach them with connecting doobitties.  Joe made the “feet” into a three leg pattern instead of the four leg pattern you will see in the video.  This adds more stability to the tall pole and keeps it from tipping over.  I don’t need to weight down the supports with anything.

3 legged stand on the light pole

3 legged stand on the light pole

I told Joe I needed to have one of my lights, to the left of my work table, higher and back further than it had been.  Previously the light was attached to one of the door handles of the cupboard above my head.  Joe purchased some metal piping and elbow joint thing-a-ma-bobs, along with a “flange” to attach this to the wall.

Light to the right of my work table

Light to the right of my work table

Before Joe created my light setup, I “appropriated” some of his PVC pipe that had been in our  hallway for a few years.  It wasn’t long enough to reach from the top of the cabinets to the left and to the far right.  I had to “appropriate” a 3/4 inch dowel to add the length I needed.  Having this overhead light helped me to see what I was doing on my work table as I video taped.  I still had shadows but not as bad as had been before.


Stolen PVC pipe from Joe's stash

Stolen PVC pipe from Joe’s stash

With Joe’s help, and expertise in all things – as usual….I now have better lighting for my creative blathering.

Nearly professional lighting

Nearly professional lighting

For about $35 you can set up your lighting with things from the hardware or farm store.  The light things at the hardware store will be in the section where they sell “Work Lights”.  They are about $10 each.  The PVC tubing and connectors will be a little over $5.  Beats the heck out of $400 to set up this same kind of lighting.

Here is the video I had Joe watch to get my lighting set up.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen
    Aug 22, 2015 @ 15:33:59

    Love this lighting behind the scenes view! Hooray for husbands to understand a creative EMERGENCY 😀
    I too struggle with shadows when taking pictures of dolls. Outside is great, but it is a challenge inside. Attending the school of trial and error.


  2. Jack Flacco
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 11:49:03

    What an awesome idea! The lights sure make a difference when taking a shot or a video. I enjoy the fact that Joe is resourceful with the setup of the studio–because, in fact, that’s what it is, a studio. Love all that work you put into your content as well, Leslie!


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