A Lighting tutorial from Blind Spot Gear

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At Blind Spot Gear we love to share our knowledge of lighting. This 5 minute lighting tutorial will teach you principles about lighting. The video includes, lighting definitions and examples, 3 point lighting, the inverse squared law explained, and tips and tricks.

About the Author 

Billy Campbell, Chief Explorer of Blind Spot Gear is a 2 time BAFTA winner and a Kodak award winning cinematographer.

Lighting is the most important element in cinematography. It is the task to which the cinematographer gives their primary attention. It is the light that shapes the reality in front of the lens, giving it depth or flatness, excitement or boredom, reality or artificiality. Cinematography attempts to create and sustain a mood captured on the screen. In this respect, lighting is at the heart of cinematography.

3 point Demo-4

3 Point Lighting 

Key Light

The key light is the main main source of light for a given character while at a certain place in the scene. There are no set rules on the placement of the key light. A traditional starting place is 45 degrees from the camera and 45 degrees off the floor, but the mood or location of the scene often leads the cinematographer to put it elsewhere.

Fill Light

A fill light is used to fill in the shadows created by the key light. It should not create additional shadows and therefore usually comes from fairly near the camera.

PanoDemo1PNG copy

Back Light

The third principle light is the back light, which is designed to separate the actors from the background. This adds three-dimensionality to the picture. This light is often omitted by cameramen who believe in realism and do no want an unmotivated source of light illuminating the picture.

Practical Light

If thereʹs one simple thing that you can do today to make your cinematography look more professional and polished, itʹs incorporating practical lights into your scenes. Practical lights are traditionally defined as any light where the light source is in frame – desk and floor lamps, televisions, computers, and strings of Christmas lights. In the example below a Scorpion Light has been placed on the same axis as the practical light just out of frame. The barn doors have been adjusted to keep the illumination from the Scorpion off the practical light and the back wall.

Lighting Tutorial Including 3 point lighting and more from Blind Spot Gear on Vimeo.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Panasonics UHD DVD DMP-UB900 £599

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panasonic_dmp-ub900 copy

A lot of fellow videographers are still outputting their final footage to DVD mainly for weddings and children’s dance shows. 2016 was to be the year for UHD (Ultra High Definition) or 4K DVD players.

Some have questioned whether Blu-ray discs will have a future in a world increasingly enamored with streaming. The industry’s response is simple: Ultra HD Blu-ray player and discs provide the best possible picture quality for those who own high-performing UHD TVs. The picture quality of the 4K content from services such as Amazon and Netflix is highly dependent on the viewer’s broadband connection and the amount of network traffic inside and outside the viewer’s home.

With a constant bitrate in excess of 100Mbps second—four times the FCC’s definition of what constitutes broadband—Ultra Blu-ray promises a consistent, reliable, high level of performance currently unmatched by streaming.

At the same time, the industry has acknowledged the shifts in viewer habits with an Ultra Blu-ray feature called “copy and export.” As its name suggests, copy and export lets you make a bit-for-bit copy of an Ultra HD film or program and store it on an authorized hard drive. That means you can probably expect to see Ultra HD Blu-ray players with 1TB or more hard drives.

UB900 left 2-1200-80 copy

Using the export feature, you’ll be able to transfer a file—presumably a lower-quality version of the content—to authorized mobile devices. But you can’t transfer it directly on your own to that device; it will have to go through a third-party service such as Vidity or UltraViolet. Both the movie studio and the player will have to implement this feature for it to work.

Just like current Blu-ray titles, Ultra Blu-ray discs can carry lower-quality content, such as 1080p programs or movies, but manufacturers must clearly state that in the tech specs box on the package. One advantage to doing this would be to include an entire series on a single disc. There will be three disc sizes: 50GB, 66GB, and 100GB, depending on the length of the program material and which extra features—wider color gamuts, HDR, etc—are included.

There are no UHD burners as yet which would be needed to deliver UHD weddings or dance shows, nor do we have burning software capable of UHD but maybe Apple will have this in their new version of FCPX anytime soon. You can deliver UHD in a USB stick and I have just discovered this software (PC only) called DRAX  that allows you to add chapters to your mp4 videos without ReRendering! (chapter titles too!)


For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

ADVERT…Canon C300 Mk11 now in stock at H Preston Media at £9499 incl. vat

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C300 in stock

Special price on the Canon C300 Mk2 @ £9499.00 inc vat call John or Andy at 01684-575486. Remember. Preston Media are the only UK dealership that takes good condition part exchange video cameras to offset your initial purchase.

Canon C300 Mark II Australian Release 4k from B R E T T D A N T O N on Vimeo.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Treating gun violence as an infectious disease

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Physician Gary Slutkin spent a decade fighting tuberculosis, cholera and HIV/Aids epidemics in Africa.

When he returned to the United States, he thought he had escaped brutal epidemic deaths.


But then he began to look more carefully at gun violence, noting that its spread followed the patterns of infectious diseases.

Slutkin’s theory is revolutionary because it is among the first to treat gun violence not as a moral or political problem, but as a medical issue to be solved using scientific methods.

Join Dr Slutkin in Chicago to meet the “violence interrupters” – many of whom are reformed criminals – working to end gun violence on their streets.

Cure V

Jonathan Richards (above left) DOP “My latest AlJazeera film is now being broadcast this week on Freeview 132. Not awfully helpful UK times, so feel free to take a look online here. It’s only 10 minutes long so it’s an easy watch. It’s about one doctors’ idea on how to ‘cure’ gun violence. It’s based in Chicago, the old stamping ground of AlCapone and still a hot bed of gang violence. Hope you like it ? ”

“I must also pay tribute and offer thanks to Caroline Radnofsky and Mark Kensett for their help in the making of this film. Mark as Camera 2 and Photographer and Caroline as producer.”

During his stay in Chicago Jonathan met up with Colin Hinkle from Soaring Badger Productions, a full service production company located in Chicago, Illinois. They provide ground and aerial video throughout Chicago, the United States and the world. Specializing in aerial drone videos where they can create a bird’s-eye view of any location upon the request of a client.



Colin got special permission from the mayor of Chicago to fly his Inspire drone over the buildings and has some fantastic stock footage as used by Jonathan in the video about “treating violence”. Soaring Badger Productions was the first FAA exempt Chicago based drone production company and now the only company allowed to film on closed sets for movies and television in Illinois.


The film was shot mainly using his new Sony PXW-FS5 as seen above. Below is Jonathan’s 10m documentary, well worth a watch.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

USA price increase by 100% for PXW-X70 4K upgrade (UPDATED)

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Price 100

On the 9th of June we reported how unfair it was that those in the UK who had the Sony PXW-X70 had to spend £446 when B&H had the same software for £193.

Since our report B&H have now raised the software upgrade to £387 a 100% increase since June 2016. This camera was a great wee tool when it first appeared but most users have off loaded them for NX100’s or Z150’s…so why the price hike on such an old camera ?


Great news for X70 users finally sense prevails…CVP have reduced this upgrade to £235.20


For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

NEW Firmware for the JVC GY-HM660 v1.02

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JVC 660


JVC cameras have become the standard for fast paced ENG leading the industry in on-board streaming and IP connectivity. The GY-HM660 is JVC’s latest and most advanced handheld mobile news camera. Small and light enough to be used anywhere, this camera surpasses the performance of many traditional ENG style units and offers reliable, high quality streaming without the use of a backpack or external encoder. Dual codecs make it possible to record full HD on solid state memory and at the same time stream the footage for live broadcast.

The GY-HM660’s long (23x) wide angle lens is perfect for fast paced ENG. The camera offers superb low light performance with F12 sensitivity at @2000 lux

The GY-HM660 has JVC’s latest streaming engine employing Zixi or SMPTE 2022 forward error correction (FEC). And it’s the world’s first camcorder with a built-in IFB audio channel. Zixi advanced streaming is included and provides forward error correction, automatic repeat request, and adaptive bitrate control. Multiple Zixi enabled cameras are easily managed with the optional ProHD Broadcaster (BR-800). The camera also provides an RTMP stream for content delivery networks such as USTREAM and YouTube. Transmission at selected resolutions, bitrates and formats is possible independent of the recording mode. Stream 1920 x 1080 (3, 5 or 12 Mpbs), 1280 x 720 (1.5 or 3Mbps) or 480i (0.8, 0.2 Mbps).


New feature…

  • Added the IFB return audio feature. The firmware gives users two channels of Interruptible foldback (IFB), one for the camera operator and a separate feed for the talent. This allows news teams to communicate with the studio while streaming live HD reports from the field. 

New software from here … http://www.service.jvcpro.eu/public/document.cfm?prog=ProdSoft.cfm&Model=GY-HM660E

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Rick Young’s further thoughts on the JVC LS300

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Rick loves his JVC LS300 so much so he has produced this update video with some extra thoughts from guest camera operators. On location in Hawaii this video shows 3 professionals onsite, working extensively with the JVC GY-LS300, and reporting of their experience using this camera in a professional environment. Plenty of examples of footage filmed with the GY-LS300 is shown, along with the commentary of those who have worked with this camera.

300 from top_HDR v2

I reviewed the camera twice, once when it was just announced and once when they updated the FW to V2. The GY-LS300 Super 35mm camcorder records to non-proprietary SDHC and SDXC media cards in a variety of image formats including 4K Ultra HD, full HD with 4:2:2 sampling, SD and web-friendly proxy formats. It features JVCs 4K Super 35mm CMOS sensor combined with industry standard Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount. JVCs unique Variable Scan Mapping technology maintains the native angle of view for a variety of lenses, including Super 35, MFT and Super 16.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

The Daily Vlogger with Casey Neistat

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Casey v2

I saw this chap by pure chance while browsing and I like his style..fearless towards his new drone, DJI Phantom 4 and a very interesting take on his first flight.

You can catch more of his exploits here…https://www.youtube.com/user/caseyneistat

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

NEW Fuji X-T2 with NO headphone socket or does it (£1399 body only)

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments


Why are manufacturers insisting in bringing tools to market with no headphone sockets. This camera is 4K and full HD yet only useful for product shots and shots that do not require sound. 4K up to 10m is also a joke comparing it to an older Panasonic GH4.

  • 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor
  • 325 AF points (169 of which offer phase detection)
  • AF point selection joystick
  • 2.36M-dot OLED EVF with 0.005 sec refresh time (60 fps or 100 fps in boost mode)
  • 3″ 1.04M-dot articulating LCD
  • 4K UHD video at up to 30 fps for up to 10 min (30 min with booster grip)
  • F-Log flat profile and 4K out over HDMI
  • 8 fps continuous shooting with AF (11 fps with booster grip)
  • 5 fps continuous shooting with live view updates between capture
  • Dual SD card slots (UHS-II compatible)
  • USB 3.0 socket


Just been informed if you spend a further £300 and buy the booster grip you indeed get a headphone socket, but I would prefer this to be on the camera itself.


For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Canon announce a £2000 reduction on the C300 Mk11… (Now £7995 plus vat)

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2K off

Canon have announced a massive £2000 +VAT price drop on the incredible C300 mark II Cinema EOS camera. Canon C300 mark II – Now £7995 +VAT

The C300 II delivers stunning pictures and colour reproduction, wide dynamic range, high data rate 4K recording and external RAW output.

C300 Mk11
A native EF lens mount accepting EF and EFS lenses combined with exceptional dual pixel auto focus sees this amazing tool excel above the competition.

Check this camera out in our north London showroom, call for details – 020 8275 1070



For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

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