Many content creators will find it difficult to produce video content on a regular basis while traveling, especially when they are so used to the coziness and comfort of their home studio. So, rather than improvising while settling for a possible lighting configuration in your hotel room or Airbnb, maybe it’s wiser to prepare the right set of professional equipment in advance to ensure that your content doesn’t have to suffer under the overly-used fluorescents of your accommodations.
To put things into perspective in that regard, filmmaker Sidney Diongzon shares his approach when it comes to building a mobile studio on the go which seems to be much easier than one may think, but only if you have the right equipment in your backpack.
A majority of the suggested setup is composed of lighting equipment from Aputure, including the powerful Aputure C120D LED light paired with a light dome to soften the light on the subject. This Chip on Board (COB) designed fixture with a 6000K color temperature consumes a negligible amount of power while providing more than adequate color rendering (96 CRI) which makes it perfect for such occasions.
Other than that, Diongzon opted not to have any fill source of light. Instead, he uses a black collapsable background by placing it on the wall opposing to the key light. To add visual interest to the shot, Sidney also throws some colorful backlights in the background. He achieves the effect, by utilizing a pair of Aputure Amaran H198C LED lights with a teal and purple color gel placed on the front.
The audio of the mobile setup is handled by a Rode VideoMic Pro+ attached to a mic stand and boom arm, positioned to the side of the camera. Lastly, to hide all of the equipment, filmmaker suggest zooming into the shot so that only him and the background can be seen.
Meanwhile, if you don’t have the luxury of carrying mounds of equipment with you to your temporary studio, there are still a couple of tricks you can use to add production value to your videos. First and foremost, if you’re looking for something to act as a key light, try using a lamp that may be in your room by bouncing it off the wall. You could even take advantage of the natural light coming from a window on a sunny day as your key, and then instead use your lamp as a fill.
Besides that, try shooting with a low aperture and with a lens that has a high focal length number to add visual intrigue to your background. As a last resort, you could place yourself under a ceiling light. By having a light cast and reflect off of your head, you’ll be able to create separation between yourself and the background in the room, thus adding a level of depth to your shot.
All in all, stepping out of your studio is an uncomfortable experience but is sometimes inevitable, especially when traveling. Nevertheless, you could still get some professional results by applying the basic principals of good old three-point lighting, even when you are miles away from home.