Filmmaker Simeon Quarrie gives his expert advice for lighting video and photo shoots

Canon Explorer Simeon Quarrie is an internationally known filmmaker and photographer who travels globally to produce creative storytelling in his videos for some of the world’s biggest brands. At a recent The Video Mode Workshop at Pinewood Studios Simeon passed on his invaluable expertise and knowledge to the attendees and we filmed him giving some essential tips for lighting film and stills shoots…

Simeon explains, “If you don’t light someone properly you cannot shape the light. You can make them brighter but what happens is you can’t control the shadows in the right way, so what will happen is everything will get brighter. In my mind, ideally, the aim is to get it as right in-camera as possible.”

He adds, “If you work in video you don’t have the same level of control and I think because I came from a video background… can you imagine trying to edit 25 frames per second? So, there, because you don’t have the flexibility of RAW [files] in the same way that photo does it means that you want to use light correctly in order to make it happen, to shape it.

Choosing colours
Simeon reveals, “With something like a Rotolight you have an orange and a white bulb, which means that within the same light you’ve got the ability to choose the colour. What I really enjoy doing is using more than one light source… so I’ll have maybe blue or daylight on one side and I’ll use the orange [light source] on the other to create that contrast and it becomes very, very interesting. If lighting scares you using a continuous light is brilliant because you can move the light around and find the ‘sweet spot’.”

Find out more…
To discover more of Simeon Quarrie’s best advice for lighting both video and stills just click on the play button in the window at the top of this article to watch the short ‘top tips’ film. To watch another exclusive The Video Mode tuition video with Canon Explorer Simeon Quarrie’s top tips for ‘shooting better video’ just click here. You can also discover more about Simeon Quarrie’s creative work by visiting his agency’s website – to do so click here.