On-Board Light – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Cinematography Glossary Terms

I. What is an On-Board Light?

An on-board light is a portable lighting fixture that is typically mounted directly onto a camera or other equipment, such as a tripod or rig. These lights are used in various industries, including photography, videography, and cinematography, to provide additional illumination in low-light conditions or to create specific lighting effects. On-board lights are compact, lightweight, and easy to transport, making them a popular choice for on-the-go shooting situations.

II. How is an On-Board Light Used in Cinematography?

In cinematography, on-board lights are commonly used to provide fill light, key light, or backlighting to enhance the overall look of a scene. Fill light helps to reduce shadows and create a more balanced lighting setup, while key light is the primary source of illumination for the subject. Backlighting is used to separate the subject from the background and add depth to the image. On-board lights can also be used creatively to create specific moods or lighting effects, such as dramatic shadows or soft, diffused light.

III. What are the Different Types of On-Board Lights?

There are several different types of on-board lights available on the market, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Some common types include LED lights, fluorescent lights, and tungsten lights. LED lights are popular for their energy efficiency, long lifespan, and adjustable color temperature. Fluorescent lights are lightweight and produce soft, even light, making them ideal for portrait and product photography. Tungsten lights are known for their warm, natural-looking light and are often used in film and television production.

IV. What are the Benefits of Using an On-Board Light?

Using an on-board light offers several benefits, including increased flexibility and control over the lighting setup, improved image quality in low-light conditions, and the ability to shoot in a wider range of environments. On-board lights are also easy to set up and adjust, making them a convenient option for on-the-go shooting situations. Additionally, on-board lights are portable and lightweight, making them a practical choice for travel or outdoor shooting.

V. How to Properly Set Up and Adjust an On-Board Light?

To properly set up and adjust an on-board light, start by mounting the light onto the camera or other equipment securely. Position the light at the desired angle and distance from the subject, taking into account the desired lighting effect. Adjust the brightness and color temperature of the light as needed to achieve the desired look. It is also important to consider the ambient lighting conditions and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a balanced and natural-looking result.

VI. What are Some Tips for Using On-Board Lights Effectively?

– Experiment with different angles and distances to find the most flattering lighting setup for your subject.
– Use diffusion or bounce materials to soften the light and reduce harsh shadows.
– Consider using gels or filters to adjust the color temperature of the light and create specific lighting effects.
– Be mindful of the power output and battery life of the on-board light to avoid running out of power during a shoot.
– Practice proper lighting techniques, such as three-point lighting, to achieve a professional-looking result.
– Take the time to familiarize yourself with the features and capabilities of your on-board light to maximize its effectiveness in various shooting situations.