Don’t Despair! – How to Be Inspired In Lighting

If you’re like many people who take up lighting as a hobby, you’ve probably spent a few hours looking at pictures of lighting on Flickr or checking our Youtube videos of designs you like.

And I know it’s not just me who does this, because you guys email me this stuff!  I could seriously sit around and watch that MUSE video over and over again (among others). Drool might begin to pour out of my mouth. 🙂

Another type of video we often see on Youtube looks something like this:

Also pretty cool.  But not real – and that’s where I’ve got a draw a line in the sand!

I love 3D visualizers as much as the next guy, but when you’re looking for inspiration for your real life lighting designs, please don’t watch them!  Nothing is the fault of the creators, or creating these yourself- as long as you remember that they are not real.

The reason I say this is because I’ve gotten a number of emails from readers lately showing me these videos, and asking how to make their lighting look like that.

The unfortunate truth is that the picture is not always possible!

For example – when you take the CMY mixing flags in a moving light in software, you can make an instant color change from full cyan to full magenta.

Some visualizers are more realistic than others in this, but none are the real world.   While some moving lights can get pretty quick, no CMY mover is instant as an LED!

Further – you can hang lights anywhere you want, with no consideration of rigging or physics.  Many of these videos also do really cool lighting, but don’t actually light any people on stage – which is kind of important in the real world!

So, I don’t want to discourage you, but rather encourage you in your lighting today!  While Youtube videos are a great way to learn more about lighting and watch great designs, don’t let your vision be clouded by the fantasy world of the visualizer.

It’s a great tool which I love to use when I’m designing, but not a real-world end.

And with that, I want to leave you a few more videos I found up on Youtube – it’s not just the big lighting rigs that can inspire you!

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