10. Why do you need two lights for underwater videography?
Maybe you think one powerful light is enough, but for the best results you need to use two.
The underwater videography is a real science: you need to be an expert in shooting and editing- and certainly you have to be a skilled diver as well. It's the most important, because you have to move carefully, without disturbing marine life and stirring up sediment.
There is a huge range of cameras which you can take under water. The small action cameras are the most popular nowadays, you can choose from expensive ones with 4K resolution or cheaper models. There are the high end video camera models for documentaries. And many people choose DSLR or MILC photo cameras which have video mode as well: these are cool cameras and because you can change the lens, you can do both wonderful wide angle or exciting macro shots while you can shot nice photos too.
But you can't shot nice underwater video footage even with the best camera in the world without video lights. The colors disappear as you descend deeper and the coral gardens seem quite boring in blue-gray colors. If you don't have a light, you and your camera can't see anything inside a wreck or a cave. Maybe you think, a small dive light is better than nothing- that's true, but their power and beam angle isn't enough for nice results. From the Spark Action Light range the 7F multifunctional model has a video light mode which can be used, but for serious underwater videography we recommend the Spark Action Light V1 or V2 models. 120 degree beam angle, 3600 lumen maximum power- it's a good choice for those who look for an affordable, small video light.
But will you need one or two lights? Certainly you can dive with only one video light: your set up will be cheaper, you have to carry less equipment. And it's way better to have one good video light than none. If you think two small dive lights will be enough instead of one powerful video light, think about again. They still aren't powerful enough and you can't mount them on the tray so in the footage you will see two moving light spots only.
The main problem is, where to mount the single dive light? If you mount it close to the camera you will illuminate the subject directly. It may sound good, but sadly all the floating little particles will be visible- this is the so-called backscatter. (Sometimes it seems like you dive during snowing when you watch the movie.)
If you mount dive lights to one side or above the camera, you eliminate this problem- and all of your shots will be illuminated from only one side. It won't look good, certainly. In a macro shot you will see the colors of the subject only on the left or the right side- if you put the light above the camera maybe you won't see the face, etc. Just imagine when you try to make a nice shot with a single video light of a hiding seahorse in the Adriatic Sea! In a wreck you will see only one side of a room, a corridor. You mount the camera in the center, and you will light all the stirred up sediment. With two video lights you can make far better shots of these places.
There is another quite simple reason to use two dive lights: if one of them doesn't work (it shouldn't be faulty, maybe you simply forget charging), there is still another one to use. If you have a small video light with different lighting modes and different power settings like the Spark Action Light V1 or V2, you can use them as ordinary dive lights too. The packaging box of the Spark Lights products is just perfect to carry a small action camera with one or two Spark Action Light dive or video lights. So your valuable underwater video set up will be protected during the long travels.
That is why our recommendation is to prefer a set up with two video lights of the same kind. We tried to develop a system with affordable, small and powerful dive and video lights, with all the necessary accessories and useful packaging box which let you travel with a compact but good quality underwater video set up.
You can learn about our photo-video lights in the webshop