How to Use Split Screens and Layers to Remove Lighting Gear From Your Footage

Brandon Li has forged a reputation for finding imaginative ways of producing professional results with limited gear. In this short video, he teaches you how to remove all of the lighting equipment from a shot by intelligent use of split screens and layers.

This sort of trickery is relatively straight forward when it comes to stills, but how do you do it when you’re shooting video, and how can it be achieved if the camera is actually moving? The technique is similar to what you might construct when compositing in Photoshop, but if you want the camera to move, you will need some specific equipment for it to work.

Be sure to watch to the end to see how Li uses layers rather than just carving up and piecing together different images. You’ll note that there’s a shortcut here to creating a much greater depth of field in your shots which can be useful if you’re trying to balance dimly lit interiors with bright light spilling in through windows and doors.

The Syrp Genie that Li uses to allow consistently repeatable camera movements is not cheap, unfortunately. Does anyone have any suggestions on more affordable alternatives? Let us know in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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1 Comment

This is super cool. I knew this could be done, but for some reason have never tried it for this particular reason. I'm sure I will now.