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Using Light Leak Effects to Stylize Your Edits

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Traditionally, the word Light Leaks was considered a pain to photographers and filmmakers. Due to a manufacturing problem or general wear-and-tear, light would spill through a hole or gap in the body of a camera and “leak” into a sealed chamber. This would cause the film to be exposed with unaccounted for light. What was previously considered a problem soon became a stylistic technique called the lomography movement, giving photos character and life.

Videographers have adopted this movement by using the movement of light leaks to give their wedding videos and corporate videos a new flare, pardon the pun.

There are a few ways one can use light leaks in own projects. Using light leaks over top of edits points is a great way to mask a cut point. Typically the brightest part of the light leak should be placed above the edit point. This will allow for a smooth and seamless transition between shots. However, light leaks do not always need to cover an edit. A nice edge burn in the middle of a shot can really spice up any piece of footage.

Particular events also benefit from the use of light leaks. For example, a nice autumn wedding will benefit from slow warmer glows and tones to match the romantic mood of the piece. In addition, a action packed surf video would be great fit for fast light leaks that wash over the scene and add to the pace of the footage. Furthermore, blue, green and purple overlays really lend themselves to concert footage and music video. This is because of the presence of these multi-colored lights that are already present in the scene.

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