Equipment needed to do Green Screen Photography

You need a camera

Point and Shoot (OK)

This type of camera has a small built-in flash. Some cannot set white balance. They can seldom be placed in manual mode so they cannot work with external flashes. If you use this kind of camera make sure there is a lot of light on the green screen. Do not depend on the small flash to light your subject as it will cast harsh shadows.

Fixed Lens SLR (Better)

This type of camera can often do much of what a full Single Lens Reflex camera can do. They often have built in flashes that can trigger external strobes, and they can set white balance and shoot in manual mode.

Full SLR with interchangeable lens

The digital SLR interchangeable lenses is of course the best camera to use for any kind of photography. 



Green (Blue) Screens

There are many sizes and shapes of screens out there. If you’re just starting, buy a small screen but stay away from the plastic ones. Make sure that the screen you buy has a pocket sown in the top for the background stand. Screens that look lime green are best.

o Green Plastic Sheet (Not so good)
o Green Muslin (Fine)
o Green Woven Polyester (Fine)
o Green Chroma Key Paint (Fine)

(All better with a stand)

Lighting Equipment

Built in flash (Not recommended without diffuser)

The built in flash will cast harsh shadows on the subject.

Flood lights (Ok)

Flood lights with out umbrellas are ok but not as good as full continuous studio lighting.

On camera flash (Better than built–in, but use caution)

The larger area of the flash and the fact that it can be bounced off the ceiling can make this flash useful. Make sure the subject is not standing too near the green screen when photographed or flash will result in shadows. On camera flash with diffuser (Good)

There are all kinds of diffusers, but they all attempt to do the same thing. They try to soften the light from the flash so that it does not cast harsh shadows on the subject. In green screen photography we also want flattering lighting, but more importantly we do not want shadows on the green screen itself. These devices can really help soften those shadows. Probably the best is the LightSphere (Shown second), but it will only work with an external flash.

Studio Lights (Best)

Studio lighting makes use of reflectors called umbrellas and softboxes. No matter how good a diffuser, is it is still a single light source. With studio lighting you will have two or more light sources. There are books written about studio lighting, so a complete discussion is beyond the scope of this article. There are two types of studio lighting: continuous and strobe. You need continuous lighting if you´re going to do video, as each frame needs light. For photography we only need light when we snap the shutter. This type of lighting is called strobe lighting. Most photographers use this type. It is cooler, and the model or customer does not have a bright light in their face at all times.

Strobe Studio Lights


For a good source of studio lighting equipment try Owens-originals.