Lighting 101: Intro to Light Placement


Duration: 5m

Three point lighting is the most common structure for cinematic lighting in film history. Everywhere we look, we see three point lighting being used on movies both big and small budget. Not everyone uses three point lighting the same way, but nearly every light placement can fit into one of the three placements of three point lighting. Knowing the basics of three point lighting will help you to better understand film lighting as a whole, and strengthen your ability to communicate your cinematic vision! Today on 4 Minute Film School, we go over the fundamentals of three point lighting and show you how you can take your footage to the next level, using these basic tips.

In this video, Matt from the A-Team shows us the various options you have within a three point lighting setup. He also goes over the names of each light and how they can be used in a scene. First, he goes over the general location of each of the lights in the three point setup; as well as the names given to each light. Next, he shows examples of what lights look like from different angles around the subject, and how they fit into the three point lighting structure. Lastly, he demonstrates how using three point lighting choices can help a subject pop within a scene.

The main lights used in a three point lighting setup are the key light, the fill light, and the backlight. The key light is the main light used to see your subject. This light is often the brightest and shows the most of the subject’s face. The fill light is designed to fill in the shadows made by the key light and fill out the face. It is usually on the other side of the face and not as bright as the key light. The backlight is any light coming from behind the subject. Backlights can come in many different styles but anything that hits the subject from behind can be considered a backlight.

Lighting and cinematography can be very complicated. There are so many different ways of lighting a scene, and with the possibility of light coming from every angle, keeping track of the different lights can be difficult. With this video, we hope to simplify things a little bit, and help you better understand which light is doing what and how to use them to create great images. The lighting is just as important as the camera and the actors. These tools give you as even greater ability to shape the lighting to tell your story.

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Aputure was founded in 2005 by a team of inspired photographers and filmmakers who wanted to create high-quality content, but struggled with steep cost of equipment needed to do so. Determined to create professional-grade equipment at an affordable price, they started Aputure: the first company to provide affordable camera accessories with the quality and functions needed to fully realize any creative vision.

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