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This simple presentation on lighting will inform you of the basic types, qualities, uses, and angles of lights.

Wesley Kirk

on 31 October 2013

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Transcript of LIGHTING Basics

Available Light
This is the light that naturally illuminates the overall scene. Nothing is done to alter how the light affects the scene. Available light includes:
Street lights
Indoor lights

This is of course the easiest to shoot, but requires very specific conditions to create a nice look, since the brightness and direction of the light is not adjustable.

Practical Light
This is the light that is artificially added to the scene, and is included in the frame. Practical light includes:

This is easy to shoot, but difficult to set up (without it looking strange having so many lamps in one room), unless you are building the set, and are able to add light fixtures wherever you need them.

Motivated Light
This is taking light already in the scene and adding, subtracting, manipulating it to look more impressive. Motivated light includes:
Reflectors or Bounce Cards
Diffusers or Flags
LIGHTS (any kind not in the shot)

This is by far the most common, because it allows the most control over the lighting, while not looking out of place in the scene. But the means of manipulating the light must never be shown onscreen.

Uses of Light
Types of Lighting
styles & techniques
Hard Light
Sharp shadows
Soft Light
Soft shadows
Flood Light
Spread over a large area.

Can be accomplished by using large lights, diffusers, or windows.

Greater illuminates the scene & subject(s).

Spot Light
Targeted to a small area.

Can be accomplished with a snoot, barn doors, or flags.

Isolates subject / details.

Key Light
This is the main light used to illuminate the subject.

It is the most important light to set up.

Usually placed at a 30–60° angle to the subject’s face. 

Fill Light
This is the light used to more fully illuminate the subject.

The brighter the fill light, the more it reduces contrast on the subject’s face.

Usually placed perpendicular to the key light. 

3-Point Lighting
Back Light
Also known as hair or shoulder light. 

Placed on opposite end of subject, facing towards the camera.

Separates the subject from the background.

Eye Light
Small, bright speck of light to reflect off the subject’s eye and into the camera.

“Lights” up their face, making every eye movement appear more human & emotional.

5-Point Lighting
Key Light
Fill Light
Back Light
Eye Light
Background Light
Angles of Light
When the light is coming from the same direction as the camera.

The lack of shadows makes the subject look flat.

Usually placed within a 15° angle of the camera. 

Axis Light

When the light is coming from 45° to either side of the camera.

Adds perfect amount of depth in order to show the emotion on the subject’s face, while also showing the form of their face.

Rembrandt Light
When the light is coming from 90° to either side of the camera.

Splits the subject’s face into half light / half shadow.

Very high contrast.

Contour Light
When the light is coming from more than 120° on either side of the camera.

Separates the subject from the background.

Maximum contrast.

Perfect for filming at night / dark rooms.

Edge Light
Just because there are 5 uses of light does not mean that you need 5 lights. Key or fill light could double as eye light. Key light might work for fill and background light. And so on.
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