3 Point Lighting for Photography
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  • 1. 3 POINT LIGHTINGPhotographic Imaging 1By: Jordan PohlePeriod 8
  • 2. Interview Lighting The concepts covered here are important and will reappear in many other lighting setups. Pay attention to how often these concepts reappear. The more you understand them, the easier it will be for you to adapt them as needed in a variety of situations. They will also help you to create your own distinctive lighting style. Using this interactive player, you can turn on each light in the setup individually to see its effect. These 4 lights: Key, Fill, Hair, & Edge, form the basics of a well lit portrait. Familiarize yourself with each light and its effect on the whole picture
  • 3. Window Lighting Concepts of contrast and light angles were often influenced by the light coming in a window without direct light The north-light window in old photo studios and our modern soft lights attempt to emulate this classic look
  • 4. KEY LIGHT Key Light defined: The primary or dominant source of light in a shot. Often suggests an out of frame source Choice of fixture (hard or soft) and its position will help set the mood
  • 5. Soft Key Light The shown Key light is a very soft Rifa-lite 88 fitted with a 1000-watt bulb and a soft Egg Crate The cheek closest to the camera has a shadow Begin to notice how often you see this in movies, television, and photographs. Full lighting with Soft KeyRifa 88, 1000W Soft lightRifa with Fabric Egg Crate Simple Light Setups
  • 6. Hard Key Light This is an example of a hard Key light, instead of soft. We are using a 250-watt Pro-light. The transition between the light and dark areas is more Full lighting Rembrandt dramatic, and youve achieved what is referred to as with hard Key van Rijn, Rembrandt lighting. Portrait of a Rembrandt actually experimented with having the main light Lady with an coming from many directions but this is the look that stuck to his name Ostrich- Feather Fan, c. While it doesnt always have to be so, it is very common and a 1658/1660 safe place to start. It might be so popular because it has a slimming effect. Pro-light, 250W Focusing Hard light
  • 7. Key Light Techniques When you practice placing the Key light on your subject, keep an eye on the shadow it creates from the nose. The nose shadow is easier to see if you use a hard light but blends more attractively when you a larger soft source. Now try placing your light so the nose shadow is nearly gone. Bad nose shadow Reduced nose shadow Bringing the Key light face-on is effective for lightening the shadows from wrinkles. Used with makeup it is even more effective. If possible you could move the subject and lights further away from the back wall to allow the spill to fall off. Another look is what is sometimes called Hatchet lighting. Here the shadow line runs Hatchet lighting right down the center of the face
  • 8. Simple Light Setups Sometimes when power or time limitations are factors, one light will do the work of both Key and Fill. A second small light from behind to Single light (Omni-light 500 W) add a little shine to the hair adds a with umbrella, positioned to finishing touch.. function as Key light, with enough softness to also act as Fill light. In this example a 500-watt Omni-light with a nylon umbrella worked well for the single Key / Fill light and a 125- watt L-light is providing the shine on the hair and shoulders. Dont forget to make the necessary changes in the height of your stand and possibly an exposure change to your camera as you adjust position of the lights. Single Light Result
  • 9. Fill Light Fill light defined: Fill is used to lighten shadows and control contrast ratios (the ratio of amount of Key to Fill light). Combined with the Key light, Fill light helps define the mood by lighting the shaded areas in a range of intensities. It can vary from none, to a level equaling the Key light.
  • 10. Fill Light Fill light aloneRifa 44, 250W Soft light After setting the Key light, you may find that the darker side of the face is too dark for your tastes. There are several methods for adding Fill light to reduce the shadows. We have chosen a Rifa-lite 44 soft light, with a 250-watt bulb, with a soft Rifa 44, 250W Soft Egg Crate to control the spill. Fill light alone This doesnt just apply to lighting light faces. The amount of Fill that is added depends on your taste (or the preference of the person who hired you). Generally, you can most easily alter the mood of a shot by raising and lowering the intensity of the Fill.
  • 11. Fill Light Techniques More commonly, you may begin to consider light placement positions near the camera to hide the shadows behind the subject When the Fill is directly over the camera it adds to the Key lights exposure so consider adjusting for it As with the Key light you could adjust the distance to lessen the intensity as well as by adding scrims or neutral density gels to the light. A Fill light is usually a soft source so using an umbrella or a softbox is common. B Images A & B to the right show differing levels of Fill light. A) Lower ratio of Key to Fill lightB) Higher A C ratio of Key to Fill lightC) Double Nose Shadow Probably the only wrong way to do Fill is if A) Lower ratio of Key to Fill light it adds another set of visible shadows; visible to the camera that is (you only B) Higher ratio of Key to Fill light need to worry about whats in your frame). C) Double Nose Shadow Image C shows a closer view with a double nose shadow. This is caused by having a Fill light that is almost as strong as the Key
  • 12. Reflected Fill Light Another method of providing Fill is by bouncing the Key light off of a reflector In the example shown, the soft Key light is being reflected. A stippled reflector surface will soften the reflected light more and give less chance of secondary shadows. Using a matte white card will provide a very soft reflected fill at close range. Note: In highly reflective rooms, if your lighting is too flat, you might consider a technique called negative fill. This is often done by hanging a dark cloth or piece of black foamcore on the fill side to prevent stray light from providing too much fill. Experiment with different amounts of fill and see if you can manipulate the effect to change the feel Specular Reflector bouncing Soft of the lighting. Key light to create Fill Closeup detail
  • 13. Hair Light Hair light defined: A light from behind the subject, often weaker than the Key or Fill, aimed at the head & shoulders. It may also called a backlight. It creates a sense of separation between subject and background, and adds highlights & shine to hair, and is often widened to include a subjects shoulders. Working with Hair light gets trickier with receding hairlines, and may be done without in that situation.
  • 14. Hair Light Techniques Along with the amount of Fill light you use, you can continue to add finesse to the lighting. Both Hair lights and Edge lights fall into this category. Traditionally, Hair lights are placed directly opposite the camera If extreme backlight is what youre after, just try to keep the light far enough back so it doesnt start your subjects hair on fire. If you are dealing with thinning hair or bald heads, you probably already have enough separation from the background Hair light aloneRifa 44, 250W Soft light Hair light alone Be careful to keep any light from shining into Rifa 44, 250W Soft the front of the lens, causing lens flare. light With the advent of modern cameras there is less need for the really heavy use of hair light
  • 15. Edge Light Edge light defined: A light from behind the subject, often weaker than the Key or Fill, is placed to create an edge of definition between subject and background. Similar in practice to Hair light, it is also a form of backlight normally used to define one dark object from another, for example a dark jacket from a similarly dark background.
  • 16. Edge Light Techniques Edge lights create subtle defining edges, and line-like highlights If your subjects dark hair or jacket seems to blend into a similarly dark background you can add an edge to visibly separate them from the background. To experiment with these effects start with small fixtures and keep an eye on the shadow from the subjects ear. It is popular to have a light edge along the jaw line. Try using a small light with an umbrella or with a diffusion gel. Edge lights are also aimed in the Edge light alone L-light, 100W direction of the camera, so be careful to keep any light from shining into the front of the lens, causing lens flare. Wave your hand in front of the light and see if a shadow falls on the camera.
  • 17. Background Light Background Light defined: Used for lighting the background of a set, as a whole or specific areas. Or for lighting objects in the background of the set that are significant to the image. It also contributes to creating separation between subject and background. Often the function of the light is fulfilled by more than one fixture at a time. It is possible to use multiple background lights.
  • 18. Background Light Techniques How you deal with backgrounds depends on whether it is part of the story or just a neutral setting for your subject. Either way you may notice the background level is usually down, or less bright than the subject. For the setup used in the Viewer above, we created a mottled shadow pattern on the background by shining a hard light through a cookaloris (a random pattern cut into wood, foamcore, or black foil). It was lit by a 250W focusable Pro-light, a Setup with cookaloris hard source pattern You can try turning off any room lights, or by adding distance between the subject and the background Setup with cookaloris patternPro-light, 250W Since large broad sources tend to spill on the background consider using an Egg Crate on any softlights you use Pro-light, 250W
  • 19. Background Light Options Slash Accent You can treat the background using a slash of light made by putting two barndoors close together on a hard light source. The image to the left shows a slash created by a focusable Omni-light. Setup with Slash Accent You can mix the slash with general background fill Coloring the slash with a gel is also a common approach. Omni-light 500W focusable
  • 20. Background Light Options Highlight Accent A more practical approach would be to add a highlight to an object in the setting. In this shot, we used a tiny L-light with 100 Watt lamp directed to make a small pool of light on the flowers and the picture frame. Setup with Highlight The hard light character of the lamp created a sharp shadow. The result looks like it have could come from track lighting or a recessed ceiling light Accent L-light with 100W lamp
  • 21. Background Light Options Color Background A popular technique recently has been to give the background a more obviously treated / theatrical effect. It provides a contrast of color and feel between the environment and the subject. Setup with Color background In this shot, we added red gel to an Omni-light Use barn doors on the fixture to trim any spill that may fall on the subject Omni-light 500W focusable
  • 22. Cited Sources http://www.lowel.com/edu/foundations_of http://www.lowel.com/edu/