It isn’t just the camera that separates a professional-looking video from an amateur one. You need excellent and proper lighting, too, and it all begins with a strong grasp of three-point lighting. This video explains what you need to know in a bit over two minutes.
Three-point lighting is so named because the system involves three separate lighting components: Key light, fill light and back light. Imagine that your whole film setup, including the camera, your subject(s) and your lights, as the face of a clock as reference for where the lights should be positioned, and note the differences between these lights:
- Key Light: The key light is your main light to illuminate your subject, like an interviewee. The purpose is to create shadows and give your subject a more 3D look. It is typically positioned to the right of your camera, at the four o’clock position.
- Fill Light: The fill light fills in shadows and gives you control over the kind of tone and mood you want to set. For example, more fill light gives your subject a softer look, like in talk shows, whereas less creates a dark and moody sort of look, like in movies and dramatic interviews. Fill light sits at eight o’clock position.
- Back Light: Located behind and above the subject, the back light lights up the person’s head and shoulders and separates him from the background. Without it, the person blends into the background and looks flat.
These are the basics, and the rest of it is simply fine-tuning your setup to get the best conditions for your subject and type of video.
Video Production Basics: How to Use Three-Point Lighting [expertvillage]