The 3-point Video Lighting Setup
So let's learn about three point lighting. This is when you're going to use artificial light. The basics of this is a three point lighting setup and you can do this with any lighting kit from a homemade kit all the way up to a professional kit, it's really a great way to kind of start off and have a really base structure of lighting. So we're gonna start by lighting myself right now. I'm lit by this very toppy kind of grungy garage light. We're gonna turn that off and we're gonna see if we can make this look a lot better. So Sam's gonna run around and set up our lights starting with the key light. Ooh, So typically I like to have the lights at a 45° angle just above the camera and to the side of it. This is going to be your key light. This is where your main source of light is coming from. And it's a good place to start whatever your most powerful light is, move it there, that's gonna be your biggest source. So whatever your biggest light you have, that's going to be the best place to ...
put it right now, it's really harsh, we're gonna put some diffusion on it later, but let's add in the fill light next. So their fill light is gonna be just to the left of camera, really just to the opposite side of the key light and what the fill light is doing is making up for whatever shadows the key light may have started. So, if the key light is coming from this direction, we may have gotten some shadows here and we'll go over this in a little bit. But the fill light is gonna fill in anything that the key light is not hitting. Same thing. I would love to have the fill light at a little bit of a 45° angle just above the height of the camera. So SaM has our key ally and our Phil light up next he's gonna put up a backlight. The backlight really is designed to give a rim to the background and also kind of give a separation from the background. There's many different ways to set up a back light. We're going to start with it like this. So let's start to break these lights down. First off, our fill light is being diffused by some diffusion, which basically lowers the intensity and makes it much softer. You can see that our lights have a little bit of cloth that come with it that we put in front of it. The key light right now is harsh, it's hard light coming on me right now, the LED lights that we have. So it's not as harsh as a tungsten fornell light maybe, or a Home Depot light maybe. But we're gonna put some diffusion on it anyway and make it softer. Make it less harsh and it will also help with the shadows on my face and it will help with spilling around the background. So what SAM did here is he put on a grid diffusion. So this focuses a little bit more light with still diffusing it at the same time. It's definitely soften things up. It's helped the shadows a bit and it's not as harsh on the subject. I personally like to what they say in the industry double break it or put double diffusion on it, which is what we're kind of doing in our interview set up in front of our backdrop. I want to see if I can do double diffusion on this light right now to even soften it up more great. So now our key light is double braked or double diffusion on and it's incredibly soft. You may notice that the light is much even on me, there's hardly any shadows, but that's helpful because of the fill light and the background has sort of softened up a little bit. What so I'm going to do now is he's going to dim down the fill light just a little bit to kind of match the contrast here. So there's different ways of provoking different emotions with our lighting. But we're just trying to do a nice basic clean interview set up with three point lighting where there's a key light and fill. Now if your light isn't dimmable and you're in a big enough space. The best way to adjust intensity of your light is to move your lights forward or backward. SaM is going to move the fill light closer and you can see how it gets more intense without dimming it. You can move all the way in almost. You can see how the fill light has gotten a little bit more intense. Um Just by moving the light closer light starts to fall off as it moves through distance. So the closer a light to the subject is the more intense it will be the further away the less intense it will be, let's actually see what each light is doing. Sam is going to turn off and on the key light and you can see the main light that's lighting me from our source right here. So let's turn it off, see how much it's filling in here. The key light really is our main source of light and our fill lights just filling in what it can't hit. So let's turn it back on. Great. So that's what are key lights doing now, check out what our fill lights doing again. It's filling in what we're missing from the key light off. So you can see there's a little bit more shadow here and it's really not filling out my full face as welcoming, it might be a little more menacing. So let's turn it back on great. So now you can see what both lights are doing, you can see the shadows. Let's check out the backlight so our backlight is giving me a slight rim Sam just turned it off, watching, turns it back on, it's very, very subtle but you can see how it breaks up the background and kinda adds not majestic but just makes it pop a little bit more. It's a lot like the gradient that we used in the interview kits but it helps break it up just a little bit more so just to see exactly what the backlight is doing. Let's turn off the fill light, let's kill our key light and you'll be able to see exactly what the backlight is doing now here, I'm probably very silhouetted and all I can see, all you can see is just a rim. But when you turn the key back on you'll be able to see exactly what the backlight sort of doing. Great. Now this is a nice one. Light kind of setup as well with the backlight a little bit more dramatic. Sometimes documentaries and dramas tend to use this for a very nice dramatic effect. And again, we start with the base of our three point lighting and from there you can decide just what you want to use specifically. So let's have another option for the backlight. What we're gonna do is SAM's gonna take off the diffusion on the backlight again, not keeping the light from being soft, it's gonna be more harsh. He has a little more harsh and he's gonna put it exactly opposite the key light and raise it a little bit. So this is just a different type of backlight that still adds separation and it's a little more halo. We notice it will hit more of the back of my head. The big thing is because it's opposite our key light is we'll have to barn door or kind of keep it off the camera itself to avoid any flares. If that's the style you're looking for, you can always flare your camera up. So this is a little bit higher and harsher back light. This light has no diffusion on it. So you can see how hard it is right here. It's very different from our key light. Sam is going to put some diffusion on it, you can see how it softens it up and it makes it much more subtle. It's a little more pleasing to the eye and it's a lot softer. The great part about three point lighting is, it really is a base structure to kind of get your concept around lighting the cool thing is that always remember there's a key light to fill light and a backlight and if you're indoors and you don't have any lights, you might be near a window, just pretend that window is your key light and you can kind of work off that or if you have a bounce card and you're outside and you need the harsher light. I always put the harsher light on the backlight. Imagine that as your son as Sam may have explained in the natural light section and use a bounce card to act as a fill. So it really kind of works your way in any concept. It's really a great way to kind of learn lighting and learn the basics of lighting because you can build off it throughout your entire video career. So we recommend three point lighting for pretty much any situation. It's a great place to get started when you're shooting an interview, when you're shooting at your office or really anywhere. It's a perfect structure to build off of, and you should be able to always rely on it throughout your entire video career.