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Video:How to Set Up Videography and Photography Lighting

with Leann Bello

Improve your videos and photos by learning the three basic lighting set-ups: three point lighting, beauty light, and the Rembrandt effect.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Set Up Videography and Photography Lighting

Hi, I'm Leann Bello with About.com Gadgets.

3-Point Lighting Set Up

The standard lighting setups for interview and portraiture consists of three elements: the key light, the fill light, and the backlight:
  • Key light- Main lighting source
  • Fill light- defines intensity of shadows
  • Backlight- separates subject from the background

Key Light

The key light is the first light you set. It is the strongest light and usually comes from a high angle and from the side.

Fill Light

The fill light is either a weaker light or a bounce card. It fills in the shadow for the key light. The difference between the key light and the fill is your contrast ratio.

Backlight

The backlight serves to separate your subject from the background. It creates an edge light which can either be distinct or soft. Try not to make it too strong as this light may distract from the subject or cause a lens flare.

"Beauty" Lighting Set Up

Standard beauty lighting (soft frontal, something in the hair).

For headshots and portraits, use a soft frontal light positioned high or level with the lens. A slight overexposure will help disguise imperfections in your subjects skin.

For a back light, either place the light above the persons head for a top light, or place it directly behind the person to create a ring or halo of light behind the persons hair.

Chiaroscuro or Rembrandt Lighting Set Up

The Rembrandt effect is a classic portraiture setup. It is a high contrast lighting scheme and is achieved by placing the key light at a 45 degree angle to your subjects face. The Rembrandt effect is characterized by a triangular light underneath the subject's eye. It also allows the nose shadow to blend in with the shadow on the dark side of the face.

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