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The Three Point Lighting Set Up in Studio and Stage Lighting

Studio and stage lighting is essential for photography and video shoots. The right lighting adds depth and contrast to images, insufficient photography may result in poor video and imagery. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any shoot.

It’s paramount that your studio lighting be as close as possible to natural light. This will allow you to achieve the best possible results. Experienced filmmakers and photographers tend to believe that the best way to achieve lighting that’s second to none is by using a combination of tungsten and compact fluorescent lighting. Effective colour temperature used in studio lighting should balance between white light to daylight.

The preferred studio set-up for professionals is compact fluorescent lighting. This is primarily due to its ability to, near as possible, mimic natural lighting. Fluorescent lighting produces about 100W of heat and therefore can be placed closer to the subject matter, therefore achieving the right balance of daylight needed to illuminate the subject matter.

The key to achieving superlative lighting for any studio environment is outlined in three key points. These are key light, fill light and back light.

Key Light

Key light is the most important for it will highlight the subject, its contours as well as add depth, space and interest to the subject. Normally brighter, key light can be placed closer to the subject, providing that the lighting is compact. The optimal position is about 45 degrees away from the line, running between camera and the subject.

Fill Light

Fill light should be positioned on the subject from the front but at an angle that is relative to the key light. Typically, the light is softer, when compared to the key light, and placed further away. This allows photographers to get the overall light balance right by illuminating the shaded surfaces like the shadow of an object.

Back Light

Back light is positioned so that the light is positioned from behind the object at an angle with the purpose of creating the rim of light at the hair of the shoulder, serving to separate the subject from the background and the highlighted contours. This creates a fringe of light around the edges of the object, an effect that is employed by professional photographers to great effect.

Lighting is essential to both video and photography. The right lighting will enhance the composition, poor lighting will dilute what you’re trying to portray.