The Essentials of Three-point Lighting

So what is Three-point lighting really all about. Consider this re-blogged post by Richard Harrington and James Ball.

Photofocus (old site)

This article was cowritten with my friend James Ball

Three-point lighting is the basic starting point for film and video. It can also be used well as a portrait lighting approach for photography.  What’s ideally happening is that the subject is light in a way that illuminates their face (with one side more dominant) and some separation from the background. This method utilizes three light sources focused on the subject from different angles. Mastering this technique is the foundation for more advanced lighting strategies. This approach is the basis for portrait lighting, but it can be used in other situations as well.

Ch05_3pt1

Key Light

Ch05_Key1The key is generally your most intense light and is placed 15–45 degrees to the side of your subject. The main purpose of the key is to wrap the face in the appropriate quality of light based on the subject’s features and the story you want to tell.

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