How to Professionally Use the Three Point Lighting Kit

How to Professionally Use the Three Point Lighting Kit

The three-point lighting kit is one of the vital kits that a videographer must have. As someone who is out to provide compelling videos in the market, you have the responsibility to gain the skills in placing the key, filling, backlighting, and adjusting the lighting system. In doing so, you can come up with the most dramatic effects that your viewers will enjoy.

Handling Documentary Lighting

The three-point lighting system is also referred to in the industry as documentary lighting. This is a fundamental lighting set, one that you will use many times during your video producing days. In essence, this will become your go-to set when it comes to lighting.

Setting up has these three premises –

  • It must have a key light which will offer you the most light as it shines on the subject.
  • The fill light is, as its name implies, the light that will fill the shadows that are not given light by the key light.
  • The back light provides a soft glow, thus beautifying the image. This is that glow on the subject’s shoulders or head.

Use the three-point lighting system for just about any kind of interview. Narrative videos would do well to have this kind of lighting setup, too.

The Initial Set Up

The first step in setting up your lighting is to have the interviewee face the camera or to have him (or her) look slightly off to the left or to the right. This is the best angles for documentary interviews.

It is best to turn off the lights before you begin shooting the video. This is so you can assess where the light really goes.

Set up the Key Light

Remember that the key light is the strongest among the three lights. This can be anywhere from 150 to 10,000 watts each. The wattage depends on your lighting requirements. Replicating the sun means using 10,000 watts but for all other videos, you must need anywhere from 500-1,000 watts.

This light should be 15-45 degrees on the side of your camera. The interviewer must stand between this light and the camera.

Set Up the Fill Light

While this is less powerful than the key light, it is no less important. Use anywhere from 250 to 500 watts, using diffusers or filters as you need them. Keep testing till you achieve the right kind of brightness for you.

Set Up the Back Light

This is your dramatic effects light, remember? So make sure to place it directly behind your subject. You can rig it up a light stand or you can just hang it above your subject’s back.

This light’s wattage is almost always similar to the fill lights used, or are less powerful. Achieving a halo effect is easy with this light, it can provide more depth for every shot. Back light may not be necessary in some cases but it has the power to add drama to your video so why take it off of your production? Amateur video creators would do well to use this kind of light because no professional would go without it.