Lighting is much more than just bright- and darkness, it sets the foundation and is a key factor to shoot a successful film. It sets the mood and reflects the genre of a film, it allows viewers to have an understanding of how to feel emotionally. Especially when shooting on a lower budget it is very important to consider lighting and not just use a natural setting, weather can constantly change and is, therefore, unreliable. Shooting in the summer can lead to overexposure, whereas in the winter there might not be enough light. It is crucial to always remember that good lighting is key.


Good Lighting equals quality

Good lighting does the difference between a good and a poor video, no one wants to see a film that isn’t correctly lit. It is also important to mention that good lighting helps to increase the sharpness, everyone knows how difficult it is to take a video or picture in low lighting or when it’s too bright. Studying and understanding how lighting works is beneficial and cannot just be done in a day.


Poor lighting can lead to a longer editing process

This factor also plays a big role in photography, poor lighting means that editing won’t be a quick process. Instead, it will take longer to fix the mistake, but sometimes they simply cannot be fixed and the scene needs to be re-shot. A simple mistake like wrong lighting can lead to unnecessary costs and a longer production time, which could have been prevented.


Lighting determines mood

Good lighting will set the mood for any scene in a film, it conveys the plot and creates the atmosphere. A poorly lit film can mislead and leave viewers feeling unfulfilled or confused, just because the lighting needs to represent the genre. No individual wishes to watch a film that is supposed to be happy but has dark lighting, as it represents a more sinister character and darker plot. Bright lighting represents the opposite and is associated with happiness and cheerful characters, so by getting the light wrong the film will have a different feel and may not represent the correct emotions with it.


Lighting Techniques

Three-point lighting3-PointLighting

This is the standard method of lighting that every video- and photographer needs to master, it is used for all kinds of visual media such as the film and video industry. It is a simple technique that can be easily learned through a bit of practice and reading. The three-point lighting consist of three different lights, as the name already reveals, which are placed in front and behind the object.

The Key Light is the main one and is placed next to the camera and shines directly onto the object. The Fill Light is the secondary one and is opposite the Key Light, to fill in shadows and leaving the object well lit. The Back Light, as it already suggests, is the one behind the object and allows the picture or video to look more dimensional and gives it more depth.

Low-key lightinglowkeytut-4

This is all about achieving a very dramatic look with strong shadows and only little lighting, it is used to focus and highlight key points in a scene. This specific technique has been adapted from the painting style ‘Chiaroscuro’ and is also very popular in the photography industry. The set up for this can be a little more tricky at first and will need a lot of practice to get the correct lighting, it is mainly achieved with just one light across or slightly next to the object. A large reflector can also be used behind the object to rim the light, this is useful just because it separates the object from the background and therefore gives it more depth. 

High-key lightinghighkeytut-5

This is a style often used in the film and photography industry and refers to the technique that is all about bright lights, white tones and only a little or no black/mid tones. This is often used to portray an optimistic, youthful or flashback scene in a film and is the opposite from Low-key lighting. High-key filming can also be quite tricky for inexperienced users, just because it’s important to achieve the correct balance between artistic looking images and plain overexposure. This can be done by not completely erasing all dark colors and having a few black or mid tones in the picture.
There are many different set ups for this specific lighting, the key, therefore, is experimenting and practice until you find a perfect set up. The most common setup is having the key light next to the camera and slightly across the object, a fill light opposite of that next to the camera and background lights in the back. However, those background lights shouldn’t directly shine at the object, but rather at the wall behind.

We at the Camden Studios offer different packages for everyone needs and would also be able to help out with setups if needed. Get in touch to find out about our different bundles and what they include.