How to Set Up 3-Point Lighting
The ideal way to light a subject for film and photography is commonly called 3-point lighting. The following article explains how to set up 3-point lighting correctly and provides great information for home photographers and aspiring film makers alike.
First: Choose the placement for your subject
Start by deciding where you want your subject to figure out a permanent position for your camera. Proceed by placing the camera directly across from the subject, and move on to setting up your lighting.
Second: Set up your key light
The purpose of the key light is to illuminate the side of the subject's face that is closest to the light. Place the key light to one side of your camera pointing (both vertically and horizontally) to the subject. Turn on the light after placement, and adjust the camera position as necessary.
Third: Place your fill light
Set the fill light on the other side of your camera, keeping it close to the subject. This light is softer and prevents casting excess shadows on the subject. Move back the fill light to adjust the brightness of the light as necessary.
Fourth: Set your back light
Place the back light behind the subject, ensuring that it shines from above. If necessary, position the back light at an angle or slightly to the side. This light is a brighter one that properly outlines the subject.
Fifth: Check for glare
Make sure that you camera is not receiving glare from the back light. Adjust the position of your camera or the back light as needed to eliminate any unnecessary flashes or glare spots.