Thread: confusion with the 3 point lighting technique !

1. confusion with the 3 point lighting technique !

Hello all, this forum sounds really interesting and I think I should keep on asking all questions that are in my mind.
Anyways, here i go. I am a little confused with the 3 point lighting technique.

1) When we use this technique do we use other lights, such as fixed lights/wall or cieling lights ?

2) How do we determine that how much should be the distance of lights from the subject and how strong should they be ?

3) Where do we exactly place the back light from the subject ? What if it is visible in the camera ?

4) Do we have to move the lights again and again when we take different shots ?

Waiting for the valueable suggestions.

2. Quote: hassaan_tripod
1) When we use this technique do we use other lights, such as fixed lights/wall or cieling lights ?
The lights shown in the 3-Point Lighting Tutorial will be the strongest. No other lights should supplement because there could be a mix of lighting temperatures. Try to avoid mixing as best as possible.
Quote: hassaan_tripod
2) How do we determine that how much should be the distance of lights from the subject and how strong should they be ?
This depends on how strong the lights are. Use the meter reading of the camera and determine your shutter and f-stop. Look at the viewfinder to see if the key light covers a sufficient area. Afterwards, see how the fill light works on the shadows.
Quote: hassaan_tripod
3) Where do we exactly place the back light from the subject ? What if it is visible in the camera ?
Approximately 45 degrees as well. If it's in your shot, you'll have to decide to reframe or relocate the light. Just use common sense, even boom mics get in the way.
Quote: hassaan_tripod
4) Do we have to move the lights again and again when we take different shots ?
If it's the same angle with different views such as close-ups, bust shots, full shots - then no. If you shoot from a different angle then yes you'll have to move them unless you have sufficient lights to cover your angles.

Whew....

3. Thank you very much.

4. I am really obliged for your help, I hope this forum continue to become a good source for my knowledge in film making.

Anyways, should all of these 3 lights be above the subject's eye level or below ? I read somewhere that it should be above. Does this mean that the back light sould also be in that height ?

And where do we exactly put the back light ? On the left side of the subject or the right side ? What if theres no space from behind and from either sides ?
And as it says in the tutorial that the back light helps to differentiate the subject from the background and also gives an outline, can we set the backlight in a very low position behind the subject ?

5. Quote: hassaan_tripod
should all of these 3 lights be above the subject's eye level or below?
Above, unless you are aiming for an unusual effect. Remember that seeing a person's face lit from above is the natural way to see someone (e.g. light the sun).

Quote: hassaan_tripod
Does this mean that the back light sould also be in that height?
Usually higher than the other lights.

Quote: hassaan_tripod
And where do we exactly put the back light ? On the left side of the subject or the right side ?
The rule of thumb is opposite the key light/camera. In practice you might have to put it wherever you can fit it.

Quote: hassaan_tripod
What if theres no space from behind and from either sides ?
Good point. Sometimes you can reflect a bit off walls and ceilings. Sometimes you can't do much at all.

Quote: hassaan_tripod
And as it says in the tutorial that the back light helps to differentiate the subject from the background and also gives an outline, can we set the backlight in a very low position behind the subject ?
Not really - the effect is supposed to be a "rim" of light around the upper edges of the subject.

A while ago I took some photos to demonstrate this better but I lost them. I'll try to do it again but I only shoot with 3-point lights about once a month. If anyone else has some good photos to donate, let me know.

6. Dave, loads of thanks.

7. Quote: hassaan_tripod
And as it says in the tutorial that the back light helps to differentiate the subject from the background and also gives an outline, can we set the backlight in a very low position behind the subject ?
Just as an alternative suggestion (because of my own experience and experiments) use the third light on the background instead, not the subject. Depending on your situation, the background may be so dark and uninteresting. Lighting the background shows some environment and still give the seperation you may be looking for.

8. Ah yes, very good suggestion.

9. I see. I ll for sure try that. Anyways dave wat bout those 3 point lighting example pics u were telling bout ?

10. Honestly, I'll do my best. The thing is that I don't often work with three-point lighting. There's one situation where we always use them but that's only about once a month. I'll try to get some photos next time we're there.

I actually want to make a little Flash simulation where you can turn each light on and off to see the effect. I think that would be fun

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