Laws of Light: Three Point Lighting

Laws of Light: Three Point Lighting

Hi, this is JP Morgan Hey harima And it’s time for another episode of the Mazda light here on the slanted lens The last episode you should reference for this one is the five lighting portrait positions That’ll give you a good foundation of what a one light setup is today We’re going to expand that into a three light setup everyone should understand a three light setup know how to set it up and to use it because You’ll use it in interviews you use it for portraits and you’ll use it for just about everything you do and there’s several reasons Why you use it? I’m going to talk about each one of those. So let’s get started and see what we can do So, let’s break down a three light setup first off for most people It’s very difficult to know where to set the first light Go back to the five portrait lighting positions and choose a place that’s going to give you a nice light on her face right now I’ve got the light up slightly. I’m allowing the shadow to break from her nose and to cross into her cheeks She has beautiful cheekbones. So it’s really easy to get a nice Rembrandt light on her face We’re using a 300 d for our key light here the aperture 300 d which is a fabulous Continuous light in the background we have 120 D not quite as powerful as the 300 D but it has that same bones mount. It allows me to put reflectors grids and soft boxes whatever you need to on these kinds of lights because they have that Bowens mount that allow them to interface with all the different modifiers are used to but now the very first thing that I always attack when I’m in this position is I have shadows. Well, we talked about this in the one light if I want to resolve my shadows here I can simply slide a light in it. They reflect her in with that single light I’ve now lit her face and I have brought a lot of light into the shadows and it looks nice on her face But the next reason we add a light is because we need to separate her from the background Now you can do it for interest as well But usually the first reason we do it is because we want to separate her from the background So we can do that one of two ways. I can turn the light on the background And that just simply means that I have now separated her from the background because the background is brighter and She is I get complete separation on her hair from the background. That’s one way to do it or I Can turn on a rim light the rim light will separate her from the background Usually I use a combination of these two I like the rim light I like what it’s doing on her shoulder. Now if we turn our light on the background We can decide how we want to place this and there’s several different thoughts on placing this light I can just simply Pan it in from the side and Just do a little bit of light on the side there Kind of separates her from that one side just gives me a little glow from left to right or from right to left. I Can take and make it down on the floor and just let it come up So close behind her show holder’s a little bit starts to separate her Depending on how much of that I like you can put a spotlight right behind her Just spotlights her completely on that background from behind it’s just important that that background light is dark enough that it doesn’t overpower the foreground and Yet it’s a powerful enough that it separates her from the background The reason you add light is to separate and create dimension and depth and to create interest Those are the things you want to do. You want to separate create dimension and depth and to create interest So in this case, we’ve created separation with our rim light We’ve created depth with our background light and then we’ve opened up the shadows with our reflector it’s really important to understand that in this process if you’re shooting inside in any kind of a studio kind of Situation or in a room where you’re going to set up artificial lights One is the further you get her away from the background the more control you have of the background Now that’s gonna be controlled by certain things. If you put a seamless up, you can only get her so far away Before you get off in the seamless Although the longer the lens you put on then that means it’s gonna keep you on to your background because it brings a background in closer and a small background is going to Cover on a longer lens, but it means you have to get your camera further away from the subbing So wider lens means you get closer to the subject So in a small room you can get closer and you have room to work Longer lens means you get further away from the subject So you have to have a larger room But the further you can get her away from the background The more control you’re going to have the light from the background and from on her face because then you have the ability to control The light on the background and it doesn’t affect her face If you’ve got someone smashed up in there three or four feet away from the background It becomes impossible to light the background separate from her face so that’s really the principle the principle of the three light setup is allowing you to have complete control the lighting you’re working on and the way you do that is by getting her as far away from The background as possible Now some things I use to mitigate that problem of spilling light is I always put grids on the softbox now that keeps that light right on her face if I pull this grid off I Got light all over the background and that’s a really difficult thing to control. So we talked about interest one way to introduce Interest to the image is to add gels to your light you can I gel to the backlight? That’s the rim light on our hair You see the red in her hair now if it makes sense and it works for your subject matter That’s a way to add a little bit of interest and add a little bit of depth. Generally speaking I don’t go as red on a rim light on her hair because it’s just Was there something on fire back there or what’s going on? But I usually use something that’s a little more organic. Maybe some blue So there’s a blue light from the background now you can see this on here It’s not as strong one Other thing I can do is I can add glue to the shadow area of her face by just simply putting blue over the reflector Knot and I’ll push that reflector in when I do that This is very simple and subtle this is not a heavy-handed use of gels It just allows you to give you a little something makes a little interesting this three light setup is very very similar to a lot Of things I do when I shoot corporate kinds of portraits. It gives you a great separation gives you a little bit of interest Okay, what if you don’t have? Three lights. Is there a way to do a three light setup if you don’t have three lights. Well, let’s see So here are back to our key light only we only have one light going Remember the principle I said if you want complete control of your light You’ve got to get your subbi as far away from the background as possible. I’ve got a pretty dark background back here So the first thing I’m going to do is I’m gonna get her closer to the background because that allows me to light the background With my one light. So let’s move you back to about there. I Will bring this light to here I’m gonna take off my grid So there is light on her background still dark I bring the light in the background starts to brighten up I’ll now bring in my reflector and open up the side of her face and Then the last thing I’ll do is with a dollar 95 mirror Then I get from Home Depot I’m gonna give myself a rim light On her on her hair now, it’s not as pronounced It’s not as nice as when you have three lights to set that up because you have to make a lot of compromises This lights going to just have to blast the background and make it to come up You can’t feather it a little bit, but you can’t feel the light off from in front of her It just means you’re gonna have to make a lot of compromise your rim light and her hair is not gonna be near as bright Because it’s not as efficient coming off from this light. So we make a lot of compromises But a three light setup is really basics for a lot of what’s done in photography and video Now you may say to yourself. Well how creative can you be with that? Well, most all people are the same but they are all completely different Basically, we’re all the same but we all are very unique So how you apply a three light setup is the same way the way you light the background the ratios that you choose to use The colored gels you use the things that you use to mix this thing up really becomes a foundation for making that three light Setup grow and become what you want to do with it and become your creative style So there you have it a three light setup the basics for just about every lighting setup that you’ll do in video and still photography Portraits interviews all those kinds of things evolve around a three light setup. So keep those cameras rollin keep on clickin Don’t estimate alone. Don’t stand out on the cold all by yourself Try to put together an estimate go to the slanted lens comm slash estimating I’ve got a digital download that will teach you everything you need to know. You don’t have to be alone any longer So make sure you leave a comment on our lesson today. We would love to have your comments Let us know what you’re thinking about the things we’re teaching some perspective that you have it always helps our community also join our Facebook group Have a great community there where you can join and be able to share images and get feedback from other people in the community so join us like us love us Facebook us whatever things and I can’t think of anything else exciting to say so You didn’t say subscribe so subscribe subscribe now now now push the button now now translate by

42 thoughts on “Laws of Light: Three Point Lighting

  1. Excellent video my question is with grids on softboxes does a grid reduce the over all size of a softbox because of the reduction of light, say a 36 inch box with a grid is really a 30 because of the narrowing of the light therefore making the shadows harder.

  2. Thank you, Jay P! Excellent tutorial as always. The overhead shot is a helpful tool that to be able to see the position of the lights, etc. Thank you for adding that.

  3. Great tutorial, it hit me that my little space will never due for portrait work. Could you, would you please in the future give us your ideas about renting/building/stealing a space for a first timers studio? And I was so hoping that maybe for the whole month you would keep placing a camera in those great cases and toss it around at the end! But only do it for fun!!

  4. Quick question – did you use a grid on the background light? I saw you put it on, so I am assuming you did.

    (I'm now trying to workout how to make this work in my 18 foot garage studio!)

  5. Another information packed video! I learn so much, and am not intimidated by lighting equipment anymore. Thank you!

  6. Thank you for the lesson ! A question please . Can i use a light instead of the reflector as a fill light ? If so how should i direct it and how bright should it be ? i guess the half from the Key light.

  7. Oh, I really liked how you did that 3 light setup with only one light in the end of the video! Not only does it give an idea how to build a setup with less gear, but also helps to understand how the direction of the light works. Great job!

  8. You have an unique voice. To the point, and its easy to remember everything you say. Youtube is very underwhelming when it comes to instructional videos. Refreshing!!! Thanks! Thomas

  9. I am now learning lighting, can you say how high the back light should be in relation to the subject

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