Applying 3-Point Lighting

Applying 3-Point Lighting



Carla's picture

Dear Dr. Nulph,


I find these explenations very intresting, but what i miss in all explenations about lighting on the internet is the distance, watt from the light and wich camera settings to use.


Some how you never get it right with the existing instructions from 45 degree only. The distance is defntly important as also the amount of watt from an light. And how to set the camera.


It's not so much a matter of distance, as the amount of light you are putting on the subject. A brighter light would require more distance, all other things being equal, a weaker light less distance. Your camera's waveform monitor (luma scope) and a three-point gray card are your best friends on this issue. Lights are adjustable (filters, scrims, or barn doors) so that you can set the distance for what the physical set allows, then adjust luma to get proper exposure. Set your key light for a proper exposure, then add just enough fill to softer shadows, and finally add a rim light in back to add definition and depth. I usually back off the key light a little as a final step, since the fill and rim lights do have an effect on exposure.