One of the most significant aspects in filming is the lighting in each scene which can draw attention to specific areas of interest, create contrast between dark and light, give depth to a scene (like bringing out texture, detail, and setting), enhance atmosphere, drama, mood, to reveal characters, to direct attention and many more.
Three Point Lighting:
This is a basic lighting technique where three lights are used; the key light is the main light (usually the brightest) aimed directly at the subject to highlight the contours and shape of it, the fill light is the secondary light used to fill the shadows created by the key light as it’s less bright and softer. Then the back light is placed behind the subject and produces light from behind; helping to separate the subject from the background and therefore enhances depth in the shot.
The Key light:
Low Key lighting- creates strong contrasts between the brightest and darkest parts of an image and strong shadows as the low key lighting uses one key light and employs very little fill light.
For example: in the horror and mystery genre, low-key lighting is a convention of the genre because shadows are created from having a key light and no backlight. This is used in these genres because it builds tension as we can see what’s happening behind the character and if anything happens we can find out from the strong shadows.
High-Key Lighting- is where the fill light is raised to almost the same level as the key light (high proportion of fill to key light) to produce an image which is very bright, featuring hardly any shadows.
High-key lighting is mostly used in musicals and comedies because the brightness creates a positive,joyful, lighthearted effect to the film as the light symbolises happiness and is also used in dramas to intensify the situation by capturing the audiences’ attention on the drama that arises.
Four point lighting setup:
This is the same as the Three-point lighting technique but with the addition of background light; which is usually placed last, directly behind the subject facing the background. This is because lighting the background area of a set, adds depth to the shot with low intensity and show us the distance between the subject and the background.