Three-point Lighting’ is a way to light your talent using 3 light sources; a key light, a fill light and a back light (a.k.a. rim or hair light). With these three light sources you can control (or eliminat entirely) the shading and shadows produced by direct lighting.

What you'll need

You will need 3 separate light sources. The Shootsta Kit includes a small LED. Check out our article on How to light your talent using natural light and the Shootsta Kit LED.

Alternatively you can use a more advanced set like this one.

How to set up three-point light

Key Light

This is your main source of light on your talent's face. It should be placed next to the camera at either 8 or 4 o’clock.

Fill Light

This is your secondary source of light, to 'fill in' the shadows (of the key light) on your talent's face. It is placed on the other side of the camera than the keylight. The fill light is less intenste than the key light, creating a natural contrast on your subject's face. If your key and fill light provide the same amount of light intensity, your talent will appear 'flat' or washed out.

Back Light (a.k.a rim or hair light)

This is your third source of light and creates a flattering 'rim' of light around your talent by lighting their hairline and separating them from the background. The back lights is always placed directly opposite the fill light.

Key + Fill + Back Light

When combined and positioned correctly the key, the fill and the back light together create a well lit shot of your talent.

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