Studio Lighting

Question 1

Written Assignment

  • Name three lighting sources and their functions.

The key light

The key light is the main source of light that is positioned to light up the subject. It’s often the brightest light and plays a great role in determining where the highlight and shadow area in your photograph would be.  It is usually placed at a 45º angle to the camera.

The fill light

The fill light can also be called the secondary light. Its aim is to “fill in” dark shadows and help soften their intensity. The fill light is placed on the opposite side of the camera to the key light, usually at a 45º angle to the camera.

The back light

Also called the rim light. The back light is placed opposite the fill light or key light, behind the subject to create a “rim” around the subject, by highlighting their hair and shoulders.

  • Name two light modifiers and explain the difference between them.

Reflectors: A reflective surface that helps to cast directional light towards a subject.

Soft boxes: Soft boxes come in different shapes and sizes and are used to soften the light that’s spread to the subject.  

  • Draw a diagram of and describe the three-point lighting setup.

Question 2

Research Assignment

  • Draw three studio setups for the following subject matters and list all the equipment that you would use to light your subjects:
  • Portrait
  • Fashion
  • Beauty

  • In a magazine or on the Internet, find one fashion shot, a beauty shot and a portrait shot and explain how you think the lighting was set up in each shot.

Fashion shot : I think this picture was taken outside with natural light. The light come from right hand side with 45 degree.

Beauty shot : I think this beauty shot was taken with soft box key light, fill light, back light and maybe reflectors.

Portrait shot : I think this picture was taken with soft box key light in 45 degree from the left.

Question 3

Practical Assignments
Take some portrait shots and pay specific attention to the lighting you use. Do one shot with soft lighting and one with more dramatic, harder lighting. It would be beneficial to hire studio lighting, but if you can’t, you may use natural light, reflectors and your camera’s flash.

Harder lighting

Soft lighting

Question 4

Practical Assignments
Choose a portrait photograph from the ones you took in Question 3. Create a unique movie poster for a fictional fantasy movie of your choice. Make use of different backgrounds and editing techniques you have learned.