Learn Basic Lighting Techniques Today!

Lighting can be a tricky thing and definitely the one that just needs a lot of experience to dial in.

Anyone who knows about filmmaking has the slightest idea on how lighting plays a role in determining the shot. As you keep on working on lighting, you will understand it and gain the experience needed to master it.

Film Riot has efficiently made some basic lighting techniques available for enthusiastic filmmakers in the video attached below. The techniques are pretty basic and will serve any filmmakers who are starting out.

The importance of lighting is very vital for storytelling. Hence, it’s very important to get basics right and understand it’s importance.

Courtesy of New Film School, here are some lighting terms mentioned in the video.

Lamp left/right: Commands that direct where a light should be move.

Broadside/nearside: The side of the subject facing towards the camera.

Shortside: The side of subject facing away from camera

Side lighting: Lighting a subject at a 90-degree angle.

Rembrandt lighting: Lighting a subject at a 45-degree angle.

Backlighting: Lighting a subject from behind.


Rim light: Lighting creates an outline of subject.


Key light: Main source of light.

Fill light: Used to fill in shadows (you can use a bounce, reflector, or light).

High key lighting: Flat, not a lot of contrast or shadows.

Low key lighting: A lot of contrast and shadows.

Cross lighting: Using two lights placed in a diagonal line across from each other.

Lighting techniques

Hope it was helpful for anyone facing issues with lighting. You don’t always have to be equipped, sometimes having the basic knowledge can solve your issues.

Posted by nwork