A lighting tutorial by Ian Murray, Cinematographer, based in the UK.
Learn more about key light positioning and its effects.
It is important to understand the structure of the human face in order to effectively light it. The face can be defined by 5 distinct points: nose, chin, the 2 cheeks and forehead. The face can also be divided into 4 distinct facets, made up of ear to jaw and cheek to nose, on both sides of the face. By arcing a light around the face we can see how the different facets react to the light from different angles. This is also affected by whether the light is soft or hard, or a combination of these. This gets more complicated in a multi light setup.
“In reality you tend to work with varying degrees of hard and soft, often in combination. In most situations a face is lit with a variety of lighting textures. Understanding and replicating these produces the most complex and richest images."
Ian Murray, Cinematographer
Lights used for this tutorial:
DLH1000SPLUS, 1kW tungsten soft light with Panaura5 soft box
DLED4-BI, 40W focusing bicolor LED light head (with mini soft box)