Lighting 101

Lighting; it makes us see, feel and understand.

Without light, there is just darkness.


Here are some awesome basics:


Resource video list for lighting info!

Visual attributes of films explained.

Analysing and recreating lighting  in a scene is helpful so we can know 100% what is meant by High Key and Low Key lighting. 

Here are some tips, these are photographic principles but can be applied to filmmaking.–photo-3427​

Lighting Exercises:

Create a horror genre look – using the lights available.

Our brain is not used to light coming from below the depths.This film shows why it is scary!


Recreate the following looks using the lights you have around.

Low Key examples.


There is contrast and usually one or minimal light source.

*Look at the directions of the light source, high or low? Is it hard light or diffused light?


Sunset Boulevard_Low Key Lighting2.jpg





High Key examples

Low contrast, even lighting, bright light is used to convey a sense of optimism, a dream, light heartedness, ability to see the colour and being able to see means there is nothing hidden. It is all there to be enjoyed. High Key lighting often used in comedies, musicals, romantic comedies and in the below film ‘Hero’ in which colour becomes almost a character.





Harry Potter

Create an attractive/natural look for the interview subject a using 3 point lighting.


The light through the blinds is made from gaffer tape and 2 c stands!







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