Three-Point Lighting for Non-Studio Productions: Is it really possible?

three point lighting outside of studio

A lot changes when you step outside of a controlled studio setting.  As a lighting professional, what you notice immediately is that you have less control over the ambient light sources around you — whether the production takes place indoors or outdoors.  If you’ve ever struggled to force a traditional three-point lighting setup to work, […]

6 Film Lighting Techniques Every Lighting Designer Needs to Know

film lighting technique using led lights on film set

When you’re working on a film – either as a cinematographer or a lighting specialist – using the right film lighting techniques in your lighting design is incredibly crucial. It goes far beyond simply illuminating a set or actor; it lets you accentuate a mood, create drama, time reveals, and so much more. While there […]

How to Use Gaff Tape Like a Pro on Film Sets

stack of different colored gaff tape for film set

Many people believe that, in the world of film, technology is the most important thing on set. While having the right film lights, cameras, and other technological wonders is certainly vital, there is one more item that is surprisingly crucial, and that’s tape; gaff tape, to be precise. Through the skillful use of gaff tape, […]

The Key Light: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters

gaffer setting up key light

The world of production lighting relies on a range of fixtures, techniques, and effects. However, no aspect of illuminating a scene is quite as crucial as the key light. The key light is present in every lighting setup, and it plays a vital role in setting the mood of a scene and general ambiance. If […]

How to Create a Fire Effect on an Actor’s Face with Film Lights

woman holding candle using film lights to make flame

We’ve all seen it…an actor’s face lit by a dancing flame. The flame flickers a warm, soft glow. But is it really a flame doing the work? Not necessarily. As we mentioned in our Ultimate Guide to Film Lights, you can use candles or a fire as a practical light in a scene. More commonly, […]

What are the uses of different gels on lights?

behind the scenes from a movie with gels on film lights

Before knowing the different uses of gels, it’s probably good to know what a gel is. A color gel or color filter, also known as lighting gel or simply gel, is a transparent colored material that is used in theater, event production, photography, videography and cinematography to color light and for color correction. The three […]

The 25 Best Film Lighting Books for 2021

books on using film lights and cinematography

Reading books on film lighting and cinematography is an amazing way to learn the skills you need for lighting your next film project. Nothing beats actually doing the work, but learning from the masters will give you a solid foundation. Reading and learning from a book, then going and trying to do what you just […]