Nikon Learn & Explore

Introduction to Three-Point Lighting & Other Video Lighting Techniques

HD-SLR Video Tips: Lighting for Video - Three point lighting for HDSLR video (3:11 min.)

There are literally hundreds of lighting styles and types of lighting equipment that you can use when shooting video with your Nikon HDSLR. Some of the gear you use for still photography may even work well in lighting your scenes for video.

Reflectors, LED light panels (including small ones that can be placed on the camera’s accessory shoe or hot shoe), Tungsten or other types of constant light units and their modifiers (umbrellas, barn doors, diffusers, gels) are all useful lighting gear that you can utilize to light your subjects and entire scenes in your video shoots.

Three-Point Lighting

One of the basic video lighting techniques that works well for still or video is three-point lighting, which is comprised of a main light, fill-light and accent light. The main light is where most of the illumination on your subject comes from. The fill light, which is set at half the power of the main light, fills in the shadows so they’re not so harsh. Lastly, the accent light, which is sometimes called a hair light (when lighting people), is used to kick in a little bit of accent lighting on the subject. In our video, we’ve gelled the accent light to add a more interesting look to the subject.