Anyone who has shot an amateur video has probably noticed that the video is not of the same high quality as video used in television or the film used in movies. A lot of the television quality comes from the lighting, which is sometimes created artificially when the sun does not provide enough natural light. But lighting also plays a role when creating a variety of effects, such as the backlight effect.
Studio lighting is necessary because the television camera fundamentally sees light differently than the human eye. The camera lens extends in and out dynamically to focus, while the human eye adjusts focus with a crystalline lens within the cornea. The human eye adjusts the lighting of the iris automatically, while the aperture of the camera adjusts the lighting either automatically or manually depending on the settings used, according to Read in Style, a website specialized in glasses. The light entering the eye is processed through the brain, while the light entering the camera is actually burned on to the film as a negative. More light is usually needed by the camera than by the human eye. Effective studio lighting is essentially accomplished through 3-Point Lighting. Lighting technicians often want a flat, even surface since this will create fewer troubles when shooting the television show or broadcast, according to the University of Minnesota. This is called 3-point lighting and is considered one of the least interesting of all the lighting methods, but is certainly better over no lighting. The key lighting is one lighting point that is used as the primary source of light and determines where the other lights will be placed. The fill light softened the shadows created by the key light. The back light creates a separation between the subject and the background. Stationary shots meant for one subject usually focus the light on that subject, while shots with two or more subjects try to distribute light more evenly.
The type of lighting lighting technicians set up depends on the mood of the television show. For example, talk shows tend to try to create scenes that are fully lit so that the show has a laid back look, according to the University of Minnesota. Additional lighting is added if necessary to eliminate shadows. However, shows intended to be more frightening tend to have more darkness.
To create the illusion of a 3-D image, a backlight must be used to separate the subject from the background. This separation is created through an optical illusion that is created using a back light, according to the University of Minnesota.
Lighting is easiest when set up indoors because studio lighting technicians can work with consistent a setting and lighting conditions. However, in many cases a studio must shoot footage outdoors. In these cases, lighting technicians must work with the available ambient light. Lighting technicians sometimes request that shooting wait until a different part of the day, according to Photo Info. For example, when the shots contain a lot of bright colors, the studio might wait until the sunlight is brighter so that the colors show up more brilliantly.
As the lights get closer to the subject, the lighting can have a harsher effect on the subject. As the lights get farther away from the subject, the effect is softer, according to Alien Bees.