Lighting & Color

Lighting, Light stands, Lighting safety
Using C-stands, gobos, & gels

Here are our classroom Powerpoints in PDF version – click to download






c-stands and gobos on a film set 030118Lighting_C-stands






using a reflector to shoot in daylight


Lighting Basics

The fundamental standard: 3-point lighting, with key light (the main light on your subject), fill light (the light that fills in some of the shadows made by the key light), and back light (providing an outline of light on the head and shoulders of your subject, separating the subject from the background of the shot)
4-point lighting: Key light, fill light, back/hair light, and background light
More 4-point lighting

Downloads (Mid-term)

  • Fundamentals of Three-Point Lighting – download
  • Lighting Crews, Equipment, and Basics of Electricity – download

Using C-stands

C-stands are the industry standard for holding lights, gobos, cookies, flags, scrims, and diffusion filters. They are very heavy-duty, they weigh a lot more than a regular light stand, and they have a boom arm that anyone who is working with a gaffer or lighting grip should know how to use.

The following video, C-Stands: How to Set Up and Use has very good information from about 00:40 mins to 5:08 mins.


Gripology: C-Stands


C-Stand Overview Tutorial


PRO TIP: How to Set Up a C-Stand


Color Temperature

The charts below create a ready visual guide to how color temperature works.

For a fuller explanation, here’s information on digital color theory, color temperature, and using color correction gels – download





Lighting tutorials:

Filmmaking 101 – 3 Point Lighting Tutorial


Beyond 3-Point Lighting: Why it’s not always the best way to go

“5 Common Keylight Patterns.”

Cross-key lighting = your key light is my back light and my key light is your backlight

ND Filters

A neutral density (ND) filter is sunglasses for your lens. It is a filter that blocks very bright sunlight, helps prevent glare, and enables you to get a shot with a shallow depth of field in bright daylight. An ND filter can be built into the camcorder as one of it’s functions (usually there’s a dial or switch on the camera body), or can be placed in front of the lens, held in place with a matte box, for example. The videos below give you an overview of when and why to use ND filters. Rule of thumb: always use an ND filter when shooting out of doors, even on a cloudy, drizzly, foggy day.

Lighting Terminology – a glossary


Glossary of Lighting Terms