Advanced Studio Lighting Techniques

Moving Subjects

The difficulties in lighting a studio stylistically is when the subject starts to move. There are two suggested methods for moving subjects; the first being if a subject moves on a predetermined path. Rather than focusing on stylised lighting areas (3 point) the suggested is to provide the same overall illumination throughout the path. Areas of fill light overlapping the distance of travel keep sufficient levels and in general, the need for back light isn’t necessary.


The second method is when you don’t know the movement or the area is too large to cover. For this the idea is to provide a diffused fill light to flood the entire area. The fill lighting can cover the entire area but will cause flatter and duller results. In addition you can introduce key and back lights at specific camera positions for any shots that are held longer.

High Contrast

Eliminating fill lighting, leaving only key and back light for more range between the highlights and shadows.


Eliminating any background or floor lighting so focus is purely on the subject and you have no sense of the space they are occupying. Traditionally a three point lighting setup, but shone so beams don’t spill into the background.

Warm Studio

A style to avoid the generic studio look, instead simulating something of a more conventional room. Using practical and room lighting for decreased colour temperature (warmer), and less studio lighting as a dominate source. Controlling the light sources can make the entire studio feel more intimate and inviting when compared to a studio floor flooded with white washes.


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