What Is Three-Point Lighting Its Importance in Livestreaming?

Although still photography and video production seem straightforward, they require proper lighting, and nothing beats the three-point lighting. To illustrate, it involves the utilization of three light sources arranged at three different positions and is great for setting up livestream lighting compared to conventional studio lighting. So, if you have to set up the live streaming set, we are here to share more about three-point lighting!

Understanding Three Point Lighting

Different factors can be adjusted to control the lighting and create different lighting moods ranging from position to intensity and size to distance. If you have been in the content production industry for a while, you would know that it’s a traditional way of making a subject more prominent in some scenes while light comes from three different positions.

The three common types of lights in three-point lighting include:

Key Light

First of all, this is the brightest source of light in this lighting setup which provides the most prominent exposure. The cinematographers can easily position this primary light along with the camera and directly at subjects. Subsequently, the shadow will be created on the opposite side of the primary subject, which adds depth and dimension. Simply put, it’s essential for creating a scenic mood.

Fill Light

This is the secondary light, and it’s obviously less bright compared to the key light. This light has a higher fill ratio, creating the film-noise shadow, higher contrast, and more balance. However, remember that it’s not always the light; a wall, reflector, or a bounce card can also be used. All in all, the combination of fill light and key light creates the mood.


This is the third light source, also known as a hair light or rim light. It illuminates the subject from the back, resulting in a complete light setup. Therefore, it will create a faint outline or rim, adding depth to the scene. To illustrate, it generally points at the subject’s neck’s back.

Uses Of Three Point Lighting

The three-point lighting is known to create dynamic and interesting images while the subject will witness more dimension. The lighting setup also adds depth and dynamics to the character. Moreover, it helps shape up the subjects. To illustrate, the 2:1 fill ratio is suitable for creating a flattering and soft appearance that is known to mask skin blemishes. On the other hand, the 8:1 ratio is used for casting sharp edges in shadows, resulting in a mysterious, dramatic, and unsettling mood.

Implicating Three Point Lighting for Livestreaming

As we dive into the traditional lighting that’s known to tell a story, livestreaming’s lighting is all about showcasing the primary subject. Regarding live streaming, one needs to ensure that the subject is easily and adequately visible. For instance, three-point lighting is necessary to flatter the subject and offer great imaging to the audience.

In addition, three-point lighting will create a perfect foundation for setting up the live streaming setup and live podcasts as it helps ensure proper illumination of the subject from different angles, resulting in an even and attractive look. However, it is important to test the livestream lighting and podcast gear to ensure the live streaming comes out properly. Also, the following tips can help optimize three-point lighting for live streaming;

  • Make sure that you switch off all other lights, and it’s best to start the livestream in pitch darkness. Also, you can implement a light meter to check the brightness delivered by the lighting system to ensure the light remains consistent.
  • The first step should be setting up the key lights to ensure the subject has a proper lighting angle. It is better to stay between 30-degrees and 45-degrees key light angle to achieve the appropriate lighting.
  • In addition to using the fill light and backlight simultaneously, you can always add optional fourth light if you have to illuminate the props or the background.

To summarize, three-point lighting is a great revolution in the lighting industry, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it’s nothing less than perfection for live streaming.

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Steven Worthy Leadership and Podcast Coach

Steve Worthy is a podcasting veteran; he began in 2007 with By Husbands For Husbands, a podcast and business focused on helping entrepreneurial husbands succeed professionally and personally by balancing work and family.

Steve is a seasoned business leader with over 25 years of executive retail leadership experience. His career is focused on assisting podcasters and leaders to find their unique voice and understand how to fit within their culture to advance their podcasts and career.

Currently, as an entrepreneur, Steve teaches both novice and experienced podcasters how to live stream through his Podcasters LIVE Academy. Steve views this as the best medium for podcasters to grow and engage with their audience authentically.

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