Having only one light available doesn’t seem like it will give you many options for shooting. But in this video, Nerris Nassiri from Aputure will show you five basic key lighting patterns you can create with only one light. They’re commonly used in both photography and filmmaking to get a wide variety of looks, and they can help you tell different stories in your shots.
1. Flat lighting
To get flat lighting, place the light right next to your camera and point it at the subject. This light is clean and simple, and it will evenly spread light across your subject’s face. But, as the name suggests, it’s also flat and it doesn’t add depth to the shot. It’s good for basic interviews, but you can also use it if you need a clean, simple shot.
2. Paramount lighting
Paramount lighting is also sometimes called “butterfly lighting.” This setup requires you to place the light high above the camera and angle it down towards your subject. This kind of lighting will make your subject look very prominent in the scene. It will also create a shadow below the subject’s nose that kinda looks like a butterfly – hence the name “butterfly lighting.”
3. Loop lighting
Loop lighting adds more depth to the scene. It takes the paramount lighting and angles it slightly to the left or right side of the subject. Keep the light above your subject and angled down, but move it 20-30 degrees to the side. This will give your subject some shadows on the lower part of their face and the neck, and it will create a slightly more dramatic look.
4. Rembrandt lighting
The Rembrandt lighting is very commonly used in painting, cinematography, and photography. It’s characterized by a small triangle of light on either side of your subject’s face.
To achieve this look, place your light above and at 45-60 degrees to the subject. You’ll get a high-contrast look and you can use it to point out that your subject is going through a darker time in their life. If the Rembrandt lighting is too shadowy for your taste, you can always add a bounce card or diffusion to soften the shadows.
5. Split lighting
Split lighting, as the name suggests, splits the light on either side of your subject’s face. To create this setup, place the light 90 degrees to the side of the subject. This type of lighting can show that your subject has a secret or a dark side.
What’s your favorite one light setup?
[5 Essential Looks Using ONE Light | Aputure]