In addition to the lighting techniques whose definitions appear below, choices about the direction of the light source—whether it is overhead; sidelighting; underlighting; backlighting; or angel light (exaggerated backlighting which creates a halo of light around a subject's head)—can have a profound effect on the impact of a shot.
three-point lighting A lighting style associated with the classical Hollywood style. The shot is lit with three different kinds of light: a key light (the brightest and primary source of lighting for the image, this casts the dominant shadows), a fill light (which "fills in" to eliminate or soften shadows created by the key light), and a backlight (illumination coming from behind the objects photographed, outlining or highlighting the contours of the figure).
high-key lighting Bright, even illumination with low contrast and few conspicuous shadows. Associated with comedies, classical musicals, and light entertainment.
low-key lighting General low level of illumination with high-contrast atmospheric pools of light. The effects of low-key lighting are often enhanced by dark costumes and sets. Associated with mysteries, thrillers, and film noir.
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