Lighting Design: The Basics Behind Which Fixtures Support the Best Visuals
Among the different types of lights available to you, the most important aspect to nearly every design I complete is the back light.
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Lighting Design NewsFor Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3) Lighting Design Software Guide: Deep Dive Into Two Options (Part 2) Lighting Design Software Guide: Making It Easier With What Works (Part 1) Language of Light: Using Visuals to Communicate Culture
Lighting Design ResourceFor Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.
Lighting is an incredible way to support praise and worship in our congregations.
A basic understanding of how positioning a light works can help us to support the visuals we desire to create.
Let’s start by exploring the types of light when lighting a subject.
Key light: This is the primary light used to light a subject.
Fill light: The secondary light that fills in shadows on the subject (typically of a lower intensity).
Back light: The light that illuminates the subject from the backdrop.
Side light: The light that creates additional shadows to show depth.
Foot light: The light located at the front edge of the stage to fill in shadows on the subject, particularly under their eyes.
Each of these lights holds a specific purpose, and is best suited for use in their particular ways. Even the simplest of systems should contain a key light and a back light. This will adequately light the subject and ensure the subject has enough depth to stand out from the back of the stage.
A key light is always located in front of the subject. Ideally, this light or lights is best hung at a 45 degree angle from the subject (both horizontally and vertically). This angle creates a great balance of shadows and creates an adequate front light for a subject. This light is typically used with no color.
Fill light should be a complement to the key light. It should be hung symmetrically to the key light on the opposing 45 degree angle. This light is typically a slight bit lower in intensity to create shadows, but I have used this at a similar intensity in some cases as well.
A fill light can also consist of fixtures that are hung at a lower angle to fill in shadows under the subjects eyes. There are many times, though, that a fill light will be hung at 20 degrees vertically from the subject to fill in shadows under the eyes, if foot lights are impractical. This light is typically used with no color as well.
A back light is imperative to creating good separation on your stage. A back light is the most important aspect in nearly every design I complete (only closely behind key light). A back light creates a glow around the hair line and shoulders, helping the subject appear three dimensional to the viewer or audience member. A back light can also be used well when colored. This colored back light can help to convey the emotion, mood, or energy.
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.