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3-Point Lighting


I went to Las Vegas with my wife because she had a conference to go to for work. I was not excited to go to the casinos and throw money away. I saw a quote years ago that said this, "The lights of Las Vegas are lit by losers." I didn't want to be one of them to help pay for the lights so I went to a coffee shop and spent my Saturday writing. Little did I know I would be writing about lights. After you read this, please comment if you see a story within a story here.

Three or four hours had passed and I wasn't happy about what I wrote. So I took a break and thought about my lesson for my video students the next week. It was teaching them 3-Point Lighting. Then I wrote the following:

There is nothing but darkness. There has to be a Key light. It turns on and provides a light source. This key light also creates a shadow on the other side. Then the fill light is turned on and applied to the shadow to remove it. The third light, called the backlight is turned on to add illumination to the back of the subject to separate it from the background.



In the beginning, there was darkness. The darkness was pitch black. Then the Key light turned on and it illuminated an object. But there was only a partial view of this object as the other side was still covered in the shadow of darkness. The Key light said, “This is only a shadow of the things to come. It is only partial illumination.” He asked, “Who can go and light up the darkness on the other side?”

The Fill light said, “I will go.” So The Fill light went to the other side and turned on. The shadow that was present from the Key light was no more. The subject was clearer now. Details of a vessel or container could be seen. But there was something more to come. The Fill light asked the Key light for some help. “I will send another to help. The Back Light will be the perfect help to reveal and separate the subject from the background.” 

So up high in the back, a bright light came on and the glow appeared. It separated the subject from the background and a rim of light brought the subject into complete illumination. What was now visible was a ceramic sculpture. It was visible but had a hole in its being. 

Then the Fill light knew what he had to do. It started spinning counter-clockwise and spinning and spinning. Then it went dark. The Fill light fell and crashed to the floor and broke into pieces. The Backlight went dim, the Key light drooped. 

Then something amazing happened. The broken Fill light pieces began moving and crawling up to the sculpture. Suddenly, the Back light shined brightly. The Key light illuminated every broken piece of the Fill light. All the broken pieces began reassembling themselves into the sculpture. 

When it was fully assembled into the sculpture, the Fill light began to spin clockwise and spin and spin. The Backlight and the Key watched as the Fill light spun. Suddenly the Fill light lit up and the entire sculpture could be seen. It was a lamp in the shape of a human.

The lamp became alive. It started moving for the first time, and then it danced freely in celebration. The fill light was changed forever and lived in the lamp to give it light.

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