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Multimedia Literacy

This research guide will help you to get started on your multimedia project.

Light It

Choose locations with lighting in mind. Supplement your video shoot with a lighting kit when necessary. At the very least, light the face of your subject or the focus of the scene. This is especially important in low ambient lighting.

For advanced lighting, use a three-point lighting system:

  1. For the face (key)
  2. To fill in shadows caused by the key (fill)
  3. For the hairline (back)

To see how these three lights interact with a subject, try the Three-Point Lighting Simulator from MediaCollege.com.


Keep sources of light just out of the frame. Make sure the greatest intensity of light is in front of the subject. When outdoors, try to keep lighting sources, including the sun, behind the camera. 

Don't have a lighting kit?
Use available lighting. If you are recording inside during daytime, move the subject closer to a window. At other times, use available light fixtures. Tilt lamp shades or remove the shade entirely to get more light on the subject. In general, incandescent lights are less harsh and produce better color on facial features than fluorescent lights. You can also try using a bounce to reflect light and fill in shadows. 

Lights and UmbrellaLights 2Lights 3Sunlight
Photo credit: Nick Wheeler, Pam Calvert

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