Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for Key Light

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year my theme is film terms.

Keylight is the main or primary light on a subject, often angled and off-center (or from above) that selectively illuminates various prominent features of the image to produce depth, shadows, etc. 

Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail (1998)
High-key lighting (with everything evenly and brightly lit, with a minimum of shadows) is termed realistic and often used in musicals and comedies. 

Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford in All the President's Men (1976)

Low-key lighting (with less illumination, more shadows, and many grayish, dark areas) is termed expressionistic and often used in film noir.


  1. With close-up shots, I like to look for the reflection of the key-light in the character's eyes.

    1. Interesting observation. I will be doing that from now on. LOL.