Soft Light/Fill Lighting

A popular film technique is the use of soft light. This particular light source is normally a diffused light source from the front of the person and a more direct and stronger light from the back, which usually fills up those little shadows to create an even picture.

Soft light can also be known as a fill light as it is not harsh and intense on the character portrayed in the scene. It is here we can get an all round colour balance within the scene.

Soft light and/or fill light has always represented a rather soft even balance to a film, it does not create an emotion of negativity or mystery but almost represents a friendly welcoming approach due to its soft look. This particular lighting effect would never be portrayed in a scary film as it usually creates a soft yellow glow, which to the audiences perspective is positive.


Shot from the film Her” 

In week 8’s Wednesday class, my group played around with this soft diffused lighting technique which I personally have used in many of the films I have worked on. I experimented with this by placing the light slightly to the side facing up in front of the actor but bounced it off the white wall. We placed a diffuser on the top of the light to filter it so it wasn’t as harsh of a light on the person in front of screen (which was myself).

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 6.25.29 pm

Shot from an RMIT University film

Soft light technique is basically area lighting, which creates a more natural look. It is one of the most popular uses of lighting cause it evens out shot leaving the characters within the shot natural as if the light was from outside or from a well lit room. Almost an “unedited” shot


The particular shot above from the film 500 Days of Summer is a great example of soft lighting. To the audience it has a clear indication of being outside yet there a several lights surrounding them creating an even lit picture.

The next blog post I hope to explore Natural Lighting. 



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