Learn How to Add Drama to Your Scenes with This Simple Lighting Tutorial
One of the first hurdles you'll have to jump over when lighting a scene is deciding where to put your lights.
For beginners, this can be a daunting task if you don't know the basics of lighting. A good place to start, though, is with the key light, and this video from SLR Lounge offers a great lesson on five common key light patterns that will teach you how to set them up, how to spot each of their aesthetic characteristics, and what emotional affect it'll have on your audience.
Even though this is technically a still photography tutorial, the principles still translate to video and film. (You can spot each pattern in movies and TV all the time.) With one single light you can see how big of a change you can make to your images, ramping up/down the dramatic feel by arranging it at different angles.
You can check out this graphic to see how each lighting pattern is done, as well as how it affects your subjects' perception to your audience.
Granted, this is a pretty basic tutorial that only shows you how to manipulate your images with one light, albeit (arguably) the most important light. More lighting will be added as you learn to shape light with more expertise (or maybe you're going with the traditional 3-point right from the get go), but understanding the behaviors of a key light and what effects it has on your subject is a good place from which to start.
For more information about these common lighting patterns, head on over to SLR Lounge and read their full blog post.