Undergraduate Degree




DP2006 Principles of Lighting

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: DP2000; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

To introduce students to a practice-based understanding of natural and studio-based photographic lighting.


In this course students will learn the basic skills needed to control and manipulate light, and gain an understanding of how various lighting situations translate onto film.  Students are shown how to observe the quality of natural light as a basis for learning basic photographic studio lighting techniques and their creative applications.  Classroom meetings will present the theory and application while studio demos and assignments will provide hands on experience.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• The different types of light sources

• Studio lighting 

• Metering of light 

• The digital camera back 

• Overview of light behaviour and controlling techniques 

• Form and texture in both B/W and colour imageries. 

• Direct and indirect sun and artificial light as sources of illumination


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Manipulation and illuminate 

• Defining objects with light 

• Creating and augmenting emotional ambience with light 

• Problem solving and improvisation


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The students will be able to perceive the lighting of a scene and object as a practice that is subject to knowledge and technique. The students will begin to be able to manipulate the emotional signature of their practice using lighting in an appropriate manner.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


    1. David Präkel, Basic Photography: Lighting, AVA Publishing