Art 328: Photographic Lighting



Art 328_Syllabus_Sp16


Introduction to basic photographic lighting techniques and equipment. Topics include lighting with continuous, strobe and hot shoe flash, the use of light meters and light modifiers. Instruction includes on location and studio lighting applications. A Digital SLR camera is required.


Art 218




Studio Photography: Essential Skills, 4th Edition, John Child. ISBN: 978-0-240-52096-4

Photographing People, Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz. ISBN-10: 2880466520. ISBN-13: 978-2880466527

Off Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Photographers. Neil van Niekerk. ISBN-10: 1608952789. ISBN-13: 978-1608952786

Other Authors: Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, Joey L., Tony Corbell


  1. To learn a basic photographic lighting vocabulary
  2. To learn standard types of lighting equipment including continuous, strobe, and hot-shoe strobe lighting
  3. To learn the use of an incident light meter
  4. To learn standard lighting setups using 1-3 light sources
  5. To explore various ways to modify light through light modifiers
  6. To learn photographic lighting in the studio and on location
  7. To learn how to photograph both 2-D and 3-D artwork
  8. To apply lighting concepts to both the still life and to portraits
  9. To learn the basic concepts and Library, Develop and Print Module in Adobe Lightroom


Fundamentals of Photographic Lighting(as they relate to the Digital SLR camera)

Introduction to Continuous Lighting in Studio

Introduction to Continuous Lighting on Location

Introduction to Strobe Lighting in Studio

Introduction to Strobe Lighting on Location

Introduction to Hot Shoe Strobe Lighting on Location

Photographing Artwork

Adobe Lightroom Basics


(From FMU Student Catalog, p. 59). Each student is responsible for the proper completion of his or her academic program, for familiarity with the Francis Marion University Catalog, for maintaining the grade point average required, and for meeting all other degree requirements.

  1. For successful completion of this course, the student must be able to demonstrate competency in the course objectives and course outline listed above. Student must also successfully complete the course assignments and projects as well as showing the ability to control a wide variety of lighting equipment in various settings.
  2. Students must provide their own Digital SLR camera and storage media. Students must also be aware that lighting equipment as well as the use of the lighting studio must be shared.


Your final grade for this course will be graded on a 10 point scale:

100-90 = A

89-80 = B

79-70  = C

69-60 = D

59-0    = F

Breakdown of Graded Assignments:

Weekly Lighting Assignments = 65 points (13 assignments, 5 points each)

Midterm = 5 points

Visual Diary =10 points

Final Project & Portfolio= 10 points

Final Exam = 5 points

Professionalism           = 5 points

Weekly Assignments: Weekly assignments are designed to aid the student in learning how to use the equipment, how to place the light source in relation to the subject and for applying weekly concepts.

Midterm: The midterm will be based on fundamental lighting concepts and vocabulary introduced during weekly lectures and demonstrations. Taking detailed notes during lectures and demonstrations will be required as there will not be a study guide for the midterm.

Visual Diary: The visual diary will include an account of your lighting setups as well as notes from lectures and personal research.

Final Project: The final project is weighted heavier than regular projects and will be based on a more extensive concept.

Portfolio: The portfolio will consist of answers to questions concerning the semester’s work. The portfolio will include a collection of all works turned in from the semester. It is imperative that work, both printed and digital files should be kept throughout the semester. All works will be turned in on a disc.

Final Exam: The final exam will cover the fundamentals of lighting and vocabulary introduced throughout the semester. Because a text is not required for this course, taking detailed notes is imperative.

Professionalism: Each student will be graded on the following to determine their performance as a professional: attitude towards classmates, attitude towards professor, attitude towards work, work ethic, timeliness, presentation of themselves and their work, and organization.

Final grades will be posted online at the end of the semester. Final grades are only rounded up to the next letter grade if they are within a .5 point or closer.


(From FMU Student Catalog, p. 62). It is the responsibility of the student to attend all scheduled meetings in the course in which he/she is enrolled. If a student is absent more than twice the number of required class or laboratory sessions per week during regular semesters or more than 15% of required sessions during accelerated semesters, a grade of “F” or “W” will normally be assigned, unless absences have been excused for cause by the instructor.

Attendance Policy for Art 328:

Students may miss up to 4 classes. If the student missed a 5th class, he/she will be dropped from the course. As stated in the FMU Catalog, Prior to the completion of 33 percent of a course, a faculty member may withdraw a student from a course for violation of the stated attendance policy and the grade recorded will be “W.” After the completion of 33 percent of a course, a faculty member may still withdraw a student from a course for a violation of the stated attendance policy but the grade recorded will be “F” or “W” based on the academic average at the time of withdrawal.

Specific Policy for Art 328: If a student misses a class period prior to a scheduled holiday break, the student will receive two absences rather than one. Skipping class to extend one’s holiday is not acceptable. If a student misses class the day before or after a scheduled break 2 absences will be given.

Please be on time, as a courtesy to the class. Three tardies will equal one absence.


If absent from class, it is the responsibility of the student to email myself or contact a classmate to inquire about missed assignments.

Late Work: Projects and Shooting Exercises that are late will be dropped one letter grade. Projects will also be deducted and additional 2 points for every day they are late after the due date.


There will be time to work on your assignments in class. However, please anticipate that you will have to do work outside of class in order to complete your projects and assignments for this course. This includes signing up for time to work in the lighting studio and checking out equipment to use on location.

If you are not pleased with your grade on a project, you may resubmit the assignment within 2 weeks of the due date. Your grade for a resubmitted project will only result in a grade that is at maximum one late grade (10 points) higher than the original grade.

Student excursions to art museums, galleries or studios may be scheduled. Periodically a professional photographer will come to give a lecture(s). Participation is expected. Students must provide a legitimate reason if participation is not possible


The following must be provided by the student:

  • A portable storage device, such as an external hard drive or jump drive. An external hard drive is suggested. Minimum 64GB is suggested for storing pictures. An external portable hard drive is suggested for your Lightroom Catalog.
  • You may choose to purchase a reflector made specifically for photographers or you can purchase a piece of white foam board.
  • Sketchbook for visual diary. Minimum 7”x10”, minimum 80 sheets.
  • Students in this course are expected to provide their own camera. Cameras must operate in Manual exposure mode, capture RAW files and have a sync port (for strobe lighting).

Students must also be aware that there may be a limited number of cameras available for student use. For a detailed list of acceptable and/or suggested materials please refer to the supplies handout or visit the course supply list on B&H Photo. To locate the class list on B&H go to: Go to “Find a School’s Supply List”. Find and select “Francis Marion University.” Click on Photographic Lighting. You are responsible for ordering and purchasing your own materials that are not provided by the University.


The art department has a limited number of cameras, tripods, books, and other related photography equipment for student use. There are also a large number of books in the library.

A blog has been set up so that you can access your course information. In addition, you may find call for entries, education resources and links to suppliers that carry the materials needed for this course. The blog address is:


Cell phones are prohibited during class, unless announced otherwise by the instructor. Please be sure that your phone is on silent and put away when you enter the classroom. MP3 players may be used during work days, but never during demos, lectures, critiques, or discussions. You may not check Facebook or any social media during class.


Art 328_VisualDiary

Art 328_Resources

Art 328_Vocabulary_Table


Art 328_1Object10Lights

Art 328_Assignment2_Rembrant1

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Art 328_Assignment4_BroadShort

Art 328_Assignment5_OnCameraFlash

Art 328_Assignment9_OffCameraFlash1

Art 328_Assignment10_OffCameraFlash2_2

Art 328_Assignment8_Freestyle

Art 328_Assignment9_Artwork

Art 328_Assignment10_Food

Art 328_Assignment11_Headshots

Art 328_Assignment12_TheaterHeadshots

Art 328_FinalPortfolio


Planet Neil/Tangents Blog (Neil van Niekerk)

Zack Arias Blog (Great resource for lighting)

Creative Live


Flash Flavor

Snap Factory (Check out their Digital 1 on 1 Episodes on YouTube)



Portrait Retouching by Scott Kelby



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