Module Overview

Studio Photography & Image Production

This module aims to provide students with a working knowledge of photographic lighting, equipment and techniques. The focus of this module will be on photographs that are constructed rather than observed in a studio environment. Therefore, a short study of the history of this style of constructed photograph and examples of constructed photography from more contemporary photographers will inform the decisions students make when lighting their own photographs. Students will learn how to modify light through reflecting, filtering, filling, diffusing, and cutting. Once students can identify and take advantage of natural light, they will progress to adding artificial light into the image – through the use of camera flash, external flash, hot-lights, studio strobes, as well as combinations of light sources. Students will learn about the effects of light on the photographic image – angle, brightness, contrast, colour temperature, and diffusion/concentration. Students are also introduced to the basic concepts behind digital image production, including post processing techniques using modern image processing software.

Module Code

DMED H1031

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Short history of constructed photography

History of portrait, still life, product/fashion and commercial photography.

Science and Characteristics of light

Source, Intensity, Quality, Direction, Contrast and Colour.

Controlling light

Diffusers, Reflectors, Softboxes, Flags, Barn doors and snoods.

Light sources

Natural, Built-in camera flash, External Flash and TTL systems and Hot lights (constant lights).

Lighting setups

Lighting ratios, Key light, Fill light, Kicker lights, Background lights, Multiple light and multiple source setups.

Portrait lighting techniques

Broad lighting, Short lighting, Rembrandt lighting, Split lighting and Butterfly lighting.

Lighting for still life

Lighting food, small objects, transparent and translucent surfaces and using gels.

Image file formats

Image digitization and representation, Scanning and image sampling, BMP, TIFF, GIF, JPEG and RAW file formats, JPEG v’s RAW, Image compression and associated trade-offs.

Colour theory and colour spaces

Background physics for understanding colour (frequency spectrum). How humans see and perceive colour (some background biology). Colour gamuts such as RGB, RGBs, adobe RGB and CMYK. Importance of Bit depth with respect to colour representation.

Basic image manipulation

Introduction to modern image manipulation software package. Adjusting image resolution and image size. Straightening and cropping images. Adjusting tonal ranges. Replacing colours. Techniques for adjusting lightness and saturation. Applying masks and unsharp mask filters. Saving images for four colour (CMYK) printing.

Retouching and restoration

Repairing image areas with clone and stamp tools. Using spot healing brush tools. Retouching using separate image layers. Working with image areas and use of selection tools such as magic wand selection and colour selection.

Working with image layers

Layer basics, using the layer palette, rearranging layers, applying layer styles, flattening images.

Masks and Channels

Creating masks, viewing channels, channel adjustment, masks as selections, applying filters to masks, applying effects using the gradient mask, moving layers, using fonts and text as a mask.

Correcting and Enhancing Digital Photographs

Correcting digital photographs using the RAW format. Editing images with vanishing point perspective. Correcting image distortion and lens artefacts. Correcting exposure, white balance, saturation, sharpness.

Preparing image files for various media

Photographic printing, Book style publications, Web graphics, DVD and movie resources.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100