DMED H1031 - Studio Photography & Image Production

Short Title:Studio Photography & Image Production
Full Title:Studio Photography & Image Production
Module Code:DMED H1031
ECTS credits: 10
NFQ Level:6
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Contributor:Sinead Curran
Module Description: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.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to
  1. Identify the decisions surrounding constructing photographs and the impact these decisions have on the viewer.
  2. Describe the language/compositional aspects of light how it can control mood and tone.
  3. Explain the various characteristics of light and how they affect the resultant image.
  4. Describe the components that makeup up a modern photographic studio.
  5. Design and plan location and studio lighting setups for various situations such as portrait, fashion, still life and product shots.
  6. Compare the differences between various image file formats and know when and where each format should be used.
  7. Explain colour theory and be aware of some common colour spaces and there use.
  8. Identify the various digital image processing techniques available to correct, repair, restore and enhance digital images.
  9. Identify editing requirements for a particular image with regard to content, purpose, visual and technical characteristics and intended form of output.
  10. Interpret histograms and understand how they can be used to determine exposure, overall colour and tonal values of an image.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
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.
Indicative Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work Assessment %100.00%
Course Work Assessment %
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Lab work Students will be required to carry out a number of supervised lab-based assessments in order to demonstrate knowledge and practical understanding of the theory and concepts covered in the lectures. A typical lab based assessment might be to create a specific still life and/or portfolio lighting setup. Students will also be required to carry out a number of supervised lab-based assessments in order to demonstrate knowledge and practical understanding of the topics covered in the practical sessions. Another typical lab based assessment might be to use a variety of techniques to enhance one a digital photograph taken. 2,3,4,5,8,9,10 30.00 n/a
In-class test Students will be given an in-class theory test covering theorical content. 1,2,6,7 20.00 n/a
Project It is envisaged that a large portion of the continuous assessment for this module will go towards the creation of a photographic portfolio. This work will build on the portfolio work carried out in Digital Photography giving the students the opportunity to demonstrate their technical and creative ability in the area of photographic lighting, while applying techniques of digital image production the own images. 5,7,8,9,10 50.00 n/a
No Final Exam Assessment %
Indicative Reassessment Requirement
Coursework Only
This module is reassessed solely on the basis of re-submitted coursework. There is no repeat written examination.

ITB reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Indicative Module Workload & Resources

Indicative Workload: Full Time
Frequency Indicative Average Weekly Learner Workload
Every Week 30.00
Every Week 120.00
Every Week 40.00
Recommended Book Resources
  • Langford, Bilissi 2011, Langford’s Advanced Photography 8th Edition, Focal Press
  • Hunter, Biver, Fuqua 2015, Light Science & Magic - An Introduction to Photographic Lighting, 5th edition Ed., Focal Press
  • Andrew Faulkner 2014, The Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Press
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Christian Hough 2013, Studio Photography & Lighting: Art & Techniques, The Crowood Press
  • Christopher Grey 2010, Studio Lighting: Techniques for Photography, Amherst Media
  • Kirk Tuck 2009, Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography, Amerst Media
  • Bruce Fraser, Chris Murphy, Fred Bunting 2004, Real World Color Management, Peachpit Press
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources
  • Internet: Source Magazine,
  • Internet: Photo Ireland,
  • Internet: Irish Photographers Website,
  • Internet: Strobist:
  • Internet: Lighting Essentials for Photographers:
  • Internet: Planet Photoshop Website: w-color-spaces.html
  • Internet: Lumonous Landscape Website:
  • Internet: Cambridge in Colour: ls/camera-metering.htm

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
BN_DDMED_8 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Digital Media [240 ECTS credits] 2 Mandatory
BN_DDMED_7 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Digital Media [180 ECTS credits] 2 Mandatory