Light Control Basics - Fall 2019

Light Control Basics - Fall 2019

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Benjamin Kerns
DAY / TIME Wednesdays 6-9pm | Sep 25 - Dec 4, 2019*
*No class on November 27 -- Thanksgiving Break
TUITION $825 + $35 Materials Fee | Payment & Refund Policy
LEVEL Intermediate
PREREQS Photography I (B&W or Digital); knowledge of basic digital editing helpful
CREDITS 3 – Fulfills Light Control requirement for Certificate Program

This course will introduce students to the core concepts of lighting, beginning with an exploration of continuous light (window light, hot lights and daylight-balanced sources). The class will then learn about the art of using fill cards, color temperature, catch lights, and light patterns for portraits (such as Rembrandt light). Finally, take this knowledge and transition to the studio to study the use of strobes, modifiers, the flash meter, colored gels, backdrops and good studio practices. Learn how to apply these techniques to light still lives, portraits, and other subjects.


  • Hands-on experience with a variety of lighting techniques and studio procedures
  • Proper metering and color balance for studio lighting
  • Learning differences and advantages of both continuous and strobe lighting

Students will complete the course with:

  • Familiarity with the safety issues, costs, and time constraints of working with different lighting systems and studio set-ups
  • Greater awareness of lighting configurations and issues in all photographs (portraits, still life, architectural/environmental)
  • Ability to identify lighting problems and correct or adjust for them
  • Understanding how and when to utilize continuous light and/or studio strobes to achieve vision


  • Students must provide their own camera.
  • Students should expect to spend several hours per week on assignments for this course, which will require use of PCNW facilities; view our Rental Rates for details about additional fees.
  • The Materials Fee for the course includes costs associated with in-class demonstrations and use of studio equipment and materials such as backdrops, gels and other modifiers.
  • Students may need to rent or purchase additional equipment based on personal preference and projects, but primary lighting equipment and accessories are included with studio rental at PCNW.
  • Additional information about course expectations and required materials will be provided by the instructor at the start of the quarter.



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