Lighting Seminar 1

Subject is not scheduled Not scheduled

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
304CLSE1 Z 1 3T English winter

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The course is designed to acquaint with the theory and practice of lighting in film and television. The starting point of the study is the knowledge and analysis of daylight and non- daylight situations given by natural sources. The course continues by getting acquainted with the properties of lighting means in terms of their usability to imitate natural and artificial sources.

Teaching is accompanied by demonstrations of lighting constructions both in real environments and in studio with objects of basic importance (human face, figure).

Special attention is paid to lighting linked with the properties of recording media, thus introducing practical exponometry.

Mode of study


Prerequisites and co-requisites

Knowledge of culture of visual imaging in historical context.

Physics and especially optics at the appropriate secondary school level

Basic experience as a cameraman, ability to handle basic film tasks

Digital and analog camera with all manual functions

Luxmeter and spotmeter

Course contents

Function of using the light for shooting:

  1. Light as a basic technical prerequisite for the creation of an optical image.
  2. Light from the point of view of information about the properties of objects of scenic reality, their texture and reflectivity.
  3. Light as a means of artistic stylization of optical representation.
  4. Continuity


From the cameraman's point of view, light and its exposure effect can be evaluated from three aspects:

  1. Quality

a) quality given by its spectral composition,

b) quality given by the nature of the light source (spot, diffuse).

  1. Direction

a) promoting or suppressing the perception of displayed space

b) promoting or denying the perception of the actual shapes and volumes of displayed objects.

  1. Intensity

a) the intensity of a single source and the modification of its distances

b) composition of intensities of several sources: main, supplementary and auxiliary light.

Practical exponometry:

  1. Analysis of scene lighting conditions by measuring with a luxmeter
  2. Analysis of scene lighting in terms of its brightness structure - point exponometry

Light sources and luminaires:

  1. Means to change the spectral composition of light from artificial sources
  2. Means to change the nature of light sources (diffusers, grids).
  3. Regulation of the nature of the beam of emitted flux rays - convergence vs. Divergence

Basic lighting concepts:

Surface reflectance factor (reflectance), exposure effect, exposure lighting, light ratio

Methodology of stage lighting construction:

  1. Style of imitated primary light reality
  2. Style of professional convention - deflection from the strict logic of lighting
  3. Lighting to support the meaning of gestures within given dramaturgy, including the creative application of both aesthetic values and the nature of unusualness

practical exercises:

A.“light and face” - stills in studio b/w

basic concepts of lighting, framing and composition; light ratios. 3point lighting; light as dramatic tool; interaction of object and background

B.„Portrait at the Window“ - B / W photos on negative 5222; relationship exterior / interior. Intentional over- / underexposure. (semi-) silhouette

Recommended or required reading

american cinematographer’s manual

Sven Nykvist, “Reverence for the light” 1997

D. Schaefer and L. Salvato, “Masters of light” 1984

F. Truffaut, “le cinema selon Hitchcock” 1966

K. Malkiewicz, “film lighting” 1986

D. Samuelson, “motion picture, camera and lighting equipment” 1980

Assessment methods and criteria

Active participation in the workshop, presence 80%, punctuality, quality of practical exercises are prerequisites for granting the evaluation.

Further information

No schedule has been prepared for this course

The subject is a part of the following study plans