Optical Basics of Photography 1

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
307EOBP1 ZK 2 13 exercise hours (45 min) of instruction per semester, 40 to 50 hours of self-study English

Subject guarantor


Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

The listener gains a basic comprehensive understanding of the physical laws of light, the operation and application of the laws of optics to the photographic process and camera design and lens function. The acquired knowledge is immediately verified in practice through demonstrations, practical examples and actual practice.

Mode of study

in person

Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

The aim of this course is to familiarize the student both with the physical fundamentals of the field and with practical examples of solving specific problems. At the same time, the student will learn the possibilities and methods of using the technical equipment of the photography department, including the possibility of comparing the results obtained by analogue and digital technology.

Main topics:

1- 2/ Theoretical part: Basic properties of light

3-5/ Theoretical part: Fundamentals of geometrical optics

Practical part:

Basics of exponometry, photometric units, different types of measuring instruments - advantages and method of measurement and control, brightness range of a scene, exponometric aids

Practical exercise:

2 photographs of compositions of geometric objects with different lighting and perspective for one using restitution (2 enlargements 30x40 cm).

6-7/ Practical and theoretical part:

Basic types of photographic equipment, their construction, advantages and use.

Practical part of working with the Sinar camera: making

1 reproduction under glass with grey and colour wedge - demonstration of colour to black and white conversion, determination of correct exposure and demonstration of methods of developing 6x9 cm. (1 enlargement 24x30 cm)

8-9-10/ Theoretical part:

Mirrors and lenses

Spherical mirrors, spherical and aspherical lenses, defects

Lens construction and defects, resolution

Practical part: extremes of school lenses, field of view, basic tests of resolving power

Practical exercises:

1 photograph of the surface structure of the subject with practical verification of Scheimpflug's condition of developing a 9x12 cm film. (1 enlargement 30x40 cm)

11/ Theoretical part:Wavelength -reflection, total reflection, bending, dispersion

12/ Camera :

Focal length, depth of field, lens types, exposure meter, exposure

Practical part:

Perspective and focal length, perpendicular alignment - restitution, determining the light range of a scene in the studio

Practical exercise: working with Sinar camera and Sinarback 54H digital back, digital cameras, possibilities of use, comparison of results of analogue and digital photography.

Recommended or required reading



David Falk, Dieter Brill, David Stork: Seeing the Light (Update Edition), John Wiley and Sons. Inc., 2021

Rudolf Kingslake, Lenses in Phtotography; the Practical Guide to Optics for Photography, Creative Media Partners, LLC, 2021

Al Judge, Mastering Aperture, ShutterSpeed, ISO and Exposure: How they interact and Affect Each Other, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013

Robert A. The Evolution of Theories of Light and Color, Kluwe Academic Publisher, 2012

Tom Ashe, Color management and Quality Output (part of : The Digital Imaging Masters), Focal Press 2014

Raymond K. Principles and Applications (Series in Optics and Otoelectronics), CRC Press Taylor nad Francis Group, 2019

Hongrui Jiang and Xuefeng Zeng, Microlenses: properties, Fabrication and Liquid Lenses, CRC Press, 2013


Thomas D.Rossing, Christopher J. Chiaverina: Light Science, Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., 1999

Clyde W. Oyster, The Human Eye, Book News, Inc., Portland, 1999

Bruce Watson, Light: A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age, Bloomsbury 2016

Haiyin Sun, Lens Design: A Practical Guide, CRC Press, 2016

www.youtube.com - channel Filmmaker IQ




Assessment methods and criteria

ZK - a test of theoretical knowledge and evaluation of the submitted exercises, which assesses both the exact observance of the assignment and the quality of processing.

Participation: the prerequisite for the student's evaluation is mandatory attendance at 80% of lectures and timely and continuous submission of practical exercises



Schedule for winter semester 2022/2023:

room TR 131
PC room KF

(Tržiště 20, Praha 1 (vchod z Rektorátu AMU, Malostranské nám. 12))
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Tue 19:00–20:35 Vladan KRUMPL PC room KF
Tržiště 20, Praha 1 (vchod z Rektorátu AMU, Malostranské nám. 12)
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans