Optical Basics of Photography 2

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
307EOBP2 ZK 2 13 exercise hours (45 min) of instruction per semester, 40 to 50 hours of self-study English

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Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

The listener gains an expanded 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. He/she selects the appropriate technique according to the assignment. Safely navigates analog and digital photography. Immediately verifies the acquired knowledge in practice through demonstrations, practical examples and own practice.

Mode of study

in person

Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

The aim of this course is to deepen the knowledge in the field of optics, which is closely related both to shooting in specific conditions, measuring light and understanding the design of cameras. Knowledge is imparted through theoretical introductions to the various areas, practical demonstrations and studio exercises in the form of collaborative and independent work. The student is introduced to both the physical fundamentals of the field and practical demonstrations of solving specific tasks. At the same time, they 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/Introduction - Characteristics of light - repetition

Theoretical part: daylight and artificial light, types of light, basic principles, possibilities of changing the character and control of light. Advantages of different systems.

2/ Introduction: basics of geometrical optics

Reflection, total reflection, bending, dispersion.

Wave optics

Interference, diffraction, resolution given by diffraction, polarization, 3D imaging

Theoretical 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

3- 4/ Introduction: camera, focal length, depth of field, types of lenses, exposure meter, exposure

Theoretical part: basic types of photographic equipment, their construction, advantages and uses

Practical part: 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)

5 - 6/ Introduction: mirrors and lenses, spherical mirrors, spherical and aspherical lenses, defects

Theoretical part: construction of lenses and their defects, resolution

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

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)

7 - 9/ Introduction: human eye and visual perception, focus and accommodation, iris, lens, retina, sensitivity, defects, light perception, binocular vision, 3D, 2D

Colours, spectral colours, additive and subtractive colour mixing, colour perception, chromaticity temperatureTheoretical part: perspective and focal length, perpendicular alignment - restitution, determining the light range of a scene in the studio

Practical part:

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

10 - 11/ Introduction: digital image

Image data, resolution, CCD and CMOS chips, image processing, displays, optical data storage, holographic memories, future of photonics

Theoretical introduction: working with Sinar camera and Sinarback 54H digital back, digital cameras, possible applications, comparison of analogue and digital photography results.

Practical part: exercises in the studio

12/ Presentation of results, selection of works to be presented in the final exam, solving specific problems, feedback.

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, completion of the course Optical Basics of Photography 1



Schedule for winter semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

Schedule for summer 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

The subject is a part of the following study plans