Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: PHOT 5; this course is included in the Photography-Professional Practices family of activity courses; not open to students with credit in PHOT 74.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student will identify various studio lighting equipment together with their specific use and purpose.
  • Student will set up and arrange studio lighting equipment in a creative and technical manner that clearly depicts the volume, texture, or shape of a 3D object.


Introduction and overview to studio lighting, digital medium format cameras, exploration of photographic practices in a studio environment; emphasis on developing effective skills and techniques necessary to begin a career in studio photography.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. operate studio lighting and related accessories with technical skill.
B. employ visual and technical qualities required for professional-level photography.
C. demonstrate the ability to follow basic, visual layouts and art direction.
D. operate an incident/reflected/flash light meter and determine appropriate exposures.
E. assimilate and utilize visual ideas drawn from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Course Content

A. Proper operation of studio flash units and related studio equipment
1. Light modifiers and reflectors
a. Expressive qualities of light
b. Color temperature
c. Multiple light set-ups
d. Lighting ratios
2. Photography of two- and three-dimensional objects
a. Paintings, documents, sculpture or other art work
b. Products
c. Models (portraiture)
B. Safe handling and care of equipment
1. Electrical safety (fuses and amperage ratings)
C. General operation of a commercial or art photo studio
1. Freelance photography
2. Assistant to photographer
3. Working with clients
a. Establishing and meeting deadlines
b. Invoices, contracts and estimates
4. Professional protocols, practices and client expectations
D. Approaches to studio photography as practices in industry
1. Commercial
2. Fine art
3. Still-life and portraiture
4. Editorial
5. Trends in advertising and art production, including representations of and by diverse cultures
E. Presentation of photographs
1. Portfolio concepts
F. Compositional considerations
1. Black and white vs. color
2. Working to fulfill requirements of visual layout

Lab Content

A. Use of computer workstation and image software.
B. Use of print kiosks and professional color laboratory services.
C. Selection and procuring of styling props and studio materials.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. An open-beamed space with high ceiling and room to accommodate lighting equipment, backdrop material and models. Room should be equipped with many well-placed, electrical outlets capable of relatively high amperage draw. Studio should have secure equipment storage areas or easy access to it. Professional-level lighting and studio equipment.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software, media plug-ins, and relevant computer graphics applications and email software; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Emphasis is on effective and safe use of lighting equipment.
B. Quizzes and exam identifying lighting and camera technique.
C. Written response to terminology, concepts and practice as discussed in class lectures, demonstrations and critiques.
D. Maintain studio notebook/journal and portfolio.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Students will attend lecture in classroom for instruction and critique.
B. Hands-on instruction on equipment and lighting techniques are demonstrated in studio area.
C. Students follow the lead of instructor and set up their own work station to complete assignment.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Hunter, Fil, Steven Biver, and Paul Fuqua. Light, Science and Magic - An Introduction to Photographic Lighting. 5th ed. Burlington, MA, 2015.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Maintain a studio and lighting journal that describes necessary tools, exposures and lighting arrangements, as well as personal notations addressing the efficacy of various studio set-ups.