Advanced Studio Lighting

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 229

       Course Name: Advanced Studio Lighting

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 219

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents advanced study of studio lighting practices required in field of professional photography. Content includes further exploration of techniques specific to using electronic flash in unique photographic assignments, and fields of fashion, wedding, product, location/event-specific portraiture and layout-specific photography. Studio and fieldwork outside of regular class time required. *See Note:

*Note: Students who do not own a camera, tripod, or light meter may borrow these items from the College after paying a refundable deposit fee. Deposits will be retained if equipment is damaged or not returned on the specified due date.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To demonstrate how lighting forms and affects the final image.
  2. To identify the various specializations in commercial photography and distinguish their specific requirements.
  3. To incorporate principles of layout and art direction in images produced.
  4. To explore the latest digital advancements in lighting for professional photography and incorporate them in images produced.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Technical issues with Strobes:
    1. Mono lights
    2. Power pack
    3. On camera
    4. Off camera sync
    5. Portable power
  2. Understanding Layout and design:
    1. Page layout
    2. Art direction
    3. Creating the “mood” with lighting as requested
    4. Creative control
    5. Scouting locations
    6. “Buying” props
  3. Fields of professional photography and related logistics
    1. Fashion photography:
      1. Modeling agencies
      2. Costume rentals
      3. Hair and makeup
      4. Clothing design and coordination
      5. Studio vs. location
      6. Light modifiers for close up photography
      7. Drop out white
    2. Wedding photography:
      1. Location portrait
      2. Portable studio
      3. Film v. digital
      4. Hiring assistants
      5. Pricing
      6. Equipment backup
      7. Insurance
    3. Food photography:
      1. Food stylists
      2. Choice of lighting
      3. Temperature
      4. Kitchen alternatives
      5. Plastic v. real
    4. Corporate annual report:
      1. Color balance
      2. Lighting balance
      3. Portability of your equipment
      4. Studio portrait v. boardroom portrait
      5. Fitting within predefined layout
  4. Digital Logistics:
    1. Equipment choices
    2. Camera backs and megapixels<?
    3. Mac v. PC
    4. Drum scanner
    5. High end printing solutions
    6. Portability
  5. Business Logistics for Commercial Photographers:
    1. Freelance
    2. Stock photography
    3. Newspaper staff photographer
    4. Dealing with clients
    5. Writing agreements and contracts
    6. Model release
    7. Tax status
    8. Your own business
    9. Equipment cost: rent v. purchase

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Presentations and discussions of relevant work.
  2. Demonstrations of shooting techniques and all supporting processes.
  3. Discussions of professional practices in the chosen field.
  4. Critiques of student work, both in progress and at the end, to develop standards and evaluative criteria.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Critiques are required; active participation is essential.
  2. Produce a final project of at least 15 original pieces ready for display.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. CAMERA: Digital SLR or 35mm negative size format or larger. Must have variable F-stop and shutter speeds.

  2. LIGHT METER: A hand held light meter is recommended.

  3. TRIPOD: One that is big enough to hold your camera steady.

  4. MEDIA: Memory card, flash drive, or portable hard drive OR  color daylight transparency film in 35mm, 2 ¼ or 4x5.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade will be based upon the following elements and their weights:

  1. Weekly photographic assignments: 70%
  2. Mid-term exam: 5%
  3. Final project: 25%

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

It is essential to be on time; lectures and demonstrations take place at the beginning of class and will not be repeated. Attendance is expected for all classes and review sessions.

All assignments and projects are to be on time and demonstrate proficiency.

Instructor will specify in the course syllabus the approximate cost of materials not covered by the lab fee.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.