Introduction to studio lighting

Course Dates: 17/09/19 - 22/10/19
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: PS - Photography Studio
Matthew Ward

Learn about photographic studio practice and lighting. An introduction to using studio flash, 'hot' (tungsten) and ‘cold’ (fluorescent & LED) lights to enhance your portrait and still life photography.

See what you could create – view a selection of work made on our photography courses



What is the course about?

Learn about photographic studio practice and lighting within this course.
An introduction to the use of studio flash, tungsten, fluorescent & LED lighting to enhance your photography of portraits and still life objects. This is an extremely practical course - you will work in small groups with a set of studio lights to create portraits of each other and still life images.

What previous students liked most about this course:
“The practical aspect with enough equipment to form groups helped me learn better.”

“Excellent teaching, friendly atmosphere, comprehensive course content.”

“Taught me to think about light more and the impact it can have. Last session on combing natural light with lights / flash was really good and very useful.”

“Doing practical work and making it feel like you can ask as many questions as you want. The tutor was very helpful, giving good feedback on queries – very patient!.”

“Meeting other people with the same interests. Good equipment.”


What will we cover?

- Advantages and disadvantages of lighting
- Exposure
- Backgrounds
- Flash, tungsten, fluorescent & LED lighting
- Light shapers, contrast control and reflectors
- Portraiture
- Still life (object) photography
- Controlling the colour of light and controlling the colour of your images
- Mixing studio flash and daylight to control background exposure and image contrast.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Use a hand held light meter
- Begin to use some of the creative possibilities that control of light allows
- Control the level of contrast desired by the use of lights, reflectors and light shapers.
- Use both “soft” and “hard” lighting
- Analyse images, recognise how they are lit and begin the journey of developing a style of lighting in your own practice.
- Create high quality portraits
- Photograph still life objects lit by flash, tungsten and “cold” lighting
- Use tethered capture (capturing digital images directly to a computer)
- Begin to mix different sources of light together. eg daylight and flash.

What previous students have achieved on this course:
“I’ve learned to work with flash and tungsten lighting, become comfortable using light meters and other equipment. I feel more comfortable suing lighting in my job.” MM

“Got a good overview of different lighting options and learnt enough to use outside of the course.” TW

“Speedlights, softboxes, studio lights / flash with model.” CR


What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This intensive course is for beginners in photographic studio practice and lighting but you will be shooting using the manual settings of your camera. A refresher will be provided in the use of the camera settings but it is not designed for beginners in photography.

You should be able to follow written and verbal instructions, hand-outs and health and safety information and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught with demonstrations, short lectures, image reviews, handouts and small group practical exercises, during which you will receive individual and group support. Please note the City Lit uses Apple Mac computers in the Photography department.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring your camera (if you have one) to the classes and you may wish to bring a notebook and pen. You will also probably wish to bring in objects to photograph and possibly your own backgrounds. The City Lit has a range of Digital SLR cameras, tripods and lenses which you are welcome to use during the hours of the class. It would be useful to bring a memory stick (or portable hard drive – please note: PC formatted hard drives can be read by Apple mac computers, but not written to.)

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The City lit has a vast range of practical and theoretical photography courses.
You can download a PDF of all the Photography courses on offer at:, search on the web site or request a printed prospectus from the City Lit home page.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

It's an excellent introduction into learning about light.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 05/07/2019)
100% do it, it's so worth the money and you learn so much in such a short period of time.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 23/03/2019)
I thought this course was an excellent introduction to the studio lighting. The tutor helped us understand both the technical and creative aspects of using different lighting set ups and provided practical demonstrations on how the set ups worked, and how to build different lighting scenarios to create different effects. The resources were great can easily be used independently outside the class room. Importantly, we also covered the health and safety aspects of using lighting. Excellent tutor.
Course Rating
Review by Vanita / (Posted on 14/05/2018)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VY874

Please choose a course date 

Tue, day, 17 Sep - 22 Oct '19

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Full fee: £249.00
Senior fee: £249.00
Concession: £152.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.