Introduction to the Studio

Introduction to the Studio


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For the novice or experienced photographer intending to learn or refresh their knowledge with lighting systems and studio techniques for portrait and tabletop still-life work

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This is an introductory course for the novice or experienced photographer who would like to learn or refresh their knowledge with various lighting systems and studio techniques for portrait and tabletop still-life work.  Students will explore hard and soft lighting, set up a tabletop or portrait sitting.  This subject is the foundation for all other studio-based units.

This course can be undertaken entirely digitally, on film, or with a combination of the two.*

Topics covered

  • Studio Equipment

  • Copy work

  • Lighting a 3-D object, dull

  • Lighting a 3-D object, shiny

  • Basic portrait lighting

  • Lighting ratios

  • Lighting for:

  • Shape

  • Form

  • Texture

  • Chiaroscuro

  • Evanescence

Mark Spaven teaches this subject and says

“Anyone interested in improving their photographic technique should do this course. By the end of it you’ll realise that you can set up your ‘studio’ anywhere. You’ll have the confidence to understand just how you can shape light and shadows in any location using equipment as simple as reflectors.

What’s always excited me about this subject is that students realise that even location shooting requires a confidence about working with light; this subject is perfect for developing your knowledge and vision with any form of light control whether it’s artificial or natural.”

Important Dates

Please view the calendar for key dates at the CCP.

Fee By Instalment

To make paying for your course easier, fee by instalment is available. Click here to arrange your fee by instalment plan online or call the CCP on 08 8354 0839

Early Enrolment Discount

A $40 discount applies if full payment is made before the Term Census Date. This discount will already be applied to the online price, and flagged as on "sale".

Class Prerequisites

  • Introduction to Photography

  • Introduction to Darkroom (optional)

  • Camera 1 would be helpful but not necessary


9 weeks, 3 hours per class. Students should expect to do an extra 6 hours a week of their own work.

Required Materials

  • Digital SLR camera

  • Film camera with manual controls (optional)

  • All chemistry and consumables are supplied, but students will supply their own film and paper.

*While shooting the final assessment images on film is no longer mandatory, it is still recommended as an "aspirational goal". The workflow of shooting on film is different to digital - it isn't possible to "cheat" and check the LCD screen or histogram. This engenders a mindset of always double-checking settings, and deeply embeds all you will learn this term about lighting ratios and how your camera sees.

If you want to shoot with film but don't yet have darkroom skills, there are a few options:
- Undertake a Crash Course Darkroom workshop
- Enrol in Intro to Darkroom before Intro to Studio
- Outsource your film processing & printing
- Re-shoot the studio assignment later, after you have undertaken Introduction to the Darkroom

As always, please feel welcome to discuss your options and aspirations with CCP staff.