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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn to use light and lighting equipment to take better photos.

Knowing how to use light is a key element of photographic success.

This course develops your understanding of light in photography and how to use different lighting equipment and techniques to achieve desired effects in a final image.

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Study Photographic lighting equipment and techniques

  • Understand the nature of light
  • Natural and artificial light
  • Apply this knowledge to photography

Duration:        100 Hours (you study at your own pace).

Learn to use light and lighting equipment to take better photos.

" I have never found the staff at any other learning institution as supportive as the staff at ACS. This gives one a lot of peace of mind and confidence to go on - at every squeak from my side, you guys have always been there, immediately to sort me out. The feedback on my lessons has always been really good and meaningful and an important source of my learning. Thanks!..."
- Student with ACS



There are eight lessons in this module as follows:

1.         Light Characteristics and Lighting Concepts

2.         Light Sources – continuous and flash

3.         Meters and Filters

4.         Other Equipment for Lighting

5.         Contrast and Composition

6.         The Zone System

7.         Studio Lighting

8.         On-Location Lighting

  • Discuss the scope and nature of lighting as relevant to photography.
  • Describe how different light sources will affect different images in varying ways.
  • Describe how different filters can be used to create different lighting effects.
  • Identify the differences between different types of light meters.
  • Describe the range of equipment which can be used to help achieve more desirable light conditions for photography.
  • Explain contrast and how to compensate for imperfect light conditions.
  • Explain how to use tone to create the desired final image.
  • Distinguish between utilisation of light in a studio and on location.


This course involves far more than just reading and answering questions. Below are some of the activities you will do as part of your study:

  • Investigate different film types with respect to suitability for different light conditions
  • Set up and use a “Computation Folder”
  • Shoot photos of different subjects under a variety of light conditions
  • Apply the zone system to different situations
  • Analyse the lighting effects in various photos
  • Research the characteristics and uses of different types of equipment
Understanding Light is A Key Part of Being a Good Photographer 
Light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The electromagnetic spectrum is a representation band of all the electromagnetic waves, arranged based on their wavelength and frequencies. The spectrum starts with radio waves which have the lowest frequency, all the way up to gamma rays which have the highest frequency.

We are not able to see all the waves on the electromagnetic spectrum; in fact, only a small portion of the waves represented on the spectrum can be seen by humans. This band is called ‘the visible light spectrum’.

Visible light is made of several component lights. If you place a prism in front of white light such as light from the sun or light from a lamp for example, the prism will break up white light into 7 component colours which are known as the colours of the. Seven component colours are:
  1. Red
  2. Orange
  3. Yellow
  4. Green
  5. Blue
  6. Indigo
  7. Violet
Each of these colours has a different wavelength and a different frequency, and for this reason, these are sometimes represented in a separate spectrum called ‘the visible light spectrum’ and of course we see white light too.

Natural Light

Natural light can vary throughout the day, through the seasons, and differ in various locations. The colour of the light may be warm (with a predominance of red), or cold (with a high proportion of blue or green), the sun may be high in the sky (casting short shadows), or low on the horizon (casting long shadows); or there may be no shadows due to clouds, rain, fog, mist.

The effect of back lighting and top lighting using existing natural light can have dramatic effects. To assess the light situation, it is important to look at the site both through your eyes and the lens.

The viewpoint is also related to light. Scenery may be dull from one standing point, but may dramatically alter if the camera is moved a few metres left or right. The shadows, the light reflections, the highlights may make the new viewpoint better.

Natural reflective light needs consideration. Light bouncing from coloured or plain walls, tiles, floors, etc. will impact on the colour tones of the items to be photographed.

Are these colour modifications a benefit or disadvantage? The photographer may need to shield some of these reflective lights or might increase them.

Artificial Light 

Artificial light can be more complicated at times than natural light; but in other respects, it can be controllable, and for a photographer who understands light, that can be a big advantage.
This course is all about building your understanding of light, and how to work with it for better photography.





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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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Meet some of our academics

Kara WightKara Wight - Animal Scientist, Photographer and Business woman. BSc (Applied Bioscience and Zoology), HND (Animal Care), HND (Photography & Imaging) Kara gained an HND in Animal Care and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Bioscience and Zoology. She has a wide range of experience working with animals such dogs, small pets, birds, zoo animals, British wildlife and reptiles. Kara gained this experience working within animal parks, canine rescue centres and a wildlife hospital. She also managed an animal care training facility for a college. At this training facility she instructed and lectured students within Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing from National Certificate level to Higher National Diploma levels. Kara also gained an HND in Photography and Imaging and has 5 years’ experience within this sector. She ran a small portraiture and wedding photography business and also exhibited work in art exhibitions. Kara gained more experience photographing sporting and festival events. Kara currently runs a pet care and training business in the UK and also has entry to undertake her MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law this academic year.
John MasonWriter, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Christine ToddUniversity lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social). An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.

Check out our eBooks

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LeadershipWhat makes a good leader? Is it an innate personality trait or a skill that can be acquired? This book is an excellent guide to the theories and practice of leadership. It is full of interesting facts about social dynamics and examples of leadership styles. For those who are curious or in need of some leadership skills, this book will provide both entertainment and advice.
Photographic TechniquesExplore how to take better photos. This is a book packed full of practical tips, from the authors own experience, coupled with a solid introduction to well established and widely practiced photographic techniques. This is a well illustrated, excellent reference for students of photography; and an equally useful source of inspiration to the amateur photographer.
ManagementManagement is the process of planning, organising, leading, and controlling an organisation’s human and other resources to achieve business goals. More importantly though, effective management needs to be a process of human interaction and compassion. Most bad managers don’t know they are bad. They may well admit that they are a bit erratic, or they are sometimes late to appointments, but it is rare that they will recognise that they are ineffective as managers. Never here. This book has something to offer even the best of managers.