You are here

David Waldman – Film and Electronic Arts – Lighting - Online Course

Earlier this month, David Waldman, a professional cinematographer and instructor for the Film and Electronic Arts Department, teaches Lighting for the Camera. The course is offered in the Spring semester for third year undergrads in the narrative production option in FEA.  The goal of the class is the examination of basic aesthetic and technical principles of lighting. Students explore various creative lighting styles and techniques through lectures and practical exercises.  

This is an example of the materials and setup that was utilized for the photography:

Photography setup

Photograph of a vase

David explained one of the lessons that he transitioned from the traditional classroom to online learning:

“Each semester, I teach a lesson on making lighting choices based on the texture and surface reflectance of the object being filmed.  We usually do this exercise on a stage with studio lighting and professional grade cameras, and often times, use models to demonstrate different types of skin reflectance. With everyone in isolation, I decided to use food items and other objects from my kitchen to demonstrate the same lessons without human faces, and to shoot on my phone. After an online discussion of all objects, I showed them how I had lit them. I used a work light from my garage and (clean) “garbage” to shape the light. The “garbage” consisted of aluminum foil, takeout containers, used posterboard, and a broken bin my daughter used for paint brushes. These were all used to shape the light on the object we were shooting. After my demo, I gave them the assignment to go find two objects in their homes, and “garbage light” them with the goal of revealing surface texture. It was really fun!"

"And a couple of my students’ projects- all shot on phones with no image manipulation except conversion to black and white, lights found in their homes and “garbage" to shape and manipulate the light":

Student Work

Shruthi Anand


Student Work

Zoë Thomson


Student Work

Suri Rosete


Student Work

Aura Rico