Photography: Theory and Practice

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Photography: Theory and Practice

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    It is required:
    - Basic knowledge of camera exposure and camera parts and functions

    It is recommended:
    - Own DSLR camera with different focal lengths
    - Lightroom Software

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    1. Skills and abilities to distinguish minimum technical requirements for optimal capture a still image, and what tools and accessories to get a picture with a certain aesthetic or visual effect.

    2. Ability to capture an image with the correct exposure in different lighting conditions and according to a certain aesthetic criteria.

    3. Ability to address and resolve photographic work in different professional contexts: journalism photography, advertising photography, cinematography.


    The standard and the additional equipment according the needs and budget: macro, stereoscopic 3D, etc.. Influence of technology on the  aesthetic and visual representation.

    Review of the exposure control and impact on the aesthetic of the image.
    Exposure exercises.

    Nature of Light and the photography lighting equipment. Techniques and styles of indoor and outdoor lighting.
    Lighting exercises.

    Composition rules. Composition Exercises.

    Photo editing and retouching tools. Publishing tools and tips to publish photos.
    Image editing, photo retouching and publishing exercises.



    1. Theoretical lessons

    Basic theoretical notions about the art and practice of photography and its various forms of expression. Skills 1 and 2 (0.75 ECTS).

    2. Practical sessions

    Photography Workshop. Perform of digital photographic exercices. Skills 1 y 2 (0,75 ECTS).

    3. Student work

    Study of teoric and practic contents and realization of a photographic practice. Skill 4 (1,5 ECTS).



    Continuous assessment system based on the development and delivery of work in due time and form, as well as class participation and assessment exercises given by the teacher (up to 60% of final mark). Those students who have not been eligible for continuous evaluation system will have the right to the final exam or to the examination of the extraordinary exam if necessary.
    Practice: up to 60% of the total grade.
    The student's active participation in the practical and theoretical classes will be assessed for the purpose of improving the overall grade.
    - Lectures
    Lectures to acquire basic knowledge about technology and art of the photographic image (1 ECTS).
    - Practical classes
    Resolution of case studies applying theoretical concepts. Face the challenges of photography technology. (1 ECTS).
    - Student Work
    Individual practices about different topics covered in the programme, and one practice about a free topic, including the public presentation of the work. (1 ECTS).

    • % end-of-term-examination 40

    • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 60



    Langford, M.. Basic Photography (7th ed.). Elsevier/Focal Press. . 2000

    Electronic Resources *

    Armenteros, M. · Composición Digital :

    Armenteros, M. & Cuevas, J. · La película cinematográfica :

    Brown, Blain. Motion Picture and Video Lighting. Elsevier/Focal Press. 2008

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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