Lens-based and light-based media (photography, film, video, etc.)

Lens-based and light-based media (photography, film, video, etc.)

Lens-Based Media

  • Photography: The art or practice of using a camera to capture moments in time. It involves understanding the fundamental concepts of composition, lighting, and subject matter.
    • Film photography: Relying on a physical film to record the image. It requires knowledge about various film types and their effects on the final picture.
    • Digital photography: Utilises electronic sensors to capture images. Both require an understanding of technical aspects like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and white balance.

Light-Based Media

  • Film: An artistic medium made up of moving images. It incorporates many individual frames and dynamic elements, such as motion and time.
    • Cinematography: The science or art of motion-picture photography, capturing visual storytelling elements in the context of filmmaking. Involves an understanding of camera angles, shot types, lighting, and sometimes, colour grading.
    • Stop-motion animation: A technique that physically manipulates an object to appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, thereby creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a sequence.
  • Video: The technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.
    • Video Art: An art form which relies on moving pictures and is comprised of video and/or audio data. Often combined with other media and is multi-disciplinary.

Understanding Techniques and Technologies

  • For any lens or light-based media, it is important to understand the role of light. Its quality, direction, and intensity can dramatically alter the mood and message of a piece.
  • Understanding equipment and technical settings is crucial. Different cameras, film, lenses, and software will all have varying capabilities and effects on the outcome.
  • Knowledge of software applications, for editing and enhancing these pieces, can help manipulate visual elements to convey desired messages. Understanding of software like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro is extremely advantageous.

Critical Appreciation

  • As well as producing works using these techniques, being able to analyse and critique works by others is crucial to broadening your understanding and developing a personal voice.
  • Contextual studies of notable film-makers, photographers etc. and their works, techniques, influences, provides greater depth in conceptual understanding and practical application.


  • For all these media types, it’s important to consider ethical considerations of your work. This can include issues such as privacy, appropriation, representation and the cultural and social impact of your work.

Experimental Techniques

  • Experimentation is crucial to developing an artistic voice and finding new ways to push boundaries in art. This could involve using experimental techniques such as double exposure in photography, non-linear narratives in film, or using unusual materials and processes in video art.

Remember, the key to excelling in the technical sides of fine art is to constantly keep exploring, experimenting and creating. Always seek to broaden your knowledge on the different tools and techniques and take inspiration from the professionals but also don’t be afraid to break the rules and create something completely new.