Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Photographic Direction

Photographic Direction
Second semester
Film Creation
Dirección de fotografía
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Teaching staff

Appointment: Micaela Ruiz Vicente



Director of Photography is a subject of 3 ECTS credits is given during the second half of the third year of the degree in Audiovisual Communication.

For over a hundred years photochemical support has been the only instrument capable of capturing light and shadow to turn them into visual language showing ideas and emotions in film. We are at a time when new digital media directly compete with the quality and efficiency of negative film, questioning not only its supremacy in the industry, but also their own survival.

Aware of this reality, the subject of Cinematography is geared towards practical knowledge and special stress upon new digital processes of film photography and how these affect both the narrative of history as the production process is made film.

Pre-course requirements

No specific prerequisites are required.


The main objective of the course will acquire the basic knowledge necessary to meet the photographic work of an audiovisual work of fiction.

This knowledge will cover the three basic phases of an audiovisual fiction (pre-production, production -rodaje itself- and postproduction).

In parallel with the primary objectives mentioned, it will seek to raise awareness of the importance of photography as a direct means of expression for the viewer.

Photography is the first practical tool of cinema. With its domain, the film, you may grant power of enormous influence on the viewer.
Sensitize the student a COAS is to see and another is to look, giving a visual awareness practice on film frame, giving the basics so you can dominate them and implement them in their work.


  • 01 - The ability to adapt to varying circumstances
  • 02 - The ability to understand, accept criticism and correct errors
  • 04 - The ability to work in a team and autonomously
  • 05 - The ability to organise time and workspace
  • 06 - The ability to develop academic rigour, responsibility, ethics and professionalism
  • 07 - The ability to apply the deontology and respect for the audiovisual sector
  • 08 - The ability of critical analysis, synthesis, concretion and abstraction
  • 10 - The ability to confront difficulties and resolve problems
  • 12 - The ability to meet deadlines, develop the ability to be punctual and respect for human, technical and material resources
  • 21 - Knowledge and mastery of the digital culture
  • 24 - The ability to plan and organize both short term and long term projects
  • 25 - The ability to maximize creative development
  • 26 - The ability to develop a sense of taste and perfection in the aesthetics and finalization of projects
  • 32 - The ability to confront audiovisual and film projects in all phases (pre-production, shooting, post-production, distribution)
  • 33 - The ability to create and direct.
  • 34 - The ability to know and respect the different roles of the artistic and technical teams
  • 42 - The ability to distinguish, analyze and dominate the distinct genres and formats of television, film and radio
  • 44 - The ability to adapt to new audiovisual formats
  • 45 - The ability to know and dominate the techniques of audiovisual narrative.
  • 46 - The ability to dominate resources used for image (Photographs, lighting...) and sound.
  • 47 - The ability to understand and run digital retouching tools, special effects, postproduction and graphics design
  • 48 - Knowledge and mastery of the techniques of filming, directing, producing and editing
  • 50 - The ability to adapt, understand and apply the expressive possibilities of new technologies and future changes
  • 51 - Knowledge and mastery of the functioning of Corporate and Institutional Communication.
  • 52 - The ability to apply audiovisual knowledge and techniques for commercial purposes in any form
  • 53 - Lingustic ability in Catalan, Spanish and English
  • 54 - The ability to skillfully manage the literature, terminology and linguistic structures of the English language related to the field of communication.

Learning outcomes

The intended result is the acquisition of knowledge and minimum criteria for a basis on which the initial development of the characteristics of a Director of Photography professional tasks asserted, and / or facilitate professional communication with these, in the case the student will side with any of the other own specialties industry (management, production, art direction, etc.)


Agenda 1. Presentation
The human eye / photography / cinema

Camera Basics
Speed / stopper
T / stop
EV / exposure

2. Fundamentals of optics A
Types of optical (Fixed vs. Zooms)

The diaphragm. (Geometrical - practical)
Circle of confusion Focus / depth of field
Definition / sharpness
Aberrations: spherical, chromatic, etc.

3. The language of optical

Optical and framing
Optical perspective
Space compression
Manipulation of perspective
Selective focus

A control image
The aspect ratio
Display Formats

Picture Control B
Blurriness in low speed
Angle shutter
Lapse of time

4. Exposure
Light as energy
F / stop
Exposure, ISO and relationships lighting
ISO speeds
Determine the exposure
Tools (Photometer / incident / REFLECTED)
Exposure and camera

5. The zone system
Why 18%?
Positioning and Fall

6. The lighting tools
Types of projectors available in the market
HMI, tungsten, fluorescent corrected ....

Exposure and lighting relations
Distance from the light source
Law of inverse square law of cosines
aid applications

7. Color Control
Color temperature (Conversion, balance, correction)
Color meters
Mired / filters
Color balance of the film

The balance of light

Tungsten to daylight
fluorescent lighting


8. Election: Film or video (celluloid vs HD / Digital Film)
Pros and cons of each bracket. Elements to take into consideration to choose the most appropriate according to the requirements of the project and workflow.

CINE (65mm, 35mm, S16mm, S8mm film rolls)
Arriflex, Panavision, Aaton, Bolex ...

DIGITAL CINEMA (Arri Alexa, EPIC, BlacMagic)

9. Work on the set
Responsibilities first operator (Dir. Photo)
Relations Director
Relations Assistant Director
Meetings with the director (12 topics)
photographic reading the script / Planning same should be attributed
Meetings with other team leaders (topics)

10. Locations
Factors to consider when making the choice
descriptive pictures
Photos exhibition / Leikas / Slide / digital (kodak look manager)
Material needed to locate
Plant locations
Study location
Material used (tools / software)
Camera placement (narrative implications of the choice of the position and optics)
high key / low key
Raccord light / light shafts / keys light Continuity
Camera movements and lighting support
(Complete Lighting Scenarios)


11. Relationship between photography and other departments.
Artistic direction
Locker room

The camera equipment
Camera assistant
Assistant camera
other Units

Teaching and learning activities

In person

Coaching. Monitoring how students learn the content of the subject, either individually or in groups. In the coaching sessions, mistakes will be corrected, queries answered, and exercises and activities to achieve the established objectives will be suggested.
Meeting Point. Meetings will be organised with notable people from the professional and scientific fields or the international field, and students. These sessions will take the form of conferences, work sessions, discussions, or interviews, etc.
Practical workshop. A highly practical working activity, where students can acquire skills that are practical or also theoretical (intellectual skills, logical skills, critical skills, intellectual learning skills, study skills, quoting skills, etc).
Lab. Working groups that combine theory and practice. The aim of these is not to undertake already known techniques, but instead to make progress that is both theoretical and technical. These Lab sessions will culminate in the creation of a professional or semi-professional product.
Lectures. In lectures, lecturers/professors not only transmit content or knowledge, but also, and above all else, attitudes, motivation, skills and values, etc. They also ensure that participants can express their opinions and arguments to the other students.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

Personal aspects such as the knowledge acquired will be valued; with particular emphasis on the ability of teamwork.

Under these terms will be evaluated as follows:

-Punctuality (Tied to attendance): 15% of the final grade

-Attitude (Initiative / share): 15% of the final grade

Individual practical -work: 20% of the final grade

I work in practical group: 20% of the final grade

-Review End: 30% of the final grade


-if Suspend (or no show) 1st concocatoria, should do practical work for the 2nd. A photographic StoryBoard of at least 30 images.