Introduction to Photography: Week 4- Lighting in Photography Lesson Plan by ChatGPT

Introduction to Photography: Week 4- Lighting in Photography Lesson Plan by ChatGPT


Photography is the passion that guides my life.  I am a self-taught photographer, and I have been using Nikon DSLRs and Mirrorless camera since 2008. 

I wanted to up my photography game, but I didn’t have the time or money to head back to school. Instead I asked ChatGPT to create a course plan for a self-directed AI “degree” in photography. 

The results were amazingly detailed, so I decided to dive in, follow the AI-generated lesson plans and document my progress on my blog

My name is Lauren McDonagh-Pereira. I am a photographerartist, art collector, and web3 blogger. I am passionate in emerging technologies and how they can be used to enhance our lives. 

Continue past the jump to read the lesson plan for Week 4 of the ChatGPT-generated course, Introduction to Photography


A red stop sign against a blue sky, with a red rocks on either side
ⓒ Lauren McDonagh-Pereira Photography 2013

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Why Is AI Beneficial?

In the ever-evolving realm of photography, the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has brought about significant transformations. Aspiring photographers and enthusiasts now have access to a groundbreaking educational tool—AI-generated lessons that provide valuable insights and guidance in the captivating world of photography. Today, we explore the question on everyone’s mind: Why is AI beneficial in the context of photography?

AI has demonstrated its incredible potential to revolutionize various industries, and photography is no exception. By harnessing the power of AI algorithms, cutting-edge learning models can generate comprehensive and insightful lessons on a wide range of photography topics. This groundbreaking development opens up a world of possibilities, empowering both beginners and seasoned photographers to enhance their skills, expand their knowledge, and unlock their creative potential.

So, what makes AI-generated lessons truly beneficial? Let’s delve into the advantages that this innovative approach brings to the table.

  1. Unparalleled Expertise: AI-generated lessons leverage vast amounts of data and knowledge from expert photographers, industry professionals, and renowned resources. This amalgamation of expertise ensures that the lessons are backed by comprehensive and up-to-date information, offering learners the opportunity to tap into a wealth of knowledge and insights.

  2. Personalized Learning: AI algorithms have the remarkable ability to adapt to individual learners’ needs and preferences. Through intelligent analysis of user interactions, AI-generated lessons can dynamically tailor the content to suit the learner’s skill level, areas of interest, and pace of learning. This personalized approach fosters a more engaging and effective learning experience, enabling photographers to progress at their own pace and focus on areas that require attention.

  3. Real-time Feedback and Guidance: One of the most significant advantages of AI-generated lessons is the provision of real-time feedback and guidance. By analyzing learners’ work, AI algorithms can provide instant critiques, identify areas for improvement, and suggest specific techniques to enhance their photography skills. This timely feedback loop facilitates continuous growth and accelerates the learning process, saving valuable time and effort.

  4. Enhanced Creativity: AI-generated lessons go beyond technical aspects and explore the realm of creativity in photography. By examining vast collections of inspiring images and analyzing artistic principles, these lessons can offer unique insights into composition, visual storytelling, and innovative techniques. This fusion of AI-driven analysis and artistic exploration fuels the creative spark within photographers, empowering them to capture captivating and memorable photographs.

  5. Accessible Learning: AI-generated lessons eliminate geographical and logistical barriers, making high-quality photography education accessible to individuals across the globe. Whether you’re in a remote corner of the world or a bustling city, these lessons provide a virtual classroom experience that transcends boundaries, connecting learners with valuable resources and guidance from anywhere, at any time.

The marriage of AI and photography education holds tremendous promise for photographers at all levels. By embracing AI-generated lessons, learners can embark on a transformative journey, honing their skills, unleashing their creativity, and reaching new heights in their photographic pursuits.

So, let’s jump in and see what ChatGPT thinks are the most important elements of a lesson on lighting in photography.  

A sexy blonde cartoon woman is holding a camera.
Created by Lauren McDonagh-Pereira using Midjourney AI

Week 4: Lighting in Photography

Week 4: Lighting in Photography

Duration: 3 hours

Lecture Outline:

  • Recap of Week 3: Review the rule of thirds and other compositional guidelines. Discuss the importance of visual elements in creating visually engaging photographs.
  • Lighting in Photography:
    • Importance of lighting in photography and its impact on the mood, atmosphere, and overall quality of an image.
    •  Natural Light Photography Techniques:
    •  Understanding the different qualities of natural light: harsh light, soft light, golden hour, etc.
    • Tips for utilizing natural light effectively in various shooting situations.
  •  Introduction to Artificial Lighting:
    •  On-camera flash: Understanding the basics, flash modes, and modifiers.
    • Off-camera flash: Exploring the creative possibilities and techniques for using external flashes.
    • Practical Exercise: Capturing Different Lighting Scenarios:
    • Students will work in pairs or small groups.
    • Each group will be assigned a specific lighting scenario (e.g., direct sunlight, window light, artificial indoor lighting) to capture photographs.
    • Encourage experimentation with different lighting angles, modifiers, and compositions.
    • Emphasize the importance of understanding and adapting to the characteristics of each lighting situation.

Discussion Topics:

  • The Role of Lighting in Photography:
    • How does lighting contribute to the mood, narrative, or visual impact of a photograph?
    •  Share examples of photographs that effectively use different lighting techniques.
  • Challenges and Tips for Working with Natural Light:
    •  Discuss the advantages and challenges of working with natural light in outdoor and indoor settings.
    • Share tips and techniques for finding and utilizing natural light effectively.
  • Exploring Artificial Lighting:
    •  What are the advantages of using artificial lighting in photography?
    •  Share examples of photographs that demonstrate the creative use of artificial lighting.

Practical Exercise:

  • Capturing Different Lighting Scenarios:
    •  Instruct students to bring their cameras and any available lighting equipment (e.g., flashes, reflectors).
    •  Assign each group a specific lighting scenario (e.g., direct sunlight, window light, artificial indoor lighting).
    •  Students will have a designated time to capture photographs in their assigned lighting scenario.
    •  Encourage experimentation with composition, angles, and lighting techniques.
    •  After the exercise, allow students to share and discuss their photographs within their groups, highlighting the challenges and successes they encountered.

Reading Assignment:

Note: Remind students to bring their cameras and any available lighting equipment for the practical exercise.


Adapt the lesson plan to suit your teaching style, the available resources, and the needs of your students. Encourage creativity and exploration as students delve into the fascinating world of lighting in photography!

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© Lauren McDonagh-Pereira Photography

My Plan

I will read the assigned reading, find YouTube videos that explain each of the concepts outlined in the Lesson Plan above, and I will answer each of the questions from my perspective as a short-answer posted to Twitter so that you can join in on the conversation. 

When I have completed these tasks I will post a link to my experience and resources here. 

Be sure to join the NFTWITHLAUREN.COM mailing list so that you can follow along with my progress. 


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Lauren McDonagh-Pereira

More to explore

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MEET Lauren McDonagh-Pereira

Lauren McDonagh-Pereira is a photographer from Massachusetts, USA. She captures the beauty of the world around her, favoring Nikon cameras and lenses. She is drawn to shooting landscapes, wildlife, nature, and people authentically enjoying life.