Lighting for Televised Live Events

Lucia Micarelli

“Lighting for Televised Live Events” will explore the techniques, science and art of designing lighting for live events and entertainment that otherwise would be a standard presentation—usually with an audience in attendance—except for the presence of television cameras that will capture the performance for broadcast on a TV or cable network, streaming on the internet, or perhaps to improve the overall quality of live camera shots on IMAG video screens. Those cameras change the game.

As with ALL Studio School of Design ONLINE Courses, each session will be videotaped and shared with participants for a limited time in case you can not attend a specific session. 

Studio School Courses are open to participants from around the world. 

This course will meet for 5 sessions on Saturdays from February 19 – March 19, from 12pm – 3pm EST UTC -5 (EDT)

This course is designed for, but not limited to, working theatrical lighting designers looking for more understanding of lighting live events for the camera.

Program Facilitator(s):

Jeff Ravitz

More Information:

The course is based on the understanding that the sensor, or “eye” of the camera, perceives light and color much differently than the human eye, and therefore, requires a special approach to make a live event look its best to the viewership of, potentially, millions that will see it on a TV, computer or other device.

Even more than the simple limitations of the camera versus the eye, there is an aesthetic difference in the way an event is presented to the television viewer than it is to the live audience. This must be taken into consideration when making lighting design decisions for a live event that will be seen on a screen by viewers who cannot see the live version in the venue.  We will examine that topic.

The course, which draws heavily from the book, Lighting for Televised Live Events: Making Your Live Production Look Great for the Eye and the Camera, by Jeff Ravitz and James Moody, will probe into the basic technical needs of the camera and will quickly progress to subjects that include:

  • Exposure
  • Color
  • Angle
  • Visual balance and composition
  • Design decisions
  • Case studies of real productions

This is not a video engineering course, but attendees will learn how to interface with the video engineers on a production to coordinate together on the television image.

This course will give the student an understanding of the basic science of television cameras and associated equipment, with an ultimate emphasis on using that knowledge in order to design lighting that works for the camera both technically and artistically.

The course instruction presumes a fundamental familiarity with stage lighting techniques and procedures.

The aim of the class is to give participants an understanding of the techniques, concepts, philosophies, and terminology that professionals employ on large and small projects. It will introduce the students to the working environment of live television lighting, to be better prepared to help and collaborate with an incoming video team, or to adapt or design a show for broadcast themselves. Regardless, this course is a good first step on the journey.

Guest practitioners will join in the discussions.


CLASS 1: SATURDAY February 19, 2022 12pm – 3pm EST UTC -5

  • Introduction to the art, science and philosophies of lighting for the camera
  • Exploration of exposure, metering of light levels, contrast and dynamic range
  • Interactive discussions.

CLASS 2: SATURDAY February 26, 2022 12pm – 3pm EST UTC -5

  • The importance of balancing lighting levels.
  • Color, color temperature, color correction, metering demonstrations of correcting follow spots and automated lights.
  • A discussion of color fidelity and CRI, TM-30, CQS and TLCI.
  • Interactive discussions.

CLASS 3: SATURDAY March 5, 2022 12pm – 3pm EST UTC -5

  • A review of angles in lighting.
  • The art of composition to create a “complete” picture.
  • Understanding depth of field.
  • Examination of the aesthetics of varied styles of lighting for different types of shows and events.
  • Interactive discussions.

CLASS 4: SATURDAY March 12, 2022 12pm – 3pm EST UTC -5

The Production:

  • Design process, case histories, adapting an existing stage lighting design for television vs designing a television show from scratch.
  • Dealing with IMAG screens.
  • Audience lighting.
  • Lighting architectural elements.
  • Interactive discussions.

CLASS 5: March 26, 2022 12pm – 3pm EST UTC -5

The Production, continued:

  • Cuing the show.
  • The control room and TV truck.
  • The cast of characters that put together a television show and how to collaborate with them.
  • More case histories.
  • Overall review and interactive discussions.

Some classes may have subjects spill over to the following class to be sure we cover topics in their entirety.

Students will be asked to experiment, between class sessions, with specific techniques to gain a practical sense of the science and art of lighting for the camera. We will review and discuss those practical experiences.

Scholarship support for this course has been made possible by donations from generous supporters of the Studio School of Design. Please become a supporter today to help us continue to achieve our community’s mission to make our profession stronger through knowledge, access and belonging.

Register HERE

Program Facilitator(s)

Jeff Ravitz

Kevin Lawson

Kevin Lawson

Guest Speaker.