What Schools Really Do


I am midway through a new semester at Brooks Institute teaching a new class at the Ventura campus. Called Digital Color Workflow, the class is divided into three parts; Photoshop color and toning correction, conversion to and understanding of CMYK color theory and it all comes together as students then design their own promo piece for a print run at Ventura Printing. The class is well thought out and rigorous in it’s application of the theories and practices of color management, calibration, profiling, color correction and printing. Some students find they like this aspect of photography so much they begin to gravitate towards a career in the printing industry.

Which brings me to my point. Even though Brooks is a photography, film and graphic design school, the curriculum is very broad and deep. Students are exposed to so many aspects of the photography, film and graphic design fields that some move on to related fields after being exposed to a particular topic in school. I’ve had professional photography students come to the Ventura campus to switch to graphic design, some of my photo journalism students leave and go to the professional photography program in Santa Barbara. More than one film student has switched programs too. Some even leave us to pursue other fields because they found out photography/film/graphic design as a career isn’t for them. And that’s OK. As a school we’ve helped them find themselves, after all they’re going to be adults a lot longer then they’re going to be kids. It’s our job to help them in as many ways as we can. When a student leaves feeling confident and fulfilled, we’ve done our jobs well.

I’ve brought this approach to every place I’ve taught and the emails from students who have long since passed through my classroom have validated this approach to vocational education.

Michael Stern

My work depicts, appreciates and honors the people who build. Their specialized equipment and stunning challenges are marvels I behold and get paid to interpret. Hope you enjoy this site.

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