Tag Archives: Brooks

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.

Brooks Institute

Winery in Hunter Valley, Australia

Winery in Hunter Valley, Australia

I was asked to teach PHO205, the intermediate location lighting class for the Visual Journalism program at Brooks Institutes’ Ventura campus. I taught continuously from May, 2003 until the end of February of 2008. Low enrollment numbers meant some adjunct faculty were not offered classes to teach.

Originally hired as the Photoshop Guru for the Ventura campus, my duties evolved into working with lower division students to help them understand in-camera reflective metering, color temperature theory, additive and subtractive color theory, ttl flash and manual flash. And of course a bit of Photoshop here and there.

I figured the time off would give me time to finish my book, redo my website start this blog and rebuild my Los Angeles based business. Which it did. I also hooked up with studioarts.com as one of their Photoshop experts. Life is good. The world isn’t so hot.

I’m fortunate to have what I have and continue to appreciate my life in new ways. In addition to running the PHO205 class again in Ventura, I am also sitting in on a class in Santa Barbara. Called Digital Fusion it is about digital color correction, color management and CMYK conversions and printing. At the end of the course each student will end up with 700 high-end professional promo pieces of their own design.

How cool it that? There may be room on the press for yours truly to get in on the action. Say what you will about Brooks but I like the place. I am well compensated for my efforts, some good people work there and of course the students. The best is receiving unsolicited emails from past students who have embraced the lessons of my classes and applied them successfully. Getting hugs from grateful current students and phone calls asking for help always make it a great day for me.

Glad to be back.