Rich, I do hang out on the old guys site sometimes!
Wiscokid, the school I'm at is called Brooks Institute of Photography. There are several schools that have very strong photo programs:
(in no specific order)
- Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, CA
- Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
- Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
- Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
I looked at all four schools in person before settling on Brooks. Art Center and RISD were much more heavily focused on design (composition, color theory) and light on the technical aspect. Brooks and RIT are more heavy on the technical side (lighting, using any camera from a 35mm on up to 8x10 view cameras and digital scan backs, etc). I'm sort of more of a gearhead so I like the tech side of things...not that a tech heavy school is better than a design heavy school. So, my choice was between living in cold, bleak New England, or living in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA.
I've been here for about two years. My school runs year-round, 6 two-month sessions annually. I've taken a lot of time off to shoot wakeboarding and stuff, but so far, here are the courses I've taken, in order:
- PHO101 (Basics of photography, B&W developing and printing, etc)
- PHO102 (Intro to 4x5 Large Format photography)
- PHO103 (More advanced photo techniques, as well as using "hot lights" for studio work)
- PHO200: Lighting Theory (using flashes, studio strobes, guide numbers, depth of light)
- PHO201: Lighting People (formal lighting patterns, posing, specular vs diffuse light for people)
- PHO202: Lighting Studio (small product photography, black-glass surface work, etc)
- DIM: Digital Imaging (I tested out of this class, but it's basically Photoshop for photographers)
- PHO203: ADA (Digital capture, using digital SLRs like Nikon D1x/Canon 1Ds, also medium format digital backs like Leaf Valeo 22, and large format array and scan backs like the Leaf Cantare XY and BetterLight scanback)
I have less than two years to go. All in all, it's a 3 year program if you do it year round, but as I said, I don't. You also take general education courses which are tailored to photography, like science (studying optics and CCDs), economics and accounting (for running your own studio), marketing (obvious), law (copyright, photo biz law), and more.
After I finish this course, I can choose my area of specialty and take more specific courses. Some majors include Commercial Advertising, Portraiture, Industrial, and Nature...there are more though. If you have any questions, drop me a line.
Mike Isler http://www.islerphoto.com