While studying graphic design, students focus on three major elements to convey visual messages: composition, color, and typography. They also master a number of software programs, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver, which enable them to edit photos and graphics, create multi-page publications, and design websites. As they gain fluency in the unique language of graphics, students become more confident finding creative solutions to multifaceted design challenges.
In photography classes, students learn how to communicate and analyze still images, both as photographers and viewers. As they capture images, students consider how light interacts with objects, how the human eye perceives objects, and how the camera lens translates those objects onto a two-dimensional surface. With digital photography, students learn to retouch, manipulate, and manufacture images. The classes debate the implications of the digital realm: is seeing really believing anymore? Whose stories are being told, and whose are not? Photo and design sequences allow students to study through the AP level. Students interested in pursuing photography outside of class are welcome to join weekly meetings of the Photography Club.
The middle school digital media arts courses provide a preview of upper school filmmaking. Students learn the foundations of storytelling by blending photography and graphic design. In the upper school, students engage in the process of videography by forming their own story ideas and then creating and editing digital video. In addition, students study film and video concepts and engage in film critique.
Yearbook students capture the vitality of our community through writing copy, designing layouts, and taking photographs. As they hone their journalistic skills and software savvy, students also celebrate the diverse range of Firebird experiences across the spectrum of classes, arts, sports, service learning, clubs, affinity and alliance groups, and more.
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Digital photography, graphic design and filmmaking classes focus on visual communication. Middle School options include graphic design and photography. Upper School options include photography, graphic design and filmmaking.