The Learning Ladder - Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom

May 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I've committed to keeping an online journal, as I look to explore and expand my photography passion into a viable income stream. I want to be able to look back in five years and see the progress and evolution of my craft. And, as with everything in my life, I'm an open book. If my learning process helps another gain the confidence they need to up their game, I'm glad to be a part of that learning universe.

So here's one rung on my "learning ladder..."

As I created my studio inventory list from recent readings, web searches and workshops, a "full version" of Adobe Photoshop quickly bubbled to the top of the list. To date, I've done well with Apple's iPhoto and Photos apps - along with the latest version of Photoshop Elements. Self-taught to learn enough, I've become fairly proficient.  But, I'm lacking two things:

  1. Technical mastery of the software, largely focused on perfecting an image (color, lighting, quality, etc.)
  2. Creative mastery of the underlying artistic concepts or effects of those same topics or tool features 

Instead of self-teaching "what I (think) I need to know," I'm creating (or borrowing...) curricula to learn the full breadth and depth of the new Adobe tools. I'm then looking for workshops, experimental shoots, or other "play time" to apply some of those techniques and "learn" their effect or impact experientially. Of course, if there is some good material to learn that too, I'm open.  With little patience for reading old-fashioned bound books or workshop materials, I'm more open to webinars (free, live or taped), YouTube/Vimeo educational series, or plain old "try it and see."

I found a GREAT on-line series, created by TechSoup for its non-profit organizational members. The first series of 2-8 minute clips covers:

  • Five Quick Photoshop How-Tos
  • Meet the Toolbar
  • The Canvas and the Image
  • Color Modes
  • Image Adjustments
  • Saving Your Image

One of my PET PEAVES about technical manuals or "how-to's," they more often than note show you HOW to use the TOOL - and "assume" you know all the domain knowledge that would teach you WHY, WHEN and WHERE to use the tool...the "photographic framework" in which art is created.  But, I'm often learning a new skill or technique or creative concept BECAUSE of and THROUGH the computer tool/software. So, in some cases my fundamental knowledge is forgotten or non-existent...and it's hard to do one with out the other.

What I like MOST about the first series in my playlist below (by TechSoupVideo) is THEY CRUSH MY PET PEAVE! While TechSoup teaches the fundamental techniques, tips and tricks on HOW to use the Adobe software, they ALSO take the time to tell you the WHY, WHEN or WHERE! The instructors share the underlying concept or rationale (as it relates to photography, art/design, color, quality, lighting etc.) AT THE SAME TIME as explaining the tool.  INGENIOUS!

So, check it out...and enjoy!  Happy learning!

  


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