Wow, a few more weeks have gone by, and I think I am making great progress! Over Spring break I actually didn’t get to do much due to me being away for most of the time, but I tried to fit Photoshop into my schedule whenever I could, but now that the break is over, I am working twice as much on this project than I did over the break.
I am pretty confident with the basics of Photoshop now, but there is still much to be learned! Every time I use Photoshop by myself of with my mentor, I always learn so many new ways of doing something, or discovering something I hadn’t seen before, and that’s what I love about it! There is always more to be found.
I am currently working on a project with help from Christina, to test my abilities and try and problem solve when she is not there. She had recently done this project, and thought it would be a good idea for me to try. She is on student council, and they had taken a picture of the entire group of students. The only problem was, three people were either missing or late, so she had to Photoshop them in. She showed me what she had done, and at first I didn’t even notice a difference! One of the most challenging parts about Photoshopping an image like that is making it look natural, so trying it out for myself would be a great way to test my skills! Hopefully I will be done it by our next meeting so we can talk about what I did, and what I could do for next time.
After the meeting with her, I went on Photoshop and decided to try out some of the techniques she taught me. I applied some things I learned yesterday to the flowers on both the left and the right. Some of these tools/techniques include quick masking, select-colour range, feathering, and the pen tool, and many many others. Basically, in both of the pictures I selected the flowers (using different techniques), and made the background black and white. It took much longer than I thought (especially when I was trying to use the pen tool), but I am pretty happy with the results considering I only learned some of these skills yesterday.
As for De Bono, (multiple hats, concepts and alternatives)
This week when I met with Christina, we mainly just went over anything I wasn’t too sure about, or any questions I had relating to the program. Photoshop is one of those programs where it is easier to be self-taught, then to be taught by others. Many of the things I have learned are from trial and error, and it would be really hard to learn like that if someone was teaching it to you; however, having Christina as a mentor is really great, as she teaches me things I would have never learned by myself. When we do have our meetings, most of our conversations are just pure fact on how to use a tool or how to accomplish a certain thing, or just me asking about other alternatives/possibilities to complete a task more efficiently. Because of all of this, most of our conversations just include the white (information) and green hat (alternatives, possibilities, ideas)
Unfortunately I didn’t actually record a conversation we had, but I do remember most of what one of our conversations looked like.
Christina: So, is there anything you aren’t too sure about or you want to learn?
Me: “Yes, actually I haven’t used the pen tool yet, so I was wondering what it does.”
Christina: (She explains in full detail how the pen tool works and what it does, and then she gives me a demonstration on how to use it. It’s hard to explain in writing because I would need to have Photoshop there and demonstrate it to make sense)
Me: “Wow that seems like a really long process!”
Christina: “It is, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy and it doesn’t take too long.”
Me: “So why would you use the pen tool over another tool like quick select or magic wand? Wouldn’t those be better alternatives because they are faster and easier to use?”
Christina: “Well, by using the pen tool, the outline of the thing you want to select is much more precise than using magic wand, and also it is much better to use the pen tool when the background colour is messy or very similar to the colour of the thing you are selecting.”
Me: Oh, that makes more sense!
I chose this particular conversation because it contained more than just the white and green hat. Here are the hats I could find:
White hat: This hat was used when she was explaining how to use the pen tool and what it does. This is pure fact, so we know this hat was used.
Green hat: I used this hat when I asked about the alternatives of using the pen tool, because it seemed like a very long process. We know the green hat was used because I asked about alternatives or other possibilities.
Black hat: This hat was used when I pointed out a downside of using the pen tool. Because I pointed out a downside or weakness, we know the black hat was used.
Red hat: When she first showed me how to use the pen tool I thought that to use it would be a waste of time, hence why I asked about the alternatives. Because I felt this way, we know the red hat was used.
These were all of the hats I could find, but like I said before, most of our conversations usually just include the white and the green hat. I will try to use more hats in our future conversations, so I can learn more than I would if I were to only use these two hats.
Concepts and Alternatives:
Throughout my experience with Photoshop, I have learned many new concepts about the program form my mentor. Christina has told me about the concepts of layering images, and being able to edit them separately. Layering is probably the largest concept in Photoshop, so it’s really great she taught me all about that.
When I first met with Christina, she told me that other than photo transformation, there was also graphic design. She said she had more experience in that field, so I said we could definitely do some of that as well as just photo transformation. I think that this was a really good alternative she told me about, because having skills in graphic design is really useful. She also tells me about other possible alternatives when she is teaching me how to use a tool. She will show me the other ways of doing the exact same thing, and allow me to choose which way I prefer.
I’m not sure what another mentor would have offered me, and I guess it would depend on what the mentor was interested in. I think that if I had a mentor that wasn’t interested in graphic design, they may not have offered that alternative to me. Other than that, I’m not really sure what alternatives other mentors could offer me. I think Christina is a great mentor and I am really happy that I am working with her, as she tells me about many different alternatives, and makes working with Photoshop easier and faster.