Wednesday, June 10

Paris 2: Églese Saint-Séverin

Yes - this image is over processed. And your point is? Heh heh...

Églese Saint-Séverin, Paris - Circa. 11th Century

Over the last five weeks I've returned to class. I'm taking 3-4 hour daily on-line Photoshop classes. The application's so immense and while I'd first entered it about 20 years or so ago, my study lacked the discipline necessary to explore huge modules particularly involving color management, frequency separation, actions, channels, Etc.. There are a range of tools, particularly brushes, gradients, and exotic layer management. Yeah, I've read dozens of books, articles, and even specific tutorials. But in each case, I used those texts to overcome  specific problems rather than mastering the nature of how things fit together dynamically.

The creators of PS are stunningly bright. The depth and breadth of their imagination is stupefying. In one sense, I'm learning to accomplishing things I can already do, but in minutes rather than hours. But in another sense I'm discovering pathways for my imagination to explore. 

This isn't easy. There's so much to remember, and memory's not easily mastered anymore. But application's the best way to master anything. Right now the new tools are determining what I'm doing... Soon, I expect, I'll set them to do what I determine. It's the ancient horse/rider thing you see in this and the last post. The beast is galloping now and I'm holding on. By summer's end, the reins will be totally in my hands... 

Um, hope so.

But right now, every project is a chance to experiment. And yeah... Guess that means BIG PROCESSING, huh? I'm like a kid splashing about in the first pool of summer.


Cedric said...

Hi Ted, I was starting to wonder what you were up to. Even sent you an email just this week to ascertain your continuing good health amid these pandemic days. It is nice to know that you have been busy putting your mettle up against the inner workings of Photoshop. It is one of the few software solutions I would like to master someday but after sitting in front of a monitor all day for work, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of one in my free time. Perhaps one day I'll retire but I don't really want to do that either so on those rare occasions that I find myself working on an image, I will just have to continue bumbling my way around like the ignorant fool that I am.
In any case, I imagine it must feel like having a grand adventure down a rabbit hole, immersing one's self in this, as you say, stupefyingly deep creation.
Out of interest, which online tutorials are you following? Ones from Adobe?
Anyway, all the best Ted. In your hands I have every confidence that the effort will pay off huge dividends.

Ted said...

(1) Did not get your email Cedric, send it to the email address off to the right there please? Yep, health is just fine here in the Byrne household. Still don't know anyone who's caught the virus whose tragic havoc seems largely isolated in this area to homes for the elderly. Hmmm... is "elderly" politically insensitive. If so.... reeeeeeely sorry. If you're referring to the political havoc, well, I live in the diverse center of a city which is a setting for demonstrators but so far no physical violence. We chose to live in a diverse center decades ago and enjoy our neighbors. BTW, most demonstrators here seem to be white... however that's defined these days. As for my studies.. I've found the "free" YouTube postings of Jesús Ramirez and Umesh Dinda are extraordinary well done. They are both inspired teachers with well designed lesson plans matched with personalities that maximize a one-on-one personal presentation. Additionally I recommend anything that Lisa Hardy's posted - she's an amazing pro photo finisher and her work re. movie posters on YouTube is a great beginning. I've joined KelbyOne and CreativeLive. The Kelby site is beautifully constructed - if a little hard to navigate - but it's offerings, while well produced, are not as abundant or deep as I'd like. CreativeLive lectures are abundant but all over the board and heavy on self help and crafts. The real weight of instruction seems to be free on YouTube, and I cannot figure out the business plan that keeps these posters going.

Ted said...

(2) Glad they are however since the real technical jemstones appear to be on YouTube. Hunting through their search engine, so far, has unearthed material on all of the areas where I have the least knowledge. I'm still hunting for a site that has a rigorously integrated program on PS, although Adobe itself has a ream of material which, while VERY well produced, frequently suffer from less than exciting presenters. A good presenter goes far in overcoming the 3 O'clock sleepies. If you get into this, keep me posted, K? A powerful dimension of YouTube learning is in your computer's arrow keys. By playing the space bar and the arrows you can have an instructor repeat, and repeat, and repeat a blur of short-cut keys and movements that take them to places which they think you have mastered so they can open different segments into the dominant topics of a lesson.But if you’ve not mastered any of this, those keys place the power of personalizing and customizing lessons into the student's hands/fingers like NEVER BEFORE. A last point.... I find myself writing "presenter" instead of "teacher". Hmmmm.... Digital teaching is not done by one person. High production values demand a team. Or an enormous time input on the part of one person. As I look at Dinda And Ramirez presentations it appears that they have a director at work who shifts the feed between camera, graphics, monitor, and various notes. Post production techniques are also increasingly clever, particularly re. editing. They also have professional lighting/audio which may or may not be set up by the presenter. Add in green-screen backgrounds, sound effect/musical beds and well, we have entered the world of team teaching with each member possessing disciplined skill-sets.

Ted said...

(3) I can recall, back in my TV days, hearing the director through my earpiece instructing the set manager, "Move sofbox #1 a foot left, the desk mike down, and the talent (me) backward about six inches." With three camera operators and the set director, and four people in the control booth (note the word "control") to handle sound, camera switching, scrolls, and graphic/video/audio inserts - "talent" was just another table or chair to be lit, micked, and set to proper marks. In a way, neither they nor I were interested in the depth of each other's roles. I cannot imagine how a typical K-12/college teacher will handle this sort of thing alone as we move into mass distance-learning. But since one class will handle EXTREMELY large numbers of students, the number of presenters can be drastically reduced opening up funding for the employment of sophisticated team members who will handle everything from production through CGI and other graphics much as kids are used to on television. Why pre-production alone demands a critical second-unit team as does post. Note the scroll at the end of a popular science television production which may contain a hundred names of contributors for just one 60 minute segment. I recall once, when my station produced a live symphony production. The lead director directed from the score which he annotated effusively before the rehearsals (there were 8 cameras involved). I'd watch him in his glass walled office for weeks before directing as he listened to the music on recordings. Then he did run- troughs with his video/audio team to those recordings staying bars ahead of the conductor (who was present) to be sure that, say, a tympani was lit, micked, and on camera... at only the moment of his/her (talent) tympanist’s of importance. Whew! Live sports teams work much the same way.

Cedric said...

Glad to hear that you are well Ted. The COVID impact in Australia has been minimal compared to many countries and I suspect that has had more to do with our natural isolation, large land mass and relatively small population. I have heard people talk of other issues happening in the US but haven't followed up on them so remain largely ignorant. My desire for information of that kind is declining rapidly, well, actually, it is at zero so I find myself having less and less to offer. I have this memory of when I was still in my teens, discussing in class what we saw ourselves doing in life, and I recall thinking to myself that I wanted to be a hermit. A weird thing for a kid to think but there you have it. It didn't eventuate of course, at least not in the true sense of the word, but you never know, there is still time.
On the topic of online learning, I recall one speaker at a conference say that learning would change dramatically in the future, with people teaching themselves through online courses and that this would produce some of the smartest people we've ever seen and that companies would be smart to figure out ways of ensuring that their recruitment process allowed for these people to be selected. In government, where I work, if you do not have a college degree you don't get a job (white-collar type jobs, in the old parlance) and that kind of process would potentially remove the best candidates. It's an interesting idea and one that seems sensible to me. It makes sense that someone who is driven enough to be self taught, will not only tailor their training perfectly and thus remain focused, but will also continue to remain relevant over time. Of course this does not apply to all occupations but I do think there are some jobs where such people would shine.
Anyway, I am glad to hear that you are getting much from your own PS lessons. As I said, it is something I would like to master some day and if I ever get into it I will let you know. Just don't hold your breath :)