Geek Speak – Keep on Learning

By Oscar Myre IV

Valley Bugler Columnist

Keep on Learning

I recently had an opportunity to take a PhotoShop class in Seattle. My boss knows that I use PhotoShop for a greater part of each workday. He joked, “what could you possibly learn from a class that you could teach?” I told him I was a little concerned about the possibility of wasting a few days of my time, but there was a lot I could learn. I’ve been using PhotoShop for years and I work to continue to learn more. When Steve Laskevitch from Luminous Work invited me to attend one of his classes I jumped at the opportunity. Initially, I was a little nervous as I talked with the other students that were new to the Adobe Creative offering. But any nerves were quickly Photo Shopped out as we jumped into non-destructive editing.

Steve showed me how to enhance my workflow using smart objects and the Adjustments panel. In the past, I would make permanent changes to layers. Now I could make changes to the layers that I could later tweak as needed without the need to recreate the work. This does increase file size, but it gives me much more flexibility to make dramatic changes and refinements. I can’t stress enough the power of smart objects.

I’m a strong believer in continual learning. Zig Ziglar has a famous quote about the need for continual motivation. Likening motivation to hygiene. “Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” ~Ziglar

I’d like to take some artistic license here with this about learning. Your knowledge is not permanent as you need to practice it and use it as a foundation for continually learning.

An example of this is the Clone Tool I’ve used to clean up countless photos over the years. Steve showed me how to use the next generation Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush. All similar tools that have taken dramatic leaps forward in improving photos.

I also learned more about the Liquid Filter. I had dabbled with it, but learning it is almost a standalone program on its own. It is an amazing way to quickly and powerfully adjust human faces.

I was open to learning and a little surprised to see how much I could take back with me to apply to current projects that I’m currently working on. In the world of digital learning, I strongly encourage you to take a hands-on class. This all this goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks. Thanks to Steve!

Oscar Myre IV is currently Senior Visual Designer on contract with Allied Telesis in Bothell. He enjoys to continually learn and share his knowledge .

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