Teaching Photoshop Classes

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by Aedai, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Aedai

    Aedai No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually I was 12 so my parents would never agree to purchase CS2 for me (unfortunately) so I began on Elements 6.
    I've worked with Elements 6 and 9 and CS5, CS6 and CC. I wasn't until about 2 years ago when I started working with Photoshop as a graphic arts tool.

    I worked with Elements 9 when I worked in copy and print and we were required to put together business cards and the like. They suggested we should use publisher but PSE 9 was installed on the computer so I took advantage of that - and my coworkers were impressed so I taught all of them how to use PSE 9. I no longer work there but my boyfriend does and they're still using my training sheets and I still get messages sometimes on "how do I...?" "what does this mean...?" Working in copy and print really broadened my horizons on the printing side of Photoshop.

    I'm mostly skilled at: Photo restorations / Photo manipulations / Forum & Social media graphics (signatures, cover photos) / Photo touch ups (skin / removing lap posts) / Advertisements (for social media but also for printing) / and Logos (although, disclaimer, I'm 100x more likely to use illustrator for this but the idea here is that I know how to use PS for this as well)

    Yeah I recently took a class based on how to train people (they're training me to train others) :p and one of the things that they keyed on was that there needs to be interaction.
    Personally I think I would supply the pictures, just because I can't guarantee what quality image other people will bring.
    And good point, if I have different skill levels and follow up with each person, personally, I can make sure they get assigned to the right class so we don't go over things they already know.

    I never thought about including a DVD. That seems really efficient on making sure the lessons stay with the student. I really like that idea! I'm more one-on-one personally but if I had a large amount of interest, that would be really efficient!


     
  2. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You came to a forum inhabited by photographers. We get some graphics folks here and it's a side interest for some but most of us are interested in photography.

    What you do with Photoshop is fine and if you want to teach that that is also fine, it's great, but you do want to be careful and be extra clear with potential students. Photoshop is uniquely troublesome in this regard because it is so versatile and used by both photographers and graphic artists who have different needs and who use different aspects of the software.

    I started teaching Photoshop to college students the year before you were born -- version 2.5 at that time. I'm retired now but I still teach a couple classes a year. Sometimes I'm asked to teach a class in Photoshop. One campus where I teach isn't very clear with prospective students about the class. The course description is written in education gobbledygook and requires translation into English before students can understand it, so they don't try. They just sign up for Photoshop. So the very first thing I do on the first day of class is make an announcement like this:

    "Hi, my name is Joe and this is ART:XXX Introduction to Digital Imaging - Photoshop I. Photoshop is used by a wide variety of artists to do a wide variety of things. In this case this class is offered through the Photography dept. here on campus and I'm a photographer. In this class I will address Photoshop as it applies to photography. This is not a web design class and I will never again this semester say web graphics. To that end I will have more to say about preparing your photos for print than I will about preparing them for Internet display. Did I say this class was offered through the Photography dept. -- that's the fine-art Photography dept. in which a photograph is finished when you hang it on the wall. Even though we now use Photoshop, the wall hasn't changed and that's still our primary goal this semester. This is also not the class where we learn to put wings on horses so they can carry semi-nude women with huge boobs into battle swinging broad swords. And no unicorns unless you photograph one with your camera. Our goal is to learn to use Photoshop to process the images we take with our cameras. That will take up all of our time and my job includes making sure we stay on task. Because we want good input to work with I will spend some time addressing your camera usage especially if I see the need and I'm sure I will. Because the topic of the class is photo processing I'm open to you working with photos you've produced previously however I strongly recommend that you plan to generate some new images this semester when topically appropriate. In a few exercises you'll also work with images that I supply. My assumption is that you're all photographers and you're here because you want to learn to improve your photos by applying sound processing techniques -- which does not include cutting out a picture of your cat to put into a picture of a birthday cake so you can make a funny card -- we're not doing that.

    The college offers this class well aware that there's confusion about what the class covers. They like enrolling lots of students. We can keep talking about this and I'll answer all the questions you have about what this class does cover. If when we're finished you decide this isn't for you and isn't what you wanted you have to let me know today (no later than tomorrow morning) and I'll help make sure you get out of the class with a full refund."


    I always get a few students who decide to leave. That means the college always manages to be insufficiently clear about what the class covers. If I don't catch those students first day and instead we find out two weeks later then I can't get them their money back so I'll spend as long as it takes that first day making sure we're real clear. At least once a year I get some geek in the class who comes the first day with his most recent Valkyrie warrior on the flying horse pictures printed out and thank God I can usually lose him by telling him no we're not doing that. I always get a couple students who signed up to supplement their web-design efforts. They know they want Photoshop as a web graphics tool. They're disappointed when I'm firm and tell them there's no room in the semester to deal with that, but better they learn that in the first hour than a couple weeks later.

    I'm in a somewhat rigid environment at a college where the department chair makes sure to chat with me about the course syllabus and the course content. I have some freedom but I also have a department check list to be sure I hit the important stuff -- that's appropriate.

    It sounds like what you're planing would be much more flexible but nonetheless; the need for clarity given how broad the topic is really important if you don't want disappointed customers. Most of the specific topics you've mentioned so far are things that I as a photographer would not be interested in if I signed up to learn Photoshop. You don't want to get caught in a case of mismatched expectations.

    Joe
     
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  3. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The degree course I took at college began with exercises in using all of the tools on a 'mr potatohead' incorporating several layers, we were using PS4, pretty much when digital imaging was just beginning over here in 2000, it progressed from tools and layers to using all the functions on the menu bar, image modes, saving for web, print and web resolutions, colour spaces etc. It was good basic instruction and we were all encouraged to try improving our own scanned negs at the time as unless you had thousands for a 'pro' level digital camera all we had to work with digitally came from a 1mb college point n shoot, from there I've upgraded PS to CS5 before deciding I don't need upgrade or give Adobe any more cash.
     
  4. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The skill of instructing is not Photoshop. Instructing effectively does require you know Photoshop but if you don't know the skill of being a good instructor you'll not be effective. Over the years I've seen instructors with a Masters in a subject that couldn't teach anybody while a guy that barely knew it was able to teach and have the students learn the subject.
     

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