Teaching Photoshop Classes

Aedai

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Does anyone here offer Photoshop classes? I'm thinking about putting something together for my home town but I've never taught a class before. I've taught family / friends to use Photoshop and it's gone smoothly.

I've been using PS since I was 12, when I took a PS class in high school I was too advanced and I actually taught my teacher how to use it more efficiently. So I know I'm skilled enough.

Thoughts? Anyone do this? Anyone been taught a class before?
 

snowbear

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Assuming you intend to teach several people at a time, the biggest issues I see are where to have the class, whether or not you'll have computers, and licensing the software.
 
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Aedai

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I was planning on a bring your own / supply your own / etc. Possibly one-on-ones at people's houses or at the local community center if there was enough interest. I wouldn't personally supply anything other than the lesson. Possibly 1-5 separate lessons, starting out at basics and getting to be more advanced.
 

snowbear

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Then, good luck.
 

Ysarex

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I was planning on a bring your own / supply your own / etc. Possibly one-on-ones at people's houses or at the local community center if there was enough interest. I wouldn't personally supply anything other than the lesson. Possibly 1-5 separate lessons, starting out at basics and getting to be more advanced.

And how old are you now?

Photoshop is used to do many things. What's in lesson 1?

Joe
 
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Aedai

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24.

It's just an idea I've been fumbling with, and was hoping someone had some advice / thoughts / concerns. So I haven't mapped much out (...hadn't mapped any of it out, tbh....) On the spot I would probably start with:

Creating saving and exporting files - what each format does and what each format should be used for.
Core selection tools (marquee tools, lasso, magic wand, transform)
Core creation and editing tools (paint bucket, gradients, eraser)
Layers and Masks
Filters: Blur, Render, Sharpen, Stylize
Magic wand – cutting out people and adding them in other photos.
Textures
Designing a forum signature in Photoshop using a few starting images.
Demonstration of how a Graphics Tablet can be used in Photoshop.

I would imagine I could fill up, easily, 4 hours of time with just the first few selections above. I also planned on scanning in my own old photographs and teach people how to touch them up, etc. Maybe a more advanced class on fantasy Photo Manipulations (which are my specialty).

Again I hadn't mapped it all out but it's a basic start of my ideas.
 

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24.

It's just an idea I've been fumbling with, and was hoping someone had some advice / thoughts / concerns. So I haven't mapped much out (...hadn't mapped any of it out, tbh....) On the spot I would probably start with:

Creating saving and exporting files - what each format does and what each format should be used for.
Core selection tools (marquee tools, lasso, magic wand, transform)
Core creation and editing tools (paint bucket, gradients, eraser)
Layers and Masks
Filters: Blur, Render, Sharpen, Stylize
Magic wand – cutting out people and adding them in other photos.
Textures
Designing a forum signature in Photoshop using a few starting images.
Demonstration of how a Graphics Tablet can be used in Photoshop.

I would imagine I could fill up, easily, 4 hours of time with just the first few selections above. I also planned on scanning in my own old photographs and teach people how to touch them up, etc. Maybe a more advanced class on fantasy Photo Manipulations (which are my specialty).

Again I hadn't mapped it all out but it's a basic start of my ideas.

So you started around CS2 vintage.

That sounds a lot like Photoshop as a graphic arts tool rather than a photo editing tool. That's just fine but you need to be clear about that. Folks approach Photoshop from a lot of different directions and you want to make sure you're in sync with their expectations.

Joe
 

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Exactly as Ysarex said...PS as graphic arts tool...what about the basics of white balance adjustment, levels, exposure, tone curve, sharpening, and so on? Many people would want to know how to do the walking steps before the running steps.
 

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These classes can be hit and miss, speaking with both hats on.

I once went to a class and I quickly realised that I knew more than the tutor. I have instructed people before and as I watched theres eyes glaze over I decided this is just pants so I don't do that anymore.

Small groups.
Say before hand what skill level its aimed at. 1, 2, 3
If they can work on their own picture then that way they will learn as theres a carrot approach or otherwise have pictures ready to work on.
if a persons photos are terrible they probably are not the people who might follow up on next level training.
Complete certain tasks for the next day/ homework
 
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jcdeboever

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I took one recently, and I was totally annoyed. Your typical, one to two students liked to hear themselves talk, throwing off the flow of instruction. I would have preferred the instructor tell the class to take notes of the questions they have and allot a certain amount of time for those questions. It was all over the place, no flow. I actually wrote this in the critique after class. The instructor called me later that day and offered a credit to a class. I politely declined.
 

Gary A.

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I took an advanced Photoshop class at an adult school. There was a DVD tutorial with the workbook with all the lessons and step by step instructions. The instructor let the DVD be the primary lesson giver and was there to help out individuals and questions. It was a good structure, easy for the teacher, effective for the students.
 
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Aedai

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So you started around CS2 vintage.

That sounds a lot like Photoshop as a graphic arts tool rather than a photo editing tool. That's just fine but you need to be clear about that. Folks approach Photoshop from a lot of different directions and you want to make sure you're in sync with their expectations.

Joe

Exactly as Ysarex said...PS as graphic arts tool...what about the basics of white balance adjustment, levels, exposure, tone curve, sharpening, and so on? Many people would want to know how to do the walking steps before the running steps.

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)

These classes can be hit and miss, speaking with both hats on.

I once went to a class and I quickly realised that I knew more than the tutor. I have instructed people before and as I watched theres eyes glaze over I decided this is just pants so I don't do that anymore.

Small groups.
Say before hand what skill level its aimed at. 1, 2, 3
If they can work on their own picture then that way they will learn as theres a carrot approach or otherwise have pictures ready to work on.
if a persons photos are terrible they probably are not the people who might follow up on next level training.
Complete certain tasks for the next day/ homework

I took one recently, and I was totally annoyed. Your typical, one to two students liked to hear themselves talk, throwing off the flow of instruction. I would have preferred the instructor tell the class to take notes of the questions they have and allot a certain amount of time for those questions. It was all over the place, no flow. I actually wrote this in the critique after class. The instructor called me later that day and offered a credit to a class. I politely declined.

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 took an advanced Photoshop class at an adult school. There was a DVD tutorial with the workbook with all the lessons and step by step instructions. The instructor let the DVD be the primary lesson giver and was there to help out individuals and questions. It was a good structure, easy for the teacher, effective for the students.

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!
 

Ysarex

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So you started around CS2 vintage.

That sounds a lot like Photoshop as a graphic arts tool rather than a photo editing tool. That's just fine but you need to be clear about that. Folks approach Photoshop from a lot of different directions and you want to make sure you're in sync with their expectations.

Joe

Exactly as Ysarex said...PS as graphic arts tool...what about the basics of white balance adjustment, levels, exposure, tone curve, sharpening, and so on? Many people would want to know how to do the walking steps before the running steps.

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).

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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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.
 

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