In-Depth 2022 Post #3

Progress Report

For the past two weeks, I’ve completed the entire 3-hour Photoshop tutorial. I’ve learned how to:

Working with type

Using layer styles and effects

Using content-aware to extend simple backgrounds

Resizing, and how resolution works

Using the rectangle and elliptical marquee tool

Creating clipping masks

Using the quick selection tool

Using layer masks

Using select and mask

Using transform tools

Using the healing brush

Using content-aware scale

While learning these basic functions, I also learned common shortcuts to make editing faster, and many other minor functions related to each tool. However, from my perspective, my biggest takeaway from this tutorial was getting to know and understand the layout of the Photoshop software. Understanding Photoshop’s workspace will make learning new editing skills and niches much easier.

As a side note, the tutorial, being for beginners, was very straightforward and easy to follow. The images I edited were sample images provided by the video, and they were designed to show how different tools worked. I will be facing more problems and struggles as I start editing my own projects.

That being said, my plan for the next two weeks is to start creating my first composite project (composite meaning to use multiple images). Under my mentor’s suggestions, I will brainstorm an idea, sketch out the idea, and gather possible images to use for the first week. I will get started editing in Photoshop after reviewing my ideas with my mentor in our next meeting this week.


Prompts from Post #2: Mentorship

How did your mentor gain their experience/expertise?

Elizabeth caught interest in photography from courses in high school. She worked on community projects like the yearbook. She largely self-taught herself her photography-related skills, signing up for workshops, courses, and lectures. Before becoming a photography instructor, she also taught art and math at a university. She applied her photography skills to math in a unique way, using her photos to show concepts in geometry. Being a photographer, she has been working with Photoshop and Lightroom for a long time to edit her works.

What were those experiences like for your mentor?

Photography used to be a side hobby of hers, so it was difficult to manage her time. Photography was also a very expensive hobby, with professional equipment costing thousands of dollars. She also had a family to manage at the time. Everything became better when she pursued photography full-time, becoming a photography instructor. She’s always been most drawn to nature and wildelife photography.

What wisdom have you gained from your mentor so far?

The most important advice I’ve gotten from Elizabeth is to always plan out a project before heading straight into editing. I should sketch my idea out beforehand, and also gather the images I want to edit. Skipping the planning stage, I would be indecisive while editing, and waste a lot of time thinking or undoing edits.

What have you learned so far, in terms of facilitation strategies, that might contribute to your own development as a mentor?

Something I liked about Elizabeth’s mentoring is that in the first meeting, she wanted me to clarify what my goals were. She asked similar examples of projects that I wanted to create, so that she could provide resources she thought matched my learning goals. The lesson I took was that as a mentor, I should know my mentee’s path and make sure they’re on the right path. By doing this, I can help my mentee attain their skill efficiently, avoiding unnecessary work irrelevant to the project. I can provide resources and personal experienced tailored to their goals.


Prompts from Post #3: The context of mentorship

What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

The mentoring session was very productive. Elizabeth and I went over our time commitments and schedules. We talked about ways my mentor would be helping me throughout the project. After our first meeting, she emailed me with several resources directed towards the skills I mentioned I wanted to learn, which I found very convenient and much appreciated. Elizabeth also communicated clearly what she could and couldn’t teach me. For example, something I was interested in learning was artificial lighting effects. However, she only worked with natural lighting, so if I wanted to, I would need to learn this skill on my own.

What relationship challenges did you face?

Initially in the meeting, both my mentor and I weren’t sure about parts of my project, or the mentoring relationship. We started were a lot of unanswered, simple questions, such as my goals, the time commitment, my current knowledge and experience in Photoshop, and my mentor’s experience in Photoshop. At the start of the session, I wasn’t very open about my ideas. However, we ended up clarifying our assumptions in the end. Throughout the entire meeting, both of us were very engaged and listened to each other, which was very important for our clarifications.

What learning challenges emerged?

Prior to the mentoring session, my mentor wasn’t clear on what we would be going over for our first meeting, so she didn’t prepare anything specific. We also spent a lot of time clarifying and adjusting my goals for the project. Additionally, my mentor had no idea where I was in terms of skill, so I showed her the tutorial I followed. Something we didn’t go over in our first meeting was how I could reach my mentor quickly for questions.