Perpetual Learner

Perpetual Student
Image Source: ellehull.co.uk

If I was independently wealthy, I’d be a perpetual student.

I’m curious about so many things, and there’s only so many hours in the day. 😀

Recently, my friend Nai told me about Creative Live.

I did some research and liked what I saw.

You can buy downloads of content on various subjects – business, crafting, photography, writing, you name it.

Or you can watch some of the classes for free when they are held live.

The downside of live classes is that they tend to be long – like all day.

I’m not wealthy, but I am lucky enough to be a SAHM.

So I can carve out time for the free classes.

It’s free and I learn stuff.

Win-win!!

The last few days I have been taking a Photoshop class.

It can get tedious (3 days of all day Photoshop?), but I am learning a lot.

The first day was spent on ‘key concepts’; many of those included things like using keyboard shortcuts.

I don’t generally use these, but since I started doing it, I know I’ve gotten faster at processing photos.

Such a timesaver!

I’ve also learned more about tools like the layer mask, clipping mask, and smart objects.

After the first day, I felt like my head would explode.

As I’ve begun taking photos in-world and posting to Flickr, I’ve wanted to do some cool effects, but I couldn’t figure out how to do what I wanted.

Thanks to the class, I now know how to approach what I want to do, and how not to ‘paint myself into a corner’ when it comes to using Photoshop.

Yesterday we learned about type tools, making reusable effects, and actions.

Today we will be learning about color techniques, layouts, and templates.

I’ve been taking notes, but I’m sure I’ll forget some things.

However, I’m looking forward to taking photos and experimenting with them using some of the techniques and tips I’ve learned.

It’s also actually made me excited to go out and try my hand at some photography in RL, so yay!

Who knows where this will lead?

To another class, probably.  😛

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8 thoughts on “Perpetual Learner

  1. I read your title at least 3x and swore it said “Perpetual Leather”. Remind me not to stay up all night opening boxes, Kat! ^_^

    Can’t wait to see where all your fancy Photoshop skills lead; being able to apply tricks of the trade to SL photography will yield some amazing results. Our lil’ virtual world definitely creates some amazingly motivated and prolific self-learners!

  2. Yes I’ve been very learn-hungry lately. Been self-teaching myself music all over again. What I’ve been learning has made me angry at how we were taught in school or private lessons. What we got mostly were tireless exercises, some theory, “but no theory behind the ‘cool stuff’ people do when they play live, where you go WOW, how do they do that…? I bet its a pro secret”. But now with the advent of YouTube it seems peoples egos to show off what they know to others has finally exposed not only how they cool stuff is done but WHY and the THEORY behind the cool tricks. Because its video, you can replay it. And best of all its FREE. All they often ask is that you SUBSCRIBE to their channel. Some hawk lesson-books, etc, but all in all, there is an insane amount of how-to on all the things i wish i had been taught more of to keep me more interested. Now the jig is up. Anyone can be a cool-kid-pianist or cool-kid-arranger for example and sound like the pros. You wind up going ‘wow is that all you did to make it sound cool’. Why didn’t they tell me that in school? Why did they make it such a big secret? Light-bulbs are going off in my head and things are starting to click in new ways.

    Even secrets behind complex intricate topics like cinematic-orchestration…people are spilling their guts with newly-diagnosed theory with examples. And the info is delivered bite-sized as in 3 to 5 to 10 to 20 to 30 minute segments. And of course there is Google and Wikipedia for different traditional presentational approaches. I am amazed at how well non-professional-teachers are able to convey concepts better than your standard teachers. I foresee a revolution in teaching. Information can be made simpler and you can learn at your own pace which is often many times faster than the forced pace of standard education.

    Another huge advantage I’ve found is hearing the same technique or theory or trick explaining by different several people. That helps a lot. I am also amazed at how ‘slow’ and ‘patient’ most of the teachers are and how they cover all the steps with videos for each level, beginner, intermediate, advanced, something for everyone.

    Its all about people helping people and keeping education basically ‘free’ and ‘widely accessible’. and the recognition and feedback to the internet-teachers.

    I am addicted to the training and learning now. Can’t get enough of it. Need it daily.

    1. Yummy, youTube is the most amazing repository of information. The generosity of people in sharing information on the internet just blows me away, especially on youTube. I call the internet the Wisdom of the World at your fingertips.

    2. I agree, a revolution in the way we teach. As a teacher, I’ve watched things change over the last 10 years or so. Distance and on-demand learning (i.e. video tutorials and the like) are becoming more and more popular.
      Time is our most precious commodity, because we only have so much of it. Being able to have more control of your time and how it’s spent is very empowering. It also lets you have more control over learning things you’re actually interested in. Distance/on-demand also lets many people who couldn’t otherwise participate do so.
      People who have seasonal jobs, so they are busier at certain times of day/year, people who live in rural/remote locations, people who have other challenges like a health issue where they can’t easily travel – now they can explore and learn in a way that works best for them.
      The 9-5/13 grade/free babysitting sysytem in the US we call ‘school’ needs to change. We have outgrown it.
      Your remark about teachers is right on, as well. Some people just have a knack for explaining things so others can understand. (That said, I do think some experience with teaching strategies is necessary. 🙂 ) But our current system often keeps bad teachers at the expense of good ones. 😦
      There are lots of websites (including some well-know universities) who offer the option to take courses for free (though it may not be available ‘on-demand’).
      I would hope people are taking advantage of as many opportunities to learn as they can (assuming they don’t get sucked into cat videos on YouTube)! :-))

  3. Kat I found a wonderful program called Perfect Effects from onOne software which works in conjunction with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements which is what I use. They have a freebie version but I loved it so much I bought the full version. You can add a wide range of actions very easily for some wonderful effects and it has loads of variability with sliders etc.

    1. Oooh – thanks for the reminder! I had heard of it before, but forgotten to check it out. I will give the demo a try – I have found a few free filters/actions here and there, and I love them. It’s been fun learning how to do my own as well. I’ve had ideas in my head of how I wanted a finished piece to look, but many times no idea how to get there!

    2. Oh my gosh Jo, you have no idea how hard I was wracking my brain to try and remember Perfect Effects; had seen it blogged somewhere but forgot to bookmark the site. Thank you so much for bringing it up, you’re a legend! *scampers off to download*

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