Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The workflow concept - introduction

I've seen many different approaches to curriculum design both as an instructor (peer) and as a student (end-user). The most popular approach has been to give a brief overview of the topic, touching on the basics and giving little in-depth information. Others, including myself, have picked a few topics of importance, and spent the majority of time examining them in great detail. Another approach has been the "what's new" way of looking at things. As an example, Adobe sent an able instructor to the Art Center when CS3 came out to give all of the instructors an overview of the new features in the Suite. Not a bad plan for the day when all in the room are up to speed and just need the highlights.

For Forensic Photoshop, I want to do things a bit different. Giving credit where it's due: I love the way George DeWolfe organizes his workshops - in terms of work flow. It just seems to work, simply and effectively, to deliver complex information in a common sense way. There are a lot of similarities between a Fine Art workflow and a Forensic workflow; the main one being mastery of the subject. There are also some distinct differences; mainly focused in what you can't do to an image and testify in a Daubert hearing. I love the enthusiasm of Rick Miller of Adobe (and Photoshop Instructor at the Art Center). When Rick talks about a technique in Photoshop, you feel as if you are in an old time Revival Meeting and get swept up in his infectious emotions. He really knows how to hold a room's attention. Chris and John Russ ... I have only briefly met Chris and know John from his books, but what a family duo. They have an amazing ability to be able to break down seemingly complex tasks into simple and repeatable steps. By way of example, Chris wrote a script to take a series of still frames, load them into layers, assign each layer an appropriate opacity level - as a solution for frame averaging ... whilst sitting in a class on Photoshop. Examples like these motivate me. I want to get better each day. I want to achieve mastery of my field. I want to share these stories, these ideas, these techniques, this workflow with you.

I am a firm believer in the what-how-why model of instruction. [I know what I want to do (apprentice), I know how to do it effectively and efficiently (journey level), and I know why it works and why it's the appropriate way to do it (mastery).] I also like the see one - do one - teach one model from medical schools.

For Forensic Photoshop, I will combine all three into a concise and effective curriculum. You will get the workflow, you will get the what-how-why of each step in the workflow, and you will see one - do one - and teach one. This solid foundation will help you in your path to Photoshop mastery as well as being able to communicate the process during testimony.

In future posts, I will outline all of these steps and lay the foundation for the upcoming LEVA class as well as the soon to be published book.

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