Thoughts about my latest Google+ Mentorship

Interior designThe past few weeks I have been pretty busy. Yes, at work and such, but also with a bit of photography. Some of you know that I am somewhat active on Google+. And they have what they call Google Plus Mentorships, which is a wonderful and free way of improving on your photography skills no matter where you are at. There is the teacher, in my case Sam Breach, a wonderful and creative photographer from Oakland, CA, usually a bunch of helpers and us, the students. Yes, I was a student, because you or I am never too old to learn.

What did I learn? For the past eight weeks my photography world circled around isolation of a subject. Ways to make it stand out. Different methods to help convey better to the viewer whatever I wanted to express with my photo. Some of what got taught, technical stuff, I already knew, however for me the real benefit of this mentorship was: Go out there and shoot. With intent (and possibly a tripod).

Cameras, old and newHow often do you actually do that? Have a vision? Something you have in mind and want to show in a picture? Me, most of the time, I am too busy, too stressed from 8 – 5 work to really think (!) about what I want to shoot. I usually shoot what I enjoy. But not this time. During these eight weeks, we got assignments every Tuesday. And usually these assignments started with ‘think about what you want to shoot, make a list and then tell us this list and which of these you are going to shoot for’. We were put on the spot. And it worked. I did shoot with intent, with a somewhat clear picture in my mind and I got the shot(s) I wanted – mostly.

A toy planeThe other thing that makes these Google+ Mentorships, it was my second one, so much fun is the group atmosphere. There were 56 in our private community, but only about 30 mostly active participants. And the whole atmosphere is always positive, encouraging, supportive and maybe critique, yes, but positive critique. After all we were there to learn. It really is always positive and fun. I actually felt bad that there were times when I could not really interact with my fellow mentees as life took over, as they say. But I so much enjoyed the time that I am already hoping to get into another mentorship.

I know only some of you are into photography, but if you are, you should go onto Google+ and you should most definitely check out this page, circle it and wait for your chance to get into a mentorship. You have got nothing to loose at all and everything to win. Do it!

What's the story?During one of the exercises we were asked to isolate with color and shoot a picture not telling which color we wanted to express. In the process I took, I don’t know, maybe 20 shots of wine being poured into a glass and imported the photos into Lightroom. Now, whenever I scrolled up and down in Lightroom, I would see very real the wine being poured into the glass, by me. And I kept thinking, that looks really neat, I should look into making a GIF. And guess what? I just made my very first animated GIF. And I did it in Photoshop, which I didn’t even know it could do that. What do you think? Would you like a virtual glass of red now?

RedWine GIF

And these are my graduating shots for the mentorship. A so called cohesive ‘body of work’. I quite like it although this one actually turned out differently to what I had imagined – time was my problem in this case. With David going on his biz trip and preparing and what-not, photography took a backseat. Again.

Finally I am going to leave you with this. Which I found while I was thinking about ‘visual storytelling’ for my mentorship.

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9 thoughts on “Thoughts about my latest Google+ Mentorship”

  1. Thanks for sharing Claudia. I have been seriously thinking and looking at classes here at our Community College because there is so much I want to learn. The mentorship on Google + looks fun. Love the gif. Was just saying the other day how I wished I could do stuff like that! And, yes, I’ll have some wine with that coffee. 😉

    • Learning really is part of human nature. I can go without (too much) for a while, but then… I was real excited when I got picked to participate in this mentorship. And it really is a lot of fun. A lot of work, too, but that’s learning, right?
      As far as the gif goes – I am not too much of a fan of them. They usually annoy the heck out of me when I am on a website or facebook or whatever, I just want to stop them. But every now and then, it is o.k. I was actually amazed how easy it was to make, totally. I did not know that this was possible in Photophop. Well, if I had thought about it… a gif is nothing more than a bunch of stills – duh.

  2. you made a GIF!!!! you are awesome. oh, you know I am sending you a ton of my Marvel supermen to animate for me now. 😉
    I think I have Photoshop – I just haven’t loaded it on my laptop yet and have no idea how to use it. it must come with tutorial??
    So much always to learn, right? I love learning, I just never seem to have the time — or my brain is too scattered lately to focus on one thing. I gotta get it together!! I need that coffee!!! 🙂

    • Yes! I made a gif! Hah – and I was, am pretty proud I did. Had I known how easy it is… 😉 Well, send it over! Maybe we can finally do a collaboration 😉
      Phew – once you start with photoshop you are hooked. And yes, there is a ton or a thousand tons of tutorials for it. I am watching them quite regularly as there is always something to learn with photoshop. Always.
      I knew the mentorship would be a challenge, not only, but especially time-wise. And it was, but it was so worth it. David helped, too, because he knew it was real important to me. It was a good time. I really think you would have a ball at one of the mentorships and learn a ton. Hmm, I think there are some for photoshop, too 🙂

  3. This looks like such a great opportunity. Love all the pics you took. I saw it on G+ a few days ago… (that’s the only social media site I have access to at work, everything else is blocked)
    Love the gif. I made one or two a while back with a website I found where you just crop the photos, pop them into the gif maker and then safe it! 🙂 Yes, I like to take the easy way out!

    • Nothing wrong with ‘the easy way out’ – in most cases. As long as it works for you 🙂
      It sure is a great opportunity and a wonderful thing in general, because these people, teachers, helpers and students are doing it all on their own, free time. It really is good stuff!

  4. Hi Claudia:

    In case you don’t make it back to my blog, this is my comment about your being just around the corner to Hoboken. 🙂

    Great on Hoboken. Maybe we can have coffee the next time I am visiting. 🙂

    Let me know. I don’t know my way around NYC too well so can you come to Hoboken?


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