I’m new at making workshops and although I had in the past given some lessons about photo-montage and digital art I’m still trying to nail the best way to let my process and knowledge come across to students. I’ve always had the idea that I’m not that good at explaining how I do what I do because when I work on my own I’m in such a meditative and almost cathartic state that I’m not conscious almost at all of what exactly I am doing to the image I’m creating. The same way can happen to anyone creating anything, like: how do you hold your pencil? Why do you apply shadows first or last? Normally you’re only focused on getting the image “right” and that means as close as your head sees it, thus making it more difficult to be conscious of the tools you’re using and how.
I may even ask, what makes for you a better teacher? and a better learning experience?
I was invited to Mexico (TEC de Monterrey) to give a small workshop, and I did this photomanipulation for it. With this image I am understanding that one of the best ways to learn from others is to see them work as naturally as can be, that means seeing them live (how one’s move, how much time does it take to achieve something) and not just a screen with a pointer moving around as many video tutorials can offer.
With this image I not only explained how I use my most common tools but most importantly what is my criteria when I make decisions and the overall feeling I am searching in the given image. Being the last premise the most difficult thing to explain since is an idea that I have in my head but that I’m sharing with others.
If I have the chance and with more time, I’ll add up a small talk explaining concisely my three or four preferred techniques before starting the step by step image and giving thus more freedom to the students.
I made some special textures and brushes for this workshop which I gave them to use freely, and also a .psd image for people to study layer by layer what is affecting every element in the image. I think this is one of the most important things, to reflect and understand on your own what we have done in class.
Now, as I said on my facebook, this is one of those images that once in a while feel premonitory to me; even after seeing pictures of Monterrey a week before my travel never I expected to be so close to what this image was: layer after layer of mountain chains. Of course, Monterrey’s mountains look a lot more scarier and shocking than the ones in Colombian landscapes that I have used (which look more “gentile” as they are wrapped on dense and luscious vegetation). Most of them felt to me like bodies under black sheets or strange and deserted cathedrals.
This definitely sparked some images in my head for the upcoming series. I really liked the sight of those menacing mountains…
And the food, oh… the food.
Thanks lots to the organizers of Captured <3