How Do You Learn?

Before I get into today’s post, Kim and I would like to send out a word of thanks to everyone who has commented either here, on Facebook, or Twitter congratulating us on the news of our pregnancy. It is such an amazing time and your words have really enriched an already exciting time. Thank you!

Now, on with the post…

I’ve always found it fascinating how everyone seems to learn different things in different ways. What can click almost immediately for one person could never get through to another simply because the information wasn’t communicated in a meaningful way. Some people are visual learners. Others are aural. Some have to read or memorize, while others have to be more hands-on before something really sticks.

In college, I would sit in a lecture and just watching the slides and listening would give me so much more than reading the book ever could. Sometimes the physical act of taking notes – whether I reviewed them later or not – would help solidify how it all fit together.

With photography and design, it’s a similar story. Reading about it doesn’t help all that much. Listening to others is good, but it doesn’t quite get me all the way there. I find that I have to engage the subject matter in a visual way before I will truly understand the concepts. Also, it helps to get my hands dirty and do a lot of trial and error to figure it out for myself before it all comes together.

When it comes to learning Photoshop I find that it is, once again, a combination of watching a demonstration while listening to the instructor’s explanation, and then trying it for myself works best. At the same time, turning around and trying to teach it to someone else becomes another layer of hands-on learning as I work it out in my mind how to explain it so someone else can understand.

Particularly with Photoshop in mind, how do you learn best? How do you need information presented in order for it to stick? What resources out there work best for you? Videos? Books? Seminars? What is it about them that does it for you? What doesn’t work?

  • Chris

    This is a great post and one I would like to comment on. I am a huge fan of Lightroom and have a stack of books to read for learning new tricks of the trade but I have found myself resorting to the internet for learning as I find myself more of a visual learner where I watch a video and listen to the instructor. I find the information sticks with me and it allows me to try the technique while I play the video. Therefore, it concept or idea sticks in my head. Perfect example is I was watching a LR tutorial by Kevin Kubota about how to bring back blown out skies. I watched the video and tried it one of my photos. I was able to recover the sky and the photo came out beautiful in my opinion.

    Another great way for information to stick is attending a seminar or workshop which I intend to do in the future as it will help me learn and apply more in a shorter period of time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about a great subject matter.

    September 16, 2009 at 6:39 am
  • Lately I have been watching a lot of tutorial videos with the program I am trying to learn open on the other screen so I can follow along step by step… Then I try to figure out how I might do it to fit my style of editing or figure out a way to do it more efficiently. Lots of,,, and even youtube sometimes.

    September 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm

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