Posts in Category "Uncategorized"

February 11, 2014

Stylus versus Finger : Adobe Ideas : Finger Wins!



My son is eleven years old.  I have had this outdated Wacom Tablet for years.  I was very excited to give him this cutting edge technology to my son.  I have been teaching him Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for the past couple of years.  The thought of teaching him the “Pen Tool” in Illustrator with a Wacom Tablet to an eleven year old was like having someone take an AP Computer Graphic Design Class.  I sat him down one evening with true excitement, putting the stylus in his small hand, opening Adobe Illustrator with a blank document.  Then, my son speaks, “Dad, I would rather use your IPad.  I like using my finger with Adobe Ideas.”  I think kids remind us of what the world means to them.  My son would rather draw a dragon with his finger, then use a fancy stylus and tablet.  I think Adobe is on the right path when it comes to creating simple applications that use the human finger to create art.  My son now reminds me of this everyday as he creates his own worlds of wonder with his finger and imagination.

Dave Forrester

Adobe Education Leader

3:35 AM Permalink
November 15, 2013

The Digital Photo Workshop with David Black: Yosemite



A weekend in Yosemite with David Black… Sign me up! Last year at Photoshop World I had a very rare and random experience. I won a workshop pass from “The Digital Photo Workshops” team with David Black. It turned out to be a very Enlightening experience about the world of photography.

 IMG_1357I prepared for the conference by worrying that my gear was not up to the task. I have a Cannon 20D that is pretty old but I didn’t have a budget for a new one just then. I ended up borrowing a Cannon 60D from another high school and it was a good thing I did! We pushed the very limits of the 60D and I ended up wishing I had a little better model but it got the job done. Also I was very glad that I purchased a 256 GB Solid State Lacie Rugged Hard Drive with Thunderbolt 2 which made backing up go in seconds rather then minuets and when you have the opportunity to be with some of the best you need the time to ask questions not waiting on hardware. Also I bought a great bag from case logic that allowed me to pack my Wacom, MacBook Pro, and both the 20D and 60D. The only thin I regretted not having was a neutral density filter, a polarizing filter, and a shutter release for the 60D. I packed 3 batteries and ran out one day. I also had two 32GB SD cards and they were over kill but it was nice to have space. My wife bought me a nice microfiber cloth 12” X 24” which was very nice to have.

IMG_1237The travel to Yosemite took some planning and research. I stayed at the Cedar Lodge in a very nice room for $110 a night as opposed to $200+ to stay in the park. The drive was about 35-40 min to the main lodge on a pretty windy road. I rented a hybrid which was a great cost saver at 40 Miles to the Gallon. I flew into the San Jose Airport and drove out through Merced and In all the drive was about 4 hours.

The first night we had a meeting where we met our Instructors: David Black, Rob Sylvan, Jeff Leimbach, and Randy Van Duinen. I had met some of them at Photoshop World and I felt very welcome even though I cam in a little late. Randy did a quick lesson on how to set up a camera for HDR so we would be ready for the next day (Sunlight meets shadows…Valley). I had no idea what HDR was so it was very useful. Dave showed us some of his photos and told us his main goal was to make sure we were able to go home and do light painting. He also told use the keys to composition three across, three vertical, three deep, and then light the subject.


The next day I ended up not being able to find the group so I was late. Ugh I hate being late but there I was late twice in a row. I found the group after about an hour and I jumped in. Rob stayed behind with me so I could get some one on one training and some good pictures.  The day was really great and I came away with some amazing shots for the first time I’d ever been out taking pictures.


After we had some shots we came into the classroom and we had assisted editing time where we worked on our own images and were able to ask questions about how do I do… or what do you think… How could I… it was very informal and it worked out really great!


While we were doing some editing Dave was in the other room setting us for light painting. He showed the entire group and then asked half of us to keep working on photos while he worked two stations with the other half. The whole setting was professional but casual all at the same time which was just great!

That night we went out and did some light painting in nature. Dave lined us all up on these dead bushes and was saying isn’t this going to be great! We were all wondering what Dave had for lunch but we did as he said and just as the sun was down he light up the bushes with the Brinkman spot light and a 30 second exposure later… complete magic! One of my favorite shots that I brought home from the trip. IMG_1226

The next day it was more of the same in a different location. We did some reflection shots and some moving water. We moved back to the classroom where we set up our own light paintings with our own cameras. Then later that night we went to an old chapel and did another light painting where we had the opportunity  to uses the Brinkman’s to light the scene ourself. Once we were done at the chapel there was a group of us who wanted to stay and do some star trails. So I setup in a field and took 50 Exposures of 30 Sec each. I had a nice shot as it was pointed at the North star. I was looking at others shots though and well… I was jealous! Rob had a great shot with the stars over half dome and I wanted one.

Star Trails

I drove back to my hotel that night feeling defeated because I didn’t get my star shot I wanted. I did the only logical thing I could think of and checked out of the hotel and drove back to Yosemite at 1AM. I parked in a field and spent the next three hours working on my star shot. The exposure was 61 min at 200 ISO and it came out great! I left the conference that day feeling as though I had slain the giant!


It was a great experience full of great instructors. If you get a chance to go do not pass it up for anything.

6:05 PM Permalink
October 18, 2013

LinkedIn: Adobe Education EMEA

Since the amazing education event in Barcelona I’ve become the community manager for on LinkedIn of the Adobe Education EMEA group. This pace on the web has been realized last year at the event in Istanbul and one year later more than one hundred educators from Europe, The Middle East and Africa are member of this group.

I want to make it a active group with a lot of educators who are willing to share experiences in educating in our creative field. But teaching language at a creative school of using adobe tools for math… That doesn’t matter. Please feel free to join in on our team and work with us on a active group of fantastic educators.

Please go to to be part of it.

Al the best,

Matthijs Clasener

10:37 AM Permalink
October 2, 2013

Are Clouds Gathering? Paying attention to customer responses to the Creative Cloud launch.

There has been far too much written on Adobe’s move to the cloud from both Adobe and its customer base. Some of these tomes are wildly enthusiastic, others more skeptical in their views and some peppered with outrage. Sifting fan boy fiction from the griping of grumpy old men in order to eek out a kernel of truth is a difficult but necessary task when you are expected to weigh in on a technology adoption like the Creative Cloud. My superiors are looking for  nuggets of wisdom that will allow them to make costly, critical decisions and marketing tomes really don’t cut the mustard where they are concerned. They are (some might contend) being forced into an arranged marriage of sorts-being brought into a new sort of relationship where they really don’t understand the terms of reference, yet, they are expected to provide a substantial dowry to validate the marriage contract. I am using hyperbole, of course, to illustrate a point and give insight into how some institutional decision-makers are feeling.

While marketing departments can control the messaging leaving a company they have little or no control as to how their intended target audience will respond to those messages. Response is predicated on a many of factors that marketing gurus, often lacking in the perspicacity necessary to provide an all-encompassing view, can ignore at their peril. Decision-making and messaging can often be based solely on pecuniary motives or on a host of mistaken assumptions and this can wreak havoc on the successful uptake of a product or service. That is why companies spend so much on focus groups in order to take the pulse of their customers. Now. Cloud computing seems an inevitability. While it has some drawbacks, the ease of use and convenience of “seamless” upgrade paths has one clamoring for a pen to ink the contract. But, could this initial positive reaction have been misguided? I don’t mean to imply any duplicity. In fact, I would venture to assert that both Adobe and its customers enjoyed the ecstasy of a honeymoon period as they sat down to chart out life together in the clouds. What was problematic, in my estimation, was that we were both using old terms of reference and hadn’t fully considered what this migration would entail. We were all still looking at Adobe as the company who made us great tools–things—products when, in fact, that was all about to change in a very substantial way.
Marshall McLuhan said “The medium is the message” When the medium was product it had a clearly defined profile: It had a box with great graphics, CDs, a Manual to read at leisure in the bathtub (Don’t try THAT with an iPad!). As Adobe’s product ecosystem migrates into the Cloud it is undergoing a media shift and media shifts, as we have learned cause VERY unexpected consequences–often in direct opposition to the benefits that were earlier percieved. Take the car–often touted in the 50’s and 60’s as a means of escape and empowerment bolstered with images of happy families standing beside a woody wagon in the great outdoors. Good Clean Fun! Fast forward to today and we are now imprisoned in urban gridlock for 4 hours a day sucking in a deadly cocktail of noxious fumes. Remember the cell phone with its promise of personal freedom and mobility? Why are my students emailing me at 11:30pm?!!! The projected benefits often experience “reversals.” The best thing to do is to probe for potential reversals before you create something so that you can anticipate the negatives and prepare for them before they happen.

Clearly, the Creative Cloud is evolving Adobe away from being a product-oriented company to one predicated on a service subscription model and there is much to be learned about unintended, negative consequences–like customer dissatisfaction–from the mavens of subscription services—the cell phone providers. We all know the anger and frustration of how the user experience almost never lives up to the expectations of a cell company’s savvy marketing and this results in an erosion of customer loyalty and the hunt for alternatives–often cheaper.

Adobe should consider the wisdom of the cell phone customer experience as it negotiates this new and very difficult terrain. To assume that product loyalty will automatically translate into subscription loyalty might be a dangerous and very wrong assumption. Moving to the cloud signals the beginning of a radically different relationship. The process is akin to a marriage of many years where one of the partners announces that the terms and conditions of the relationship are going to change. This necessarily invites the other party to re-consider the substance and merits of the relationship and will end up with one of several responses: A full embrace of the new terms, a grudging toleration of the new deal or an outright rejection of its terms and a divorce. The party that was put on notice, understandably would consider alternatives before making a decision.

As many will attest, divorces are often bitter and acrimonious with significant co-lateral damage to the reputations and lives of the parties involved.

Anecdotal evidence gleaned from water-cooler conversations has told me that there is a significant resentment to changing the status quo and that the buzz is pointing to a lavalife for new technology solutions. My own institution is actively considering, lower cost alternatives where ALL of our monolithic systems are concerned and an educational institutional binder (formerly an ELA) on Creative Cloud would certainly fit this rubric. While ELAs in the old product-focused Adobe actually created significant value for our students and our organization, we are now going to experience a sharp rise in our student pricing from $130 per capita to over $700 per capita for a three year diploma student. This is a difficult expense increase to justify and this has resulted in leading suggestions from administrators pointing to “competitors” to Adobe:

Adobe is a world class company who, in my estimation, “gets” education more than any other company but the latest move to Creative Cloud has me wondering about what some feel has been a “Strong Arm” approach to licensing the CC suite.

I know that it was a deeply consultative process in the lead up to the Creative Cloud release and I know that substantive models of change are difficult to manage at the best of times but perhaps the biggest take-away of all is that Adobe is now a relationship company from bow to stern. The “product” is merely the hook into establishing that relationship. Knowing that simple fact Adobe should now be doing a full-court press on managing those established relationships in a way that leads to a better marriage rather than a divorce.

3:51 PM Permalink
July 1, 2013

The Latest On Our DPS App

So, a dwarfdump binary walks into a bar….  No, really, what is says on page  67 under troubleshooting on the DPS Step_by_Step Guide is – “the dwarfdump binary must exist”. OK, after working with the students for three hours to get all our certificates, mobile provisioning files,  UDID’s registered , splash screens and properly sized icons made, seeing that line on the last page under troubleshooting just made us all collapse on to the floor in a paroxysm of laughter. Really, I had tears in my eyes.

But not so on the day we received our app rejection. Having worked so hard on it , we were all surprised. We did everything Apple asked for! But apparently it wasn’t iOSy enough, did not  “feel” enough like what they wanted. But what do they want? We are now watching videos and endlessly discussing what is the stuff that will make Apple welcome us into the iPad world. We are determined to get in and I will share what I hope is a happy resolution of this story, at the Adobe Institute  this summer. Stay tuned.

12:01 AM Permalink
May 24, 2013





Yes!!! SiNTLUCAS has a deal with Mike Horsten @ Mimaki Europe, Amsterdam!
Our three students Robert van den Broek (Media Design, Boxtel), Marc van Buul (Digital Publishing, Eindhoven) and Esther van Helmont (Digital Publishing, Eindhoven) will show their Adobe skills for five days at FESPA 2013 in London. FESPA 2013 is the largest focused event for the wide format print industry; encompassing the very latest equipment and consumables in digital printing, screen printing, industrial and garment decoration at the award winning ExCel London Exhibition Centre.
At the Mimaki-stand they’re going to surprise European public with designs for vinyl, acrylic, textile, Forex, Dibond and iPhone-covers. They’re going to do this in their own space in the Mimaki-stand, the Aquarium, and will be followed with a webcam.
A fantastic opportunity for these students to show their skills to the whole of Europe and a great example of collaboration betweent he  business community and education!


3:29 PM Permalink
April 26, 2013

Review of Photoshop World 2013, Orlando FL

A rare opportunity to shoot with Moose Peterson.

A rare opportunity to shoot with Moose Peterson.

I was privileged enough to be able to attend Photoshop World in Orlando Florida on April 16th – 19th 2013. It is worth some time to reflect on my experience to provide insight to others who may be trying to decide about the conference. I am approaching the review trying to be as neutral as possible. I am a beginning level photographer but a very avid user of Photoshop for Graphics design. I attended the conference to be able to learn about photography from individuals who understand photographs on a professional level.

Summary Photoshop World 7 of out 10
It was a good conference for a teacher but probably not a repeat because it is highly focused on individuals who already understand photography. As a teacher new to photography I was a little out of my element and didn’t know too many people. The information was relevant and will be used but in the end it just wasn’t quite right for a teacher. If you are a photographer by trade however it is a must go and it happens twice a year. The conference was well organized and easy to navigate once I found the right concourse at the convention center. I could not be happier with the staff and trainers they were pros in every aspect!

April 16th – Pre-conference Photo Safari with Moose Peterson: 8 out of 10
I chose this pre-conference initially because it was some time in the actual field taking pictures. Moose was the right person for this situation. He had many connections to Fantasy of Flight which was great! All the planes were pulled out of the hangar for us and setup on the grass. The sky was cloudy, the temperature was great, and he even had re-enactors come in to pose. There was help available from his two son’s who were very knowledgeable. Also Frank Doorhof came with us and provided some additional knowledge. The group of photographers was small and very friendly. The expertise was very high, all were helpful and the weather was great. I felt like it may have been a little long as we were there from 1:30-6:30 maybe about 1 hour less would have been perfect. We were all pretty wiped out by the heat which contributed to our anxiety to return. Make sure you have water and a couple snacks. In the end I would rate this as a 8 out of 10. Make it just a bit shorter, add some onsite shade/water (Or come prepared) and just a little more time in a classroom talking about the camera.

We could not have asked for better weather!

We could not have asked for better weather!

Opening Session April 17th: 6 out of 10
I’ve attended many opening sessions in my life, this one was not a bad session but it was not riveting. It started with a video they made at the NAPP headquarters and the used the Top Gun Theme. It was a good way to introduce the teachers of the sessions and see their personalities. Adobe’s Julianna Kost shared some sneak peaks into Photoshop and they gave out some awards to some very deserving people. The major down fall of the session is that it didn’t get me feeling super excited about the days ahead. For this the session earned a 6 out of 10.

Work Shops April 17th-19 7 out of 10
The workshops I went to were good for the most part. I attended one with Terry White about his Lightroom workflow and I was completely stunned at how amazing it was. By far the best session I have ever attended at any conference. Without fail I learned at every session I attended without putting forth very much effort. The speakers were the pros and it was obvious from the beginning of the session. I bought a speed pass which turned out to be the best purchase I made fro the conference. It allowed for seating in the first two rows that had tables not only chairs. I was able to put my laptop on the desk and follow along but there was no power so charge up! I was pretty disappointed that there were no computer labs to do training in. The tracks the offered were good: Lightroom, Graphic Design, Business, General Photoshop, Lighting, Photoshop for Photographers, and Photography Technique. I also liked that they had a workbook that had notes and instruction from most of the presenters. The work book is about 500 pages in length and a little heavy. Many people carried them around for the conference but Mine stayed in the hotel. All in all the conference workshops were good workshops, they were focused on a specific topic and didn’t deviate too far from it, you were given what you were told.

Photoshop After Hours Party BB King’s April 17th 6 out of 10
I give this one a six instead of my original five only because Scott Kelby has some mad skills on the piano and Guitar. The after hours party tickets were $70 and provided a very prominent exclusive area in Orlando as well as a nice buffet. They had a band playing comprised mainly of Scott Kelby’s family which was extremely talented. I think had it not been my first time and I felt a little more comfortable it could have scored a 7.

Expo April 17-19 5 out of 10
I was expecting a little larger Expo having attended Adobe MAX, ISTE, and TCEA. The key players were there; Adobe, Manfroto, Cannon, Epson…. I was kind of surprised that the conference didn’t have workshops going on during the Expo hours. I’m sure that was an effort to make sure the attendees went to the Expo. There were all kinds of trainings in the Expo but it was just a different setting from the workshops. I was expecting to see some pretty cheap pricing but short of the Cannon 60D being sold for $650 ($700 online) I didn’t see too much that kept my interest. I spent 3 hours of the first day in the hall and that was about it.

Midnight Madness Thursday 18th 7 out of 10
Midnight Madness was fun because everyone was just having fun. The hosts were relaxed and there was no expectations for the time we were spending together. There were games and my favorite part “Things to do in Photoshop to people you don’t like” There was some cool stuff shared and then there were doughnuts for everyone. They had an on the spot photo challenge where teams had only 5 min to get a perfect shot. I ranked this one a 7 because it was fun and a chance to relax.

As a final recap I’m glad I went. I had a chance to have some actual face time with the pro’s and it was good. I learned how my camera works and I think I can get a pretty good shot now.

5:50 PM Permalink
April 19, 2013

European AEL session #5

The 23rd of April must be in your agenda right now. There’s another European AEL session planned with a great line up.

Lukas Engqvist will be the host of the session. Michael Stoll, Andrea Gurtler and Serge Adam will be presenting their subjects.

Claire will send the AELs the invitation soon. Time? 20:00 GMR+1 Amsterdam.

9:47 AM Permalink
February 19, 2013

Instead of, Learn the Tools, Perhaps, Discover the Poetry Within

Forestlight 001blogsizeAdobe, in their creative anthem, tell us that creativity is no longer an elective, it’s our future. I absolutely agree. They exhort us to learn the tools. Fair enough, that is one approach. I have had students who were software mechanics. They could not wait to discover a new technique, a new tool, a new method. These students were the masters of the menus and buttons. They were not necessarily more creative, but they were technically ahead. However, there is another approach.

Instead of learn the tools, I would suggest, discover the poetry within.

Several years ago I created a philosophy which has guided my teaching on a daily basis… Don’t teach theory, teach what you can do with it. We could apply that philosophy to this situation by focussing first on expression and then on learning the tools that would allow that expression to see the light of day. Expression first, tools second.

This semester I have a grade eleven class, all beginners, the majority of whom are struggling with school. School really is not their favourite thing. But – something interesting is happening. These students are showing up regularly (other teachers are just a little jealous). They are working. They are asking questions that only come from people trying to do better, to learn more, to express their inner visions. Granted, these inner visions are pretty limited right now. They are the seeds from which other, more complex and interesting ideas, will grow. At the start of the class I focussed on showing them what was possible. I then taught (and continue to teach) the tools that were and will be required. Expression first, tools second. This way works because it puts the students first. Motivation has to come from within, and I would suggest that feeding their inner visions feeds this process most of all.

I am not a software mechanic. I am and always will be, an artist. Opening doors to richer, more articulate self expression is what I try to do for my students every day. Adobe’s tools are and have always been, incredibly powerful, reliable and yes, complex. We need complex to create what we see in our inner visions. These are rich visions – they need and deserve this level of tools. But perhaps it is time for Adobe to embrace this broader perspective of expression first, tools second, one in the service of the other. I think this new message around creativity is an excellent start. Can we take it one step further? Discover the poetry within – the software itself, the incredible projects created by that software, and within the people using the software. If we want to encourage more people, new people, to explore and master this digital universe, perhaps we should start by reaching out to feed their inner visions. Expression first, tools second.

2:02 AM Permalink
January 24, 2013

InDesign- Digital Publishing, Buttons

I am creating files in InDesign to be published to the iPad (teaching a class on it, iPad Publishing.) Everything has been working great and I have been really impressed with the students works.  All the dynamic components really add to the file- like hyperlinks, audio, video, pan & zoom, panorama…. BUT the one dynamic content piece I can not get to work are buttons! I can hyperlink and link buttons to go to URL’s but I can not get them to work when linking to another file within the same folio.  I have tried all the different options in the Buttons and Forms panels but nothing works (for example: Go to Destination, Go to State…) I am also previewing the file at the top level of the folio and even when the file is published to Adobe Viewer it is still not working. Does anyone know of an update or technique that I am missing to link to other files within the same folio?

5:56 PM Permalink