One of the things I really enjoy is learning new stuff. I guess that’s one reason I love computers and the Internet: the scope for learning is enormous, and then it’s easy to apply the knowledge and control something.
Recently I upgraded to Aperture 3, an Apple product for managing photos. I’d been using version 2 for quite some time, but the update includes a lot of new features.
Although I often learn by discovery, this time I decided to turn to one of my favourite sources of online training: Lynda.com (affiliate link). In fact, I like their videos so much, I’ve just signed up as an affiliate.
For US$25 you get an all-you-can-view one month subscription, or you can go with an annual sub that saves money over paying for 12 separate months.
They have hundreds of courses, with more being added all the time. People who really know their subject provide training via carefully created and highly professional videos. Production values are extremely high.
They have a number of videos on YouTube, like this 9 minute segment about the new Curves tool in Aperture 3:
In Aperture 3 Essential Training, author Derrick Story covers the entire photographic workflow in Aperture, from import to enhancement to output. The course covers organizing image collections using star ratings, labels, and Smart Albums, and using the image editing tools to correct exposure, retouch flaws, and correct color balance issues.
Curves is now my new favourite tool in Aperture 3.
In the last few months I’ve completed several Lynda.com courses, and have the certificates to prove it:
Trial and error discovery learning is a good way to go, but sometimes just sitting back and watching a knowledgeable person explain things in a well-structured course is more efficient and covers more territory.
I’m currently working my way through an 8 hour course on Aperture 3, and already the 20 minutes or so that I’ve watched have saved me hours of fumbling around. I can also see how I created some problems for myself in the way I used Aperture 2.
There are hundreds of courses available — possibly thousands — on all kinds of tech topics. Every course makes some of the videos available free, so you can sample the course before committing to it.
Mind you, there’s no compulsion to view any entire course: you may find one or two chapters fill the gaps in your knowledge just nicely.
Lynda.com offers some of my favourite training. It’s available when I need it, and I can work at my own pace, trying things out on my own machine as appropriate.
By the way, I have a favourite sneaky trick: set the video options (under Course Preferences) to use the new QuickTime Custom. While it sometimes degrades the video a bit for me, I often set it to play at 1.5 or 2 times normal speed. While it can make the presenter sound a bit high-pitched, it’s very useful for speeding through sections that may be less interesting, such as anything you already know, or instructions about how to use the Exercise Files.
If you haven’t visited Lynda.com yet take a look now and see if there’s something you could benefit from.
If you decide to sign up, and why wouldn’t you?, I’d appreciate it if you’d use my Lynda.com affiliate link to help me pay for the hosting on this site.
Meanwhile, I’m heading back for some more training on Aperture 3, and the PHP and MYSQL brush-up I’m working on.