Thursday, February 02, 2017

Teach and Learn - Google Photos

This week we're staying at Riverside RV Resort in North Port, Florida. This is where the Peace River gets wider in preparation for emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. It is beautiful here. This is the 3d year that we've been invited to stay and do a "Geek Week" giving some of our seminars and classes.

Yesterday was an all day, all night, Google Photos day. In the afternoon we had a 3 hour personalized teaching workshop for 4 people with iPhones.

I love these small groups because I really get to connect with individual questions and learn what is important to people and how they learn.

And, I am challenged with each different phone and each student's goals. For example, Pat had an iPhone 6+ and that camera had the live photo feature where it takes 3 seconds of video along with the still photo. She wanted to be able to isolate one frame of the video portion as the still. I've always thought this should be the main purpose of the live photo, but in practice it can't be done. I promised to figure it out and write it up in our newsletter. I have figured out one way, but I'm still looking for a better way. It will be in our February newsletter. When it's done, you'll find it on our Newsletters page.

Then last night we presented a Google Photos seminar to the Sarasota technology user group. STUG. It was an hour drive, and we only had one hour on the agenda, but it was well worth it! I love these big groups because I feel all the energy. I get to show my excitement for the Google Photos product and I don't have to deal with any of the problems because we're only showing my phone, not dealing with any of theirs.

When you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice, the true essence of the orange. When you stress a person, you get their true nature. Or at least that is what I believe.

This seminar stressed us. We were already tired from the day, there was no time for jim to set up equipment because there was another seminar immediately before us. Jim had to set up while the previous presenter was still talking. And this class takes plenty of set-up. A computer, projector, sound system for computer. HDMI cable to project the iPhone screen, document camera to project the Android phone screen. While Jim was doing that, I recruited volunteers to pass out the paper handouts and got mentally prepared to present two hours of material in one hour.

It went great.

We felt squeezed, and our essence came out. Jim was ready with our standard PowerPoint introduction displayed, but I threw most of that out in order to get straight to demonstration. He joked with the audience as he deftly took each demo I threw at him and projected it on the big screen, bouncing between iPhone, Android, and computer. I let my passion show and boiled down all the features of Google Photos to get across the message that this is a game changer in the life of a photo taker. You can see the seminar description here.

We couldn't take all their questions, for lack of time, but we took enough to know that they were engaged. And there were some great questions.

At the end, we got raucous applause, and nearly 20 people were lined up to buy our book and/or become a member of Geeks on Tour. How cool is that?

After the meeting we had time to talk to people and one woman told me how it distressed her that Google Photos knows her face and she didn't like the fact that I took pictures of the group which I might post on Facebook ... or Blogger! I told her there's just not much you can do about other people taking your photo in public places. But, when someone asks not to be photographed, the photographer should honor the request.

I made sure that she is not in the photo above ... but she is in some of the other photos that I like, which got me to thinking ... how do I blur a face? I have a tutorial on how to blur a face with Picasa. I know it can't be done with Google Photos, but how about the companion photo editor Snapseed?  Hmm, I'll work on that one too! I did find out how to do it, but it doesn't blur it enough ... the healing tool makes her totally unrecognizable, but it looks a little funny. I see another tutorial in the works!

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