In-Depth Post #6

Blog Post #6

In the last two weeks, I didn’t practice any new skills however spent time trying to refine the skills I learned in previous weeks, so I don’t have as much to say, just go over what I practiced and what went well. I went out with my friend Greg to get some photos of the trail he built and of him riding the jumps. This was the first time that I tried taking photos of jumps because they’re much harder to time and require a much faster shutter speed to capture. On top of that, I tried taking a few still shots to show off the trail which I’ll include even though they aren’t action photography. I went into the shoot with no expectations but came out pleasantly surprised with the turnouts. I also focused on trying to include as much greenery as possible to add more depth of field to the photo and make it more interesting. Finally, the day we went was brighter than previous days and in a more open area which let me use a much faster shutter speed.

This first photo I took was simply of the trail sign with the trees and sky in the background, and again, the blog site significantly reduces the image quality. I like the colours in the photo and how everything in the background is out of focus, making the focal point on the trail sign and the center tree. Also, because there was no moving subject, I ran a much slower shutter speed around 1/40 of a second, which let much more light into the camera. It’s hard to tell from the blog but that made a noticeable difference with the graininess of the photo after photoshop.

With this second photo, it was supposed to be more of a lifestyle/behind-the-scenes type of photo while showing off the jump at the same time. As with the first shot, there was no moving subject, so I ran the shutter speed slow for more light. I also used a deeper depth of field so that the takeoff and landing would be in focus as well as Greg and the trees. Finally, in photoshop I gave the photo a warmer tone to bring some more attention to Greg and the jump as opposed to the trees.

In the third photo, I wanted to bring more attention to the forest than to the subject. I did this by using a deeper depth of field on the camera and increasing the vibrance and using a green filter in photoshop. Because he was moving in this photo, I had to run a much faster shutter speed, because of how open it was I was able to do 1/700 of a second which completely froze him. This also made the photo a little grainier because I had to use ISO and photoshop to compensate for the lack of light.

In the fourth and fifth photos, I wanted to make the attention more on Greg as it was a bigger jump, and he was putting more style into it. For both, I got as low to the ground as possible to make the jump look more like its real size and keep trying until I got the perfect timing. This was difficult because my camera doesn’t have a good burst mode, so I was trying to time it perfectly with a single shot. I also learned that 1/700 was faster than needed so I did a 1/500 shutter speed so that I could get more light and have the photo come out more clearly. In photoshop I brightened both photos and increased the vibrance to make the whole photo stand out more.

Finally, this was my favorite photo from the day, I find that it does a good job of focusing on the rider while also telling a story of the surroundings. I followed the rule of thirds to divide the photo into 1/3 is the subject and 2/3 is the surroundings. I also love how you can only see the takeoff of the jump and it almost looks like he’s jumping into the forest. I spent a while trying to find an angle where I could pull that off and hide the dirt as my mentor told me in our last meeting. For shutter speed, I used 1/400 of a second but I wish I used a faster one as the freeze isn’t perfect however it’s not noticeable without looking really closely. In photoshop I zoomed in on the photo more for the rule of thirds, increased the brightness, and vibrance, and gave it a green filter to make the forest stand out more. With this photo, I just wish the shutter speed was slightly faster and the photo was a little brighter.

For my in-depth night presentation, I want to present on stage and show a few photos, and talk about them. What I was thinking was showing a couple of photos on the projector from the very start of the project then a couple of my favorite photos from the end. I’ll talk about what it took to get from the first photos to the end. I’ll say why they’re better, what’s different about them and how I achieved the progression. I will try and take some more photos before my presentation so it’s hard to say exactly what will be better about the newer photos but some of the main points will be, shutter speed, depth of field, angle, and color filter. To prepare for the night, I will take some more photos probably similar to the ones included in this post, and prepare a tentative script of what to say.

Overall, In-Depth this year has been great, there were some hurdles to get over at the start however throughout the project everything started to work out. I progressed at my topic a lot faster than I thought I think mainly due to photography class in the first semester and having strong ideas of what I wanted to shoot thanks to my love for the sport. Even though the project is technically over, I will have a few more meetings to wrap up with my mentor. I will also for sure be continuing to take photos as I find it relaxing, and enjoyable and it’s awesome to see people happy with the photos I get of them. There’s also a few more skills I want to work on in my own time that I didn’t get the chance to yet.


In-Depth 2022 Post #6

Progress Report

Since my last post, I’ve been working on more expansive, landscape composites. These composites involve combining parts of multiple photos into one. For a simple example, taking an image of a mountain with a sunny sky, and replacing the sky with a cloudy sky from another image. I wanted to experiment with some of the techniques from this YouTube channel called PhaseRunner:, who makes a lot of these types of artworks.

My first idea was a desert landscape from Aladdin, with the cave of wonders as the main subject. This was was my sketch:

I tried to add some originality in the scene with the elevated cave. The character on the left is a sorcerer searching for the cave. Although the sketch looked good to me, I struggled with the editing. I decided to quit the project because I didn’t think I would be able to make it work. This is what I got done:

I had a lot of problems with this piece, I think because I didn’t plan out the editing well. The images I used for the desert were too different, which made the entire landscape look a bit off. I didn’t put lots of consideration into perspective, so I had to use a lot of warp on the images of the mountain (below the cave), the city in the horizon, and some of the deserts. Although probably doable, it’s very difficult to make inconsistent images match, especially for a learner like me. I should have spent more time looking for the matching images. For the cave, I couldn’t find good pictures of a roaring lion at the right perspective, so I decided to use shadows to create the cave myself. I think it turned out decent, but it took me a lot of time, which was the main downside of creating it without an image. Overall, the composite didn’t give off the expansive feeling I was going for. The landscape looked small and unimpressive.

Following this project, I brainstormed another idea: a rocky valley with gemstones, a leaking giant cauldron, and three travellers. This was inspired by a videogame I played. This time, I decided to use Photoshop to sketch my idea because it would be more convenient to reference while editing. This was my sketch:

I spent a lot of time trying to look for good images to create the landscape. I tried putting a lot of different images together for this composite, but nothing stuck. However, I had good, high-quality images for the individual item/subjects (cauldron, shield, gems, travellers). I didn’t try editing this project. This was the best I could do with the landscape:

After the previous two unsuccessful projects, I decided to be more easy on myself and only use one image for the landscape. My idea was a mountain with tentacles climbing out of the ground, in a thunderstorm. My inspiration was from the Kraken sea monster. Instead of creating my own landscape, I first found the landscape I wanted to use, and sketched my idea on top. Here’s the sketch:

I’m not finished the composite yet, but I’ve got the important parts done. It doesn’t look amazing, but I think it’s a good start. I didn’t follow everything in my sketch. I cut out the faded mountains in the back, so I didn’t include the eye and the background tentacles. In the edit, I added a plane and some lightning to make the storm more convincing and spice up the image. I’m not planning to include the holes on the side of the mountain anymore, but I’m still planning to add some gooey liquid dripping from the tentacles. This is the project so far:

For this project, I also finally started using custom brushes. In Photoshop, custom brushes are used for manually painting parts of an image. For example, there are brushes for grass, hair, fur, clouds, smoke, etc. I looked for and found some great free brush packs online. In this composite, I used a cloud brush to paint some extra clouds, and will be using a grass brush to make the hole in the mountain more realistic.

As always, I’ve kept up with watching and learning new techniques from different channels. Some techniques work for me, while others don’t. I’ve also done lots of experimenting myself with different ways of doing the same job, and seeing which method makes the best result, or the one I find best. After I’m finished the “Kraken in mountain” project, I’m want to try creating realistic Pokemon, inspired this channel, Benny: which I’ve been watching since the start of my in-depth. This is a video of his edits: This is super different from my previous projects again, so I might struggle a bit. Hopefully, I’m able to create something I’m happy with.

In-Depth Night

For In-Depth Night, I’ll be creating a poster board gallery with all my final projects printed. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to show my skill (Photoshopping) live, because my laptop can’t run Photoshop well, and the screen is too small. The gallery will capture and show the progress I’ve made throughout these 5 months, and also display the different types of projects I’ve learned to create. The audience will be able to ask questions about my projects like, how I made them, my inspirations for making them, or other questions about Photoshop.

In-Depth Post #6

Hi all! As this project is coming to an end, this will probably be my last post. I had another meeting with my mentor, and we discussed how I will be presenting on in-depth night.

Progress update

As promised, here is a recording Over the Rainbow. Unfortunately, the file exceeds the upload limit for this blog site so you will have to click the link below:

Click here for recording

There are a few aspects of this piece that I am still unsatisfied with. I would have liked to play it a bit faster, but was limited primarily by my shifting speed and my ability to use vibrato on shorter notes. As such, I also have not been very confident using these two skills I have been practising in my pieces, and I use them quite sparingly. You may have also noticed that some of my notes were a little off tune and the middle section wasn’t very smooth. I will put a lot of focus into improving my shifting in preparation for in-depth night.

I have also been continuing to do the drills mentioned in previous blog posts, and on top of that I started practising some scales and arpeggios, as these patterns can be very commonly found in pieces, especially classical music.

In-depth  night

For in-depth night, I plan on doing a stage performance to show what I have learned. Since I have limited time on the stage, I obviously cannot play all the pieces I have played throughout this project. So, I started a new piece, Musette in D major from the RCM level 3 repertoire. I picked this piece because I think it is quite technically demanding and involves a variety of skills that will allow me to showcase as much of my learning as possible. I will also try to record my performance and post it so those who are not able to watch my performance live will still be able to see it. I hope that there will be noticeable improvements from my original baseline that I included in my first post.

I also plan on having another final meeting with me mentor in between now and in-depth night to improve this piece more.

Thanks for reading!

In-Depth Blog Post #6

Hello and welcome back for another update on my In-Depth project. Since my last blog post I have been focused primarily on writing CSS to style my website to match the mock-up. Admittedly it has been quite difficult to transition from thinking primarily about web design and HTML to the difficult syntax and often frustratingly arbitrary rules of CSS. As a result, the homepage of my website now looks like this:

And the code to create used to create it looks like this:

As you can probably tell the current state of my homepage does not look much like the mock-up most of this is due to the various seemingly unexplainable errors in my code that I had to gripe with. However, some of these I was unable to remedy with help from the internet and Colin who has kindly been able to answer some of my questions. Of course, the solution to the unexplained problems was to contact my mentor which I did. Unfortunately, Sam is currently on tour with his band and was not able to meet with me on Zoom since my last blog post. In this email:

He suggested that I email him the questions that I had so that he could answer them before this blog post was due. Unfortunately, after this email:

And a follow up I still have not received a response.

As previously discussed, my plan to present my In-Depth night this year is to create a website that displays what I have learned. This website will use WordPress as the content management system, and will either be hosted by WordPress as well, or I will attempt to host it myself on the server in my basement. The website will be available for about three weeks after the In-Depth night so those that were not able to attend can still view the work that I created. During the In-Depth night itself, my plan is just to have a table with my laptop, a mouse, and an external computer monitor to display my website. I will likely split my screen to show both the code of my website and the website itself and will talk viewers through some of what they are looking at. I am very excited for In-Depth night this year but unfortunately, I am very concerned about being able to complete the website on time because of the current situation with my mentor and my current, slower, pace attributed to the extracurricular commitments overshadowing this project.

In Depth Post 6 – Backgrounds in Digital Art

In-Depth is finally coming to an end. I can hardly believe that the project is nearly complete, but I have found it extremely rewarding. I learned so much from my amazing mentor, Sarina, and I got to apply everything I learned directly into my own art. I feel very accomplished and satisfied with my learning, and I think my art improved a lot during this time. I took advantage of all learning opportunities I was presented with, and I have become more knowledgeable because of that. 

What was a highlight for you and why? 

A highlight for me was seeing how my art progressed as I learned new techniques. One very useful way I absorbed this new information is from my mentor drawing her own art during meetings, as I was able to see these techniques in action. I also became closer with my mentor during this process. Below are Sarina’s drawings of the rare horse pig. 

What was particularly challenging for you and why? 

Though In-Depth has been enjoyable, I still found it challenging at times. I sometimes had trouble getting art done before each meeting, especially towards the end of the project when I became busy with other responsibilities. These past two weeks were some of those challenging ones. I did not go to my dad’s house for a while because I was sick, though I had intended to work on the colour pallets for my Wilbur PMV there. This meant I was not able to progress on that project. However, I managed to finish a different one. The project below is a part for a Multiple Animator Project (MAP) that I have been working on for a few weeks. I showed a frame of it in my previous In-Depth post. 

 This was my first experience using blend modes, which are effects used to blend a layer with layers below it. Like I mentioned in my fifth post, I found that this technique makes my shading appear more professional and beautiful. I have started using it in almost all my new drawings. For example, last week I was inspired to draw someone’s art in my own style using blend modes. Below is the image created by me, and then that of the original artist, cassandraa (on YouTube). I used blend modes to make the shading fit the colours under it and replicate the text in the original image. 

What will you prepare for In-Depth Night? 

This event will be my first time presenting a major TALONS project in person, and I want it to be a success. I believe I have come up with an effective method to showcase my project. I plan to print out a few of my best works from this project onto glossy paper and place them around my table. I have printed my art on such papers before, and it looks amazing, so I think that is a better choice than simply showing the drawings on my iPad. Below is an example of my printed art. 

I will place the drawings on small stands borrowed from Ms. Mulder. People can look at the printed drawings and ask me questions about the process, techniques used, and anything else. I will also be drawing live at the table. This way, people can see what it looks like to draw a background from scratch. I will be present to discuss my project with anyone who comes by. 

2022 In-Depth Post #5

Hello, welcome to my final in-depth post this year!

I cannot believe how fast the past four months have gone by. I have learned so much from my mentor and I am excited for the in-depth night where I can share highlights of my learning with people.

Project Progress
Since my last blog post, I have been working on tying up loose ends. I knew my Squamish hiking trip was quickly approaching so I changed my fitness plans to help me prepare for that. I worked on training specific muscle groups that would be engaged a lot throughout the hikes. With the help of my mentor and physiotherapist, I was able to complete all of the hikes that we set out to do on the trip. I was also able to get out with my family to hike in preparation for the hiking trip. My favourite hike that we did was Admiralty Point. It was quite short, but it was a very beautiful hike, not too challenging and not too busy. As a part of my preparation for the hiking trip, I also did a lot of cardio because I knew we were going to go on some pretty long hikes. This ended up paying off. While on the hikes I was not out of breath as quickly, however, I was still not able to go as fast as I would have liked to with the amount of pain that I was in. Overall, it was a great trip and I learned from and enjoyed every moment.

Preparation for In-Depth Night 2022

Below is a summary of my thoughts on the following questions regarding the project:

What was a highlight for you and why?
A highlight for me during this project was the countless opportunities I had to share my learning with others. I got to talk to my friends and family who were interested in what I was learning about. There were many times throughout the project that fellow TALONS kids asked me what had been doing recently for my project. I used that as an opportunity to tell them all about the cool new health and fitness practices I tried as well as what I had recently learned. I also had opportunities to apply my knowledge to myself and share it with others through sports. I was able to motivate my teammates and teach them a bit about what I learned in-depth. Also, I just really enjoyed talking with others about the different mental health practices and facts that I learned. It was extremely interesting recognizing patterns in happy people and learning about what makes different people happy.

What was particularly challenging and why?
One part of this project that was particularly challenging at times was staying consistent. My meetings with my mentor were consistent for the most part. However, there were times throughout the project when we met less often than others. It was also challenging at times to stay consistent with my fitness plans. There were times the weather discouraged me from getting outside or I had a lot of homework to do on certain days and never got around to working on my project. I had to work on my prioritizing skills during this project. There were times I had to put my in-depth on the back burner, but I always made sure to get back on track as soon as possible.

Where might this skill take you next?
There will always be space in my life for practicing and prioritizing physical fitness as well as mental health. I can apply my in-depth skill in my day-to-day life and I can continue sharing my learning with others. Every piece of information that I have learned in-depth this year will help me be a better leader on my sports teams. I can help motivate others and educate them on the importance and personalization of health and fitness. My learning may also come in handy during my summer job this year at Pedalheads Bike Camp. Who knows, my passion for health and fitness may continue to grow. I may start thinking about a future career in the health and fitness industry.

Which of these elements will you capture? How will you present your learning?
I am going to capture the bulk of my skill through an interactive survey that people can take. I will have a QR code available for people to scan which will take them to a survey that they can take to personalize health and fitness plans. Creating this will put my skill of putting together personalized health and fitness plans to the test because there will be a wide range of people. Their fitness levels, interests, and desired areas of focus will all differ. Creating plans personalized as best as I can for each individual will be challenging but also a lot of fun.

During In-Depth Night this year, I am also planning on having a collection of health and fitness plans that I followed. People who stop by will be able to flip through the collection of plans I made for me and may draw a little inspiration through that. I will also work on finding a way to provide people with other significant resources I came across throughout my such as links to videos, articles, and websites.

How I will evaluate my learning and apply my learning to other situations, acknowledge my mentor and celebrate my learning during an in-depth night.

My evaluation of my learning this year will come through my reflection and the marks I give myself on the criteria sheet where I recently added a few pieces of criteria. I will also make sure I take some time to reflect on the entire process and appreciate how far I have come and how much I have learned throughout this project. Just because in-depth is coming to a close does not mean that I will stop pursuing my passion in the realm of health and fitness. I will continue to learn about the topic and look for ways to apply it in my life as mentioned above. After this project and all of the information and wisdom that my mentor passed on to me, I will continue to do my best to share what I have learned through conversations with people, research, and personal discoveries.


Since in-depth is coming to a close for the year I am planning on getting together with my mentor one last time and expressing my appreciation for all that he has done this year to support me throughout this project. I have learned so much from him and have been able to learn so much during my time with him. I truly do appreciate all of the time and effort he has put into helping me succeed throughout in-depth this year. Other than thanking my mentor and putting together my learning centre for In-Depth Night I do not have much else to do.

I have learned so much through my in-depth this year. Looking back to the beginning of this project as well as what I accomplished last year it almost seems unreal. I am thrilled that we get to celebrate our learning on In-Depth Night this year in person!

Thank you for reading my final in-depth post!

In-depth 2022 Post #6

Hello and welcome to my final blog post for my in-depth mandolin project!


What are you going to prepare for in-depth night?

For the in-depth night, I will be preparing a mandolin tune. The song I have chosen is “Caledonian Laddy” which is a fiddle tune. The song is quite fun and cheery because it was made for dance. It is Scottish folk song inspired which I find interesting because I feel I have spent less time learning about folk music and would like to try more. I will play the tune once through at a medium pace because it matches my skill level and because the tune wasn’t designed to be played incredibly fast.

What elements will you capture?

The song will show how I have grown to become comfortable with my instrument. I have chosen it because it was the first full tune I started working with, so I can show the most improvement. It shows my improvement in the skill I wanted to improve in the most, picking. It also shows how I have learned about new mandolin music because it is Scottish folk music which I had never listened to before this project. I hope that in my performance I can capture how I have improved my skill because I can play a clear and smooth version of the song.

How will the audience interact with your presentation? 

The audience will be watching and listening to my performance of the song. While they are watching and listening there are different parts of the performance that I hope they notice. The audience will be able to notice the clarity of my playing of the notes which has been something I have been working to improve on throughout my project. I also hope that they notice the happiness of the song which was what draw me to it. I wanted something that was fun to play for the performance because it is a celebration of my achievements so far. The audience will also get to see the way I play. They will be able to see that I use the proper picking pattern and proper fretting hand placement which have been two important components of my learning.

What was a highlight for you and why?

The main highlight for me with this project was learning about the community of people who play the mandolin. It isn’t as popular of an instrument as others, so I found it really interesting learning about all the people, programs, and music in the community. I don’t think this would have been able to be a highlight for me without my mentor’s vast knowledge of all kinds of mandolin music and resources, so I am extremely grateful to him.

Here are links to some mandolin songs I have found and enjoyed through this project:

Summer’s End – Sierra Hull

Lemons and Tangerines – AJ Lee & Blue Summit

Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World – Chris Webster

Another highlight of this project has been the moments when I reach points in my learning where I can apply the skills to actual music. Practicing skills can be tedious and repetitive but the moment when you play it in a song and hear it come together makes it worth it. I find that in the moments I feel proud of myself for my improvement and impressed that I can actually make music with the knowledge I have gained.

What was particularly challenging and why?

One challenge I encountered throughout my whole project was knowing what direction to take my learning next. I created a plan before starting the project but as I learned I find other routes that could be interesting and found that some routes weren’t possible. Being able to choose what I learn is something I find very exciting, but it also leaves room for a lot of choices I have to make. One reason this was a challenge for me was that I felt like sometimes, I didn’t know enough about my skill yet to make decisions. It was hard choosing songs or techniques to learn when I didn’t understand how challenging they could be. I also found that sometimes I wouldn’t know all the directions I could go with a song. Luckily, throughout the project, I was able to turn to my mentor. He was able to offer me options and information which have helped me make decisions with a better understanding of what I’m choosing.

Where might this skill take you next?

This skill has definitely inspired me to want to continue to learn new instruments. I have enjoyed my time learning the mandolin and I want to continue to improve at it, but it has also shown me what it’s like to learn new instruments. The guitar was the first instrument I learned, and it has been challenging for me, but I have found that learning the mandolin, though it did have challenges, has been much more enjoyable because I didn’t have to start at music ground-zero. Through listening to the music with mandolin in it I definitely have grown a liking for the banjo which could be an interesting next instrument. The mandolin is also commonly an accompaniment instrument so in the future if I were to meet guitar, fiddle, or other folk instrument players I would love to play with other people. I feel like an opportunity like that would improve my creativity in music. This is because my mentor has talked about his experience with finding a tune and just riffing around with it with other players for hours. I have never been able to do this and think that I could learn a lot about the mandolin from something like that.

Learning Update:

The past couple of weeks have been focused on refining the tunes I have been working on. I have been practicing “Caledonian Laddy” every time I pick up my mandolin to prepare for in-depth night. I feel very confident in the first couple of lines of the song, so I need to spend more time focused on the last lines to bring them up to the level as the first. I have also been practicing “Cold Frosty Morning”. My mentor recorded an audio clip of him playing it, so I have been using it to improve my consistency as I play the song. I have also been learning a modified A minor scale to better understand that tune as well. To wrap up those tunes in the next couple of weeks I want to continue to constantly practice “Caledonian Laddy” and learn the chords for the two tunes to expand my chord knowledge on the mandolin.


Thanks for reading!

In-Depth Post 5

In-Depth Post #5


Two weeks ago, I went out to play around with my camera and try some of what my mentor told me but without much knowledge. I wasn’t expecting much but I came back with a lot more knowledge, and some decent photos and I had fun taking them. I also got some experience using photoshop for the first time in a while to try and enhance the photos by making them brighter and more vibrant. I then showed the photos to my mentor, and we talked about what I could do to make the photos better the next time. This included adding more greenery, more leading objects such as out-of-focus plants and trees, and faster shutter speeds.

On top of that, he said to try taking the photos earlier in the day to get more light, he told me that based on where the sun is in the sky plays a huge factor in the amount of light the camera lets in. When I took my first photos it was around sunset, and they came out very dark even though it wasn’t dark to my eyes and I couldn’t figure out why. We talked about the camera angle and how I should try not to go for the obvious shot, this means to get low and angle the camera up or find somewhere creative to take the shot. Another major point he mentioned was that I should focus the shot on the landscape instead of the rider if the rider wasn’t showing off. This means taking a step back and shooting a wider photo so that the forest, the landscape and the trail can tell the story. On the other hand, if the rider is doing something impressive then it’s ok to zoom in and make them the focus and not worry so much about the landscape. Finally, he talked about not showing any dirt in the photo, he said to try angling the camera up or making hiding it with greenery to make the photo more appealing and intriguing.

Finally, there was a day when I could get out again when it was cloudy, not raining and I was free around three so perfect conditions for the photos. I got out to eagle mountain with my friend Bryson and we were going up to one of the best trails, Manhandler with many photo opportunities. Right away, I snapped a spoke on my wheel which meant I wasn’t riding anyway so there were more chances for me to take pictures. The first challenge I had was when I got up there, I quickly realized there was very little greenery just trees and dirt. It also ended up being very cloudy which meant there was still a lack of light.

Here are the first two photos that I took after photoshop. Firstly, another reminder that there isn’t much I can do to format the photos in the blog post, and they sort of just go where they want as well as the quality is greatly reduced in the blog site. With these two, I tried to think about making the feature look bigger which meant getting below it to make it look taller and steeper. I also tried to find somewhere where I could hide as much of the dirt as possible which ended up working quite well. Next, I thought about the rule of thirds which is where the rider and the feature take up around a third of the shot. Once I chose my angle, I then played with the settings firstly the shutter speed. I went as high as I could before it got dark which ended up being 1/150 of a second which is decent but not ideal. In the photos, you can see the slightest bit of movement however it isn’t very noticeable unless you look closely. To compensate for the light, I made the f-stop as small as possible and put the ISO at 1600.

In the third photo, I tried to incorporate a plant as a leading object into the subject. I think it did add a little however it could have been better with a little deeper depth of field because the plant almost isn’t noticeable. There’s also a lot more dirt visible although that is mostly due to the terrain, and I couldn’t find an angle to hide the dirt. As this was a slower feature I only used 1/70 of a second for the shutter speed which meant I got more light and didn’t need as high ISO so the photo was of higher quality. Finally, I tried to capture Bryson on the rock between the two rolls because the rock is what stands out the most to me.

In the fourth photo, I tried to make the trail the focus of the photo. I did this by showing both wood features as well as making Bryson smaller and on the side of the photo. Because of this, the trail acts as a leading line that takes your eyes all the way across the photo to where the trail leaves the frame. I also made the tone warmer in photoshop to make the two wood features stand out more as they were what I wanted to show off. I went with 1/200 of a second shutter speed this time as there was more available light and Bryson was going faster for the drop. There was no chance of hiding the dirt in this photo however I think the forest background sort of distracts the viewer and I don’t really notice all the brown dirt that you don’t want to see.

This was the final decent photo that I got from that day, I like it because of how green the forest looks. The feature isn’t anything too special however the moss on the rock stands out and I made the tone greener so that the forest looks greener and more vibrant. I wish I had chosen a different angle however as this one doesn’t show too much, and it would have been nice if the photo was brighter which I probably could’ve fixed in photoshop or a slower shutter speed.

Mainly what I noticed was how much of a difference the time of day made, I was able to shoot with shutter speeds up to 1/250 of a second whereas the first time I couldn’t go faster than 1/100 which made a big difference. I also found it easier to choose an angle to shoot from this time as I knew what to look for and what I wanted to capture. On top of that, I spent less time trying different camera settings as I had more experience with what each function did. Finally, the consistent cloudy sky made for a nicer picture as nothing was overexposed or underexposed like last time.

Something that I like about the way my mentor teaches is that he talks from personal experience with brands and what they are looking for with his photos. This allows me to learn how to take photos in a way that would be appealing to a wide audience instead of just what I like or what he likes. This is also beneficial if I ever wanted to go deeper into photography as a career or side hustle later in life. The best opportunity that I must reinforce new learning and accelerate learning is simply to get out and practice. I have many friends that I can take pictures of at a moment’s notice, and I learn best hands-on. This way I am also able to learn from my mistakes as well as find personal preferences and strengths.

As I mentioned, when I talk with my mentor, he is always talking about the perspectives of the people buying the photos which is a different perspective from last year. I also like how he speaks from the consumer’s perspective because when I am taking my photos that isn’t much of consideration, so I sort of get to see both views. So far, the method of progression has been going well where I take my photos and discuss them with my mentor. I’ve found it’s been working well to learn from my mistakes as well as continue to build from my strengths. My mentor has been very open about his professional life to me and exactly what goes into making his career work and he’s giving me as much information as possible about what I need to know. We have also had an easy time making connections about the places we’ve been and the trails we ride for example. Because we got to know each other a little I’ve found it’s easier to trust him and learn from him and I would think he has an easier time mentoring me because he knows me.

In Depth Post 5 – Backgrounds in Digital Art

What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

Since the start of In-Depth, my mentor Sarina has been sending me extra resources to give me a deeper perspective of my learning. These have been videos and images about brushes, ambient occlusion, colour theory, composition, etc. and they have been a great refresher for our lessons. 

What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

These past few weeks have been quite busy, so I have not had much time to practice backgrounds for In-Depth. However, I have found myself using strategies I learned from my mentor in completely unrelated art. An example of this is when I created two pieces of art for my friend’s birthdays.  

I did not design these with In-Depth in mind, but I soon realized that I was subconsciously implementing what I learned. For example, I used the rule of thirds in the penguin drawing. The rule of thirds is when lines split the canvas up into thirds, and it is used to make art appear balanced. The object of focus is usually on one of the intersecting lines.

Another example is my use of foreground, midground, and background in the red panda drawing. The blurred leaves are the foreground, the red panda is in the midground, and the far-away trees are the background. I also used contrasting colours to make the red panda stand out from the green background. These concepts make my art more professional and pleasing to the eye. 

I have also found myself spotting and analyzing uses of colour theory all around me. I have come to realize that most products, whether they are food packaging, cleaning supplies, or advertisements, implement it to be appealing to customers. This has given me ideas for my own colour palettes. 

What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Learning about art outside of In-Depth helps accelerate learning. I discovered that recently when I joined a new Multiple Animator Project (MAP) that had very strict shading guides. I had to use blending modes called overlay and multiply. I had never tried using them before and didn’t even know they existed in my art program, Procreate! However, they proved extremely useful and made my shading a thousand times more beautiful. Below is the first image that I tried these blending modes on. I also used them on my friend’s birthday drawings. 

When you get together what do you talk about?

My meetings with Sarina are usually structured like so: 

Say hi and catch up with each other. I show Sarina my newest art and explain what strategies I implemented in it. 

Sarina teaches me a lesson, using visual and verbal examples. I take notes.

I ask any remaining questions and we say goodbye. Sometimes I show her my cat, Amy. 

I am very happy with our lesson structure and I think it gives us the optimal opportunity for learning and teaching. Our meetings usually last about one or two hours. 

What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

During our last meeting, I got the chance to ask Sarina a question about colour theory. I think this was the first time I came to my mentor with a big question. I have been struggling with the final two colour palettes for my PMV, and I asked Sarina if she had any pointers. We discussed what I wanted the first pallet to represent and how I could use colours to achieve this. Unfortunately, we did not come to a concrete conclusion, but I did get lots of ideas and I think I will be able to figure out the rest on my own. 

What are you learning about one another?

I have been learning an incredible amount about art, but I have also been getting to know my mentor even better. As I mentioned before, we were friends before the project, but this was the first time we had talked in years. This meant we have gotten many chances to reconnect. For example, Sarina once came to see my cat, Amy, and I learned that she loves cats. We decided to go to a cat café together because of this, and it was tons of fun. I cannot wait to continue connecting with my mentor and improving my artistic skills. 

In-depth 2022 Post #5

Hello and Welcome to the fifth blog post update of my in-depth on the mandolin!


  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

One way that my mentor is exposing me to new learning is by talking about the mandolin artists and events that he knows about. I’ve learned a lot about a variety of different players from what he has recommended. This has led to me finding out more about the music mandolin is used for as well as led to me being more interested in the instrument. I’ve learned to appreciate artists I probably would have never heard of if it weren’t for my mentor’s knowledge of different mandolin players.

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

I have a really extensive collection of materials that I have access to for the mandolin which helps make it possible to learn anything with an effort put in. My mentor has lent me his collection of mandolin magazines and each copy has a section for beginners. They give me access to new songs and techniques as well as good advice for new players. I also have a music book with pages of chord charts and basic scales that is perfect for learning new songs I’m interested in. With access to videos and songs on the internet on top of that, I have access to a  huge number of skills I can learn and ways to learn them.

  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

One opportunity I have from my mentor that has helped accelerate my learning is being able to have recordings of the songs I am learning. When I am learning new tunes, my mentor records them on his mandolin and sends me a copy. This has helped me learn better because I am able to hear the tune all together played properly before I learn it. This helps a lot with getting the pacing right and being able to move fluidly through a song. This also gives me something to compare my playing with to make sure that I am on the right track. Recordings of the tunes I am learning are hard to find so having them to listen to has been very helpful.

  1. When you get together what do you talk about?

During our meetings we usually talk about my progress since our last meeting, the questions I have, and what I will work on next. Most of the time is spent discussing the questions I have because that’s one of the big reasons we meet. I’ll explain what the problem is, and we will discuss options on how I can move past it. Also, during our meetings, my mentor talks a lot about his experiences in the past with the mandolin and music. This makes the meetings more interesting and helps me to learn more about the mandolin community.

  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

I think our communication about what we are working on during meetings is going well. My mentor is really good at clarifying what I need help with a going over the answer thoroughly. This makes it really good for me in between meetings because I have a good understanding of how I should be spending my practicing time. My mentor is also very enthusiastic about the mandolin which has helped us to work well together. This makes our meetings fun for me because he is always happy to share the knowledge he has. This has also helped me learn knowledge of the mandolin that I would have never thought to ask about.

  1. What are you learning about one another?

I’m learning a lot more about his experience in music as we meet more. He is in a folk band with his wife so it’s interesting to hear about his past experience with that as well as what his band is currently up to. I find it really interesting to hear about how music is something he does for fun but that he also plays gigs. That is because I am interested in getting more serious about playing music as a hobby and would enjoy doing something like that in the future. I like to talk to my mentor about what music I am listening to and have learned to play. I hope this helps my mentor to learn more about me because the music I listen to is really important to me.

Learning Updates:

This week my mentor and I spent most of our meeting talking about how in-depth will be in person. I am planning on performing the first fiddle tune I learned so I can show the most improvement in my performance. I’ve been looking at the song and thinking about how I want to perform it and with what kind of backtracking.

Recording of my playing the fiddle tune:

I have also been continuing to work on scales. I found a music book from my mentor with a bunch of scales, so I’ve been practicing them, especially the G major scale. This has helped a lot with getting better at producing clearer notes as well as being good practice for remembering to do alternate picking. I also started practicing a new tune called ‘cold frosty morning’. My mentor recommended it to me because it’s very different from the last tune I played. It is a slower song in a minor key. This makes the tune less cheerful than my last one which I find interesting. In the next couple of weeks, I want to continue to practice the scales I’m working through as well as the tune I plan on performing. I also want to finish up the ‘cold frosty morning’ tune and try learning a chord song after.

Thanks for reading!