Change how you see the world…

When the world changed (dramatic statement, but it’s the truth), I told myself that I would use this additional time at home to learn something new.

Fast forward to almost 6 months later – and I’m still on that path to learning new things and sharpen (or create) new skill sets. And if you’ve been following my posts (or social media) you’ve been force-fed the new “skills” I’ve been learning on Photoshop.

One of my favorite managers once told me that I “had the ability to see things as they are – and how they could be.” That quote has always stuck with me and I truly feel like it explains how I think and how I react to the world around me. Photoshop has allowed me to fall down that rabbit-hole and really share the things, places and experiences I’ve had and share them in creative new ways as I see/saw them.

Here are some fun ways I’ve been able to share my experiences through pictures, videos and a little bit of magic (aka Photoshop)….

Below was my first “edit” that recapped a year of training for my first full IRONMAN triathlon – and since I said “IRONMAN” I’m obligated to inform you that and IRONMAN triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run race that has to be completed in under 16 hours (Yes, during one day – and Yes, all back to back). This journey was years in the making and an experience that I’ll never forget – and this edit celebrated a lot of those moments over 12 social media squares.

My next edit was a celebration of the weekend road trips I mentioned in a previous post, some of my favorite places, a few trip down memory lane and some special memories “socially distancing” with friends over FaceTime and Instagram Live. From a technical perspective, this is when I learned how to use overlays and get creative with PNG layers of MP4 files – this means creating images that come to life by adding videos to posts that look like pictures until you click on or scroll to the image. If I had a dollar for every time someone messaged me and said “Woah – I didn’t realize that was a video” I’d have… like $3.00. But the fact that the creativity wasn’t lost on anyone made it worth it.

Discovering Overlays was a game changer for me. Something simple like adding translucent bubbles added magic to my images and helped bridge some of the imagery from one post to the other as the bubbles “floated” across my timeline/edit.

As a subtle tribute to Pride Month, some life lessons and my June travels I used overlays to add a rainbow to one of my posts too. A little transparent background image helped reflect the importance of looking up and looking in – again, not everyone will get it, but I do and that’s what’s important. And there are a few “Easter Eggs” hidden in the posts that make me laugh and I know some of my friends catch/caught.

I’ve also tried to step up my Layering skills by taking elements like splashing water to look as if my images were present during the splashing or existing within in the same moment. Was it perfect? Not even close – but I was so excited when I learned how to do it on my own and can’t wait to find a new opportunity to use this same “skill” in a marketing piece or another project.

And in the same layering fashion, I loved taking moments of exploring new places (like the awesome forests in Maui, HI) and dropping them into the succulents and ::struggling:: green grass in my own backyard. I was trying to create the message that adventure awaits you in your backyard – or where you can find it – but I guess I’m the only one who would know that the background and foreground plants was my backyard (again – “IF” you get it).

And that brings us to my most recent edits. I’ll admit it got a little busy at the bottom – but in my defense I did those edit in the car while on a road trip and REALLY wanted to get some of those awesome moments in there.

I was really excited to work some more of photo/video edits in there – especially since there were so many cool videos to share from #Adventuring in Kentucky and Virginia. Please take a look at my Instagram account (@MatthewCGoto) and see how some of the images come to life (or play video – however engaging as you may find it).

What I’ve found is that while busy is fun – I’m going to start to go with larger images and challenge myself to take higher quality images. The term “visual storyteller” is overused, but as a millennial (another overused term) I’m going to own it and really try to tell a story – which has been what I have wanted to accomplish (in addition to learning new skills).

In my last few posts (at the time of this post) I was really challenging myself to find ways to better blend my images (not that I don’t like a Kodak film role, Polaroid frame or ripped edge). The branches in the images below helped me attempt to blend the images – but there are some dead giveaways and flaws – but I’m looking forward to stepping my game up and being able to look back at these posts and identify ways to make them blend smoother or get even more creative – feedback and expert tips much appreciated!

Thank you for reading this longwinded post and encouraging me on this continued adventure to learn new things – and to share how things are and how they could be.

And I know that I have a lot to learn – and that makes this journey so much more exciting and fun.