This week’s Featured Five: Choosing your Photoshop course

Published by | Monday, May 14th, 2012

For this week’s featured five new tutorials, I have a sampling of movies from five different Photoshop courses we offer in the library, each with a slightly different approach, scope, or focus. With the announcement of CS6, we’ve updated three of our mainstay Photoshop training courses, and when you combine that with our existing content, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start or which course is right for your needs. Here are some quick descriptions and free movie samples of five of our Photoshop offerings, from the encyclopedic to the specific, to help you figure out which one is right for you in your current state of expertise and interest.

Are you looking for more direction on where to start with Photoshop? Let us know what you’re looking to accomplish below in the comments section, and we’ll share our ideas about where to begin.


1. Photoshop CS6 Essential Training
In general, Essential Training courses at are designed to give you comprehensive knowledge of a software application and a solid foundational overview of the product from a real-world perspective. In the case of Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, this means author Julieanne Kost stays focused on the most important tools for photo editing and compositing, with just the right pairing of ‘how does this tool work’ and ‘why you want to use it and when.’ Essential Training courses are great for watching start-to-finish for the big overview, or if you need focused instruction on a tool, or set of tools, you don’t quite understand. For example, in this excerpt, you’ll see how Photoshop’s Liquify tool can be used judiciously in a variety of different real-world portrait retouching scenarios:

Note, if you’re working with an earlier version of Photoshop, there are Photoshop CS5 and CS4 essential training courses available in the library as well.


2.  Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
The fundamentals course from the Photoshop One-on-One series also covers the core concepts of working in Photoshop, but veteran Photoshop instructor Deke McClelland approaches his training as though he were your private one-to-one tutor. Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is great if you’re looking for more insight into how tools integrate with one another, or if you prefer to learn through “mini-project” examples that develop over the course of a movie or a chapter. In this excerpt from chapter four of the course, you’ll see a six-minute lesson on blending, and, specifically, how to work with three distinct features: Opacity, the History panel, and blend modes:

Deke has been creating a version of the One-on-One Fundamentals course in the library for several years, so if you’re working with an earlier version you can find this specifically tailored instruction for Photoshop CS3, CS4, and CS5 as well.


3. Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
Using Photoshop can mean different things to different people and this course is notable for it’s focus on the needs of a particular set of Photoshop students—photographers. In this course, Chris Orwig, a noted photographer and photography teacher, details the features and techniques surrounding photo enhancement and retouching, preparation for print and online publishing, and much more. He also teaches some of the foundational science behind digital photography, including this discussion of pixels and bit depth:

Chris has been teaching this photography-centric Photoshop course for several versions of Photoshop, including Photoshop CS3 for Photographers, Photoshop CS4 for Photographers, and Photoshop CS5 for Photographers. He has also created several in-depth courses on photography-critical topics including portrait retouching and creative effects.


4. Photoshop for Designers
In the Photoshop for Designers series, talented designer Nigel French digs deep into Photoshop with a specific focus on the needs of graphic designers. The series is broken up into five full-length courses, each exploring a particular aspect of Photoshop including textures, colors, type essentials, Shape layers, and layer effects. Often, when you’re using Photoshop for graphic design, you’re starting with a blank canvas and creating artwork out of pure pixels, which is the case in this excerpt from chapter one of the Photoshop for Designers: Color course which covers how to create a color wheel using Photoshop’s blend modes and layer effects.


5. Photo Restoration with Photoshop
In this course, professional photo restorer Janine Smith describes how to use Photoshop specifically to restore, retouch, and enhance old or damaged photos. In addition to covering methods for fixing everything from exposure, to stains, colorcast, scratches, and tears, Janine also shares how to evaluate damaged photos before beginning the restoration process. A course that offers lessons through exploration of an example project, this course includes a hands-on photo restoration that takes an image from a damaged start to a restored finish. In this video from chapter nine of the course, you’ll see a before and after of the course project restoration, and a run-down of the improvements Janine will help you tackle, including, the restoration of a major crack through the subject’s face, color alteration, and the removal of several major damage spots:

The course was recorded in CS5 but it’s real strength is the best-practices approach that Janine takes to photo restoration, so you should find valuable information here even if you’re still working in CS4, or if you’ve just forayed into the brave new world of Photoshop CS6.

Photoshop is a complicated program that can be used in infinite ways for a variety of creative endeavors. The team at is dedicated to making sure you can find a course (or maybe three) that really provides the depth of coverage, level of context, and variety of specific interest that you need. Are you looking for a place to start with Photoshop? Let us know here, and we’ll share our ideas about where to begin.


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5 Responses to “This week’s Featured Five: Choosing your Photoshop course”

  1. Marjorie Edwards says:

    As far as choosing my photoshop course is concerned, here is what I do. I watch the video for the one I have, in my case photoshop elements 10 and photoshop 7, then I go to the photoshop courses above the one I have all the way up to CS6 and I watch the parts of those I am studying at the moment. When I am done, I know much more about my subject than I would have if I only viewed the lessons of the photoshops I own. I have learned a great deal this way. Thank you, Lynda and teachers and staff.

  2. Thank you, Marjorie. I love your approach, and it means you’re not missing out on useful, evergreen information just because the interface might not look exactly the same. Thank you so much for explaining your approach.

  3. Usama. says:

    Hi, well I know this blogpost is quite old but it seems relevant to the situation I’m currently in.
    I was hoping somebody would guide me through where to start from. Lets say I’m a graphic and photography enthusiast and my ultimate goal is to learn to use photoshop at an expert level and as of right this moment I have very very basic knowledge about it. So which course should I start with and to learn further more, what other courses I should take. What I basically mean is I want to know where I should start, which course I should move onto next and so on and so forth till I have extensive knowledge of almost all the photoshop tools and its capabilities.

    Just a PS. My primary use would be photomanipulation, I wont be doing any animation/3D or video editing. So pleas keep that in mind while suggesting me. A thank you in advance for taking the time to read through this. :)

  4. Usama. says:

    ^ a little addition to my previous comment, also I would like to know more about color properties such as the Hue, Saturation, Clarity and such other panels in Photoshop/Camera Raw 7 etc. I hope anyone on here can guide me to the proper resource and where to start things off. A big thank you again. :)

  5. Hi Usama,

    If you are looking for a complete learning experience for Photoshop, I recommend that you begin by taking Deke’s Photoshop CS6 One-on-One series. There are 4 parts to the series (the last part is due to be released soon) which will take you from the basics all the way through advanced features like camera raw which is covered in Intermediate.

    If you are still looking for more after completing this series, you could look into Nigel French’s Photoshop for designers series which covers how to use Photoshop from a graphic design angle.

    If you are interested in Photography, Chris Orwig’s Photoshop for Photographers series will have you covered.

    Finally, Justin Seeley has a wonderful course called Photoshop for Web Design that will get you started with building websites in Photoshop.

    I hope this helps and if you have any other questions, please let us know.


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