I was hanging out with a friend of mine the other day when the conversation turned to Photoshop. As both an artist on my end and a graphic designer on his, this was inevitable. But he made a comment that threw me a little. He said that he thought that Photoshop was a breeze for anyone to use straight out of the gate. He claims that he hopped on that program and within minutes was creating masterpieces of beauty which he could not even describe.
There were two ways I knew he was full of it. First, he wouldn’t have been boasting if it was really that simple to get started. Second, it is total crap. Photoshop is not easy to use, it is not something you can just start putting into practice the second you install it, and it is anything but ‘a breeze’. Actually, it is one of the most complicated and extensive art programs you can come across.
Now, that isn’t to say that it is impossible to figure out. In fact, once you get the hang of it you will start finding the lack of tools with other programs, or (heaven forbid) in real life somewhat stifling. It just takes time, practice and some kind of reference to start getting the hang of things.
My friend completely denies this, so I am going to go out on a limb and assume you are not the apparent technical genius he claims to be. If not, then you will need a little bit of help to get you started. Especially when it comes to those more advanced functions that aren’t self-explanatory.
I could write you a guide myself, but there is no point. Already there are several free places online that you can go to start learning about Photoshop, and they explain things much better than I ever could. Check them out below.
Donnie Hoyle has stepped down from Digital Art Heaven to instruct us plebes on the use of Photoshop on both a basic and intermediate level. He immediately assumes we are complete morons, which is probably safe. From there he offers a hilarious and informative web series that slows it all down and teaches step by step how to use the different features of the program.
In episode one he shows us how to put his marriage license in the windshield of the guy screwing his wife.
This site is dedicated to tutorials of various programs. But they have an extensive list of them for Photoshop on everything from proper distortion to making posters. The link above takes you to the search results page, but you can find anything more specific if you try their engine. Some of my favorites are the ‘project’ tutorials that show you how to make something specific. For example, this one that teaches you how to create a “dark statue with tentacles“.
This site has photo tutorials, which many people don’t like as much as videos because it lacks commentary and live examples. However, these are very informative and easy to use, and they show off the instructions beautifully. They are also very in depth, and they have that additional plus of giving you time to study them.
With many videos you have the problem of having to backtrack because the maker just moves too quickly. There is no problem with that with these tutorials.
A personal favorite, this site allows you to watch and view tutorials that have been gathered from around the web and put into one place. What I enjoy about this, besides the obvious benefit of not having to go to multiple places searching for them, is that these are good tutorials. She has viewed them and placed them on her site because they are actually useful. You don’t have to trudge through badly made instructional videos to find the ones you want.
If you register for a free account you can save, rate and comment on them, as well. All videos are listed by category on the side of the page.
The best thing about this one is that is always make it clear how difficult each tutrial is.
Another great thing is that it is easy to follow. If you are only interested in tutorials (and don’t want to monitor inspirational posts or new available downloads), bookmark this page and enjoy!
It’s not really overwhelming with the choice and frequency of tutrorials, but the selection is really great here!
Created to offer a no-fluff approach to Photoshop education, PS Hero has a huge selection of informative tutorials on more basic or professional topics. You aren’t likely to find help on creating a peacock effect on a friend’s photo, but you will see a ton on logo design and typography. It has what is probably the highest concentration of genuine aids rather than the cool filler of other sites.
Have a favorite site not listed? Let us know in the comments!
About Guest Author:
Kate Summers is a creative blogger for Vip Reality, the premiere Dallas real estate.