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Back to School: Online Courses to Brush Up Your Photoshop Skills

backpack in front of computer screen with photoshop

As the summer work buzz starts to cool off, and the days are getting shorter – photographers might just gain a few more spare moments between gigs, edits and client meetings. This is a great opportunity to create (or update) your photography website and to take your photography skills one step further. There’s always room to grow and things to master, especially when it comes to Photoshop. Learning the ropes (and lassos) of Photoshop will help you realize your own creative photography projects, but not just that. Since you’re not only delivering photos, but also optimizing them, you’ll eventually bring more value to your clients – and that paves the way to getting hired for even more work.

Just like the universe hosts an infinite amount of stars, this powerful editor boasts an infinite amount of features. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources that can help you tackle Photoshop’s steep learning curve. With the abundance of choice comes the need to make the right one. If you’re planning to invest those precious moments in juggling brushes, masks, and lassos, you’d better choose your course wisely. For example, while digital artists might enjoy the full scope of what Photoshop has to offer, portrait photographers will probably prefer to develop their retouching skills prior to other techniques. In any case, whether you’re a beginner or a crackerjack user – there are plenty of photo editing tutorials to cater to any level of expertise. We have compiled a list of the most notable online courses to brush up your Photoshop skills:

A veteran online learning platform acquired by LinkedIn, Lynda is known for its high-quality instructional strategies, meaning that the people behind it not only know Photoshop, but excel at teaching it. Lynda offers plenty of courses for all levels, including beginner, intermediate and advanced, by the best specialists. One of the most followed (more than 2M views!) is the series by Deke McClelland, author of the classic Photoshop for Dummies and grand master of the image editing software.

Is this the first time you hear about Lynda? Well, you’re in luck, because new users receive a highly-generous free trial period of 30 days. Another thing to mention is the affordable monthly subscription scheme – there’s no need to make long-term commitments. Once you’ve learned your share of Photoshop tutorials, you can feel free to explore other learning platforms, no strings attached.

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If you want to master a software, why not turn to the people who created it? Especially when the platform is so complete and intuitive. In Adobe’s Photoshop tutorials you‘ll find different sets of courses that match different skill levels, and most notably: different needs. It’s like an encyclopedia about Photoshop, where you’ll get short videos answering specific questions, such as: “Work with layers”, “Adjust the image quality” or “Correct color and tone”. Most of the videos are short (from 3 to 7 minutes), in order to grasp the essential info about each specific issue in no time. And because there’s no better way to learn than practice, every course conveniently comes with sample files you can download, so you can practice on the go. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

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This global marketplace for learning and teaching online offers a nice variety of Photoshop courses, especially for beginners. Each course is reviewed by students, so you can easily spot the better ones to invest your time in. Beginners should definitely check out the platform’s biggest & most popular Photoshop course by the charismatic Manfred Werner – it’s popular for a reason. Plus, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, Udemy’s affordable prices become even more attractive. If you’re still into being a free spirit, check out the free Photoshop from Scratch course, for example.

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An official partner of Adobe’s Photoshop tutorials, CreativeLive was co-founded seven years ago by no other than media-star photographer, Chase Jarvis. As such, a respectable percentage of the courses are targeted at “championing” photographers. This platform’s premium Photoshop courses might not be the cheapest option, but valuable knowledge comes at a price. From photographers’ essentials to advanced masking techniques, the 200+ online tutorials will help you cover a wide spectrum of what Photoshop has to offer. Go over the complete list, peep into the courses’ previews, and don’t forget to check out the student reviews – these will give you the best insight on whether the chosen course is worth it or not.

Tip from the pro’s: For a friendlier price, wait for a major sale (Cyber Monday is coming up soon!) and subscribe to the newsletter to hear about upcoming discounts. CreativeLive also airs selected courses for free every now and then – so stay tuned and try to catch yours!

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On top of the classic Photoshop 101 courses in video format, this platform offers free tutorials on advanced features and how-to’s. If what you’re looking to achieve is a very specific effect, this might just be the right place to find your answer. Simply go to the Adobe Photoshop section under ‘How-To Tutorials’ -> ‘Photo & Video’, or look for a specific keyword in the clever search bar in the header. Tutorials are served as short and coherent articles, explaining in simple terms how to create sophisticated effects, such as 3D style lettering, wispy clouds, or even a wax seal. If these small courses awoke your appetite, prepare for a real Photoshop feast: on Tuts+ you’ll find a series of downloadable eBooks that will satisfy your hunger once and for all.

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