Photoshop Tutorials


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These Photoshop Tutorials (at least most of them) concentrate on using a Wacom tablet as the input device.  

In case you missed it - a Wacom Graphics Tablet is the indispensable tool for serious Photoshop users.  

The pressure sensitivity and the precise resolution means you have more control over the finished project and they are a lot of fun to use as well.  

If you are using a Wacom Tablet (and you really should, you know) then I suggest your make sure you understand how to set up your Bamboo or Intuos to take advantage of the Pressure Sensitivity that is built into the tablet/Photoshop combination.

It it also a good idea to set up your tablet to work the way you do (in the Windows Control Panel or the Mac System Preferences).

Most of the tutorials include both a video and a text description.

Photoshop CS 5


photoshop tutorials
A couple of months ago Adobe introduced Photoshop CS 5.  It includes most of the tools you have grown to know and love and there are some really great new additions.

Click on the thumbnail to find out more about CS 5.



Photoshop How To's


Photoshop How To Tips - before you become too involved in all of these cool tutorials - here are some great Photoshop Tips to help make your digital editing much easier.

They are the quick and useful things it's good to know and understand as you are working with Photoshop and your Wacom tablet.

Must Know Things In Photoshop

There are a few basic editing procedures that your really have to know and understand to be a good Photoshop digital editor.

One of them are making selections and the other is working with layers.  Most people can probably bang around with the selection tools and produce something workable but layers seem to cause all kinds of problems.

So lets start with layers ..

Layers

layers thumbnailUnderstanding and manipulating layers always seems to be a real problem for anyone new to Photoshop.  If you struggle with them long enough you will eventually figure them out.

This is my two cents worth on understanding and working with layers.  They really are not that difficult once you have the idea of just what the heck they are.

Once you have them mastered your photo editing work will go to a new, and better, level!

Click the thumbnail to start your layer education!

Blend Modes

blend mode thumbnailOnce you have a handle on using Layers the next area to look at are the Layer Blend Modes.

What they do is change how one layer will blend with the layer below it in interesting and unique ways.

There are at least 25 different blend modes but you only need to know and understand how 5 of them will affect your images.  Click the thumbnail to discover these 5 really neat and useful layer Blending modes.

The Histogram

photoshop tutorials histogramThis is one of the least understood and most useful pieces of information  in Photoshop.  The histogram tells you so much about your images such as brightness and contrast.

Do you know what you need to know about the histogram?  

If not then click on the thumbnail to learn more about this fascinating piece of information.


Brush Settings I

photoshop tutorials brush settingsWith a Wacom tablet installed on your system (and the drivers also installed) the Photoshop brushes are capable of producing some amazing brush strokes.

This is because the Wacom pen and tablet is pressure sensitive and Photoshop knows exactly how to take advantage of pen pressure.

Click the thumbnail to find out how to set Photoshop brushes to take advantage of pressure sensitivity.

Brush Settings II

This tutorial goes beyond the basics found in Brush Settings I.  

thumbnail coloringYou'll learn about the really cool Brush Dynamics called Jitter which introduces randomness into a brush stroke.

The second part of the tutorial demonstrates these Brush Dynamics on a digital coloring project - yes - coloring!  Millions of people love to color and they might as well know and understand how to make their project really outstanding.

The dynamics can, of course, be used with any Photoshop painting technique.  Click the thumbnail to end your puzzlement about Jitter.


Edit Log

Photoshop Turorials edit logNow this really isn't a must know but it can be very useful and helpful.

When the Edit Log is turned on then Photoshop will keep track of every adjustment and brush stroke you make and put them in a text file.

This means you can review what you just did which may be incredibly helpful if you arrived at an end product with no idea how you got there!

Click the thumbnail to find out more about the Photoshop Edit Log.





Exposure Problems

exposure problems thumbExposure problems (over or under exposed images) were always kind of difficult to fix in the old wet style darkroom.

In the digital darkroom, however, there are a number of different techniques that can be used to deal with those pesky exposure challenges.

Click the sunken boat thumbnail to learn more about fixing exposure problems.





Selecting Stuff


Your skill at making effective, neat selections will determine the quality of your Photoshop work.

There are many different selection methods from the most basic (Magic Wand) to the more sophisticated (The Pen Tool and Channels).

Lasso and Marquee Tools

These are the seven most basic selection tools.  The Marquee Tools select square or rectangular, round or elliptical and single row or 
columns.

The Lasso Too
lLasso Toolss include three different types - the Lasso Tool, the Magnetic Lasso and the Polygonal Lasso Tool and they excel at making odd shape selections.  These are probably the most used selection tools.

Click on the Lasso Tools to learn more about making selections with them (and one of them is pressure sensitive with a tablet installed).


Quick 
Mask
Quick MaskWith the Quick Mask you actually paint a mask over the item you are not including in a selection.  

This is an excellent selection tool and it is really fun to use if you have a Wacom tablet on your computer.  

Once you know how to use the Quick Mask then you will use it over and over.


Channels
photoshop tutorials tugboatThis is a more advanced method of selecting which will remove more fine detail.  

Selecting with channels lets you make detailed selections of very complex objects - like trees on the horizon.

This tutorial will take you through the steps to replace the sky in an image using Channels.

Color Range

color range thumbnailThe Color Range method of selecting is very powerful and very versatile.

Not only can you select a range of colors, you can also select items based on their brightness! This may seem to be, well, boring, however it allows you make selections you cannot make any other way - and then you can do some truly magic things with the new selections.

As a bonus (and really it is part of using the Color Range), you will learn about clipping one layer to another.

Click the thumb to learn more about selecting with Color Range.

The Pen Tool

Pen ToolThe Pen Tool is the selection methods of the pros.

Us
ing the Pen Tool takes some practice but once you get the hang of it you will start turning out great selections!

You can, of course, use the pen tool with a mouse but it is so much easier with a Wacom tablet.


Image Manipulation

These are a variety of techniques for modifying your digital photos in unique and interesting ways.  New techniques are added regularly.

Cloning

Crop ToolThe Clone Brush is one of those tools everyone loves to work with especially when one is new to Photoshop.  It can produce fabulous results or really amateur results.  

Using a Wacom Tablet set to pressure sensitivity makes all the difference in your cloning projects.




Changing Color

Color ChangeThere are a number of different techniques in Photoshop to change the color of - well - anything.  This technique works really well with a pressure sensitive tablet.

Click on the thumbnail to learn some of the more popular techniques.



Dodge and Burn

Sax Player
This is a really neat technique to selectively lighten or darken one area of a photograph without affecting the rest and without using selections.  

It works best with a pressure sensitive Wacom tablet set to change Opacity with pressure.





Removing Shine

Remove Shine
Removing the shine from a forehead or nose or chin seems to be a real challenge for a lot of digital photographers (it is my most visited page).

Removing the shine is relatively easy if you know how to do it properly.  Click the thumbnail to learn how to remove shine from anything.


Creating a Reflection

Banana
This is a great technique for creating a nice reflection under a static object - like the banana thumbnail.

Click the banana to find out how to create a reflection under anything you wish.





Color Correction

thumb color correctionTry as we might, sometimes we get a fabulous picture with a real nasty color cast.  It may be a white balance problem in the digital camera;  perhaps it is an old print that was not printed correctly.

The reason doesn't matter because there are many different ways to fix the offending color cast with Photoshop.

Click on the thumbnail to discover more about eliminating color casts.

Advanced Blending

The Blend Modes in Photoshop are very powerful and useful adjustments.  
advanced blending thumb
It is also possible to change the way one layer blends with another using those little sliders at the bottom of the Layer Styles palette - you know - the ones you probably have never touched.

They are called the Blend If: sliders and they can perform magic - click the thumbnail to find out more about these sliders.


Perspective Crop

thumbnail cropHuh?  Why the heck would I do a tutorial on the Crop Tool?

Did you have any idea that you can change the perspective on a picture using the Crop Tool?  You can and it is relatively easy to do!

A Perspective Crop seems to change the position you were in when you took the picture - flippin' amazing ... like a photography time machine ...

Click the thumbnail to learn how to do a Perspective Crop.

Photoshop Actions

Big TruckPhotoshop Actions are a series of Photoshop techniques that run automatically when you start them.  Photoshop comes with a bunch of generic Actions or you can write you own Actions.

Click the thumbnail to learn how to write you own Actions.





Line Drawings

photoshop tutorials line drawingWith a few simple steps and some easy changes it will take no time to turn any photograph into a really cool line drawing.

Imagine taking an image of a significant person in your life and showing them a wonderful line drawing that you created from the image - a good way to score points, don't you think (unless it is a dog like the thumbnail - and little Libby could care less)?

Click the thumbnail to learn how to make a line drawing out of a photograph.


Change Hair Color

photoshop tutorials hair color

This is one of those techniques that reakkt is fun to do.  There are easy methods to change hair color and there are much more difficult methods to change hair color ...

This is one of the easy methods and it is very versatile.

Click the thumbnail to learn how to do a hair color change.





Shadows Highlights

photoshop tutorials shadows highlightsThe Photoshop Shadow Highlight adjustment is a really powerful method to increase the dynamic range of an image - you know the ones with blocked up shadows or far too brilliant highlights.

In one respect it is similar to an HDR conversion without using bracketed images.  

Click the Gargoyle to learn how to use this really useful adjustment.


Converting To Watercolor

photoshop tutorials watercolor

Converting a photograph to watercolor is a rewarding and fun experience.  This particular technique uses layers and masks and blending modes and a lot of painting with a tablet.

Click the thumbnail to learn how to do a watercolor conversion.  




Retro Comic Book Effect

photoshop tutoirals comic thumbnail
This is a really cool and fun technique,

The old time comic books had a very unique and interesting look and we'll use some Photoshop Filters, selections, and text to replicate, as closely as possible, that unique old look.

Click the thumbnail to learn how to give someone special that retro comic book look.



Vibrance

photoshop tutorials vibranceVibrance is an adjustment in Photoshop CS4 and CS5.

What it does is adjust the saturation so that clipping is minimized as colors approach full saturation. This adjustment increases the saturation of less-saturated colors more than the colors that are already saturated.

Click the thumbnail to learn more about this great adjustment.


Levels and Curves

Levels

levels thumbnailThe Levels dialogue is both easy to use and understand.  All you need is some basic information and you will be evaluating all of your images in a new way.

The dialogue is simple to use and will create dramatic improvements in an image.  click the thumbnail to learn more about Levels.


Curves


curves thumbnailThe Curves dialogue in Photoshop is a very useful and very powerful way to manipulate your images.  It may be confusing at first but if you approach it in easy steps you will soon understand why Photoshop professionals rave about Curves.

You can easily adjust the brightness, the contrast and the color with curves.

Click the thumbnail to learn how to use this powerful feature.

Glamorizing

It seems everyone wants to glamorize their pictures.  Here are some procedures to do just that.

They range from really easy basic techniques to more advanced techniques.

Basic Modifications

Red HeadThis is a nice and easy technique for doing some basic work on blemishes and the skin.  In a lot of cases this quick fix will be all you need.

The tools used in this tutorial are the Clone Tool, Gaussian Blur and the History Brush.

This technique roughly follows the workflow of a photographer named Dave Birdsong.



Tooth Whitening

TeethThis technique can also be called Digital Dental Hygiene (I coined it and I couldn't be more proud)!

You will learn how to eliminate and unsightly tooth stains and then whiten up the subjects teeth.  With this procedure (as with most procedures) less is more!  


Digital Makeover

Digital Makeover
This is more advanced technique and uses Photoshop features that the casual user may never have used before - but it is well explained so fear not.

I learned this technique from a gentleman named Ashley Riddel.

The video included with this technique will further help to successfully follow through to the end.




High Key Conversions

High key imageHigh Key Images - you've probably seen them and maybe even wondered "how the heck do they do that"?

Follow this tutorial by clicking on the thumbnail to find out how to make your own, awesome high key images - plus it is a fun technique!



Restoration

Photo Restoration can be both a challenging and a rewarding activity.  Those priceless old photos of your family from years or maybe decades ago are really worth the effort.

The following techniques demonstrate different methods to use with those priceless old goodies so you can return them to their previous glory.

Photo Restoration


old photo restorationRestoring old, damaged photographs is one of the most challenging Photoshop projects you will ever tackle and it will be one of the most rewarding as well.

Those priceless old family photos may have lots of different problems that will tax your Photoshop skills and it may take days to complete - but - dang - it's a lot of fun.

Click on the thumbnail to start learning how to get started with your restoration project.

  


What's On This Page

Photoshop CS 5

Photoshop How To's

Photoshop Gotta Knows ...
Selecting Stuff
Image Manipulation
Levels and Curves
Glamorizing
Restoration

Tablet Users

  • Pro Photographers
  • Graphics Designers
  • Industrial Designers
  • Animators
  • Illustrators
  • Medical
  • Health Care Workers
  • Educators
  • Mapping
  • Office Workers
  • Control Systems
  • Scrapbookers
  • Presentations
  • Families
  • Amateur Photographers
  • Students

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