Adobe Photoshop is one of the most widely used software packages in the world. It’s hard to imagine the world without Photoshop, and its remarkable image editing tools have been used in everything from Hollywood blockbusters to Internet memes.
As powerful as Photoshop is, it can be a little intimidating. Adobe has done a great job of making the software more accessible to newcomers, but it’s still a complex program. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer or digital media expert to learn how to use Photoshop.
In today’s post, I will show you six places where you can begin your journey to Photoshop mastery, brush up on the fundamentals – pun most definitely intended – and even learn advanced image manipulation techniques for free (or very cheaply).
Free Resources for Learning Photoshop
1. Adobe’s Learning Resources and Tutorials
Nobody knows Photoshop better than Adobe, so your first port of call should be the excellent learning resources on the Adobe site.
Adobe splits its tutorials into varying categories based on skill level. Complete beginners should begin with the overview of what Photoshop can do, before moving onto the intermediate techniques section. Here, you’ll find short video tutorials on how to use a range of Photoshop’s most commonly used features, such as masking, color correction, cropping, vector and shape tools, and working with layers and levels.
Once you’ve gotten a taste of Photoshop’s broad tool set, you can move into project-based tutorials, which walk you through a complete project from start to finish.
BONUS: If you’re looking for a more immersive introduction to Photoshop, check out this free 13-hour introductory course that will cover everything you need to know to get started.
Next on our list of places you can learn Photoshop for free is the Tuts+ network of learning sites.
Although the Tuts+ network does offer premium content for a price, its selection of free tutorials is extensive. Rather than focusing on lengthier, project-based tutorials, Tuts+ tends to offer shorter, bite-sized lessons on specific techniques.
In addition to its content on topics such as brushes, color correction, and typography, Tuts+ also offers several tutorials on the fundamentals of digital imaging, such as image file types and compression – very useful information for the Photoshop novice.
3. Photoshop Cafe
Photoshop Cafe is another excellent resource of free tutorials. Although they push their product range pretty hard throughout the site, there are still plenty of freebies you can take advantage of.
Although some of the tutorials on Photoshop Café are similar to those offered by other sites, the language used is simple enough for beginners to dive right in. Photoshop Café also offers visual guides to potentially complex topics such as alpha channels and automating common tasks using actions.
Paid Resources for Learning Photoshop
The video tutorials offered by Lynda.com are among the best I’ve ever used, and are ideal for users who want to take their Photoshop learning seriously.
Lynda.com’s videos are hosted by some of the world’s leading digital artists, and cover an amazingly diverse selection of topics. As you’d expect from one of the best training sites on the web, Lynda.com offers a wide variety of in-depth, project-based tutorials, making it the ideal place for intermediate users to take their skills to the next level.
The site also offers a range of subscription options, the cheapest of which is just $25 per month. You can also choose to pay more for access to features such as project files and offline viewing.
5. Digital Tutors
If you’re ready to master some of Photoshop’s most advanced tools and techniques, Digital Tutors is unbeatable.
Aimed primarily at those seeking to launch careers in the entertainment industry, Digital Tutors offers an incredible range of tutorials on how to get the most out of Photoshop. From digital painting to concept art, the variety of topics covered is remarkable.
Digital Tutors also specializes in tutorials covering how Photoshop can serve as just one tool in a wider creative workflow. Many of the site’s videos demonstrate how Photoshop can be used alongside software packages such as After Effects, providing an in-depth look at how versatile – and indispensable – Photoshop can be to creative professionals.
Subscriptions start at $29 per month (which includes access to the entire Digital Tutors catalog of more than 2,000 courses), as well as progress tracking and new training videos added daily.
Udemy has a range of online classes for Photoshop, but the most popular is Manfred Werner’s course.
Totaling 33 hours spread out across 153 individual lectures, this is one of the most comprehensive Photoshop courses you can take pretty much anywhere. Once you’ve paid to take this course (which costs just $19), you’ll have access to it for life, making it an excellent reference resource.
That pretty much does it for this round-up of Photoshop resources. Whether you’re a seasoned Photoshop pro or are just starting out using this amazing software package, hopefully you’ll pick up a few tips and tricks from one of these resources.
This post originally appeared on Wordstream, and is re-published with permission.
Featured Image: stipan93 via DeviantArt
All screenshots taken April 2015