Product Reviews

Learning to Use Photoshop on

One of my goals this year was to finally learn how to use Photoshop. I have a Canon DSLR and have been mainly using Picmonkey to edit my photos, but I know there’s a whole new world waiting for me with Photoshop. I’m envious of people who already are proficient in it because it’s not easy to learn!

A few months ago, I download the free trial version of Photoshop after I had signed for an hour long online class teaching the basics of Photoshop. I was gung-ho and ready to learn. Not even 10 minutes into the class, I was lost. I felt really dumb because I could not keep up at all with the instructor. She was moving too fast for me and I like to take my time when I’m learning something to really understand it. Needless to say, it was a complete waste of time and I was no better off with the essentials of Photoshop than when I started the class. I was ready to just give up and surrender myself to using Picmonkey.

Things started looking up for me a few months ago when I did a review for the online subscription library and did a few of their photography courses. Last month, I decided to try Photoshop again and was more determined than ever to finally learn it. I bought it since I couldn’t use their free trial again and was financially committed now. I hoped would be the answer for me.

There are currently 155 Photoshop training courses on alone! Plus they have Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom and the list goes on. I wanted to start with the most basic course so I am in the process of taking Photoshop CS6 Essential Training with Julieanne Kost.

Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.

The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.

Topics include:

  • Organizing images in Bridge
  • Adding metadata such as copyrights and keywords
  • Editing in Camera Raw versus in Photoshop
  • Retouching in Camera Raw
  • Batch processing files
  • Customizing the Photoshop workspaces
  • Choosing a file format and resolution
  • Cropping, scaling, and rotating images
  • Working with layers, including merging and flattening layers
  • Creating selections and layer masks
  • Toning and changing the color of images
  • Adjusting shadows and highlights
  • Retouching and cloning
  • Creating panoramas from multiple images
  • Adding filters and sharpening
  • Working with blend modes
  • Adding type
  • Working with video in Photoshop CS6

It starts out very basic with the first video titled, What is Photoshop?. What works best for me is to watch a video or two when I have a spare moment and to practice what I learned right away. I’ll pause the video throughout and open Photoshop and look at the program and do whatever it is the instructor is explaining. I’m a visual learner and I also learn by actually doing it so this has been so helpful for me. I love being able to stop and rewind so I can hear something explained more than once. It sinks in so much better this way and I never feel like a fool for having to say, “Slow down!”. In fact, the pace of the course is perfect for me. It’s not too fast where I feel lost or too slow where I lose interest.

I’ve been so busy lately and I like that there’s no deadlines with I can learn it when I have a few extra minutes and I never feel pressured so it’s not like a regular online course where you are accountable to someone. The only person I’m accountable for is ME and it’s great!

The videos are short ranging from about 2 minutes to 10 minutes and one specific topic is covered in each video. If you have been struggling with Photoshop and want to learn it, I recommend you try It’s been the best way for me to learn this complex program. I still have a long way to go but at least now I feel like I have the tools I need to achieve my goal.

In addition to Photoshop training, has a multitude of other courses in various subjects like photography, software, business, animation and more. It is THE online training library and one that is worth investing in a subscription.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

more by Stacie »