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Photoshop Tutorial Videos

While other applications are catching up, I find the Photoshop and Lightroom subscription to be the best option for Fine Art photography. It's not the easiest or the cheapest, but it provides the most features and the best features. Other image editing applications are not subscription-based and seem more affordable at first but new versions require a new purchase.

Layers, Layers, Layers

The most important feature of Photoshop is layers. With layers we can make corrections, change their order and specify their intensity. We can apply adjustments on a layer that affects only the layer beneath it. Adjustments on layers are non-destructive: they can be enabled or disabled at any time.

With Lightroom and other tools which do not support layers, all of our edits are recorded in sequence: if we go back several steps we lose whatever we adjustments we have made in the meanwhile. With Photoshop layers, our creative process is entirely asynchronous: we are not locked in to the order in which we work. This compelling Photoshop advantage is demonstrated over and over in the following Photoshop videos.

Intermediate Level

These videos are at an intermediate level. Looking for introductory tutorials on Photoshop ? The free video series entitled 30 Days of Photoshop from PHLEARN is highly recommended ! Other great resources are PIXimperfect and the Photoshop Training Channel. Also see Julieanne Kost's blog.

Black & White Filter for Better Color

Let's add a Black and White Filter layer to improve a color photograph: a surprisingly effective approach !

2-minute video: Improving Color Photos with the Black and White Filter
Digital Watercolor Treatment

Some photographs look best in their original form, but let's experiment and create a digital image that is part photograph, part watercolor. Starting out with a suitable candidate, we process it using Dynamic Auto Painter. We choose settings which reduce detail and add an impression of paper texture. Next, we blend the original photo above it as a Photoshop layer.

3-minute video: Digital Watercolor Treatment with DAP and Photoshop

This video describes only the simplest approach. Actually, we can combine many treatments on multiple layers to create a wide variety of effects. The only limitation is our artistic imagination. Here's a more elaborate effect:

Toning Monochrome Images with Gradient Maps

Let's tone a monochrome image, using the Gradient Map feature in Photoshop. The creative possibilities are endless. For more methods of toning monochrome images, see Toned Monochrome Images with Photoshop and Additional Methods of Toning with Photoshop.

3-minute video: Toning Monochrome Images with Gradient Maps in Photoshop
Vintage Portrait Lens Effect

Let's apply a layer in Photoshop to emulate the soft-focus effect of a vintage portrait lens.

1-minute video: Vintage Portrait Lens Effect in Photoshop
Sharpening On Layers

Let's use the Smart Sharpen tool on a separate adjustment layer: a non-destructive approach. To mitigate any "over-sharpened" artifacts, we adjust the layer's Blend If property.

3-minute video: Sharpening On Layers in Photoshop
Sky Replacement

Let's improve the sky, using Photoshop's Sky Replacement feature. Then let's convert it to a smart object and apply further non-destructive adjustments.

4-minute video: Sky Replacement in Photoshop
Smart Object Layers for a Sense of Depth

Let's enhance the sense of depth in a photograph, using layers that have been converted to smart objects.

3-minute video: Smart Object Layers for a Sense of Depth
Dynamic Range Correction with Brushed Layers

Let's brush-in our corrections... exactly where they are required.

3 minute video: Dynamic Range Correction with Brushed Layers
Toning Monochrome Images with Color Transfer

Here's a remarkably fast and easy way to tone monochrome images.

2 minute video: Toning Monochrome Images with Color Transfer
Easy Spot Removal with Adobe Camera Raw

Images from digital cameras with interchangeable lenses and scanned film are prone to dust spots. Removing spots can be troublesome and time-consuming. The Adobe Camera Raw Filter makes it much easier to find and remove spots from your images. This tool can be used with images of all types, not just raw files. It's perfect for tidying up sensor dust in areas like the sky, where spots are abundant but hard to discern.

2 minute video: Adobe Camera Raw Healing Brush
Clutter Removal on Layers

Here's a more aesthetic view of spotting: we remove distracting elements to make the picture look more appealing. We remove spots on layers: a non-destructive approach.

3 minute video: Clutter Removal on Layers
PARTIAL Clutter Removal on Layers

Sometimes, we only want to PARTIALLY eliminate a distracting element. Using the Healing Brush tool on a separate layer, we can adjust the layer's Fill property to can control how much the clutter is removed.

2 minute video: PARTIAL Clutter Removal on Photoshop Layers
Color Range Masking

Let's select and adjust the flower - but not the leaves - with the Photoshop Color Range tool. This method can be a vastly more effective than the usual object selection tools. We can modify areas according to their brightness range or color. Watch the video below and click here to read an illustrated article.

3 minute video: Color Range Masking in Photoshop
More Color Range Masking

Let's select and adjust the sky - but not the buildings - with the Photoshop Color Range selection tool.

2 minute video: More Color Range Masking in Photoshop