It could well be that we are moving towards a time when lack of any applicable Photoshop skills is going to be as strange as illiteracy. If you can’t give your photos some color and remove the tourists from the background of the photographs you took on your vacation across Europe, people of the future are going to wonder why would you leave them in such a shabby state! These days, most photographs we lay our eyes on have gone through some sort of photo processing and in most cases, it is Photoshop.
Let’s switch back to the present. These days, if you have skills with Photoshop a lot of work opportunities can come your way. Buying the program isn’t too expensive and you can find a lot of useful tutorials online that can help you go from amateur to pro in a reasonably short amount of time. This may require quite a bit of digging around the Web and filtering the good tutorials from the bad ones – precisely why we decided to help you out! The versatility of PS as a tool means that its uses can be quite diverse, so we are going to attempt to create a list in which everyone can find a couple of useful things.
1. The Photoshop Playbook
Okay, let’s start with the fundamentals, shall we? There’s no better place to go to than straight back to the source for this kind of information. In 2013, Adobe started a video tutorial series which has since then grown into a 50 video playlist dealing with the most commonly asked questions.
2. Ambient occlusion (natural lighting)
The most common thing both professionals and amateurs complain about when it comes to photoshopped photos is natural lighting. If you want to learn how to do it right without having to rely on rendering that can take hours, this video tutorial created by Alex Hogrefe is right up your alley.
3. Skin retouching
If your ambition is to work with models and get into fashion, you will have to “brush up” on your skin retouching skills. After all, there is only so much that makeup can hide and you don’t want to throw away great photographs over a couple of smudges.
4. Blending multiple photos
Blending photos that have absolutely nothing to do with each other can be quite frustrating – but it can be done. This tutorial will help you blend images and create perfect banners, ads or whatever else you might need.
5. Keeping things in order
In some cases when working in Photoshop, people can be their own worst enemies. By not properly managing files, layers, masks and so on, you can land in quite a bit of chaos and a lot of extra work to boot. If you are having workflow troubles, Non-Destructive Workflow 101 is the tutorial for you.
6. Summer photography
As most freelance Photoshop experts would know, a lot of the work that you need to cover is seasonal and seasonally themed. Being that summer is on its way, it wouldn’t hurt to get familiar with the ways to retouch a photograph into dreamy summer perfection.
7. Tilt-shift filter
Ever since the CS6 version of Photoshop, the Tilt-shift filter has been available for use, simulating a complex shooting technique. This filter works best for simulating miniature villages, towns, cities and is not very hard to learn.
8. Hard light effect
We all love the menacing clouds that movie poster skies have. It gives them that epic atmosphere you can hardly see in real life – but you can recreate it by using Photoshop! This quick tutorial will help you utilize hard light effects to get it right.
9. The dodge & burn
A big majority of effects, filters and techniques available in Photoshop are based on the ones used by photographers, but with less hustle. If you really want to draw out the beauty of your photograph, then you might benefit from the basic principles of the dodge and burn technique.
10. Lights and emotion
It is quite incredible how emotion can be accented by simply playing with light effects. In a tutorial video created by Pixel Flakes, you will find step-by-step instructions about how to use light, texture, colors and atmosphere effects to create unique emotional settings.
11. Black & white colorization
Whether it is a restoration order or a beautiful photo that the photographer regrets snapping in B&W, this kind of work can be tricky. Still, it is not impossible and this tutorial will help you get all the knowledge to handle these kinds of situations.
12. Architectural illustration
Photoshop is a tool often used by architects and it was only a matter of time until tutorials specifically aimed at them started popping up over YouTube. Alex Hogrefe is the creator of this tutorial channel, specifically created for architects.
13. FZDSchool style
When it comes to the artistic style, there are a few modern ones that can hold a candle to the Singapore based FZDSchool style. If you are an art student or a developed artist who finds this style impressive, then we present you with a tutorial video by Feng Zhu, the founder of FZD.
14. Creating cinemagraphs
There are more than a few business and promotional uses for cinemagraphs and it can be a nice, attention seeking detail when used in website design. The creation process is not all that hard to manage if you have quality raw material.
15. Gradient maps
Gradient maps are probably some of the more basic things for people that attended art school, but there are a lot of people out there that end up in this line of work out of a hobby. This is why we decided to include a tutorial that tackles this subject.
16. Digital watercolors
Watercolor paintings, when done by hand, in the real world, have a great look. Still, for an amateur and even for a professional, it can be frustrating that a single mistake can destroy all your hard work. This is why a lot of painters decide to go for the digital variation of the technique.
17. Weight loss in PS
Okay, this is a subject that is reaching its boiling point on the Web with lots of examples of photoshopped bodies setting impossible standards for young men and women today. Still, if you do it properly and avoid turning your model into a thing that barely resembles a human being, you are in the clear.
18. Hair style correction
You can’t always control all the aspects of a photoshoot and this is why we rely on digital software and PS. Wind can be a problem when photographing models in the outdoors due to the wild hair effect, which is not always desirable. Luckily, there is a solution for this as well.
19. Age and distress
A very cool short video on how to take your brand new photos and make them look aged and worn. It is just one of the videos done by Gavin Hoey who has an incredible channel – you can find tons of useful videos there.
20. Clipping masks
If you want to adjust a single layer of your entire composition without affecting the background, you will have to use clipping masks. This short tutorial video will be all you need to get a firm grasp on how to use them and will be a significant addition to your PS skill set.
The best thing about Photoshop is that each and every one of its numerous features have been covered in tutorial videos across the Web. If you are not sure about how to do something specific, you can always search for a tutorial video and chances are that someone has attempted this before you. If not, you can always ask people on forums for help and advice. We hope this list helps you out and that your inspiration and creativity never dries out.
Featured photo credit: Abstract summer/Martín De Pasquale via behance.net