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Learning Adobe Photoshop without a teacher

Learning Adobe Photoshop without a teacher

The most widely used and probably the best image editing software is Adobe Photoshop whose CS5 version was released last year. Over the years there’ve been countless versions yet it always remained first. Its biggest drawback is its price, which is pretty high for the current economic climate, yet this is easily outshined by the quality of its effects and filters. Furthermore a proficient user can bring in a tidy profit from selling his skills in its use. The job markets are full of freelancers willing to offer their services but a willing newcomer can always find a niche in this kind of economy. In addition there will always be firms willing to hire talented designers.
To learn how to use Adobe Photoshop requires a lot of time and patience but, due to its almost unlimited resources, the Internet can become a viable alternative to a specialized course and / or a teacher. From personal experience I can guarantee that anyone with an ounce of willingness and the disposition to make many sacrifices to practice as much as possible may learn how to use Adobe Photoshop really well. Personality definitely plays a main role in the learning process but, picking up impressions from the experience of self-learners who were able to learn Photoshop, a few tips that can greatly help any amateur wanting to become a professional in the field arise.

I.Interactive courses and tutorials

interactive-courses-tutorialsPhoto from Sxc.hu

For those who are right at the first level, probably the best solution is to cover introductory courses. The Internet is full of blogs that offer courses for beginners, some of which are designed in a very professional way. After completing these first steps, the next level is materialized by attending tutorials, usually for beginners / amateurs. This kind of articles is the best way of learning without a teacher. A tutorial involves a presentation of all necessary steps to create a project, be it a layout, a logo, a banner or a retouch. Tutorials for beginners should provide as much detail as possible and print screens, and the possibility of downloading the project in * psd format.

The first tutorials deserve being followed from head to toe and the end product should resemble that of the author as much as possible. After a length of time though I recommend two types of approaches:
- following precisely the author’s way of working;
- maintain the idea of the tutorial but putting in your own vision, so as to put creativity to work.
The second approach implies greater focus and more time spent following a tutorial which is not always efficient, the lasting results are important.
Here are some good resources of learning Photoshop:

1.Vandelay Design

vandelay design

This post is intended for designers or aspiring designers who either want to get started with Photoshop or have limited experience and are looking to improve.

2.Adobe TV

adobe-TV
Extend your workflow with Photoshop Touch apps for Photoshop CS5. Watch the videos to learn about initial Photoshop Touch apps from Adobe, connecting Photoshop CS5 to devices, and more.

3.Psd tuts+

psd-tutplus
Have you ever had difficulties making selections and thought there was a better way? Let’s review both quick solutions, and on the other side, comprehensive and details techniques for making selections. Each approach has it’s place in your workflow. The more methods you know how to use, the faster and more effectively you’ll move in Photoshop.

4.Photoshop support

photoshop-support
Our free Adobe Photoshop Tutorials have been separated into 5 collections. You can find free Photoshop Tutorials for CS, free Photoshop Tutorials for CS2, free Photoshop Tutorials for CS3, free Photoshop Tutorials for Photoshop CS4 and free Photoshop CS5 Tutorials & Videos.

5.Were-r-here

photoshop-site

The lessons are divided into progressive levels and teach the software in an organized, structured layout which makes it easier to learn at your own pace. I believe the design makes it easier to find the information needed for your Photoshop training.

Here are a good collection of tutorials for beginners:

6.50 Great Photoshop Tutorials for Clever Beginners

50 Great Photoshop-Tutorials-for-Clever-Beginners
Before you can create Photoshop masterworks, you need to learn the basics. Even the most complex digital artworks are built on a foundation of simple actions. These 50 tutorials are aimed at the clever beginner who wants to master Photoshop from the roots.

7.12 Beginner Tutorials for Getting Started With Photoshop

beginner-tutorials-for-getting-started-with-photoshop/

In this post, I’ve pieced together 12 excellent Photoshop tutorials geared toward beginners. If you’re a complete novice or a casual user of this software, you’ve stopped by the right place.Because this is specifically for beginners — and because Photoshop’s robust set of features is near-bottomless — I’ve skipped intermediate and advanced topics such as drawing with the Pen tool and working with 3D effects.

8.30 Essential Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners

Essential-Photo-Manipulation-Photoshop-Tutorials-Beginners
This list is about basic photo manipulation techniques for beginners. Some of these techniques require a bit of work, but many do not. Remember that good results require good starting photos!

9.30 Complete Photoshop Guides for Beginners

30-complete-photoshop-guides-for-beginners
Some beautiful tutorials available on many design blogs (including mine) may not be so detailed as they are mainly written for readers with some basic Photoshop knowledge. So what about those that are totally new to Photoshop? Here is an ultimate list of 30 beginner’s guides, leading you to become a better Photoshop user.

10.33 Creative Photoshop Tutorials Text Effects for Beginners and Advanced

33-Creative-Photoshop-Tutorials-Text-Effects-Beginners-Advanced

In creating texts for your images- whether it be for logos or headlines- we are given the option to make it more lively or to make it plain and simple… However, nowadays, ‘too simple’ is not quite the standard in designs. Of course, as designers, we know people tend to expect too much. Following several guidelines and tips, we can create out-of-this-world images and unique designs right from our fingertips.

II.Forums and commentaries

comment-form
No matter how much detail a tutorial provides, chances are a new Photoshop user will not understand one / some commands, no problem, this can happen even to the most proficient. A solution to this deadlock is seeking the help of the author by posting a comment. Through a comment one can also ask for an opinion regarding the quality of a project inspired by a tutorial, the authors usually provide a relatively fast response. Another potential solution is to use the forums, it may be an awkward solution, but the results can be better even than the response given by the author as here the general idea is discussed and many useful details are provided regardless of the particularity of the tutorial.
Here are some interesting forums:

1.Adobe forums

adobe-forums

2.Photoshop forums

photoshop-forums

3.Photoshop 911

photoshop-911

4.Photoshop cafe

photoshop-cafe

5.Photoshop gurus

photoshop-gurus

III.Inspirational posts from different blogs

inspirational-postsPhoto from Sxc.hu
Most web design blogs include an inspirational column that may vary from logos collections, cd covers to interior design examples and futuristic architecture.
No matter the subject these posts can be an important source of inspirational and an amateur in image editing may take advantage of them. As long duplicating other works isn’t done for a commercial purpose but for enhancing ones aptitudes there is no problem. At any rate, when inspiration lacks one of the best solutions for defeating a block is admiring the works shown in such posts.

IV.Tips and interviews with the best specialists

best-specialistsPhoto from Sxc.hu
This article is an aid for most new users of Photoshop, but perhaps a “tribute” paid to the importance of web design blogs. Another type of article that can be useful to amateurs is to show how the best specialists work or even interviewing them. Most often they show how they work, the average time spent on a project, their relationships with customers, sometimes even what effects and filters they used . Personally, I think these articles are very important because they show the amateur reader a professional work manner.
There are no web design blogs that don’t include articles that may be useful to a novice in editing and manipulating images, and usually the quality is high. For example, I found many posts that show useful Photoshop shortcuts saving the user a lot of time, I also found articles that describe new filters or shooting techniques that can be useful for better handling.

V.Feedback sites and competitions

feedbackPhoto from Sxc.hu
The steps outlined in this article require a progressive approach and the user reaching this paragraph is no longer a foreigner to the basic commands in Photoshop. Competition is the most important friend of evolution so to become a true professional qualities need recognition. Internet again proves to be helpful, there are many sites that allow uploading of a work or a portfolio and other visitors can provide feedback. There are also sites that organize competitions with prizes, some of which draw many qualified designers.
Participating in this kind of competitions or uploading some works are necessary steps to specialization in working with this great software. The lack of prizes or positive comments should not lead to anyone to despair, beginnings are always the hardest part … there’s one thing that can substitute talent, luck or inspiration and it is irreplaceable, but accessible to all: practice.
Here are some cool resources to obtain feedback and an awesome competition:

1.99 designs

99designs

2.Concept Feedback

conceptfeedback

3.Feedback army

Feedback-army

4.Five seconds test

five-seconds-tests

5.Please critique me

please-critique-me

VI.Lots of practice and patience

practice-patiencePhoto from Sxc.hu

All the above tips have no value without the actual work of beginners, eager to get rid of amateur status. Practice can substitute (maybe not totally, but largely) any other quality but without work there can be no real progress. Even work habits have an influence on evolution, working chaotically, in jumps, 5five tutorials today but tomorrow and the day after without any work in Photoshop is not a viable solution. Patience is important because truly grasping the underlying subtleties of Photoshop is really a long term thing, even the best sometimes missing some things.
I hope this post is of a real help to those starting to work in Photoshop, I’d appreciate other ideas that could lead to an easier or more efficient way to learn this software. DON’T hesitate to use the comment form.

About logolitic

I`m a freelancer from Romania specialized in: Logo design, Stationary/Business cards design, Icon design, Vectors and the founder of www.logolitic.com

18 comments

  1. Most of the knowledge I have regarding Photoshop is self taught, and I have a degree in Graphic Design…Creativity can’t necessarily be taught, but if you want to create it, Photoshop can do it.

  2. Photoshop is such a powerful software package, and it takes a while to master. It’s easy to get to grips with the basics and doesn’t take too much effort to tackle these elements.

    Everyone’s methods and use of photoshop are different and as you learn you will develop your own processes as well as picking up many from useful tutorials.

  3. Very good article thanks

    Sam

  4. The best image editing software is “Adobe Photoshop”.Its a long process to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop.Having Proper knowledge & skill can be easy for freasher to know about Adobe Photoshop.Thanks for all the important guidlines given about Adobe Photoshop. I have also learnt most of the things my self without a teacher, surfing internet & informative post like this.

  5. Great site, blog and post, arguably easier with a teacher, however great resources.

    Also check out : VTC, enjoy :-)

  6. Adobe is the best one to try for designing. I never went for any classes for designing. but i just tried doing it with adobe by referring information on internet , after doing so many errors i have learn’t to use it in a efficient way.

  7. This is very useful information.

    Thank you for this post.

  8. Nice site, blog and post :-)

    Even with the wide variety of themes available, photoshop a great skill to posess, as bespoke designs always better, for those who have the talent!

  9. Great article!!! Useful stuffs for the beginners. good job and keep posting

  10. Adobe Photoshop is the most integrated and complete photo editing software till date. A number of other software are available but it is widely used as it is most user friendly. The above tutorial will definitely guide one to get an overall glance into using the software.

  11. Great article but a little too general, we’ve found that college trained guys are a little useless though o_O it’s all about real world experience.

  12. Being a web developer, there’s often times when I have to blah using Photoshop. I outsource most of my design work, but some of these tutorials will no doubt, come in very handy! Bookmarked! Cheers!

  13. You gotta jump in & start experimenting with Photoshop! You’ll be a pro in no time.

  14. Thanks for the list of resources. Theres so much you can learn about photoshop, sometimes it seems overwhelming, especially if you are just starting out like me. Suppose one tutorial at a time is a good idea

  15. This article is very useful… I got more tips and tricks… Great work…

  16. I would like to get across my gratitude for your generosity supporting men who must have assistance with your niche. Your very own commitment to passing the message along ended up being extraordinarily practical and has surely permitted somebody just like me to reach their objectives. Your valuable help and advice denotes a great deal a person like me and even further to my office workers. Thanks a lot; from all of us.

  17. Great Post. thanks for share.

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