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Introduction to Photoshop

Lesson 1 from: Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

Introduction to Photoshop

Lesson 1 from: Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

1. Introduction to Photoshop

Ben talks about what Photoshop is and its many features, from opening raw files to resolution settings and file formats to managing your panels to understanding the differences between Adobe Lightroom, Bridge and Camera Raw.
Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The topic of the lesson is an introduction to Adobe Photoshop CC.


  1. What are the main topics covered in this course?

    The main topics covered in this course include understanding the basics of Photoshop, learning about adjustments, retouching, layers, and advanced techniques like masking and blending modes.

  2. Who is this class designed for?

    This class is designed for beginners who want an in-depth overview of Photoshop, self-taught individuals who want to fill in knowledge gaps, long-term Photoshop users who want to learn about new features, and average users who want a refresher course.

  3. How is the class structured?

    The class is structured as a four-week course, with one session each weekday. Each week focuses on different topics, starting from the basics and progressing to more advanced techniques. The last week covers tips, tricks, and troubleshooting.

  4. What are the different ways to open images in Photoshop?

    Images can be opened in Photoshop from Adobe Bridge, Adobe Lightroom, or through the File menu by choosing "Open".

  5. What should be considered when choosing the resolution for printing?

    The resolution should be chosen based on the most demanding use of the image, such as printing with crisp, straight lines or high contrast content. It is recommended to choose a higher resolution within the appropriate range to ensure the best quality.

  6. How can different tools be accessed in the Tools panel?

    Some tools in the Tools panel have hidden options. By clicking and holding on a tool with a triangle in the lower right corner, the additional tools in the same slot can be accessed.

  7. How can panels be accessed and customized in Photoshop?

    Panels can be accessed through the Window menu, where checkboxes next to each panel allow for customization and visibility on the screen. The lesson covers how to manage and move panels in Photoshop, including collapsing and expanding panels, closing and reopening panels, changing the order of tabs, creating new sections for panels, and using the zoom and hand tools to navigate documents.


  1. How can you bring a panel to the front?

    By clicking on the name of the panel.

  2. How can you collapse or expand a panel?

    By double-clicking on the name of the panel.

  3. How can you close or hide a panel?

    By clicking on the three bars icon in the upper right corner of the panel and selecting "Close."

  4. What does the "Close Tab Group" option do?

    It closes all panels that are grouped together with the selected panel.

  5. How can you change the order of tabs in the panels?

    By clicking on the name of the panel and dragging it to the desired position.

  6. How can you separate a panel from a group?

    By clicking on the name of the panel, dragging it to an open part of the screen, and releasing the mouse button.

  7. How can you resize a panel?

    By grabbing its edges or corners and dragging it to the desired size.

  8. How can you collapse a panel into an icon?

    By clicking on the double arrow icon in the upper right corner of the panel.

  9. What are the keyboard shortcuts for zooming in and out?

    Command plus and Command minus (Control plus and Control minus in Windows).

  10. How can you navigate around a zoomed-in document?

    By using the hand tool and clicking and dragging to move around.

  11. What are the temporary keyboard shortcuts for accessing the zoom and hand tools?

    Pressing the spacebar for the hand tool and pressing both the spacebar and command key (or control key in Windows) for the zoom tool.

Lesson Info

Introduction to Photoshop

Hello and welcome to creative live. We are here today with Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide with Ben Willmore. My name is Jim Catechie and let me tell you a little bit about Ben Willmore. Ben just came off his heels of one of our biggest workshops of all time, our Lightroom bootcamp and he's following up with Photoshop. Ben has been teaching since the very early days here at Creative Live. He's one of our top notch Photoshop instructors and just and all round great guy. Without any further adieu let's bring him out. Ben Willmore. (crowd claps) Hello sir. Good to see you. Good morning. How you feeling? 20 days or you got yor coffee, are you ready to do this? Yes. Four weeks, tons of content, right? You're gonna be doing Photoshop literally from a to z. Start with the basics today and as we get forward we get more and more and more advanced so it really doesn't matter the level of the folks watching. There's something for everybody. Yeah, the first day of the class is for...

everybody that might not be up on the basics and then we just slowly progress into deeper and deeper and by the time we're done we get into advanced topics. So it'll be a nice progression. Great, alright, let's get started. Sounds good. So by the end of this class let's think of what you're gonna be able to do with Photoshop. First, you're gonna learn to become confident and start actually enjoying using it because if you don't understand how to think about Photoshop then it's not very enjoyable to use. But once you start learning the logic of how to think about it then you can start to really enjoy what you're doing. You're gonna develop the deeper understanding of the most important parts of Photoshop. That means everything from adjustments to retouching to layers, all that kind of stuff, you're gonna get a much deeper understanding than what you currently have. You're gonna be able to transform dull and ordinary images into things that look really good and I'm really looking forward to that. You're gonna be able to combine multiple images into a composite. So if you'd like to know how to use the layers, how to mask and remove a background, how to possibly adjust images so the color looks like they belong together, that type of thing and you're gonna learn how to retouch images at a pretty good level because we're gonna go through all sorts of tools related to retouching. I think it's gonna be great. So then we gotta think about who's this class for? I can't make it for everybody but here's how I thought of it. If you're a beginner and you want an in-depth overview of Photoshop but you don't want one that stays too basic. Some classes, if they start with any basics they seem to stay there and we're gonna be able to progress into intermediate and by the time, we have a whole month. By the time we're done with that month we'll get into more advanced stuff. But at the same time, it doesn't mean that it has to be difficult, it just means they're advanced features, you'll get a friendly introduction to all of them. Also, if you're a self taught person. When you're self taught, this class will fill in the gaps of your knowledge because there's all sorts of things where if you're just looking around Photoshop to figure out how things work, there's so much hidden stuff where if you don't know that holding down a special keyboard shortcut gives you an extra feature, how would you discover it on your own? Unless you hold down random keys every time you click everything, I doubt you're gonna know about all those hidden gems. Also, longterm Photoshop users can benefit because there's a lot of new features that come out overtime and if you've started Photoshop for a long time you get used to the features you use everyday and often times you have no clue that there's some new features in there that might dramatically speed up what you do. Then finally, if you're an average user and you just want a refresher course, I just want to make sure that I'm up on everything, those is what I was thinking of when I was designing this course. So let's take a look at how our class is laid out. We have a total of four weeks where we have one session each weekday. So here are the names of those sessions. Today is called starting from zero. That means I'll assume you don't know anything about Photoshop. The one thing I will assume you've done is install it. You can install it via Adobe's website and it's a relatively straightforward process so I don't want to spend the time here where you see a progress bar and everything. The other thing I would install is the program that's free from Adobe called Bridge and Bridge is just a convenient program for viewing what's in a folder and quickly opening those files. So those are the two things I'd install. Other than installing those two programs we're gonna start from zero as if you don't know anything about Photoshop. Then we'll progress. The second episode we'll get into camera raw which is a great way of adjusting your pictures. Selection essentials will allow us to isolate small areas of our images if we just want to adjust those parts. We'll get into layers and layer masks, that's all in the first week. In week two, we're gonna explore more of the tools and panels that we didn't get to on the first week. We'll look at adjustments and we'll talk about some great features like blending modes. Blending modes is a menu you'll find at the top of the layers panel that has a bunch of choices in a long list that you can do really creative things with. Think you'll enjoy that session. Week three, here are our topics. We'll be getting a little more advanced in week three, start seeing the word advanced show up. Advanced masking, advanced retouching, that doesn't mean difficult masking or difficult retouching, it just means we covered basic masking in a previous session and now we need to learn how to remove the background on a tree or a cloud or a, I don't know, whatever you need, something complicated. And advanced retouching means going way beyond what we did in our first session on retouching. In week four, here you can see the rest of our sessions, you notice that when we get near the end we start getting into tips and tricks that so we can fill in any gaps that just don't fit into the big categories we've had on the other days. We start talking about actions and automation. That'll make it so once we have learnt how to use the basic features of Photoshop we can start making it so anything that's repetitive we can automate which is gonna speed us up quite a bit and we'll end with troubleshooting and advice so that, you know, there's always something that can happen in Photoshop or just not working for you so we'll make sure we cover a lot of what can go wrong in Photoshop and how to get around it. So that's kind of our layout for an entire month where you get one session every weekday and so let's see. Today, first day out of because if you look at just weekdays for an entire month we have 20 weekdays. So today is known as starting from zero and so starting from zero I think of is let's learn the big picture. I'd think about Photoshop before we jump in and get too deep with the features. So the first thing we should address is when we open our pictures, we have a few options. I mentioned that you should download our free program called Bridge that's from Adobe and even if you own another program called Lightroom I'd still have Bridge on my computer but you can open your images from either Adobe Bridge or Adobe Lightroom. Those are two great places to start. You don't have to have either program but the main advantage is when you go to a folder in either program, you can see big previews of what your pictures look like, whereas if you don't use either program the open dialog box in Photoshop isn't really optimized for seeing big previews of your images, just not as fun of an experience. But a lot of people will ask, how should I think differently about Lightroom verses Bridge? Now if you've never heard of Lightroom this won't completely apply to you but for those of you that either own Lightroom or have thought about using Lightroom, you know that it has some of the same features as the program called Bridge, let's think about when might you want to use one verses the other? So first, there's an adjustment that comes with Photoshop called Adobe Camera Raw. A lot of people refer to it as ACR, Adobe Camera Raw. That's why it says ACR in the heading up there. And Adobe Camera Raw in Lightroom have the exact same adjustments available. The quality of the end result is exactly the same. If you could do an adjustment in one of those programs you can do the exact same adjustment in the other. So there is no quality difference. The choices you have, the names of the sliders you move around are identical. But there are differences. Both Bridge and Lightroom can display the contents of a folder. So that instead of just seeing the file names you see big preview images of the contents of a folder, like a grid of little thumbnail images which is great. But Bridge can show you files that Lightroom can't. Lightroom will only show you, in general, photographs or images. Bridge can show you illustrations like things that came from Adobe Illustrator, like logos and things. It can show you in design files, PDF files and just other things that are not photographs. Lightroom is designed just for photos. And so sometimes you end up with some files that Lightroom can't deal with and for those you might need Bridge. Lightroom though catalogs your photos and that's why when you're in Lightroom there's an import button and you have to go through a little process before your images will show up in Lightroom, when you import your images in the Lightroom it maintains the little preview images that it stores on your hard drive and it makes it so if you disconnect the hard drive that contains all your pictures and you launch Lightroom you can still view those pictures even though the hard drive that contains the originals is sitting at home and you're traveling with your laptop. Bridge cannot do that whatsoever. Bridge can only look at a folder and show you it's contents, the moment you disconnect that hard drive you can't see those pictures anymore. Lightroom though can catalog your pictures which means it maintains a record of them which includes a preview, makes it so I can view and organize my pictures even when I'm traveling and I don't have the originals. So that's a huge advantage of Lightroom. For me, I start 98% of the time in Lightroom because that's where I organize my pictures. So Lightroom has the potential to completely and totally replace two parts that a lot of people use with Photoshop. Those two parts are known as Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw but it doesn't replace anything else. So anything you couldn't do in those two pieces you'd still need Photoshop for. So why would a Lightroom user want to have Bridge as well? Well sometimes I need to look at friends pictures or I've just downloaded a bunch of images off the internet that have nothing to do with my photography. There are pictures of a house I'm thinking about buying or there a car I might buy and I'm gonna be interested in them for maybe a few hours or a day and then I never want to see them again. Well, in Lightroom you'd have to import those and in the process it takes a little bit of time for it to create previews and once you're done they're gonna be in there unless you do something to get rid of them. If there are files that I only want to look at briefly, they're not my own personal images like the photos I'm taking, I probably don't want them cluttering up my Lightroom Library so I use Bridge for those. You know, a friend comes over and says I have no idea how to fix this problem with somebody's face, a retouching job. Fine, I'll launch Bridge, I'll look at the image. I'll open it in Photoshop, make the change and when I'm done give it back to them and it's not cluttering up my Lightroom Library. So there are good reasons to have Bridge around even if you own Lightroom. But for those of you that don't own Lightroom just use Bridge for now. So as I mentioned, if you own Lightroom there's still use for that Bridge around. Now if you've never heard of either program don't worry about it. All you have to know is we're gonna use during this class a program called Bridge, just to view the contents of a folder and open our files from there so that we're not limited to Photoshop's open dialog box which is rather basic. It's your computer operating system's open dialog box. Alright, then there are somethings that you shouldn't necessarily do in Photoshop and so I want to give you a little bit of a mindset when it comes to that. Some of these things you could do and you might do on occasion if you don't own other programs that would be better at it but I just want to let you know what would I not do using Photoshop. And in general, if you make a lot of crisp edged graphics like logos, solid colored shapes that turn into a logo, that kind of stuff, Photoshop can do some of that but it's less than ideal for it. Your file size as well will be larger because it's not really designed from the start for that. We can do it and if I only needed to do one or two or three logos and things I'd be fine in here but otherwise, if I'm gonna do a lot of it, Adobe Illustrator or a similar program would be better at that because it's designed from the start for only that. If I want to do page layout, so I want a 16 page brochure, I could make it in Photoshop but it would be less than ideal. If I only needed to do it once in my lifetime or a couple times, Photoshop could be okay but if I'm gonna do it on a regular basis, Adobe InDesign or a similar product would be better. It's designed specifically for page layout or even a Word processor would be better. Then cataloging your photos which just means keeping track of all your photos and organizing them. There are no features that are built in that really make that elegant. Instead, I'd rather do that in Adobe Lightroom. So those are kind of a little bit of my mindset where if I do these things on a regular basis I might want to look at other programs that would be more optimized for those functions. We can do the first two things in Photoshop if need be but cataloging our photos, it just doesn't have the functionality for. Then another little mindset before we get into Photoshop and that is there's always more than on way to do things in Photoshop and because of that you don't need to know them all. A lot of people seem to feel bad, they're like man, I didn't know that or I can't remember all these things. There's six different ways of doing something in Photoshop. Well in general, you want to find one method for whatever it is you need to accomplish that you're comfortable with and it's just not inefficient. It's efficient enough to get by with. And then if you use Photoshop only monthly, you know, just every once in a while, you're probably not gonna remember keyboard shortcuts. Instead, you're gonna go to the manual, the menus at the top of your screen and manually get to things but if you use Photoshop daily you'll probably gonna start wanting to know as many keyboard shortcuts as possible because they speed you up. You don't have to manually move your mouse around to do something, you just type something and it happens so I'll be mentioning both the manual method for doing things and the keyboard shortcuts but if you only use Photoshop on occasion or Photoshop is completely new to you, ignore most of the keyboard shortcuts unless I tell you that it's one that I use every single day then you can get into those later on. Alright, we're gonna pop over to Photoshop and get started. Just wanted to get our mentally a little prepared for it. This is what the newest version of Photoshop looks like when you launch it. This screen will not look the same if you have an older version of Photoshop because this would just be blank for the most part and they have decided to make it so you would see a recent files here so if you wanted to quickly open a recent file, that type of thing, there is a preference you can change in Photoshop to turn this off so that it would look more like previous versions where you wouldn't see a bunch of options here when you don't have a picture open. I'm gonna go to Bridge to look at and open my pictures. There are a couple different ways of getting to Bridge. It is a separate program so you can launch it the same way you launch any program or the same way you switch between any program. So on a Macintosh that means I can go to my dock at the bottom of my screen and there I might find Bridge or if you have Photoshop running already you can go to the File menu and there's a choice called Browse in Bridge. When I choose that it should bring up Bridge. This is Bridge. Bridge is just one way of opening our images. I want to show you just a really quickie overview of Bridge, enough to get you where you can see your pictures and know how to open them and know that when you're in Photoshop you should go to the File menu, choose Browse in Bridge to switch over here quickly. If it doesn't work then manually switch, the same way we would launch any other program on your computer. Now if I have a file here I'd like to work with in Photoshop, all I need to do is double click on it and when I do, it should open in Photoshop. All I did is double click. If that file happens to be a raw file that came from a digital camera that was set to record in raw format, another screen would come up first that is called Camera Raw. And just in case you've never seen it I'll force this one to come in. This screen here, if you ever see it, is called Camera Raw and if you have a file that is in the raw format, when you double click on it this will come up and if so, in the lower right there's a button there called Open Image and Open Image is what you'd have to click to get it to open all the way into Photoshop. I already had the picture opened so it asked do you wanna update this? Usually you won't get that update screen. So, so far we've seen that in Bridge I can double click on a file, it's gonna open in Photoshop. If it's a raw file, an extra screen will come up and there'll be a button near the lower right called Open Image and I'll have to click that to get it all the way opened in Photoshop. There are other methods though that I can use for opening images. You don't have to use Bridge. If I hide Bridge and come back over here to Photoshop, I could go to the file menu and choose open, this will present me with the standard operating system open dialog box and this is where it's not always so fun because you mainly see a list of files. You do have a few choices near the top but they will vary depending on what operating system you're using. If you're a Mac or Windows, I can try to go over here and see thumbnails but it's gonna show me a lot of stuff I wouldn't otherwise want to see and it's just not as convenient as using Bridge and so that's why I end up using Bridge or Camera Raw because I rarely want to use this open dialog box. Just not as nice. So I in general completely replace the open dialog with Bridge. In fact, I don't think I've chosen open other than when presenting a seminar in possibly 10 years because Bridge is just so much more convenient. Now in Bridge we will be, on occasion, needing to open more than one picture at a time or to do special things that involve more than one file. And if that's the case, you can select more than one file in Bridge by clicking on one picture, holding down shift and clicking on another picture and that will get you all the images in between. Then if you need to work on all those images at once, you could double click on them and you're gonna open in Photoshop or if there was something we needed to do to all of them, we're gonna end up going up to the Tools menu quite often because there's a special choice in there called Photoshop and here are some extra features that usually work on more than one file. We're not gonna get into them right now but just so you know, we will be accessing them from this menu during the class. So for instance, in here there's a choice called Photomerge, that means merge something into a panorama. So if this was a panorama we could do so or this one would create layers where you get one layer for each image but we haven't talked about layers yet so you might not know how that would work. Now, some people will have replaced Bridge with Lightroom. So let me show you how to do the same things from Lightroom. And if you're not familiar with Lightroom, Lightroom is a separate program from Photoshop but is you're on the subscription plan with Adobe and you have the photographer's plan, I believe it includes both Lightroom and Photoshop. So if you happened to be on that subscription plan you can get that program. It's a great program for cataloging your images and here I have it, I just switched to Lightroom. Let's now look at how to open images from Lightroom into Photoshop. First, we can go to the photo menu at the top of our screen and there's a choice called Edit in and that's where I'm gonna find right here where I can edit it in Photoshop. There is a keyboard shortcut there where if you're Lightroom user I would get used to it and that's command e on a Mac, control e in Windows and just think of it as for edit. Command e means edit in Photoshop. If I choose that then it should eventually send that image over to Photoshop and open it. So you either type command e or if you hate keyboard shortcuts you go to the photo menu, choose open in and that's where you find the name of Photoshop. Let's go back to Lightroom. You remember how I said there are some features that will work on more than one image like when you're stitching a panorama or if you need to use those same functionality then you can go to the photo menu and under that same sub menu called Edit in, not only can we open it in Photoshop but below that we have some special features that are specific to Photoshop and one of them is called Merge to Panorama. And if you remember in Bridge we also had one that would stack them in layers, well that's the same choice here, Open as Layers in Photoshop. So anything that I would do from Bridge to open my pictures, if you're using Lightroom instead then you just want to go to the Photo menu, choose Edit in and that's where you'll find similar choices that have the same functionality. So in Bridge, let's figure out how to navigate our hard drives and just control a few things, kind of the minimal that we need to move around. So on the left side of your screen is where you can navigate your hard drive. You're gonna find two areas over there. One is called Favorites and the other is called Folders. I'm gonna be working in the Folders view and that's where I can simply click on the little triangle that's next to a folder to expand it and see it's contents and then I can click on the name of the folder to switch and look at the contents of that particular folder. Once I've gotten to the folder that I would like to work with, over here in the middle I should see thumbnail pictures. And at the very bottom of my screen is a slider that allows me to control how large they are. If I grab that little slider bar at the very bottom of my screen, move it to the left, you see them get really small so I can see a whole bunch of images at once and if I bring it up you can see that I can get them quite large. Then if I want to see a larger version of my picture I can click on the image and over on the right side of my screen is a preview. And that preview starts out relatively small but you can make it larger because each one of these sections, these kind of panels within the Bridge window can be pulled on. If you pull on the edge of it there's a vertical bar that separates the preview from the little thumbnail images. If I click on that vertical bar and drag to the left, I'll make the preview area larger. I can click on the horizontal bar that's on the bottom edge of the preview to further make it larger to get it whatever size preview I'd like. And then I can make it smaller again just by grabbing those edges. Also, each one of these sections within the Bridge window can be double clicked on. If you double click on the name of each section you can collapse it down. So for instance, of the left side of my screen there's an area you can pull up here called Filter and if I don't need that area and it's already taking up space, I can double click on the name Filter and collapse it down so I can see a longer list of my folders. And if i later on need the filter area again, I double click on it, it expands again. On occasion you'll try that and it won't expand and what that means is the last time you resized that area you probably were dragging on that little bar instead and you happened to just drag it all the way to the bottom. Because then when I double click it's barely doing anything and that's because it wasn't collapsed down through double clicking, it was collapsed down through dragging and you need to get it larger in the same way. That can mess you up a little bit. So I can get my larger preview. Now there is one keyboard shortcut that's really useful to know about in here and that is pressing the tab key. The tab key will hide those side panels. And if you press tab again it'll bring back whichever side panels were there previously. So therefore, if you want to navigate to the folder that you were thinking of and then concentrate on all those images, you can just hit tab and suddenly the side panels are gone and it's much easier to concentrate on your pictures. You can press tab again to get them to show up again. Also, if you happen to not need the preview that's on the right, you can grab the little vertical bar that's on it's left edge, the dark bar that's there, grab it and just drag it all the way to the edge of your screen. Now you've kind of collapsed that whole side out of there and you can always get it back, you just need to move your mouse back to that dark vertical bar and you can drag it back. So remember, on the left side of your screen is where you have your folder list. This is where you're gonna navigate your hard drive. Just click on the little triangles next to each folder to see what is the sub folders contained within then click on the name of a folder to see it's contents and that's as simple as it needs to be when it comes to Bridge. Then to open a file double click on it or if you need to work on more than one file then you can go to the Tools menu, choose Photoshop and that's where you find choices related to working with Photoshop with multiple pictures and we'll get into a lot of those later on. Let's head over to Photoshop and in Photoshop we have a few choices when it comes to creating new files. So far we've opened files from either Bridge or Lightroom. The one other choice we have would be to go to the File menu and choose New. When you choose New these are the options you get. Now there's a whole bunch of options in there. The most important ones though are simply the width and height of your picture. If you want an eight by 10 inch image or a 12 by 14 or whatever it happens to be, most of the other settings that are in there can be used to default settings but if you'd like to get an idea of what they mean let's take a quick look at it. You can change how bright your interface is in Photoshop, you know how mine looked really dark when I was in that screen, one of your preferences is how bright you'd like the interface to be and when I took these screenshots I had it set to a brighter setting but just so you know the settings are the same that you see on the screen here, even though your screen might look darker than this. But when you create a new document, let's just take a quick look at what shows up. So in general, all you mainly need to specify in here is the width, height and resolution. So, we'll start at the top and work our way down and we'll see what the other features mean. Up here at the top you have your File Name. It's completely optional. At the moment you save your file it'll ask you what to name it. It's just if you happen to want to name it from the beginning you can do it here. Most of the time I'm in a hurry and I'm just trying to go quickly so I even completely ignore what the name says up here. Down here is a preset. If I were to click on that preset you see a list of choices. This is if you want standardized sizes for your paper and if this ever says custom it means you don't match one of these presets. You've changed the settings so that you're a customized it. That's why the choice at the bottom is there. If you want to save your own preset, you can type in the width and height that you need for your document. Let's say you do unusually sized brochures or publications. You can type in the width and height and on the right side you can hit save preset. Then your preset would show up in that menu that's up there. Here we have just some other basic sizes but in general, right here is where you're gonna specify your dimensions, your width and height. That can be measured in inches, centimeters, millimeters, if you change the menus to the right. This part's important, resolution. Resolution is mainly used for printing. It's ignored when outputting things to the internet or when used for other things that are not printing related. If you just send an email for instance, that number's ignored. But what that number means is how big are the little squares that make up our picture when we print them. If those squares are big, your image looks chunky. It looks what's known as pixelated. And if they're small enough, you can't notice that your image is actually made out of a grid of squares. And so that number determines how big are those pixels that make up our image when they're printed. I have a separate bonus video that covers the concept of resolution and it covers it in detail. But for now I just want to give you guidance as to what range of settings might you want to consider. When you're printing your images, that's when that number's primarily used, these are the ranges of settings to use. If as long as you're within that range you should be fine for these kinds of printing. The time that you would want to tend towards the higher number is any time you have crisp, straight lines. If you have doesn't have to be perfectly horizontal or vertical, like if you have a diagonal line, you have a sail boat and the mast is setting there, which is a nice straight line and you have all of the cabling that comes down from the mast that are really crisp edge, usually have bright highlights on them, that's when you want to tend towards the higher numbers that are here. You have a picture of a guitar and the strings are straight lines that have a good amount of contrast between them and their background because there's a dark opening in the guitar which is really dark, less light in it and the light is catching the guitar strings, that's where you would have the most chance of seeing little jagged edges and so that's when you want to tend towards the higher number. If you don't have that kind of content in your picture then it wouldn't matter as far as what number within that range you use. It's just if you have high contrast lines or you have stuff like text. Not text you've typed in at Photoshop, that's a special instance, you should even go higher but if you have text like on a sign that's in one of your photographs and it's prominent within your picture, you want to tend towards the higher settings because they'll be straight lines that are high contrast and that's when it's most likely that you're gonna see little jagged edge if you get the number too low. But if you're outputting to something else other than these kinds of output, instead you're just viewing it onscreen or emailing it, then this number's ignored. It just says how big are the pixels that make up your picture when you print. Down here you have color mode and in general, you want to use RGB mode for most things. I would use RBG mode when you're gonna view the image onscreen in any format, that means the internet, an email, a portfolio, a video, anything onscreen. If you're gonna print it to your own printer on your desk I would use RGB mode and there's two other modes that I might use in there. One is called CMYK mode, the other is called Grayscale and they're both used when you're gonna print on a printing press. I mean like you're gonna print 10,000 brochures on a really expensive multimillion dollar press then that's when you use a few other settings. I have an entire bonus video about color mode. So if you want to really know how to think about them, why they all exist, when should you use one verses another, then you can look at that bonus video but otherwise, RGB mode is the default and it's usually what you need to use for the vast majority of what you use. Then we have a little popup menu over here and we have mainly the choices of eight bit or 16 bit. It's a technical term that means how many brightness levels between black and white do we have? An eight bit is fine for most things. For most people it would be a fine amount of information. It means you're gonna have just over 250 brightness levels in your picture between black and white and that's enough to make a smooth transition from black to white and you're picture's gonna look fine. If you've ever seen a JPG file of any kind, every JPG file you've ever seen in your lifetime is eight bit. So most people are used to seeing those all day. You do have the choice of 16 bit in there and that would make it so your file contains thousands and thousands of brightness levels between black and white and the main time when that's needed is when you're gonna make dramatic changes to something. Something that looks like it's almost black, you're gonna bring out, make it look like a normal photograph. Then it's useful to have additional information in that file so that's when you'd use 16 bit but most of the time eight bit's fine for most people. Here just wants to know when you're creating a new file what should it start with? Should it be filled with white or should it be filled with black or something else? So you can usually just use the default setting there. Below that we have something known as a color profile and that's another thing that we have an entire bonus video about. I'll get into exactly what they mean and how you might wanna consider them. But I would as far as just general advice, use sRGB if you're a beginner to Photoshop. If you're not versed in Photoshop use sRGB. Once you start to learn more about Photoshop and if you start printing to your own color printer on your desk, then Adobe RGB would probably be a better choice and there are other choices you could use that we'll get into in the bonus video. But I just want to mention here because it does come up when you create a new document. Finally, below that it says Pixel Aspect Ratio. What that means is are the squares that make up our picture, are they perfectly square or are they a rectangle instead? And in general, you want that set to square unless you're doing video because video doesn't use square pixels for most things. It uses slightly rectangular ones and if so you'd end up using on of the presets up top to choose what size image you're making to make it a certain size for video and it will fill in what you need down there. So you wouldn't have to worry about it. So there's a lot of stuff in the screen for creating a brand new document but all you really need is the width and height and if you're gonna be printing the image to make sure the resolution is appropriate. So width, height, resolution is most of what you need. The other settings, the default setting is good for most of them and we'll get into them in more detail. The one thing I should mention is width and height, if it's ever in inches, then make sure the resolution is correct as well because it uses all the three of these numbers together to figure out how big your file should be. Question? Ben, for the resolution, if you work on a lower resolution image and later on you decide you wanna print it in higher quality, can you upscale? You can upscale pictures, you can scale them up but anytime you do so it gets softer as you do it. It looks blurry for the most part. Now, you can after you scale it up sharpen it to try to artificially enhance it to make it look sharper but there's a limit to that. So when I'm creating a file here I'm thinking about what's the most demanding use I might possibly use this for because scaling something down does not decrease the quality of the end result, it's scaling things up that does. So here I think about what's the absolute largest I might use this for, what's the most demanding kind of printing I might use this for and that's what I would like to start with and then if somebody else says well, I want to use this for the internet or something, they don't need a massive file, then I can scale it down and save them a special version but mine, I think about most demanding use when I'm in here. Yes, question. In the color profile tab you mentioned that beginners should work with sRGB. There's also working RGB. Is there a difference? Okay, that's a interesting question. There is a choice and if you look at mine, mine is called working RGB. There is a preference setting in Photoshop that says what should my default setting be for this and it's not found in your preferences though, let me show you where it's found. If I go to Photoshop and I got to the Edit menu, there's a setting near the bottom called Color Settings. They'll be a whole bunch of settings that show up in here but there's only one that we're interested in when we go in there. There's a popup menu, ignore absolutely everything in here except for this one menu here called RGB. This means what should my default setting be when I create brand new documents. And so if you determine what you'd like to use you could change it in here and then that's known as your RGB working space. It should just mean default setting but that's what it means. Now that screen we were in a moment ago has a whole bunch of technical stuff in it. Most of that can be ignored but the one called RGB is just what's your default setting when you create a new document and that's what your RGB working space means. Be nice if I just called it default. There's a lot of times in Photoshop where Photoshop's a professional tool. It's used by all sorts of levels of people, from the most beginner level to the absolute most technical people but the people who create it are engineers and so their heads, they're all technical and they want to get things to be named technically correct and that's not always meaning they're the most user friendly in the way they're named and so I'll try to translate for you but in general, working space means default setting. Alright, let's take a tour of Photoshop and try to get a little bit comfortable with it's overall layout. Your copy of Photoshop might look different than mine because you've set it up differently than mine. I'm going to do one thing just to see if I can get to what yours might look like which would possibly be this at your default. I'll discuss what I just chose in a moment which will save the setup for my screen so that if it ever gets changed later on I can get back to the setup I had previously. So let's take a look. First off, on the left side of my screen is Photoshop's Tools panel and that's where all of the tools I use in Photoshop are located. If you notice that some of those tool icons will have a tiny little triangle in the lower right corner. If you just glance down there, in fact, most of them have a tiny little triangle on the lower right corner. The only one that doesn't it looks like is the magnifying glass, the zoom tool. If you see that tiny little triangle, it means there's more than one tool hidden in that same slot and so in order to access the other tools you click and hold on the tool you would like and you'll see the additional tools that are stored in the same spot and then you can switch to it and you'll switch which tools on top, the one that you might be currently using. So if you ever see my tools and I go to a particular tool and you don't see it in your tools panel, just go to the same general area and click and see if it's within the list of tools that is stored in the same spot because we can easily switch between them. Once you have chosen a tool in your tool panel on the left side of your screen then across the top of your screen will be something called the options bar. My options bar, moving my mouse across right now and that options bar is where you find the settings for the particular tool. So whatever's in the options bar will change as you switch between various tools in Photoshop. Then on the right side of your screen, you would usually find the layers panel. Just so you know, any of these panels that you see taking up space on my screen, if I mention one of them and you don't find it on your screen because somebody one time moved it or hid it or did something, all of these panels that you can possibly have showing up on your screen are listed under the Window menu. And so if I go to Window menu, you'll find little check boxes next to the panels that are currently visible on my screen and if I talk about one and you don't find it on your screen, all you need to do is choose it from this particular menu, the Window menu and that will cause it to appear. So let's talk a little bit about the panels. The one that'll be the most important will be the layers panel. The layers panel is what's gonna allow us to construct an image out of multiple pieces where nothing that we do is generally permanent if we plan our document effectively. But the layers panel is the one that we'll usually have taking up the most space on our screen. But we have all sorts of different panels to work with. Let's look at just how to move them around and manage them. If you click on the name of a panel, it will come to the front. So if you have more than one panel in a grouping, just click on it's name, it comes to the front. If you want to get that section to take up less space, you can double click on the name and it should collapse down that section. Or if there's one that's already collapsed down and you'd like to expand it, you can double click on it's name and that should expand it. So double click on name just means toggle, either fully visible or hidden. If there's a panel that you just don't need, like I rarely use the color panel, might not want it taking up space on my screen. Then in the upper right corner of each panel you'll find an icon that looks like kinda three bars, that means there's a side menu there and most of the choices in that side menu will be specific to the panel you're working with. So if you're working with the layers panel, you'll find different choices than if you're working on the color panel. But with all of them at the bottom you'll find the choice of close which means hide this entire panel. So I'd have to go back to the Window menu and choose it there in order to get it to show up again. There's also the choice of Close Tab Group and that means if this panel is grouped in with another one where you see two tabs right next to each other it would get rid of both of them. So Close Tab Group. So here if I don't want libraries, I don't want adjustments and I don't want styles, I don't want any of those, I go to the side menu, close would only close the front most, the top most one that's currently visible. Close Tab Group would get rid of all of them. And so you can choose what you'd like visible and what you don't want visible. Also when it comes to these panels, we can change the order of the tabs. If I click here on the word layers and I drag to the right, now I put layers in the middle of those three tabs or I drag further to the right, now it's on the right side. Or if you would rather not have some things grouped together because sometimes you might need to use the layers panel and the channels panel at the same time and see their contents at the same time. When they're grouped together like this we can't see them both at the same time. So if I click on one of these tabs and I keep my mouse button held down and then drag to an open part of my screen, all suddenly just separate that. So it it's own little floating panel and I can grab it's edges and it's corner to resize it, get whatever size I want. I did that by just clicking on the name and dragging the name somewhere else. If I drag the name of this panel back to where it was before watch for feedback. You'll see little blue, indicating where it thinks you want to put it and if I want to put it in with here I'll just drag it up where the other tabs are and you see that entire area where the tabs are highlighted, that means that's where it's gonna put it. So we just put it back. You can have more than one section of these, you can have as many of these things floating around your screen as you want, you can have it as cluttered as you want. Some people have huge monitors and they have these things all over their screens. Other people have a really small 12 inch laptop like Jim over there, that he's probably gonna really have to be careful with managing his panels because they're taking up so much of his screen that he can't have too many of them visible. But I want to show you a few special ways of working with the panels that I think will make them a lot more useful. I'm gonna click on the name of a panel, I'm gonna drag it to the middle of my screen and then I'm gonna drag close to the right, I'm sorry, the left edge of the panels that are already there. When I do you see a blue vertical line appear. Now I'm not dragging further over where little sections in here get highlighted. I'm dragging until I see a little blue vertical bar. And if I let go then, I'm creating kind of a new section where these panels I kind of glued together, where if I resize one the others will move with it and that's how I group them together. I could do that with another panel, drag it over here and if I just drag it to an open area it's all by itself, it's free floating. But if I drag it just to the left edge where that vertical bar shows up, now I'm kind of grouping all these together. We can also put it together like that. Well, once I have created one of these extra panels that's kind of struck to the others, I don't have to view the entire height of this panel, the full size. There's a little icon that can help me out and that is in the upper right corner, there's a little double arrow, right in the upper right corner just above the icon that I clicked on to get to the side menu and if I click that little double icon, watch what happens. It just collapsed this down into an icon. By default, it usually starts with an icon and a name next to it because it expects that you don't recognize the icon yet. So you don't remember that that little icon means the paths panel. But I'm gonna pull another one of these down and this time instead of pulling it over until I get a big vertical bar, I don't want to hold another vertical panel in there, I want it to appear right below Paths, so I pull it over here and I move my mouse up until I see the feedback of this blue stuff right below the panel that's already there. And now I can stack that. Now I can't see the full name of this. You see how this just says Chu instead of Channels? So I can grab the left edge of this and decide how much space that needs to take up and what's really nice is I can slam this together so that I just see the icons. And if you do that then you can organize these where they only take up a tiny amount of space and if you just click and let go it will expand and if you click again on the icon it will collapse. And so therefore, I can organize these to maybe have one of those vertical bars. I'll move these around. So I have certain panels that are only used for a few seconds at a time where I click an icon and click again to go away, click an icon and click again to go away. In other panels that I use all the time like layers, then I might leave taking up a lot of space. Alright. Then a few other quick things for starting from zero and that is we need to navigate our documents. So there are two tools we use for that and I few essential keyboard shortcuts. There's the zoom tool. It looks like a magnifying glass on my tools panel, I'll click on it and then each time I click and let go of my image we'll zoom in. If I were to click and hold it would continuously zoom in. Whoa. And then under the View menu we also have choices for zooming in and zooming out, these are keyboard shortcuts I would get used to. Command plus and command minus. That's control plus and control minus in Windows. That's another way. Or there's a choice in there I get used to called Fit on Screen which keyboard shortcut is command zero, control zero on Windows, so I'll type that. And that just means get me out where I can see the entire picture again. When you're using the zoom tool, there's a little trick and that is if you click and hold on you picture it's just gonna continuously zoom in like this but if you click and drag left or right, that's kind of an interactive zoom. Click and drag left to right. Then once you're zoomed in, if you can't see your entire picture, to get around you use the hand tool that's found on my tools panel on the left side of my screen, just click and drag to move around. There are keyboard shortcuts for both of these tools. If I'm using a different tool and I need to scroll around my screen, in order to temporarily access the hand tool to scroll around, press the spacebar on your keyboard, for as long as you hold down spacebar you'll be using the hand tool and you can move around. To zoom, to temporarily access that tool you can press both the spacebar and on a Mac it would be the command key, on Windows it's the control key. Then for as long as you're holding down those keys together, you're in the zoom tool, so I can click and zoom around. And therefore, regardless of what tool I was actually wanting to use on my picture, I can very quickly temporarily get to both my hand tool to move around and my zoom tool to navigate, zoom in and out. Alright. Though it's a pretty much a very basic introduction to how to move around in Photoshop, just remember you have your tools on the left of your screen. At the top of your screen, horizontally, you have the options for that particular tool and then most of the time on the right side your screen you have your layers which actually shows you what it is you're working on. That's where your picture's located and if your picture's made out of multiple pieces you'd see the pieces sitting there. For me, I find that I need to move to the left side of my screen to get to my tools and the options for my tools are always near the left side top of my screen so I don't like having to move my mouse to the right side all the time to get to layers so what I've done is I've taken the layers panel, I've clicked on it's name and I drag it all the way to the left side of my screen until I see a blue bar there. So it goes over there. Then those other little icons I have I can move those over as well and to move all of them instead of just one or two, instead of clicking on the individual icons, I click on the dark gray bar at the top and I'll move that over so it snaps to the left side of my screen and now everything, the tools, their options and all the other stuff I need are all very conveniently placed, kind of on one side of my screen so the only time I need to go to the right side of my screen is when I literally need to get to that part of my document. Instead most all the activity happens on this side. Now we haven't done anything, we haven't created anything with our images, we haven't made any layers or anything like that, that's what all our other sessions are for. And what we're gonna end up doing is we're gonna in our next session get into adjusting our pictures and from then we'll progress on. We'll start learning how can I isolate areas within that file so we can only adjust that, what kind of adjustments do we have and so on. So we'll simply progress. This first session is the most basic of them and let's just look at a little bit more about what we're gonna cover. So tomorrow is going to be Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Camera Raw is the place where I usually start adjusting my pictures. And it will allow me to go from a terrible looking end result to a dramatically better one, usually in just a couple minutes, sometimes just a couple seconds. So we're gonna get into Camera Raw in detail tomorrow. Before we do go on Facebook because on Facebook we have our own private Facebook group. That private Facebook group can be accessed from this address. And if you go there you have to join the group, we'll approve you and then you can comment and ask questions about this session and other sessions and get your questions answered relatively quickly. If you want to find me on various social media and on the internet here's where you can do so.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Color Palettes
Edges and Textures
Hand-drawn Frames
Hand-drawn Graphics
Layout Templates
Practice Images - Lesson 18: Tips and Tricks
Practice Images - Lesson 19: Actions and Automation
Practice Images - Lesson 17: Advanced Layers
Practice Images - Lesson 12: Advanced Masking
Practice Images - Lesson 15: Advanced Retouching
Practice Images - Lesson 10: Blending Modes
Practice Images - Lesson 2: Camera Raw
Practice Images - Lesson 8: Color Adjustments
Practice Images - Lesson 5: Layer Masks
Practice Images - Lesson 4: Layers
Practice Images - Lesson 9: Retouching Essentials
Practice Images - Lesson 3: Selection Essentials
Practice Images - Lesson 14: Shooting for Photoshop
Practice Images - Lesson 13: Smart Objects
Practice Images - Lesson 1: Starting from Zero
Practice Images - Lesson 7: Tonal Adjustments
Practice Images - Lesson 6: Tools and Panels
Practice Images - Lesson 20: Troubleshooting and Advice
Practice Images - Lesson 16: Warp Bend Liquify
Practice Images - Lesson 11: Filters
Script Elements
Week 1 - Day 1 Homework
Week 1 - Day 2 Homework
Week 1 - Day 3 Homework
Week 1 - Day 4 Homework
Week 1 - Day 5 Homework
Week 1 - Photoshop CC Workbook
Bit Depth
Color Modes
Color Spaces
Logic of Keyboard Shortcuts
Pen Tool
Week 2 - Day 6 Homework
Week 2 - Day 7 Homework
Week 2 - Day 8 Homework
Week 2 - Day 9 Homework
Week 2 - Day 10 Homework
Week 2 - Photoshop CC Workbook
Homework - Shooting for Photoshop in Adobe Photoshop CC
Homework - Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop CC
Homework - Filters in Adobe Photoshop CC
Homework - Advanced Masking in Adobe Photoshop CC
Homework - Advanced Retouching in Adobe Photoshop CC
Week 3 - Photoshop CC Workbook
Homework - Warp, Bend, Liquify, in Adobe Photoshop CC
Homework - Tips & Tricks in Adobe Photoshop CC
Homework - Actions & Automation in Adobe Photoshop CC
Homework - Troubleshooting & Advice in Adobe Photoshop CC
Homework - Advanced Layers in Adobe Photoshop CC
Week 4 - Photoshop CC Workbook
Bens Actions Sampler ReadMe
Bens Actions Sampler
Bens Styles Sampler ReadMe
Bens Styles Sampler
Texture Sampler
Save for Web
Facebook Q&A #1
Facebook Q&A #2
Q&A #3
PSD Preferences
File Formats
Customizing PSD

Ratings and Reviews


Ben Willmore is exceptionally and intimately knowledgeable about Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, including Bridge and Camera Raw, and how they work together. He's also a wonderful photographer. That's great, but what's even better for us is that he's an incredible and generous teacher. He shares his knowledge and experience in an organized, thorough, thoughtful and relatable way. I envy his efficiency with words and ideas! He isolates hard-to-understand concepts - things we'd be unlikely to figure out on our own - and explains them in simple terms and with on point and memorable examples. I completely enjoy Ben's teaching methods and his personality. His admiration and appreciation of his wife, Karen, are telling of what a good guy he must be, and he's got just an overall pleasant personality. I love his amusement when something "ridiculous" happens during an edit! This bootcamp is fantastic and just what I need. It's only one of Ben's many CL classes that I've watched and learned from - they are all excellent. Thank you, Ben Willmore. (And Karen!)

Lynn Buente

I purchased this course ---SMART MOVE!--because, at 74, I learn more slowly and need more practice. While I've had some "novice" experience with PS, this course is moving me along in a totally different way. Most tutorials just tell you what to do. Ben tells you not only WHAT to do, but WHY (--or why not) and HOW. Understanding better can lead to using the practices in PS more fluently AND to greater freedom to be creative. I find Ben's approach to be kind of a "come as you are" session. No matter where you are on the learning spectrum, there is something to review, something new, or a brand new challenge. The relaxed manner of presentation is great, but doesn't minimize the content of the class. I appreciate the additional explanations and theory. These help to make total sense of the tools and practices of good editing. I would really recommend that, if possible, you purchase the course. The practice images, the homework, and the evolving workbook are great review and reference points. Personally, I have downloaded the classes by week so I can view, re-view, and stop, start, and repeat segments as often as I need to --which is often! Also, sometimes I like to view and work on one segment of the class at a time. My study of this course will be a LOT LONGER than four weeks, and I know I'll be referring to it as long as I'm a Photoshop user. Thanks, Ben! (And thanks to your wife for her contribution as well.)

Carol Senske

I've used PS for about five years in many of it's various versions. Learning on your won is a tough proposition, and I've struggled the whole time. Seeing work I admired and that inspired me to strive for great er things then not being ablr to figure out how to do them was a major frustration. The jargon was sometimes foreign, the complexity of the program overwhelming but I soldiered on and learned bits and pieces. A friend recommended Ben's course and I immediately came to CL to see what she was so thrilled about - I was amazed! Ben is down-to-earth, explains each step, gives shortcuts, defines terms, and shows how to accomplish what he's teaching. After two weeks I bought the class. I not only bought the Photoshop course but I added the Lightroom course as well. I'll do that, on my own, when things slow down a bit, and I have no doubt that course will help me even more than the PS course. I'm totally at sea with LR. I like Ben's teaching style, appreciate all the homework and extras included, and greatly appreciate the magnificent, easy to use, workbook by Ben's wife. I give my wholehearted endorsement for this course!

Student Work