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Photoshop Tips and Tricks

Lesson 18 from: Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

Lesson 18 from: Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

18. Photoshop Tips and Tricks

Learn helpful and time-saving Photoshop tips and tricks like scanning photos in bulk, using the histogram to make your adjustments, and automated color correction.
Summary (Generated from Transcript)

In this lesson, the instructor discusses various tips and tricks for using Adobe Photoshop CC. The topics covered include scanning multiple photos at once, creating a slideshow within Photoshop, adjusting images using Camera Raw, automating color correction, editing masks, using blending modes, reducing blurriness in photos, creating panoramas, and organizing multiple images in Photoshop.


  1. How can you scan multiple photos at once in Photoshop?

    Place the photos on the scanner bed, ensuring that they do not overlap, and use the "Crop and Straighten Photos" option under File > Automate to automatically isolate and straighten each photo.

  2. How can you create a slideshow within Photoshop?

    Select a series of images, choose "Load Files into Photoshop Layers" under File > Scripts, and then select the layers and use the keyboard shortcut Option + ] (Mac) or Alt + ] (Windows) to cycle through the layers and view them as a slideshow.

  3. How can you automate color correction in Photoshop?

    Use the "Auto Options" feature in the Levels or Curves adjustment layer to set up automated color correction. Choose the option to find dark and light colors, and optionally enable the "Snap Neutral Midtones" setting.

  4. How can you edit masks or channels in Photoshop?

    Masks, channels, and selections can be edited by painting on them using the brush tool. To darken or lighten specific areas of a mask, adjust the blending mode of the brush tool to "Darken" or "Lighten."

  5. How can you reduce blurriness in a photo using Photoshop?

    Use the Shake Reduction filter under Filter > Sharpen to analyze and reduce blur in a photo. Click and drag on the image to define the most important area for analysis, and adjust settings as needed.

  6. How can you create a panorama with a creative look in Photoshop?

    Select multiple images, choose "Photomerge" under Tools > Photoshop, and disable the option for blending images together. Select the "Collage" option to only allow scaling and rotating of the images. Adjust layers and apply effects to create a unique collage-like panorama. The topic of the lesson is about using various keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop to increase efficiency and productivity.


  1. How can you access the Keyboard Shortcuts menu in Photoshop?

    You can access the Keyboard Shortcuts menu by going to the Edit menu and selecting Keyboard Shortcuts.

  2. How can you assign a keyboard shortcut to a specific command?

    In the Keyboard Shortcuts menu, navigate to the desired command and click on the empty field next to it. Type the desired keyboard shortcut and click the Accept button.

  3. Is it possible to export keyboard shortcuts to another workstation?

    Yes, you can export keyboard shortcuts by clicking the save icon in the Keyboard Shortcuts menu. It will prompt you to save the shortcuts file in a specific folder. You can then transfer this file to another workstation and import the shortcuts from the same menu.

  4. How can you restore the default keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop?

    In the Keyboard Shortcuts menu, there is an option to restore the default shortcuts called "Photoshop Defaults". Click on this option to revert back to the default keyboard shortcuts.

  5. What is the "Content-Aware" option in the Crop tool?

    The "Content-Aware" option in the Crop tool allows Photoshop to automatically fill in the empty areas when cropping an image. It uses the Content-Aware fill feature to intelligently fill in the areas based on the surrounding content.

  6. How can you quickly zoom out to see the entire image while working on a specific area?

    Press the letter H (or hold down the Spacebar) and click your mouse. This activates the Hand tool and allows you to drag a rectangle to see a different part of the image. When you release the mouse, you will be zoomed in to the same magnification on the new area.

  7. How can you change the size and hardness of the brush using keyboard shortcuts?

    Hold down Control and Option (Alt on Windows) and click your mouse. Dragging up and down will change the hardness of the brush, and dragging left and right will change the size of the brush.

  8. How can you choose the color of the brush using keyboard shortcuts?

    Hold down Control, Option (Alt on Windows), and Command (Ctrl on Windows) and click your mouse. This will bring up a color picker where you can choose the basic color and shade.

Next Lesson: Photoshop Actions

Lesson Info

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

And we're back with another episode of Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide. We're in week four, our last week together, and here are our topics. Today we're gonna be 18/20 done. We're getting so close to the end. It's unfortunate that we do not get to keep going for another month. But we need to stop somewhere, so we're 18/20 done and today we're talking tips and tricks. Let's pop over to Photoshop so we can spend a good amount of time there. Let's get going. Alright, if you have a bunch of photographs you want to scan, you have your old family photos, you want to get them in, all that kind of stuff, don't scan them one at a time. If you have a flatbed scanner, fill as many of those photos onto that scanning bed as you can, as long as they don't overlap each other. Just make sure there's a little bit of space between each one, and you don't even have to be too careful about if they're straight or not. If you do that, once you scan in a series of images, you can come down here and you're g...

onna find a choice under File, Automate, and it's called Crop and Straighten Photos. Hmm? That's gonna take a document that has more than one photo in it and if you choose Crop and Straighten Photos, it's going to try to isolate each photograph from there. It was done almost instantly. And now if I look here and I switch between all of these, it's not always absolutely perfect, but it does a pretty good job of isolating each photo into a separate document and straightening it and cropping it for you. So then why not just load up your scanner bed, hit the scan button, get the scan done, slide those photos off and very quickly put the next set in, scan it again, and keep doing that to get all of those important photos of yours, especially your family photos that now just sit in a shoebox under your bed somewhere, why not get them so you can have them on your computer and then you might be able to get them on your phone and other things so you can share them with people. But that was to go to the File menu, choose Automate, and then choose Crop and Straighten Photos. It's a feature you might not have noticed happens to be there. What else can we come up with? Well, I wanna do a document that I might use for a slideshow, and I don't have a slideshow program. I just wanna use Photoshop. So here I'm gonna grab a series of images, I'll select them all. I'm gonna have Photoshop combine these images into a single Photoshop document by using Load Files into Photoshop Layers, and once it's done... We'll look at our end result and notice that we have one layer for each image, but if I were to turn off the eyeballs on each one of these, you'll see that we have some empty space. That's because they're not all the exact size or proportion. They're not set up to fill my screen or anything, but I might want to come in and have it fill the empty parts with black. Therefore if I show a slideshow within Photoshop, I never see a checkerboard. Instead I see black in there. So I'm gonna go to the Edit menu and choose Fill. The last time we used Fill I think we were in our, what was it? Our bend and mutilate class or something. It was where we could bend and warp things. I happened to fill something with 50% gray and I used a special setting called Behind. I use Behind quite a bit. If I'm gonna put together a document that's gonna be used as a slideshow within Photoshop, I will end up saying I want to fill with black, and I set the blending mode to Behind. Therefore when I click OK it fills only the empty parts of the layer. Then I'll go to the next layer up, and it also has some empty area on the right. So here's how you can do it relatively quickly. There's a keyboard shortcut for the Fill dialog. It's Shift Delete. And it will remember the last settings you use, so if you happen to have it set to fill with black behind, just hit Return. I can go to each one of these layers now and do Shift Delete Return, go to the next one, Shift Delete Return, and keep doing that to get all of these areas filled in. And now let's figure out how to do a slideshow from within Photoshop. To do a slideshow in Photoshop you need to have only one layer visible. No other layers, just one. And you can quickly do that by putting your mouse where the one eyeball would be for the one layer you want, hold down the Option key, Alt in Windows, and click there. Option clicking where an eyeball should be means hide everything but this. So now I have only one layer visible. To do a slideshow then, you only need to know of a keyboard shortcut. Watch my Layers panel to figure out what this keyboard shortcut does. I'm gonna type Option, which is Alt in Windows, and then the right bracket key. It's just switching which layer is both active and visible at the same time. What I'm doing is on a Mac, it's Option and then the right bracket key. That's the half kind of a square symbol. And if I do the left bracket, I go the opposite direction. So if I happen to go too far when I'm talking about a slide and I wanna back up, I hit the opposite bracket key. Then, if I wanna really do a slideshow, I hit the letter F, that means full screen mode, twice, to get into full screen. And now I can do my little slideshow. If I had my documents sized to perfectly fit my screen, then this would be a full screen little slideshow. But this is oftentimes what I use when I'm teaching and I need to switch over to Photoshop to do a technique and then go back into a slideshow or something, is I just have multiple layers. In order to do the slideshow, you need to have only one layer visible. If you have more than one layer visible, then what it would do is switch layer is active, but not which one's visible. All of them would stay visible. But it just happens to be that when you only have, by the way, it has to be the same layer active and visible. I can't have this layer active and that one visible. They gotta match up. Then I can do that. But part of the trick there, the tip was we had that choice called Edit, Fill, and in the blending mode there's special choices, one of which is called Behind, and that means fill the empty parts only of a layer. Here I have a raw file. With a raw file, when you double-click on it, it usually brings up Camera Raw, and I have the various sliders we can use to adjust the picture. Well, you don't have to grab these sliders to adjust the picture. You can instead move your mouse up here to the histogram. And if you click within the histogram, you will find some text appear right below the histogram as you do that. It will tell you which slider it thinks would affect that part of the image the most. If you click and drag, you're actually moving that adjustment slider, and it tells you the amount just to the right of the text. So if I move my mouse over here, that would be my shadows. If I keep moving here, I should, I think, eventually find blacks. They're not 'til you get way over there, though. And then I might be able to adjust this picture. If you don't feel like always experimenting with what sliders you wanna use below, you can access a good number of them just by dragging on the histogram itself. You look below to see which slider is telling you you're about to adjust. You can't quite get to all of them, but you can get to a good number of them. Let's see what we've done to this image just by me pulling on a histogram. I'll go over here and choose Camera Raw Defaults. There's what we started with. There's my optimized image. I wasn't even looking at the picture when I was pulling on the histogram, 'cause I was trying to make the histogram go all the way across and it wasn't before. So that can be nice. We can do automated color correction in Photoshop. I would prefer to do color correction in Camera Raw if I have a raw file. If I have a raw file there's a white balance eyedropper. You click on anything within your picture that should be a shade of gray, if you saw the object in real life and you'd recognize it as something that should be gray, the white balance eyedropper. But if you have a jpeg file or your image is already open in Photoshop, you're not in Camera Raw, we can try to do some automated color correction. The automated color correction, though, will get messed up if you have any border on your picture. If you scan in a picture, like one of your old family photos, and it has the little white border around the edge, remember how it used to have the photo number on the edge and some other stuff? That's gonna mess up the color correction. Because the color correction is gonna look for the brightest part of the photograph, and when it does it might find the white border around your picture and think it's part of your photo itself. In this case, when it looks for the darkest part of the picture it's gonna find this dark edge in here and think that's it. So here's a trick. If you make a selection that avoids any borders on your image, but includes the general feeling of what's in your image, contains most of the brightness range and colors that are in your picture, in fact, I could a little bit, maybe, and add some of this. That would give it a pretty good idea of what this picture looks like. Then I'm gonna do an adjustment layer. You can do either Levels or Curves. It does not matter because the feature I'm gonna use is found in both. But if you're in either Levels or Curves, then to do automated color correction, you go to the upper right of that and you go to the side menu. And in the side menu is a choice called Auto Options. Auto Options. So I'm either in Levels or I'm in Curves. It's an adjustment layer. I went to the upper right. That's where you can get to the side menu and I'm choosing Auto Options. This comes up. And in here we need to set up how we want it to think about automated color correction. I'm gonna choose a choice called Find Dark and Light Colors. When I turn that on, do you see the image improve already? See it there? And then there's a checkbox here called Snap Neutral Midtones, and I'm gonna turn that on to see if it helps. In this case I don't see much of any difference, but sometimes it will help to turn that on. Then I'm gonna click OK. But that particular feature would not have worked well if I had the entire photograph active. Because it would have seen the black border around the edge and thought it was part of the actual photograph. It would have threw off the color correction. Also any white on the edge where it's not truly part of the photograph, like I can see some over here on the far right, where it's something happening to the photo based on this border, not based on the actual scene that was being photographed, then that's gonna throw it off. But having a selection like I just did of the center portion of the image is going to make it so that's the only part of the image that it analyzes. And then once I'm done I go to my Layers panel, and check this out. I'm gonna click on the mask and I'm just gonna throw it away. And now it affects the entire picture. So the selection was there only so when I did automated color correction so it only looked at the area that was selected and it ignored the border. Once it's already done with the color correction, though, the only thing that mask is doing is limiting it to only affect that weird middle area. When I throw it away, it didn't change the color correction. It just said apply that same correction to the rest of the picture. Let's try it on a different image. I got a special one right here. I'll take this guy, and, well, I might as well come in here and select this overall area. This, in case you can't tell yet, is our host. And I'm gonna do either a Levels or Curves adjustment layer just to show you it works in both. I'll use Levels this time. I go to the side menu in the upper right and that's where I find Auto Options, and in there usually I have to choose Find Dark and Light Colors. In this one it's actually not gonna correct it as well as I want it to. And Snap Neutral Midtones. The Snap Neutral Midtones is doing okay here. I will click OK. When I'm done I'll throw away the mask. In this particular case it still needs a brightness adjustment, so I can further adjust it here. In the same Levels. I just move the middle slider over. But if I were to choose undo before and after, it tried to figure out where's the brightest part of the picture and it clicked on it with the little eyedropper, the same eyedropper I talked about when we talked about color correction. It clicked on the darkest part of the image with the darkest eyedropper, but we just needed to make sure that it knew that this area out here, 'cause this was shot with a circular fisheye lens, which gives you a non-rectangular image, that that's not truly part of the photo. Therefore it only looked at the area that was in here. And that's true of any automated adjustment. As long as you can use it as an adjustment layer, you can make a selection and then use that automated correction. Once it's done, throw away the mask. That's the main tip. For this image I want to transform an adjustment into something it's not designed for. I'm going to apply a black-and-white adjustment. And when I'm done applying the black-and-white adjustment, I'm gonna change the blending mode of it. I'm gonna change the blending mode of the adjustment layer to Luminosity. Luminosity means only allow this adjustment to affect the brightness. And if so, if all it can do is affect the brightness, that means it can't pull the colors out. So you're like, why would you possibly do that? It's a black-and-white adjustment layer after all, and you just took away its ability to make things black-and-white. Because I have that adjustment layer on Luminosity mode. Well, here's what I like about the black-and-white adjustment layer... Is there's a little hand icon. If you did what we talked about when we worked with adjustments, you would have gone to the side menu of any of your adjustments and chose Auto-Select Targeted Adjustment Tool. I don't know if you remember that from back when we talked about adjusting tone or color, but that would automatically turn the hand on. Or you can manually click it each time, but now watch what we have. I'm gonna move my mouse on top of my image and click on something that is red. I'll drag left to right. See what's happening to all the red stuff? It's getting brighter or darker. Then I'll go over here to the green stuff and I'll drag right or left and now we can affect all the green stuff. Then I'll go to the yellowish stuff. Which green is very similar to yellow, so they're gonna change together. But I've now turned what usually makes something black-and-white into a very simple color adjustment which allows me to just move my mouse on top of the image, drag left and right to control brightness. It's not that you need to do that every day. The main thing is you can hack your adjustments. The adjustments that are usually designed for one thing, on occasion you can force them to do something else by either putting them in Luminosity mode, which means only change the brightness, or the opposite of that would be to put them in Color mode, and that would mean only change the color, don't be able to change brightness. Let's talk a little bit about working with masks. We had two sessions on masking. One was just called Selections, I think, and a selection and a mask is the same thing. It's just a mask is when you view a selection as a black-and-white image. If I make a selection right now just like this, and I type the letter Q, you remember quick mask mode, puts the red overlay? You're now viewing that selection as a mask. The only difference between a selection and a mask is a selection looks like marching ants and a mask looks like black and white or in this case red and something else. And if I take that selection and I come down here and say Save Selection and I give it a name... I just saved it as a mask in the Channels panel. See that's where it went? Most people are afraid of channels, though, so they never look in here. They feel completely confident making a selection, going to the Select menu and choosing Save, going back to the Select menu and loading it back in again, but not looking in here because there are scary things that can be done in the Channels panel. But whenever you save a selection that's where they go, and that's what a mask looks like. A mask and a channel are in general the same thing. If I attach one of these things to a layer, it's called a layer mask. If I view it as an overlay it's called a quick mask. If I save it, I wish this would be called the Mask panel, but it's then called a channel. And in the end they are all known as channels. It's just that it tries to hide that name from you because so many people are afraid of it. So let's talk about editing masks or channels or selections, which all in general mean the same thing. This represents the mask for some hair, and let's say that I used the Select and Mask feature that I showed you in our advanced masking session to mask some hair. But when you were done you weren't completely satisfied with the end result. And so you wanted to manually touch up the resulting mask. So you grab your paintbrush tool, you choose black to paint with, and you come in here to paint. Well, the problem is you are manually painting with a tool that doesn't have a lot of intelligence built into it, so when you paint, this is what happens. You're like, that no longer looks like hair. I wanted to touch it up, but that wasn't what I was thinking of. So let's see if there's a way where I can change the way the brush tool works to make it more useful when editing complex masks. I'm gonna change the blending mode for the paintbrush tool. And I'm gonna change it to a choice that's called, if I can find it in here, Hard Mix. Hard Mix. Now when I use Hard Mix mode, let's see what happens, see how it changes my brush. I'll paint, and when I do, at first it doesn't look like it's doing straight up painting, 'cause I'm not seeing just a smooth edge of my brush. It doesn't look like just black paint going down. And when I get in here it doesn't change the white areas at all. I'm really trying to paint with black here. Come on. It won't let me change white areas. I'll choose undo. It was just doing too big of a change, so I'm gonna bring the opacity setting for my brush down to 20%. We're at Hard Mix mode, 20% opacity. And that's when I think this starts to become useful, because what it'll do is when working on a mask, it will preserve the opposite of the color you're painting with. So if I'm painting with black, the opposite of black is white, and so when I'm painting with black white is being preserved. When I paint over here watch what happens when I get into this now. I'm painting with black on Hard Mix mode, 20% opacity. If I try to paint all the way over, you see how I'm not getting massive paint on that stuff? Because it's concentrating on things that are close to the color I'm already painting with. It's concentrating on things that are close to black and it's protecting the white areas. Now if I were to switch over and paint with white instead, it would be the opposite. So that now when I paint, I'll start over on the white side this time, and I paint over. When I get out to the black stuff, do you notice how it's not affecting the black at all? It's concentrating on things that are close to the shade I'm painting with and protecting whatever's the exact opposite of it. When it comes to a mask. And therefore it makes it much more useful when I come into a mask and if I revert this one to its original, you see a little extra stuff here that doesn't look like really hair? Sometimes you get that kinda junk, and so just get a small soft edge brush, Hard Mix mode, 20% opacity, although paint with black, not white (chuckles) and get in there and you'll be able to get rid of it a little bit more easily, I think, without completely obscuring your hair. I find that to be useful. Hard Mix, 20%. Now when you're done with that, though, change your brush back to normal and change it back to 100%, because if you wait a week before you use your brush again, the next time you use this brush it's not gonna be acting normal and you might not be working on a mask, so it will confuse you a bit. Well, a tip about that, though, is that if you ever use a tool and it just doesn't act the way you expect it to, in your Options bar that's where all the settings are for that particular tool, you probably have an odd setting turned on. Like Hard Mix mode. But instead of inspecting every setting that's in there because you might not remember what the default setting should be, go to the far left and that's where you'll find a copy of the icon for your tool. When you get there, press the right mouse button on top of it. If you're on a Mac with only one mouse button, the equivalent to the right mouse button is holding down the Control key and clicking. That means put your mouse on top of that icon on the far left of the Options bar and Control click on it if you're on a Mac with one button. Then you can say Reset Tool, and that will reset all the settings in the Options bar back to their default settings. And therefore that tool hopefully will start to act normal again. A few other modes that can be rather useful when working on masks. This is what a mask can look like when you don't use the technique that I did when I showed you advanced layers and I showed how I did a black-and-white layer and I had a bunch of extra layers above that were poking holes through it, what's known as knocking out. Well, instead of that, if I used just one mask and that's it, I would have had a mask complicated like this one. This is what I used to have to do, and when you do, it can get to be a little annoying when you have to come back in and make changes later. Whereas if you use the techniques that I covered with advanced masking, you would have one layer with all the areas that look black in here, it would be on a separate mask. Then you would have a separate layer with all the areas that are this shade of gray right here. They would be on a separate layer. You'd have all the layers that are this brightness on another separate layer. They wouldn't show up as these shades of gray, they'd show up as solid black and solid white, and you would control how much they were affecting the image using the opacity of each one of those layers. And it's just much more versatile. It's really something, though, that some people just can't get their brain around 'cause they're not as comfortable with layers, but it's hard to get your brain around this, too, when you get this complex of a mask. I just wanted to show you an example. So how can I deal with this kind of a mask? Let's say I messed up and I didn't realize it until later. What I really wanted is you see this brighter area in here? That was a mistake. I need that area to be as dark as this. I wish I would have had it that. But I'm gonna grab my paintbrush, I'll come over here and I'll use a big brush and I'm gonna choose this shade to paint with by Option clicking on it. If you Option click you'll choose a color out of your image to paint with. And now if I come over here I can start filling that in, but when I get up here I'm just gonna screw up that edge. When I get over here it's not gonna be easy. Well, that's when you might want to consider using different blending modes. One blending mode that would help, not on this edge, but would help a lot down here, is one called Darken mode. Now all this brush can possibly do when I paint with it is darken this document. It cannot brighten. And if that's the case, when I paint on top of these areas that contain black, if it cannot brighten, then I can paint straight across them and not mess them up. Does that make sense? 'Cause all it can do is darken. I can do the same thing over here where the windows are. Since it's set to Darken mode and I'm painting with this shade right here I could paint right over there and it would only fill in where the windows are. Here it would only fill the door. Because what I'm painting with is brighter than these other elements that are here, and we're in a mode that only allows me to darken. So both Lighten and Darken mode are very useful when working on masks. The other thing when working on masks is that oftentimes I will end up adjusting things. And in this case I'm not gonna make a precise selection, but I'm gonna select that and I'm gonna go to Curves. We've used Curves before in this class, and with Curves, whenever we did, didn't we usually have two dots for an image: the brightest area I was thinking about and the darkest area I was thinking about? Well, right here, couldn't I add a dot for the brightest area I'm thinking about and add a dot for the darkest area I'm thinking about and just move the dot for the brightest area to the same height? That means use the same amount of light or ink, in this case. I'm gonna get them to the exact same height. Just so you know, when you work on a mask, the Curves dialog will be reversed. It will be thinking about ink instead of light. It's just the default. Anytime you work with a black-and-white image, it thinks about ink as if you're printing instead of light. So when I described Curves, I described it as using light. And just so you know, the default will say it's thinking about ink. You can switch right to there to make it think about light. It's just a personal choice. There's a default that changes when you're in there. But now do you see what just happened around that area that I was trying to fix? I had two dots, and I said, make this dot just as bright as this dot. Make it so it has the same amount of light or ink. The two, if I did it correctly, should be at exactly the same height. You use the same amount. Then if this rooftop is a little bit off, I can click on it to add a dot and if I need it to be this brightness here, it looks like it might already match. No, it needs to be... No, it looks like it's alright. Let me see. No, it's too light. I'm not sure why it's not displaying, but what I can do right now is I'll hide my selection with Command H. I added a dot right here for this, and I'm gonna use the down arrow keys until it gets just as dark as the rest of the roof. There. Look okay. Let's see what I just did. You see how I just fixed that? I'll choose to undo a few times to get back. What my thought was was here we only have a few shades of gray. Only a few. And to prevent it from affecting the entire image, I selected an area like this to say, where is my problem isolated to? I would try to avoid areas like this little window, 'cause that's where it's brighter, more like these elements. So I'll take that out of my selection. There. And then I went to Curves. Command M is the shortcut for Curves if you're not using an adjustment layer. Click on the little hand, and then if I click on this to say I wanna lock in the brightness of this area so it does not change. Click. Then I wanna go to this area, click, and make it the exact same brightness as the one I just locked in. The same brightness means if I'm working with dimmer switches, wouldn't I move them to the same height? So in my curve I'm just gonna move the one dot to the exact same height as the other. I'll use the down arrow key and just visually try to get it there. Once I get it there they should be pretty much identical. I might have to fine-tune the teeniest bit. There. But then if I have to hide my edges, you see the rooftop. As long as the rooftop is different in brightness than the stuff I've already worked on, and I think it is, it's darker, isn't it? I should be able to move over it. And if it's a different part of the curve I can adjust it separate, so I click there. I'll type Command H to hide. If you're using light, down means less light, right? So down arrow key until that... Blends in. But this is the kind of shenanigans I have to go through because all of this stuff is in one mask. Had I used the techniques from the advanced layer session, then each one of these different shades of gray that you see within this would have been a separate layer with a mask. It would have been what's known as an empty adjustment layer, an adjustment layer that does nothing. But then the mask attached to it can be set to, what is it called, Knockout Shallow. And that means knock through anything underneath it that is in the same folder as it. And therefore I could have multiple ones of those stacked up, and I wouldn't end up with a mask that looks like this, which I think looks terrible. I would instead end up with about four of those layers, each one I could adjust the opacity of and have so much more control. Alright, but that's getting out there. Let's get back to stuff that everybody can use, not just those that get crazy with masks. I'm going to try out this image. This one is blurry. If I zoom up close on it... I shot it handheld and my shutter speed just was not fast enough to freeze what was there. I mean, I must have been moving as I was shooting it. So let's see if we can figure out how to lessen the blur. I'm gonna go to the Filter menu, I'm gonna choose Sharpen, and in there I find a choice called Shake Reduction. Shake Reduction, this comes up, it's analyzing the picture right now, trying to figure out which area it might wanna work with. Let's see. It's right now generating a preview, and this little exclamation point up here in the corner usually means that the preview's not done or it will be of reduced quality. I'll have to zoom in to see it. But what I can do is move my mouse on top of the image, and I'm gonna click and drag to tell it the most important area. And usually I'll see a rectangle, but I'm not seeing one right now. Let me see what... Hmm? It looks like it finished, but usually you can click and drag to define an area. But let's zoom out and see what it's done. Hopefully it's done something. There's a preview checkbox here. I'll turn it off. And you can see before how soft the image was. And then I'll turn it on and you see it's a bit sharper. A lot of people get excited when they hear about this thing with Shake Reduction. I find it works on a very, very, very low percentage of images. I have a bunch of images that are blurry that... I tried this on, and if anything, it makes them look worse. But on most of them you can click and drag to define the area that you would like it to analyze, so usually you click and drag on the most important part of the image. I don't use this enough to be versed enough with it to figure out why I'm not seeing the box. Usually there's a box that appears automatically on it. I can drag the box around to tell it to analyze a different area, and I could redraw it. But you can see that it is before and after trying to produce a sharper image. You know when I open an image and I make some sort of change to it? Then it seems like I just somehow magically close the picture and you see for a millisecond a little warning show up and then it disappears without you even being able to read it. Have you noticed me do that? Where I just do this? And it seems the picture disappears. Let me describe what I'm doing there. I'll make a change. If you want to close a document, I'm using a keyboard shortcut. It's just called Close and the keyboard shortcut is Command W. If I had more than one image open, I added the Option key to that, that's Alt in Windows, and that means Close All. But when I do that, this comes up. And you find that you never have enough chance to read that when I'm teaching because it just goes away instantly. I'm just trying to quickly close the file and open another. Most of the time when I'm teaching I'm choosing Don't Save because I'm gonna need to use this image again when I'm teaching, and I don't want it permanently changed. The tip I wanna give you is on the Macintosh, you can usually hold down the Command key and type the first letter of whichever button you'd like to click on. On Windows I think it underlines, doesn't it, the character that you could press to do the equivalent to clicking the button. But it's just really nice because there's no way to discover that on your own, other than to do it by accident. So whenever you saw this come up and it just disappeared so fast that you couldn't read it, I was typing Command D for Don't Save, but if I wanted to use one of the other ones, I could've typed Command and the first letter of the button. So Command D for me. That's just kind of a quick tip. Now I'd like to show you a different way of making a panorama. Most people try to create a seamless panorama, where in the end it looks like one continuous photograph, almost as if you used a much wider lens and then cropped out the top and bottom of the photo. Well oftentimes I want it to be obvious that it's taken from multiple photographs, and I want to do a creative look. It's something I call a panolage, which is a combination of the word panorama and collage. And so here what I've done is I was shooting this iguana and I took one shot straight and then I started to rotate my camera and I took another shot. Rotated, and took another. Rotated, and took another. And I tried to make sure that each time I took another shot, that part of the area that I shot last was also included, so there was overlap. And therefore Photoshop can figure out how those things might relate to each other. Now I'm gonna select those images. And I don't want to turn them into a seamless panorama, where it just looks like one big picture, because then why would take all these weird crooked shots and everything? Instead I'm gonna select all those photographs, I'm gonna choose Tools, Photoshop, Photomerge. Photomerge is what we usually use for stitching panoramas, at least it's one of our choices. That should send these images over to Photoshop, if it doesn't think Photoshop's busy. Usually just try again. We just need to change the options in this screen here. First thing we need to change is at the bottom is a checkbox called Blend Images Together. And that's what turns your panorama into a seamless panorama. I wanna see the seams in my panorama, so I'm gonna turn that off. The other thing that I'm gonna do is I'm gonna tell Photoshop exactly how it can distort my pictures when it tries to match them up. I'm gonna choose a choice called Collage. Collage means it can only scale and rotate my pictures. It cannot bend them. So if it can only scale and rotate, then when I click OK let's see what we get. Photoshop is now stacking all of those images into a single Photoshop file. It uses the exact same technology as Load Files into Photoshop Layers. Then it's selecting all those layers and it uses the same technology as Align Layers. We used Align Layers before. Remember when we had a bunch of taxis driving over a road with some text on it? Well, it's using that command. It's just really combining three commands together. Now if you look at the end result, I can see the edges of everything and you can still see the individual layers here in the Layers panel. But now, to get better separation between these, I might choose to click on the top layer, go to the bottom of my screen, and choose fx and possibly add a drop shadow to get a little visual separation between that layer and the one below it. I'll just lower my opacity so it's a little bit more subtle. And I might do something to try to get the edge all the way around to somewhat separate. I could go over here and use a choice called the Inner Glow. That means make a glow on the inside of the picture, and I can bring up the size setting, which controls how much it fades out. You see it coming in? But I don't want it to brighten the edge of the photograph 'cause to me that doesn't look like a normal photo. I want to darken the edge. But usually a glow means brightening. It likes thinking about light. But up here at the top I can change the setting that's used. I'm gonna click on this little square and I'm gonna change it to black. But you'll find that when you set it to black it won't show up at all. And if you know enough about blending modes, you'd know why. Because in our blending modes, and here it uses one automatically, each section of these blending modes has one color that is what's known as neutral. It just disappears. And in this particular section, the one color that disappears is black. So the default setting in here is designed to act like light, and that's what Screen mode does. When you're using light, how do you make black? Use no light whatsoever, meaning this won't do anything. I instead want this to think like maybe ink. I wanna use one of the modes in here. That's gonna allow me to see it on the edge. So if you ever change anything that's called a glow in your layer styles, know it defaults to thinking like light, and if you switch it to a dark color it won't show up. So change to one of these blending modes. In fact, I think I'm gonna want Color Burn. Yeah, I'll just lower the opacity. And maybe bring it in a little further. There we go. Just trying to do something that is gonna darken the edge of that photograph in a way that makes it separate from the others. Now I'd like to apply that exact same setting to all the other layers, and we've done that before. What we had to do before is we go to the list of effects that are found down here, we right-click, and there was a choice called Copy Layer Style. Or there was an alternative way, which was to go to the Layer menu, 'cause there you'll find the choice of layer style in the same command, called Copy Layer Style. I'll then select all the other layers by holding Shift and clicking on the bottom layer. I can right-click on any of the layers, doesn't matter which one, and choose Paste Layer Style. Since all layers are selected, it will paste it onto all the layers, and now I can see a little bit more separation between them all. Then I don't like looking at the checkerboard, so I'll go to my adjustment layer popup and choose a solid color. I'll choose white, or maybe I want black this time. Yeah, I kinda like black. And I'll put that on the bottom so it's below all the layers. Then you can change the order of the layers. Because this photo covers up a lot of the others, I might drag it down in my Layers panel just to get it under. Maybe I click on this layer over here, wherever it happens to be, and bring it up. Try to get it so they feel like they're a little different. And I find that moving them a little bit so they don't perfectly align. If they perfectly align, people will assume you have an effect applied to a single photograph that happens to have little shady boxes around it. But if you use the Move tool and you move each layer a little bit so the body doesn't quite line up, this arm doesn't quite line up, then it's much more obvious these are separate photographs. In this case I might wanna select all the layers, type Command T for Transform, and just rotate the whole thing. However much you want. After rotating, I noticed that part of one of the photos is extending beyond the edge of my image. You see it out there? It's cut off. So I'll go to the Image menu, where I'll find a choice called Reveal All. Reveal All means make my document larger so that I can see all those pieces. Now I can see that edge. That is what I call a panolage, a combination of a panorama and a collage. I have done this with like 250 pictures in a single scene, and it handles it just fine. It's just your computer will take a while to think about it. It might sit there for up to half an hour doing all the calculating. That's just on my laptop. I've done 200 pictures. Ben, do you find that it sometimes combines them differently, because mine looks different than yours. It might on occasion-- I think it might be because there's not a lot of distinctive content in this set of pictures. That could be, but I haven't ran it on the exact same number of images again and again to find out, but what she's saying is her end result looks different than mine. Does it still look like you can see the iguana, though? Yeah. I've changed the stacking order of my layers since, and you might not have. Now, you don't have to use the setting called Collage when you combine these. If you use the other settings that are in the Photomerge window, it will bend the photos, which can sometimes look interesting. But if you want it to just look like you have photos like you would take at home, with an instant camera, and you've just put them on the fridge, overlapping to line it up, that's the look, that's how you get it. And what you might wanna do if you want the look of photos on your fridge is put a white border around here so it looks like those prints you get where they don't print all the way out to the edges, that kinda thing. Oftentimes I have multiple images open in Photoshop, and I find some people get annoyed by... The tabs, where it feels hard to view all your images. You're like, I gotta switch. Where's my picture? I can't find it in here. If you want to combine images together, the tabs sometimes get in your way. Well, they don't have to. Let's look at what we can do. If you go to the Window menu, there's a choice under Arrange called Tile All Vertically. It should make it so I can see all my images side by side. It's not gonna zoom them all, but... But I can zoom them as much as I want, click on each individual one, and if I wanted to move between documents, I can just grab the Move tool, and if I wanna move this picture from over here to over here, I can drag it. And then I can grab this one and move it over there. And then drag this one. It makes it much faster to move between documents when you can see all of those documents, right? Then when I wanna be done there's a choice in here called Consolidate All to Tabs. That means go back to how it was a minute ago, when all the tabs were just side by side. So then I could go to that when I actually wanted to work on that document now. I like using those two particular commands. But what I don't like is having to go up to this menu to do it, because I want to use them all the time. I mean like 20 times a day. And going to the menu, to me, is inefficient. Let's see what we could do to speed that up. I'm gonna go to the Edit menu, I'm gonna go to the bottom, and there's a choice called Keyboard Shortcuts. When I choose Keyboard Shortcuts, this will list all the various menus that are found at the top of my screen. The menu we were just looking in was one called Window, and there I find a choice called Tile All, what did I use? Was it Horizontally? Or was it Vertically? Tile All Vertically. And then after clicking on that you can type a keyboard shortcut. Well, there happens to be a keyboard shortcut for locking a layer, and I so rarely lock a layer, and I find a single click on the lock icon at the top of the Layers palette is not a big deal for me as far as the amount of mental and physical effort it took to do it compared to remembering the keyboard shortcut. That takes more mental space than knowing I can just go click that lock icon. So there's a keyboard shortcut that is used for locking a layer that I never use. And it happens to be a very conveniently located, at least on a Macintosh keyboard. I'm assuming it's similar on Windows. And that is Command forward slash. I believe it's that, we'll find out here in a sec. Command forward slash. When I type it here, it will say, oh, that's already in use and will be removed by Layer Lock Layers if accepted. And on the right side is the Accept button. I click it, and now I have a keyboard shortcut for turning on that view where it makes all my pictures show up side by side. Now to do that, I went to the Edit menu and that's where I found keyboard shortcuts. I scrolled through this list until I got to the choice called Window. I clicked on the little triangle next to the word Window until I find Tile All Vertically. I clicked on that, and then I typed the keyboard shortcut. If it didn't accept it, I have to click on this little field that's over here, like where you could type in. Then you could type it. If you see any message down below, then just click the Accept button to say, that's okay, I will lock my layers manually. But then do you remember the command we needed to use to get out of that? Wasn't that called Consolidate All to Tabs? I would like that to also have a keyboard shortcut so I can very quickly switch between the two views. And I find it's easiest to remember keyboard shortcuts when they're related to each other. So this time I'm gonna do Shift Command forward slash. Oh, it's used by the operating system. Darn it. What did I use? I could've swore I used that. Yours works. Well, you're on Windows, 'cause this says by the operating system, meaning the Mac. You're on Windows. Well, if I can't use that, then I'm gonna have to add something else. Let's see what happens if we try Option. Oh, there it worked. I did Option. So Command Option slash. Click OK, and now... Come on, okay. Let's see how quickly I can switch between those two views. Command slash. Command Option slash. Isn't that convenient now? So if I ever need to combine multiple images. Most of the time I have a bigger screen, where the pictures don't look as truncated when I do this. But now I can easily do that. I can find that image I want. So all I need to do is I hit this, and if I have 30 images open, these are gonna be tiny little narrow slots 'cause it's gonna show 30 slots. But I can usually recognize the picture I want. I simply click within that picture to make it active, and then I type Command Option slash, and now I'm in that picture. That's kind of a quickie way of switching between the documents. There are all sorts of things you can add keyboard shortcuts for. Just think about what do you go to the menus for the most? Do you, for instance, go to the Filter menu and apply Gaussian Blur 37 times a day? If that happens to be the case, add a keyboard shortcut. I think all except for... Two or three keyboard shortcut are used up, and so you'll have to take the keyboard shortcut away from something else. What I would do is grab a post-it note, put it next to your computer, and just search the menus and say, what do I never use? You can come in here and say, well, maybe I absolutely never use Proof Colors. If so, Command Y is available to you. Or if you do use Proof Colors, you just happen to use the menu to get to it. If you were to do that by going through these menus, I bet you you could find a couple dozen keyboard shortcuts that you wouldn't mind giving up because you don't use them in the first place. Yes? Ben, if you have multiple workstations and you wanna export your shortcuts, is that possible? Let me look. The question is, can we export them? If I go to Keyboard Shortcuts, on the right side you'll see some low-tech icons here. This icon, if you hover over it, means save all changes to current, and this one means create new set based on those. So I'm gonna save all these. It'll ask me where to save them. It will bring me automatically to a special folder called Keyboard Shortcuts, and if you look, this is the path to that folder. In your Library, Application Support, and so on to get into it. And you could put that in the same location on your other machine. And then you should be able to find that when you go to this area right up here called Set. It would, I believe, be found in here if we saved it. I didn't save mine just now. I could click on, I think it was this one. I'm gonna call this new set of shortcuts, question mark. Meaning, are they gonna show up? There's a small chance I'd have to restart, but I don't think so, but it would be right in that menu. So you just wanna navigate to that part of your hard drive on your other machine and put it in the same spot so that when you go to this menu, that's the folder it's looking at to figure out if you have any shortcuts saved, and if you put it in the same folder on the other machine, it'll show up there. What about if you wanted to restore it to default? Restore default? In here, right there: Photoshop Defaults. Yep. You can also change the keyboard shortcuts, just so you know, for not only menus, but also panel menus, meaning the side menus for various panels. Like when we went to Layers and there was a choice called Discard Hidden Layers. That's a choice on the side menu of the Layers panel. Well, if you went here to Panel Menus, you could come down here to Layers and you would find Delete Hidden Layers, right there. It doesn't have a keyboard shortcut yet, I don't think. You could do it in here. Actually, right now we're in Editing Menus. We have to be over here on the part called Keyboard Shortcuts. There we go. You can also edit Tool shortcuts, that kinda stuff. Just so you know, you have all sorts of things you can do. Let's look at one more new feature in Photoshop's newest version, the one that was introduced just a few days ago. And that is in this picture I really wish I would have framed it differently. You see all the space that's down here at the bottom? I would have liked to have framed it maybe up to about here, and included more of the top of the arch. Well, I'm gonna go to Photoshop's Crop tool, and when I'm in Photoshop's Crop tool, there are some options I have. Right now if I were to bring this up, I can bring it up as far as I want, but if I bring this above like that, we can do that, even in old versions of Photoshop. But if you end up pressing Return or Enter you just get a big empty spot. In the newest version of Photoshop, the version you might not have updated to yet, we can grab the Crop tool and there's a new option. It's up here, and it's, I believe, that thing. It won't always show up as an icon. It will often be a checkbox that just says Content-Aware. It only shows up as a small icon if you're using a very small screen. But if I turn that on and then I pull this up, or let's say I rotate this and I pull that up, now all those empty areas that you see around the edges, it's going to attempt to fill them in. Another tip, by the way, is if you're ever grabbing the cropping rectangle and it seems to wanna snap to the edge of your picture, you're trying to just add to or crop away the tiniest amount, but it's just snapping all the time, once you've grabbed the edge of the cropping rectangle, hold down the Control key. Control means prevent snapping for now. Temporarily disable snapping. You have to hold it down after pressing the mouse button, though. Your mouse has to actively be held down. Now I'm gonna press Return or Enter to say I'm done, and you notice it just filled in those areas for me. I'll choose Undo. Before, after. What did it do? It ended up using the same Content-Aware feature, Content-Aware fill that we've used multiple times when talking about retouching. Remember the one where you make a selection, you go to the Edit menu, you choose Fill, and you say Content-Aware? But had we done it manually, we would have had to manually select those empty areas first. Then we would have had to choose expand by one pixel, and then filled it. It's not that this is totally new technology as far as the ability to fill those areas. It's just faster now. The one thing I wish it had is when I was in the Crop tool, I really wish I'd get a preview if I were to pause long enough. If I were to sit here like this, I want it to fill it in so I can visualize, have I added enough space or not, and that kinda stuff, and we won't get a preview regardless of how long you wait. So you have to hit Return or Enter, then it'll take a few seconds, and finally it will fill in the areas that would otherwise be undefined or empty. Alright, let's talk one last tip. I can't help but throw one more in. Let's say I'm working on an image and I'm zoomed in real close, doing detail work on it. I zoom up really close, I'm retouching the smallest little problems in the image, and I just wanna move to another spot in my picture. Here's a quick way to zoom out and see the entirety of your picture, and then zoom right back in to the same magnification you were at previously, but look at a different part. So let's say over here I was retouching something, and I need to go look at the rest of the image. I'm gonna press the letter H and click my mouse. When I press the letter H, that stands for the Hand tool, and I click my mouse, do you see a little box on my screen? That's how big of the image I was looking at before. That's how much of the image. And now I can drag that to a different area and if I let go of my mouse, I'm gonna zoom into there. Therefore, if you really need to inspect your image in various areas, you're zoomed up real close to make the inspection, you need to go somewhere else, you hold down the letter H, click the mouse button, and then move this rectangle somewhere else, let go of the mouse, you'll be zoomed in the same amount on that new area. And that's known as Bird's Eye View. It's not new to this version of Photoshop, but H, space bar. And it's only gonna do it if you're zoomed in where you can't see your whole picture. If you can already see your whole picture, not gonna do a thing. Alright, two more tips. (chuckles) Then we'll call it a day. If you're in the Paintbrush tool or most other tools that have a brush associated with what you're doing, changing the size of your brush, you have many options. You can go up here to the top of your screen where you have your brush picker, then you can change the size and you can change the hardness of the edge. Or if you like keyboard shortcuts, you can use the square bracket keys to make your brush smaller or larger. To change how soft the edge is, you add Shift. Holding Shift, doing left bracket would make it softer, right bracket would make it harder. But I feel like what I just described was using 20-year-old technology. Here's the newer way of doing it. When you're in your Brush tool, hold down two keys on your keyboard. I would have to experiment on Windows to figure out what this is, but on a Mac it's Control and Option. On Windows I'm assuming it's Alt right mouse button. Control Alt right mouse button. Control Alt right mouse button? Okay. Control Alt right mouse button. But on a Mac it's Control and Option, and then click your mouse. You're gonna see a preview of your brush filled with red. Then drag up and down to control how soft the edge is, and you can see how soft the edge is visually because that red represents how soft the edge is. Then drag left and right to change the size of your brush. Now if you find it doesn't change the hardness when you drag up and down, there is a preference in your preferences to control if that happens or not, just so you know. That, to me, is much better 'cause I have a better visualization of my brush. I see it full-size and I can see how soft the edge is. But I was holding down Control and Option, clicking my mouse, dragging up and down, left or right. But then I often need to change what color I'm painting with, so now I'm gonna add one additional key to that. We're already holding down Control and Option, and I'm gonna add Command. That means on a Mac I'm holding the three keys that are right next to each other to the left of my space bar. Now when I click instead of choosing what size brush I get, I'm gonna choose the color. We get a popup color picker, where first I go to the vertical bar that's here and I choose the basic color I would like. Then I drag to the left to get over here and choose a shade of that color. On Windows, it's Control Shift Alt. Thank you, 'cause I wouldn't know because I don't have a Windows machine over here. Anyway, those are too much faster ways of choosing your brush size and to... Choose your colors. A little more interactive, so try them out. This has been Tips and Tricks. I'll try to share more tips in other sessions, but we wanted to make sure we had some time for it. Tomorrow we're gonna get into actions and automation. So therefore if there's any tasks you need to do on a regular basis, and you're repeating yourself over and over again, we want to automate those things. Or if there's any complex multi-step process that's just hard to remember the steps of. You remember when we did that thing where we separated the detail from the color so we could retouch one separate from the other? I don't know about you, I don't wanna remember the steps. I wanna only record those steps once, and then rely on actions remembering what I need to do. So that's what we're getting into tomorrow. Between now and then, head on over to Facebook. If you're not in the group already, here's the web address to visit to get in. There are over 3,000 people in there right now. I think there's about 3, when this class is being recorded. Hopefully there's more by the time this class gets broadcast. It's a really great resource to get your questions answered. Also, post pictures. Show us some images you've been working on. You'll get feedback from other people. Post a picture and say, I had trouble doing this particular part, and suddenly you're gonna have 10, 12, 15 people coming in and giving you suggestions on how you might wanna try something differently. I pop in there as well, and here's how to find me online. All sorts of different areas. On you'll find the information about my other classes and other resources, and you can also find if I'm speaking at any conferences coming up or anything else in your area. But this has been another installment of Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide. Hope to see you next time.

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