Photoshop (7) tutorials for beginners

These tutorials are merely the way I do things, many people will have found better, simpler, quicker (or all three) ways of doing things so just treat these as a starting point. The effects shown are generally highly exaggerated to show what happens more clearly. In real life be more subtle for better effects.

Before you start buy a graphics tablet

Hardware tutorials

Tutorial Description Further information

Why do my scans look terrible Resolution & descreening
Basic Colour Why can't I print red ...or ... green ... or ... blue...  
Colour matching You want your prints to look vaguely like the superb image you have just created on screen - Oh Boy - Things don't get much more complex and you really need (expensive) additional hardware. Oh and even then they never will.

Setting up colour management

mac world

Photoshop tutorials

Tutorial Description Further information
Basic image enhancement What to do to EVERY image you use (levels and curves)  
Basic layers Without multiple layers you will get nowhere.

Layers primer


Basic layers

Layer masks Hiding parts of an image  
Layer blending modes Which are the useful layer modes, and what do they do.  
Feathering Fading out an image  
Creating backgrounds Fuzzy backgrounds and starfields.  Quantum petshop
Extracting images from a background

The Colour range, extract and background eraser tools, using channels.

Spine spanning images Create an image to go across several box sets  
Making text readable Text against a non-uniform background can be very hard to read,  
Sharpening You need to sharpen images before you print them

Creative pro

Two pass sharpening

Everything you wanted to know

Shortcuts and quick tips How to do things quicker  General tips


If you are at all serious about working with images on a computer there are a few basic points about the hardware set up to get right.

Monitor Get the largest and best you can afford, you will spend a long time staring at it
  Screen resolution depends upon the size but choose a high refresh rate prefereably at least 80Hz
  Space LCDs are much smaller  
  Price   Cheaper
  Colour reproduction   More accurate
  Angle of view Colours change drastically with a slight vertical angle change Consistent from all angles
Input Buy a graphics tablet, it is much easier to draw with a pen than a mouse (A6 is large enough for most people)
Hard drives Get a second hard drive (you will probably need it for images anyway), and put the photoshop cache on this drive.
Processor Photoshop eats processing power for breakfast