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Conquering Photoshop: Tips, Tricks and Tutorials for Beginners

web design by Shannon Noack on November 6, 2009 | 5 Comments

The majority of our clients are hooked up with a content management system, giving them the flexibility of editing content themselves. They enjoy not only tweaking text, but adding photos and updating pages so that content doesn’t get stale. The problem is photos need to be retouched, cropped, resized, etc. This creates the need for a graphic program, and although there are many alternatives out there, Photoshop remains at the top of my recommendation list.

As I’ve mentioned before, Photoshop isn’t the easiest program to learn but it gives users the flexibility and power to do just about anything they want with images. I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks as well as some helpful tutorials that beginners should find extremely helpful in their quest to conquer Adobe Photoshop!

First and foremost, where do you buy it? The Adobe site offers a place to buy it, but you may find some discounted programs elsewhere. Amazon has a small discount at $659.99.

General Tutorials
PSDTuts offers many tutorials and LOTS of tips and tricks on doing fun and fancy things in Photoshop. While they may not exactly be for beginners, if you’re looking for something specific this would be a good place to look.
Smashing Magazine has a roundup list that offers many many tutorials (yes it was necessary to say it twice) of all different levels.
PS Tutorials a good resource for lots of different tutorials always a good resource for learning stuff from the beginning.

Good Stuff for Beginners
10 Useful Tips for Beginners and indeed they are useful tips.
15 Photoshop Tips (I bet) you didn’t know a great article with some handy tips for all levels.
An Introduction to Layers Part of the genius of Photoshop is that you can use layers, this is a good intro into using that feature.
50 Great Photoshop Tutorials for Clever Beginners many of these seemed a bit intense for a beginners, certainly learn your way around the program before attempting these, but great stuff here nonetheless.

More Advanced Tutorials
Quick and Simple Way to Boost Your Photographs this tutorial goes through some nice basics in touching up photos but it does get pretty in depth, if you haven’t used photoshop much, this doesn’t walk through all the basic tools.
Design a Minimal and Modern Portfolio Layout in Photoshop a handy tutorial on really digging in and using Photoshop to design for the real world.
How to Effectively Use Contrast, Auto Levels… Another good tutorial on some in-depth photo editing tips.
Three Short Tutorials for Photographers… great tutorial on piecing together images for a panoramic picture.

Free Resources
Brusheezy great free brushes to add to your collection.
DaFont lots of really cool fonts to play with here.
stock.xchng tons of great free stock photography.

I hope this collection helps you get up and going with Photoshop. It’s a great program with TONS of possibilities!


  1. Jayaprakash
    December 11, 2009 @ 4:50 am


    Excellent list. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Glenn
    December 13, 2009 @ 1:34 pm

    Adobe also has a deal available for students, so if you are taking classes at a community college or university, you can check with the bookstore. I got the CS4 Web Premium suite (full version) for 350 dollars through Adobe. As far as i am aware, there are no restrictions on use, either.

  3. Shannon
    December 13, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

    Yes education discounts, also available to teachers as well I believe, are pretty significant! It’s definitely a good deal if you’re taking classes of any kind and can prove your education status.

  4. Latoyia Honig
    July 16, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Superb blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Cheers!

  5. Shannon
    July 18, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    @Latoyia – Glad you enjoy the blog! I think it’s a great idea for you to get a website up and going as an aspiring writer, it’s a great way to get exposure and share your work. WordPress is a great free option, and offers a lot of room for customization. We offer WordPress themes as part of our services, and you can also find some free themes that are stock, so there are a lot of options out there for you with it. It’s great though because you can blog and have other pages within the same admin panel so you can have a lot of content on there. Hope that helps and good luck with it! Let us know if you are interested in working with us, we would love to help out with a new website for you!

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