Latest Photoshop tutorials
Welcome to Photoshop Essentials, where everyone can learn Photoshop! We offer fun, exclusive, step-by-step tutorials for all skill levels, and all written with beginners in mind. From Photoshop Basics to Photo Editing and Retouching, Photo Effects, Text Effects and more!
Check out our latest Photoshop tutorials below. Or download our tutorials as PDFs and get exclusive bonus content!
Learn how to recreate the classic starburst-style background you’ve seen hundreds of times in grocery stores, department stores and weekly flyers, using a little-known but very powerful feature in Photoshop – Transform Again.
Learn how to bring focus and attention to a specific part of an image using a simple and easy to create lighting effect!
Whether you’re a wedding photographer, nature photographer or you simply enjoy taking photos of family and friends, learn how to quickly and easily add a soft focus or glow effect to a photo and see if it doesn’t make your images look a bit more magical.
Learn how to add colorful streaks of light to a photo by combining paths with Photoshop’s brushes and layer styles! Also learn how to simulate pen pressure with a brush even if you’re not using a pen tablet!
Learn how to create the illusion that light is being cast on to the subject of your photo through window blinds, using a displacement map to bend and wrap the shadows around your subject while a simple adjustment layer helps create a more natural light source.
Sunsets are one of the most commonly photographed aspects of nature, yet photos rarely manage to capture their intense beauty. Learn how to easily bring vivid, golden colors back to your sunsets with Photoshop’s Gradient Maps!
Learn how to bring focus and attention to a specific part of an image in Photoshop with an easy to create depth of field effect!
Learn a great way to create unique and interesting photo border effects in Photoshop using your own texture images as displacement maps!
Learn how to do a little reverse photo restoration by taking a new or recent photo and making it look like it’s been around for a while, combining several separate effects to create the final result!
Learn how to easily recreate the same Photoshop effect seen every week in electronics store ads, where one image is placed inside of another!
Learn how to easily turn any photo into an interesting background in Photoshop using a couple of basic selection tools that seem to have no other purpose. Then learn how to combine the newly created background with the same photo it was created from!
Learn how to combine photos in all sorts of interesting and creative ways using the Apply Image command, one of the most powerful, flexible and fun image blending tools in all of Photoshop!
Learn how to create a simple wood picture frame in Photoshop using a layer mask, layer styles and one of Photoshop’s built-in patterns!
Learn how to easily create interesting photo border effects in Photoshop simply by applying a filter directly to a layer mask!
If you’re creating a fun design or collage out of your photos, those sharp, right-angled corners may not be sending the message you want. Fortunately, Photoshop makes it incredibly easy to give your photos warm, friendly, rounded corners using a simple Shape tool and a vector mask!
Learn how to easily turn a photo into a watercolor painting in Photoshop with just a few simple steps!
Learn how easy it is to create your photo effects as reuseable templates thanks to Smart Objects in Photoshop CS2 and Smart Filters in Photoshop CS3.
Give an ordinary photo a more focused and dramatic look to it by creating a light source that appears to be shining through a window onto your main subject.
Learn how to truly make a picture worth a thousand words by adding a different shadow behind someone in a photo, as if the person will one day become the image in the shadow! A fun, easy and popular Photoshop effect that’s limited only by your imagination!
Learn how to create a fun photo collage in Photoshop by bending, twisting, curling, and reshaping photos using the Warp Tool! We’ll even see how to create more interesting drop shadows with the Warp Tool, as well as how to add subtle shadows and highlights to enhance the 3D look of our warping effect!
Learn how easy it is to create realistic beams of sunlight shining through the trees in a photo, then finish off the effect with patches of sunlight hitting the ground below.
Create a custom made sparkle brush in Photoshop, then use it to easily add a classic sparkle trail to a photo!
Creating reflections in sunglasses is a very popular Photoshop effect and opens up endless creative and artistic possibilities depending on who is wearing them and who or what you have them looking at. In this tutorial, we see how easy it is to do!
Learn how to quickly and easily create a simple background in Photoshop that can then be used to make any portrait style photo look as if it was taken in an actual photo studio!
When it comes to adding blur effects to an image in Photoshop, most people yawn and think “Gaussian Blur filter”. But spend a little time with Photoshop’s much more powerful Lens Blur filter, along with its easy-to-create depth maps, and there’s no limit to how many creative and imaginative uses you’ll come up with for it!
Learn a few different ways to add transparent type to an image in Photoshop, from the quickest and easiest way to more interesting ways using layer styles and blend modes. We’ll also look at the important and often confusing difference between a layer’s Opacity and Fill options.
Learn how easy it is to create this classic wedding photography effect in Photoshop, placing a wedding couple inside a wine glass. Not into wedding photography? You can use this same technique to place an image inside any glass object, like a bottle or an hour glass, or even place an image inside a bubble!
Learn how to use layers, layer masks and clipping masks in Photoshop to create the illusion that your photo is made up of vertical and horizontal strips that weave under and over each other.
How do you take photos of rainy days without getting your camera all wet? Easy! Add the rain later in Photoshop! This tutorial shows you how it’s done.
Learn how to take any photo and use it as its own background, an effect that works great with wedding photography but can also be used with any image!
Take a photo and easily turn it into a collage of separate polaroid photos, each one displaying a small section of the larger image!
In this photo effects tutorial, learn how easy it is to add a realistic looking water reflection to any image in Photoshop. No water required!
Learn how to easily recreate the same color and motion blur effects used in the movie poster for the biggest action movie of the summer – the Bourne Ultimatum!
Create a digital pixel effect in Photoshop by fading an image into pixels, an effect often used in ads that sell anything that has to do with digital. We’ll also look at a couple of variations on the effect, including how easy it is to create a completely different effect simply by changing blend modes!
In this tutorial, we’re going to look at another movie poster-type of effect, tearing a section out of one photo to reveal another one hiding behind it!
Learn how to easily add realistic water drops to a photo, as if someone splashed water all over the image!
Finish your photos off with a bang by adding real fireworks to them in Photoshop. If you can paint with a brush and change a layer blend mode, you have all the skills you need to fill your night skies with huge explosions and brilliant colors!
Create a bit of an optical illusion in Photoshop by making a larger photo appear to be made from many smaller photos inside it. Great for family photos, wedding photos, or just as a fun thing to do with your friends.
Learn how easy it is to blend two images seamlessly together and create a Hollywood movie poster-style effect.
Thanks to the power and flexibility of Photoshop’s adjustment layers, we can easily bring more focus and attention to the main subject of an image using color, an effect that’s very popular with sports and wedding photography.
Combining live action with hand-drawn or painted images is a popular technique used in everything from tv commercials to Hollywood movies, and in this tutorial, we’ll see how easy it is to create something similar in Photoshop.
Create the illusion that the subject of your photo is walking, running, jumping, or otherwise popping right out of the image with this easy effect.
Give waterfalls a silky smooth appearance without the need for any fancy photo filters or longer exposures.
Learn how to give a photo a soft glow effect by turning the image into a layer mask, essentially using the photo to mask itself, something Photoshop does not normally allow us to do.
Combine a few layer blend modes, some noise, a little sharpening, and a simple adjustment layer to give your photos an extreme contrast effect.
Learn how to quickly and easily create a pop art-style effect from any photo using the Lab color mode in Photoshop.
Learn how to flip nature upside down and turn a forest’s natural greens and browns into something a bit more mystical.
Turning a photo into a collage of squares in Photoshop is not only fun, it’s also incredibly easy, since most of the work is just simple repetition.
Create a more interesting black & white version of an image with some dramatic lighting effects that help bring attention to your main subject.
Learn how to give any photo an old-fashioned, hand-tinted look in just a few simple steps.