Photoshop Essentials.com - Tutorials and training for Adobe Photoshop.
Where everyone can learn Photoshop!

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!

Bringing Out Shadow And Highlight Detail In An Image With Photoshop

The Shadow/Highlight adjustment is one of the most popular and useful image editing tools in all of Photoshop thanks to its amazing ability to bring out hidden detail in the shadows and highlights of a photo. In this tutorial, we tap in to the real power of the Shadow/Highlight command by exploring its advanced options!

Improving Image Tone With Levels In Photoshop

The first step in a good photo editing workflow is to correct any overall tonal problems in the image, brightening highlights, darkening shadows and adjusting the midtones. Photoshop’s Levels adjustment not only makes tonal correction fast and easy, it’s what the pros use for accurate, professional quality results!

Better Brightness And Contrast In Photoshop

Over the years, many unsuspecting photographers and photo retouchers have destroyed their images with the Brightness/Contrast command. Thankfully, those days are over! The improved Brightness/Contrast command in Photoshop CS3 may be all you need to add life to dull, flat images, and it doesn’t get much easier than this!

How To Read An Image Histogram In Photoshop

Histograms are one of the most valuable tools we have when editing or restoring images, and knowing how to read a histogram is an essential skill for anyone who’s serious about the quality of their photos. Learn what histograms can tell us about our images and how to use them to easily spot potential problems.

Black & White Adjustment in Photoshop CS3

Tired of having no control when converting your color photos to black and white or being forced to think like a computer? Then you’ll definitely want to check out the Black & White adjustment in Photoshop CS3, a tool so easy and natural, if you can click and drag your mouse, you have all the skills you need!

Non-Destructive Photo Editing With Adjustment Layers In Photoshop

Still using Photoshop’s standard image adjustments to edit your photos? Still causing permanent damage to your images with every edit you make? There’s a better way! Learn how to work non-destructively and with greater flexibility with Photoshop’s Adjustment Layers!

Cropping Photos Without Changing The Aspect Ratio

Cropping photos is one of the most common uses for Photoshop, but what if you want your cropped image to maintain the same aspect ratio as the original? No problem, thanks to a rarely used but very useful command called Transform Selection!

Non-Destructive Dodge and Burn in Photoshop

Photoshop’s Dodge and Burn tools are great for lightening and darkening specific areas of a photo, but they both permanently damage your image. Learn a better way to get the same results without harming a single pixel!

How To Straighten Crooked Photos In Photoshop

Unless you take all your photos with your camera mounted on a tripod, some of them are going to turn out a bit crooked. Fortunately, Photoshop makes it incredibly easy to straighten them in just a few simple steps and without any guess work!

The Luminosity Blend Mode In Photoshop

Learn how to change the brightness of an image without affecting its color using the Luminosity blend mode in Photoshop. Part of our complete series on the five essential blend modes for photo editing.

The Color Blend Mode In Photoshop

Learn how the Color blend mode in Photoshop lets us change the hue and saturation of an image without affecting its brightness. Part of our complete series on the five essential blend modes for photo editing in Photoshop.

The Overlay Blend Mode In Photoshop

Learn how the Overlay blend mode in Photoshop both lightens and darkens an image at the same time to increase contrast. Part of our complete series on Photoshop’s five essential blend modes for photo editing.

The Screen Blend Mode In Photoshop

Learn all about the Screen blend mode in Photoshop and how it instantly lightens an image. Part of our complete series on the five essential blend modes for photo editing in Photoshop.

The Multiply Blend Mode In Photoshop

In this tutorial in our series on Photoshop’s five essential blend modes for photo editing, learn all about the Multiply blend mode and why it’s great for darkening an image.

Top 5 Photoshop Blend Modes You Need To Know

Feeling overwhelmed by Photoshop’s 27 layer blend modes? There’s really only 5 you need to know! Learn the essential Photoshop blend modes – Multiply, Screen, Overlay, Color, and Luminosity – and how to use them to quickly edit and improve your images!

Smooth And Soften Skin In Photoshop

Learn an easy way to smooth and soften someone’s skin in a photo without losing important image details, using a technique normally used for advanced image sharpening!

Enhancing The Sky In An Image With Photoshop

Tired of the sky in your photos being dull, faded and washed out? Learn a simple technique for boosting image contrast, enhancing details in the clouds, and turning those gray skies to blue, all with just a few easy steps!

Changing Hair Color In An Image With Photoshop

Learn how easy it is to color or tint someone’s hair in a photo with Photoshop! Use this technique on photos of other people, or use it on yourself to see what you’d look like with a different hair color, then go back any time you want and change the color again without having to redo all the work!

Easy Digital Nose Job In Photoshop

Let’s face it, sometimes photos don’t do people justice, and a wrong setting on the camera or an unflattering angle can make their nose look bigger than it really is. Fortunately, Photoshop makes digital plastic surgery a breeze without the need for any fancy surgical tools or even a steady hand!

Enhance Colors In An Image With Photoshop’s Photo Filter

Bring colors to life in your images by tinting and enhancing them with Photoshop’s Photo Filter. Thanks to the layer mask that comes with adjustment layers, we can easily combine multiple Photo Filters to enhance different areas of the image separately! We’ll even finish things off with a Curves adjustment just for fun!

Fix Tone and Color with Levels In Photoshop

When it comes to editing images, the very first step should always be to fix any overall tonal and color problems, and the Levels command allows us to quickly and easily fix both problems at once!

Sharpen Images With High Pass In Photoshop

Get great results when sharpening images without fumbling around with confusing options by using Photoshop’s High Pass filter and your choice of layer blend modes.

Reducing 5 O’Clock Shadow And Beard Stubble In Photoshop

Unless you’re looking at a photo of a guy in the rugged outdoors, chances are the stubble on his face isn’t adding anything to the image. In this Photoshop tutorial, we’ll see how to give a guy a virtual shave and improve his appearance.

How To Apply A Smart Filter In Photoshop CS3

Smart Filters are easily one of the best new features in Photoshop CS3, and using them couldn’t be easier. In this tutorial, we take a look at the basics of applying Smart Filters to an image.

The Color Range Command – Photoshop Selections

When it comes to making color-based selections in an image, most Photoshop users turn to the Magic Wand Tool because it’s easy and it’s right there in the Tools panel. But if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find the Color Range command, and in this tutorial, you’ll learn why it’s time to wave that Magic Wand goodbye!

Creating Warped Text In Photoshop

Learn how Photoshop’s built-in Warp Text options make it easy to twist, stretch and distort type into all kinds of different shapes and designs, all while keeping the text and the effect itself fully editable!

An Easy Way To Set Your Type Size In Photoshop

Tired of guessing at font sizes when adding text to your Photoshop documents? Learn how to scale your type to any size you need, with a live preview of the results that makes it easy to choose the right font size every time!

Feather Selections In Photoshop With Quick Mask

There are lots of times when we need to feather, or soften, our selection edges, but Photoshop’s Feather command gives us no way to preview what we’re doing. In this tutorial, learn a better way to feather selections using Quick Mask mode!

Unlock The Full Power Of Basic Selections In Photoshop

If all you’ve been doing with Photoshop’s basic selection tools is making a new selection every time, you’ve been missing out. In this tutorial, learn how to unlock their full potential by adding to, subtracting from, and intersecting selections!

Photoshop Type – The Paragraph Panel

Photoshop’s Character and Paragraph panels work as a team to give us full access to every type option available in Photoshop. In this tutorial, we learn about the paragraph-based options in the Paragraph panel like alignment, justification, paragraph spacing, and more!

Photoshop Type – The Character Panel

Photoshop gives us quick access to a few type options in the Options Bar, but its more interesting and advanced options for working with type are found in the Character and Paragraph panels. In this tutorial, we learn all about the Character panel options like leading, tracking, kerning, baseline shift, and more!

Photoshop Point vs Area Type

Learn the difference between point and area type in Photoshop, and how area type lets us easily wrap larger amounts of text onto multiple lines inside resizable text boxes!

Photoshop Type Essentials

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes we still need to add our own words to an image or design layout. In this tutorial, we cover the basics and essentials of adding, editing and working with type in Photoshop!

Photoshop Shapes – Add, Subtract, Intersect and Exclude

By default, Photoshop places each new vector shape we draw on its own independent Shape layer, but in this tutorial, we learn how the Add, Subtract, Intersect and Exclude options let us combine shapes in more interesting ways!

Photoshop Shapes – Vectors, Paths and Pixels

Learn the differences between the Shape Layers, Paths and Fill Pixels drawing modes for the Shape tools in Photoshop, and why one of them in particular is almost always a better choice than the others!

The Custom Shape Tool In Photoshop

Learn how Photoshop’s Custom Shape Tool lets us add hearts, flowers, animals, snowflakes, music notes, copyright symbols and other useful shapes to our designs with no drawing skill required!

Photoshop Shapes And Shape Layers Essentials

Learn the essentials of working with vector shapes and Shape layers in Photoshop, from drawing simple rectangles and ellipses to stars, starbursts, direction arrows, and more!

Align and Distribute Layers In Photoshop

Learn how to easily and automatically align and distribute layers within a Photoshop document using the Align and Distribute options, and how layer groups make it easy to center multiple layers with the document itself!

Photoshop Layers – Layer Groups

As you add more and more layers to a document in Photoshop, your Layers panel can quickly become a cluttered mess of confusion. In this tutorial, learn how layer groups make it easy to keep things neat, tidy and organized!

Open Multiple Images As Photoshop Layers

Tired of dragging images from one Photoshop document to another? Learn how the Load Files into Photoshop Layers command, first introduced in Adobe Bridge CS4, can open multiple images at once as layers inside the same document!

Photoshop Layers – The Background Layer

Layers are easily Photoshop’s most important feature, but one special type of layer – the Background layer – comes with a few rules and limitations we need to be aware of to avoid confusion and frustration.