Chapter 1 | Introduction 3 Videos (17:21m)
  • 01 - What You Will Learn
    Your Photoshop adventure starts here! Join Aaron has he walks you through everything you'll learn in this tutorial.
  • 02 - What are Digital Images Made of?
    Photoshop is for editing photos, we all know that. But how does it work? It all boils down pixels. Learn what pixels are, how they work, and how Photoshop can change them to improve our photos.
  • 03 - Getting Started in Photoshop
    Computers, mice, tablets, and software. Get some recommendations on what you'll need to get started in Photoshop.
Chapter 2 | Opening Photoshop for the First Time 5 Videos (59:11m)
  • 01 - Opening & Creating Documents
    It's time! Jump into Photoshop and learn how it's organized and how to open and create Documents.
  • 02 - How to Setup Photoshop
    Aaron takes you through his preferred Photoshop Preferences. Learn how to help Photoshop run as fast as possible, setup your workspace to work with multiple images, and see some of the best ways to view your photos while editing.
  • 03 - Keyboard Shortcuts
    Keyboard shortcuts are the key (see what we did there?) to working faster and more comfortably in Photoshop. Learn some helpful shortcuts and how to create your own!
  • 04 - Navigating an Image
    Sometimes you'll be zoomed in to take care of the details. Sometimes you'll be zoomed out to work on an image as a whole. Learn the easiest ways to zoom in, zoom out, and get around your photos.
  • 05 - Image Size, Saving & File Formats
    Learn how to export photos at the perfect size and use the best file types for sharing and saving.
Chapter 3 | Common Tools 7 Videos (2:17h)
  • 01 - Move Tool
    The Move Tool allows you to move, resize, align, and rearrange Layers on the Canvas.
  • 02 - Brush Tool
    The Brush Tool does it all. Aaron explains why the Brush Tool is so powerful and why it's his go-to tool for many common tasks in Photoshop.
  • 03 - Healing & Cloning Tools
    Photoshop is know for its ability to remove blemishes, objects, and distractions from photos. Learn all about the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush, and Clone Stamp Tool which are all great ways to clean up an image.
  • 04 - Crop Tool
    Use the Crop Tool to improve a photo's composition and to get the perfect size and aspect ratio for your images.
  • 05 - Sampling, Saving & Using Colors
    Follow along and learn about how to use colors in Photoshop. See how to use foreground and background colors, how to sample colors from an image, and how hue, lightness, and saturation work.
  • 06 - Type Tool
    Create banners, flyers, and advertisements using the Type Tool in Photoshop.
  • 07 - Tools to Work Non-Destructively
    This section is all about protecting your images and your work. Learn how to edit and save a project so that you can easily make changes or get back to your original, unedited photo.
Chapter 4 | Layers & Masks 9 Videos (2:38h)
  • 01 - What are Layers
    Layers are the backbone of Photoshop–they allow you to add shapes, text, and even multiple images to a Document and edit them all independently. See how they work and why they're the most important aspect of mastering Photoshop.
  • 02 - Working with Layers
    Now that we know what Layers are and how they work, let's put them to use!
  • 03 - Groups
    Learn how to work with multiple Layers at once while keeping your Photoshop Document organized.
  • 04 - Layer Masks
    Layer Masks allow you to hide pixels from a Layer without permanently deleting them. Perfect for cutting a subject out of their background and making fun effects with text!
  • 05 - Clipping Masks
    Clipping Masks are one of the most helpful tools for blending multiple images together. Learn how to apply edits and adjustments so that they're only visible on a single Layer.
  • 06 - Blending Modes
    Aaron demonstrates how you can use Blending Modes to blend colors and effects into any photo.
  • 07 - Blend If
    Learn how to add color and light effects with precision! Blend If allows you to blend any Layer into another by targeting the highlights, midtones, and shadows.
  • 08 - Layer Effects
    Drop shadows, glows, bevels, and more! Layer Effects are quick way to add dimension to any Layer.
  • 09 - Smart Objects
    Smart Objects allow you to resize and add filters to a layer without permanently changing it. Another great tool for a non-destructive workflow.
Chapter 5 | Adjustment Layers 3 Videos (59:14m)
  • 01 - What are Adjustments Layers?
    Make an image brighter, darker, or change colors with Adjustment Layers. Learn how Adjustment Layers work and how they are perfect for making color and exposure adjustments.
  • 02 - Commonly Used Adjustment Layers
    Aaron breaks down some of the most frequently used Adjustment Layers and how you can use them to enhance your photos.
  • 03 - Working with Adjustment Layers
    Let's put some Adjustment Layers to work to remove distractions and realistically blend effects together.
Chapter 6 | Selections 5 Videos (1:41h)
  • 01 - What are Selections?
    We know digital images are made up of pixels, so how do we pick and choose what pixels we want to edit? Selections make it possible. Learn how Selections can be used to select shapes, colors, and more.
  • 02 - Common Selection Tools
    Marquee Tools, the Lasso Tool, Magic Wand, and more! Aaron runs down the best situations to use some common selection tools.
  • 03 - Advanced Selection Tools
    Sometimes you need an ultra-precise selection to capture all of the details in a complex image. Follow along as Aaron shows you how Channels and Select Color Range can be used to make details selections of people, backgrounds, and hair.
  • 04 - The Pen Tool & Paths
    A tricky tool to learn, the Pen Tool is the best way to make clean, curved selections in Photoshop. Fortunately, we know how to help you start using it right away.
  • 05 - Editing Selections
    Once you make a selection, you can continue to change and refine it until it's perfect. Learn how to use Select & Mask to refine rough selections of a subject.
Chapter 7 | Basic Photo Editing 6 Videos (1:52h)
  • 01 - Planning Your Edits
    Every great edit needs to start with a Plan. Aaron shares his process for analyzing an image and making a plan for a complete photo edit.
  • 02 - Exposure Adjustments
    Learn how to use the Adobe Camera RAW filter to bring out the details in the shadows of a subject's hair, even out the exposure of the photo, and draw more attention to the subject's face.
  • 03 - Color Correction
    Before you can add stylistic coloring to a photo, it's important to start with the colors as true-to-life as possible. Learn how to get skin tones looking healthy and natural using the Adobe Camera RAW filter.
  • 04 - Color Grading
    Color grading is where the fun begins. Follow along and use Adjustment Layers to add beautiful colors to a photo–way better than any app or filter can.
  • 05 - Removing Objects & Distractions
    Oftentimes things will show up in a photo that can distract and take attention away from the subject. Learn how object removal can improve nearly any image.
  • 06 - Complete Photo Edit
    We know the tools. We know the techniques. We have our plan. It's time to edit a photo from start to finish.
Chapter 8 | Basic Photo Retouching 5 Videos (1:55h)
  • 01 - Planning for Retouching
    Watch as Aaron makes a retouching plan to remove minor distractions and help the subject look their best.
  • 02 - Blemish Removal & Hair Clean-Up
    Use the Spot Healing Brush, Healing Brush, and Clone Stamp tool to remove some distractions from a subject's face and hands.
  • 03 - Dodge & Burn
    Learn to use Adjustment Layers to accentuate the highlights and shadows in a scene. This is a powerful technique that can add shape and definition to a photo while helping the subject stand out.
  • 04 - Sharpening
    Like a lot of photo editing techniques, sharpening is all about enhancing detail and drawing more attention to the parts of a photo that matter most. In this section, Aaron shares his preferred sharpening technique while he enhances a subject's eyes.
  • 05 - Complete Portrait Retouch
    Follow along as we do a complete portrait retouch from start to finish. Remove blemishes, smooth out highlights and shadows, sharpen, and more!
Chapter 9 | Basic Photo Compositing 3 Videos (50:00m)
  • 01 - Replace a Sky
    Compositing can take an ordinary image and make it an extraordinary one. Learn how to take a boring sky and replace it with one full of beautiful clouds and detail.
  • 02 - Double Exposure Effect
    Learn how to create a double exposure effect by combining a portrait with a photo of a city skyline.
  • 03 - Easy Face Swap
    Compositing can solve a ton of common photo issues. Have you ever taken group photos, but couldn't get everyone to smile at the same time? Learn how to blend two images together so everyone has the perfect expression.
Catalog  >  PRO Tutorials  >  Photoshop Tutorials  >  The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop

The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop

Welcome to the easiest way to learn Photoshop. Through quick lessons and real-world examples, you’ll learn how to improve your photos, help people look their very best, and share your ideas with the world. We’ve spent the last 10 years perfecting Photoshop education, so that you can master Photoshop.

46 Video Tutorials|50 Sample Images|4 PSD|2 Actions|PDF Guide|Instructor: Aaron Nace

Starting at $8.25/month – Unlimited Streaming
$99.99 $79.99 – Instant Download



Simple Compositing

Learn to combine multiple photos so you can have that picture perfect smile.

10+ years. 150+ tutorials. It all starts here.



Photoshop Basics

Photoshop is huge. With so many options and applications, it’s tough to figure out where to start. That’s where we come in. We show you the basics that will help you tackle some of the most common photo problems. No nonsense teaching and real-world examples.

Improve Your Photos

Some photos are crooked. Some are too dark. Some are too bright. Some just need a little more flavor. You will learn how to to take any image and make a bunch of small improvements, from straightening a horizon and changing composition, to improving exposure and color correction.

Step-by-Step Training

We’re there with you, every step of the way. We show you the most powerful tools that will make the most immediate impact on your images. Then we use those tools as we walk you through over 40 examples, covering every step of the editing process.



Photoshop for Beginners

This tutorial is for the true beginner. Never opened Photoshop before? You’re in the right place. This course is designed to take you from ordinary citizen to Photoshop superhero.

The Best Way to Learn

We’ve been teaching Photoshop online for over 10 years. Using helpful feedback from students like you, we’ve put together the most clear and in-depth beginner’s guide possible. Are you ready? Let’s do this.

Getting Started in Photoshop

Everyone needs to start somewhere. Follow along as we show you how to setup Photoshop and make sense of the workspace. From opening your first images, to making sense of all of the windows and menus, we’ve got your back.



Basic Photo Editing

As photographers, we know that photos don’t always turn out the way we planned. Fortunately, there’s Photoshop. We show you how to fix exposure, correct colors, remove distractions, and help people look their absolute best.

Basic Retouching

Retouching is everywhere. From corporate headshots to your favorite magazine cover, retouching is an important skill that can help you in any type of photography. Learn how to remove minor blemishes, clean up stray hairs, add more shape and definition, and sharpen like a pro.

Basic Compositing

Combining multiple photos together is some of the most fun you can have in Photoshop. It’s also a helpful skill that can get you out of a jam. Learn the compositing skills to make an eye-catching double exposure, replace a dull sky with a more details one, and swap two faces to get the perfect expression.

Photoshop Actions & PSD Files

Sharpening & Retouching are easier than ever with our exclusive Photoshop Actions. Plus you can follow along with Aaron with the included PSDs!



Getting Around Photoshop

If you’ve never used it before, opening Photoshop for the first time is sort of like opening a dictionary for an unfamiliar language. You know it makes sense, but it’s impossible to figure out where to start. We’ve made it easier than ever to learn Photoshop by taking you through the essentials until you’re comfortable and confident.

The Best Tools

There are a LOT of tools in Photoshop. We show you the BEST tools in Photoshop. You’ll learn the tools and techniques that will get you editing right away. Learn how to use the most powerful tools in a variety of ways, saving you time and energy.

Layers & Masks

Layers and Masks are at the heart of understanding Photoshop. We start off showing you exactly how they work and how you can use them to make your edits smoother than ever. Learn how to work non-destructively so you can always get back to your original images or undo any changes you’ve made.





Adjustment Layers

Make an image brighter, darker, and add or change colors with Adjustment Layers in Photoshop! These are the best way to make edits to a photo. Why? Because you can always go back and change, edit, or remove them without permanently affecting your original image.


Digital photos are made up of millions of tiny dots of color called pixels. So how do you choose to edit some of them and not others? Selections make it possible. Follow along as we show you some of the most powerful selection tools in Photoshop so you can make precision adjustments and clean cutouts.

Remove Distractions

From pimples to light poles, we show you the quickest ways to remove objects and distractions from any photo. We also show you valuable tips to help make sure that your subject is the center of attention.



Smooth Skin Tones

Learn how to remove skin redness and minor blemishes with natural-looking results!

Learn something new. Create something new. Start something new.



Plan Your Edits

Whether you’re writing, painting, or saving money for your kid’s college tuition, it helps to have a plan. Our Photoshop training starts with teaching you how to plan your edits and stay organized. Your time is valuable and so is the work that you do–we show you how to get the most out of both.

Save & Protect Your Work

Photoshopping pictures is the fun part. Saving your work is the important part. We break down the best file types to use when saving, how to protect your original images so you can go back and make changes anytime, and how to share your photos with the world.

Choose Your Path

PHLEARN isn’t just a single tutorial. PHLEARN is a journey to unlocking your creative and professional potential. We’re sure this is the best tutorial for learning the essentials of Adobe Photoshop. And once you’re done here, you can move on to any other of the 150+ tutorials in our PRO library. Start your journey, choose your path.





We Love Teaching Photoshop

This is the tutorial we were born to make. If you’ve been waiting to learn Photoshop, there’s never been a better time to jump in. Learn the basics of how to Photoshop any photo and then take your skills to the next level with one of our advanced retouching or compositing tutorials.

Learn the Essentials

Welcome to the easiest beginner’s Photoshop tutorial ever made. You won’t just learn how to use the software, we show you how it works. Learn key editing steps that work for any image, on any computer (we’re Mac and PC friendly), and that you can put to use right away. We even include a companion PDF to help get you started faster!

Text & Design

We don’t just show you how to make your photos look amazing. We show you how to transform them into banners, flyers, posters, and designs that will help you communicate your ideas to the world.

Included Companion PDF –
Getting Started in Photoshop

Your quick-start guide to learning Photoshop, filled with helpful shortcuts, tips and tricks.

Download Getting Started Guide



Style & Color

This is the fun part. Learn how to make your photos unique so they stand out from the crowd. Color your photos better than any app filter. Add stunning special effects that will leave people wanting more.

Photoshop Actions

Once you learn the skills, use Actions to work faster than ever. We include two Photoshop Actions that will speed up your workflow and give you instant professional results.

Photoshop PSDs

We want you to follow along and make each of the examples your own. But it’s also nice to see how a pro works in Photoshop. We include several complete Photoshop PSDs so you can see how everything works, firsthand.





Remove Distractions

From pimples to light poles, we show you the quickest ways to remove objects and distractions from any photo. We also show you valuable tips to help make sure that your subject is the center of attention.

Save Your Work

Saving your work is one of the most important things to master in Photoshop. We show you the best formats for making sure you can always go back and make changes to an edit and the best formats for sharing your images on the web.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2019

We’re sure that this is the best place for you to learn Photoshop online. We planned this tutorial with the beginner in mind. You will learn the latest tools and techniques and the fastest way to get the job done. Best of all, we’re beside you for the ride, from open to export.

Class Instructor

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor

Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist, and the founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.

View More Classes by Aaron Nace


  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    This guide is an absolute must for a beginner like me. I mean in Phlearn there are a lot of specialised guides so it’s a little confusing which technique to use in which occasion. This guide makes clear those, and thank you, Aaron, for directing to a more in-depth guide for each specialised techniques in this tutorial.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Okay … SORRY. Aron, please forgive me I am so unworthy. Forgive me for my last (and first) comment re continuous improvement and their should be two versions of the training; one for PC and one for Mac users because of the slight nuances in the way PS behaves which each. I went off w-a-y too early with that comment and had I listen for a few more hours I would see on occasion you would show a few things here and there as a sneak peek and you would explain them later in a relevant section. My bad. Now I am loving the tutorials as I knew I would. And, recovering from lack of faith, I actually saw your You Tube training about a eighteen months, or two years ago and signed up there and then fearing I would never be able to find them again and have paid the subscription ever since and only starting recently as I knew your tutorials would be exactly what I needed to take my photography to a whole new level once I found the free time. And here I am … as happy as starting to understand the behemoth called PS … which is way too much of a program to tackle alone. 🙂

  3. Rated 4 out of 5

    I am a beginner and I am sure this subscription, in the long run, is going to be fantastic and worth the money in helping me achieve my Photoshop goals. Having said that I would like to provide some feedback in the interest of continual improvement. What is a little frustrating is I am a PC user, not a Mac user and already I see there are differences in the way the software behaves on both systems. (I have upgraded to be on the same version as demonstrated.) For example, using the first image, Aaron creates a new file and opens an image. He then drags and drops the image of the runner at the race track on to the new file which has a white back ground. A great example of how you could create a flyer for example. The problem for me is on a PC, PS opens the new file and opens the existing image into two separate tabs and it does not allow you drag and drop between the two tabs to achieve what Aaron easily demonstrated in PS on the Mac … this makes me wonder when using PHLEARN how many more times will I be frustrated in this way and the impact this will have on my learning. Perhaps their course needs to be made available in both a PC version and a Mac version to avoid these frustrations to create a far more satisfying experience. (Or alternatively, acknowledge the difference in how PS operates slightly differently on the two platforms and shows how to achieve the same result on PC & Mac version of PS.) I will soldier on and hopefully, this situation will not create too many gaps in my learning experience.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thank you so much! I have been avoiding using Photoshop for years because I just didn’t know how to get started in a considered and incremental way. It always seemed complex and counter-intuitive to me. This tutorial has de-mystified PS and given me the tools and confidence to explore on my own. Some of the lessons are quite difficult for a beginner, but with repetition and lots of hands-on practise I am really getting there. It really helps to use the lessons as jumping off points for practice on your own images – I found that it was in this transfer to my own work that the instruction gained salience and relevance. The series of lessons is very cleverly sequenced to build on skills and develop understanding. Outstanding!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nice course but it seems odd to look how PS works when you used it so many years. In the set up Photoshop part you talked about Full screen mode, I don’t use mac but in Windows when you use “Full screen mode with out menu bar” and move your cursor either to the left or right side of the screen you see your tool or layers.


All downloads are available at the top of this page.

  • 50 Sample Images
  • 46 Video Tutorials
  • Sharpening Photoshop Action
  • Retouching Photoshop Action
  • 4 PSD Files
  • Getting Started PDF Guide

You’ll find answers to some of the most common questions in our Help Center. If what you need isn’t covered, you can submit a question to our all-star customer support team and they’ll get back to you right away!

We suggest using the latest version of Photoshop, but our tutorials are designed to be compatible with CS4, CS5, CS6 & Photoshop CC. Get the latest version of Photoshop from Adobe.

This tutorial is perfect for those just starting out in Photoshop, or anyone looking to improve their skills.

This class is the perfect place to start!

Yes, all tutorials on PHLEARN are included in a PHLEARN PRO Subscription.

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PHLEARN PRO includes unlimited streaming of any tutorial online. Watch from your computer or mobile device and get instant access to new tutorials as soon as they become available.

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Yes! In addition to being able to download individually purchased courses, you’ll receive full access to stream them via as well.

All of your downloads and purchases are available in the Orders & Downloads section of My PHLEARN.

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All of your downloads and purchases are available in the Orders & Downloads section of My PHLEARN.

Your download will always be available here at We also recommend backing up the tutorial files somewhere safe like an external hard drive or USB drive.