Art of Photography Guide,  Tips for Beginners

12 Cool Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners

If you want to find out how to transform any ordinary picture into a masterpiece of digital editing and don’t know where to start, these cool Photoshop tutorials for beginners are the way to go. We picked the most useful tutorials for basic Photoshop tools and functions that will help you learn how to edit photos in Photoshop step by step. In these tutorials, you will also find some useful beginner Photoshop projects you can go through to practice your newly developed skills! Without further ado, here’s our list of the ten coolest free Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

1. Photoshop 101 – The Mother of Cool Photoshop Tutorials

Although it’s kind of outdated, Photoshop 101 is a great way to start learning the basics of Photoshop. The starter pack costs around $50.00, and it is literally brimming with tons of informative materials.

With Photoshop 101 you will learn:

  • The ABCs of optimizing Photoshop in order to cope with your device;
  • How to work with Photoshop’s various tools such as layers, masks, channels;
  • How to alter a certain aspect of your pictures;
  • How to change colors;
  • How you can saturate or desaturate certain areas of the picture to improve it.

In our opinion, Photoshop 101 deserves its place among our cool Photoshop tutorials, and it’s the easiest way to master the basics of this great picture post-processing software. Definitely one of the best collections of free Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

12 Cool Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners

2. Photoshop CC Essential Tutorials & Training

Another awesome way to kickstart your Photoshop skills is CC Essentials, courtesy of, which is probably the biggest player on the tutorial market. With this cool step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to master the basics, such as working with layers and masks. Furthermore, discover how to use advanced post-processing features such as blend modes, smart objects and how to make fine adjustments to layers.

Apart from the standard Photoshop tutorial, the CC Essential Tutorials & Training pack also contains instructions on how to work with other software from Adobe’s pallet, such as Adobe Bridge and even Camera Raw. Overall, Lynda’s Photoshop CC Tutorials & Training will teach you to perform the following actions in Photoshop.

  • Using Review mode to filter out rejected images;
  • Using smart collections;
  • The difference between RAW and JPEG files;
  • Toggling on-screen shadow or highlight clipping warnings;
  • Revealing hidden shadow detail;
  • Correcting lens distortion;
  • Sharpening details;
  • Adding a radial gradient;
  • Using cropping techniques;
  • Using the Refine Edge tools;
  • Additional tips for beginners.
12 Cool Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners

3. Surreal Photoshop Tutorial

Do you consider yourself a follower of the surrealistic school of art? Then with this Photoshop tutorial, you can transform your pictures, or any photo for that matter, into something that even Dali would be proud of.

This great Photoshop tutorial was created by the renowned artist Marius Karasiewicz. It includes comprehensive tips on how to add that certain surrealistic touches to each and every picture. In this tutorial, you will learn how you can mash up different types of backgrounds like a desert, cloud, and sky with various natural patterns and designs. It’s one of the best Photoshop tutorials for beginners as it goes through:

  • How to use layers;
  • How to use groups;
  • How to adjust lighting and shadows to create a smooth transition from one element to another.

If you’re interested in tracing the footsteps of surrealistic masters such as Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, or Andre Breton, you can learn how to create a surrealist landscape photo manipulation.

4. Photoshop Tutorial Shortcuts

Moving on with our cool free Photoshop tutorials for beginners, we have the  Photoshop Tutorial shortcuts that increase your productivity by showing you the major hotkeys which you can use in order to perform various actions.

Note that the Photoshop Tutorial Shortcuts is designed to accommodate both Mac and PC versions of the software. However, apart from describing the most important keyboard shortcuts, this software does not have any step-by-step instructions regarding the ABC of Photoshop. But it’s still one useful tool to have around, especially when you’re fed up with having to click on multiple icons.

5. How to Fix Dark Shadows in Photoshop

Next in line on our top list of cool Photoshop tutorials is the “How to Fix Dark Shadows in Photoshop” education material which will help you get rid of some of those dark areas that can ruin the aspect of your pictures.

In this tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to use the shadows/highlights options as opposed to the more destructive curves option;
  • How to work with various shadow effects;
  • How to work dark areas in a photo.

More enticing is the fact that this tutorial is free to use, and for your convenience, all the essential information was gathered in the form of 6-minute YouTube video.

Click on the link below to get started on your dark shadow fix tutorial – an essential part of learning Photoshop and, therefore, one of the essential Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

6. How to Add Special Effects in Photoshop

Thinking of sprucing up your dull photographs, but you don’t know how to do it? Then you should definitely consider taking a gander at the “How to Add Special Effects in Photoshop” tutorial, courtesy of the PHLearn team.

In this comprehensive video and text tutorial, you will learn the following tricks:

  • How layering works in blending mode;
  • Using stacks and scripts;
  • Masking certain areas of the picture;
  • Adding blurs and pops of light;
  • Transform and duplicate layers;
  • How to use the levels adjustment option to your advantage;
  • How to eliminate dark and mid tone.

7. How to Remove Glare from Glasses in Photoshop

An absolute essential on our cool Photoshop tutorials list. Sometimes, as a photographer, you will also be appointed with creating professional portraits. However, this doesn’t have to discourage you from making art out of snapping portraits.

Probably the nightmare of every photographer who uses photo post-processing software is to eliminate those pesky glares from glasses. Fortunately, Photoshop has all the tools you’ll need in order to get the perfect glare-free picture and this step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to do it.

In this Photoshop education material, you will learn everything about removing reflections from glasses, which includes:

  • Working with clone stamp settings;
  • Tweaking opacity levels;
  • Tweaking flow levels;
  • Using the sample: current and below option;
  • Using the Clone Source dialogue options;
  • Flipping the pic’s width.

Check out one of the best and easy to follow Photoshop tutorials for beginners here:

8. How to Use Lens Flares in Photoshop

This Photoshop tutorial aims to answer the question of when and how to use lens flares to enhance a photo. With this tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to add spectacular lens flares to your photos;
  • How to make the light work to your advantage;
  • How to create new layers;
  • How to work with filters;
  • How to change hue and saturation;
  • How to work with the Gaussian blur.

To learn all about lens flares in Photoshop, please click on the provided YouTube clip.

9. How to Enhance the Quality of a Photo with Curves

Are you fed up with your photos looking so dull? Then why not spruce them up a bit using some curves and shades? This comprehensive 20-minute video tutorial will show you how easy it is to turn a boring picture into something new and totally unexpected.

However, we do have to remind you that working with curves and depths is a little bit tricky, so be sure you got the basics of Photoshop before taking a crack at this one.

Recommended read: Debunking the Myth of Kirlian Photography !

10. How to take Advantage of Watercolor in Photoshop

The advantage of using watercolor is that your pictures will look alive and more vibrant. Use Photoshop’s special watercolor art tools in order to transform your plain picture in a live expression of your inner self. In this tutorial you will learn how to master the following tools:

  • Applying textures;
  • Cutting different areas;
  • Use splatter brushes;
  • Using smart images and stock photos;
  • Layering stock images.

If you want to learn more about watercolor, then we encourage you to check out this tutorial from

11. How to Use the Photoshop Type Tool

This little tutorial from TutPlus goes through the basics of using the Photoshop type tool to create stunning posters, cards, and designs:

  • Useful shortcuts for the Photoshop type tool;
  • How and why to create a Photoshop type layer;
  • How to resize and add visual effects to the text box;
  • How to add special characters to the text box;
  • How to create special effects within a text box. 

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to add intricate pieces of text to your designs with proper alignment and creative text decorations.

12. How to Use the Photoshop Selection Tools

If you want to create complex designs which incorporate multiple elements from different image files, this tutorial by Simon Hubbert is a must read.  It covers:

  • The basics of multiple Photoshop selection tools;
  • How to use the Marquee tools like the rectangle, elliptical, single row, and single column tools;
  • How to use the Lasso tools, the magic wand, the pen, color range, and layer mask tools. 

Not only does this tutorial go through every selection tool available and tells you how it works, it also uses visual examples to show you how to best use it. It’s definitely one of the best Photoshop tutorials for beginners you could try for free!


This is where our list of cool Photoshop tutorials ends. As a parting note, we want to paraphrase Ansel Adams who said that a photographer doesn’t take pictures, he makes them and sometimes, this creative process sprouts from the most implausible circumstances. Do you know other tutorials that would fit this list?