Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

In partnership with
Instructor Ben Willmore, Photoshop Expert
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3.9 out of 5
34 Reviews
64% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9027
Video Streaming Included Free

What Will You Learn?

  • numbers How to use layer masks to manipulate your images and edit photos.
  • numbers Understand how Blend Modes can help you create cool effects.
  • numbers Discover the secrets of smart objects.
  • numbers Use filters to fix problems and create eye-catching effects.
  • numbers Learn about color adjustments, such as hue, saturation, and lightness.

Course Overview

It wasn’t too long ago that digital editors were limited to fairly simple tasks like removing “red eye” or brightening our favorite photos by a few degrees. Now, digital tools have expanded, broadening the possibilities of photography in amazing ways—if you know how to use them.

One of the most popular programs for editing and working with digital photographs is Adobe® Photoshop® CC. Photoshop has been around for over 20 years and is used by professionals and amateurs alike. However, immense leaps in computer technology over the course of the last two decades have changed the program slowly but dramatically, resulting in new features and increasing complexity. While the huge range of options available means Photoshop can be an incredible tool with immense capabilities, it also means that it can feel increasingly intimidating for newcomers, self-taught users, and those only familiar with older versions of the program.

Now photographers and designers of any experience level can learn the ins and outs of Photoshop from an instructor who has been working with the software since its earliest days. In Adobe Phototshop CC: The Complete Guide, photographer and world-renowned Photoshop instructor Ben Willmore will guide you through 21 lessons, starting from the very basics of accessing files and using the most popular effects, and gradually progressing into advanced tools and techniques that can open up a whole new world of photo editing possibilities. Whether you want to brighten a family photo, create an amazing photo collage to promote your business, or anything in between, this course helps you to easily find and use the right tools for the job.

With a relaxed, conversational style and accompanied by full-screen demonstrations within Photoshop every step of the way, Mr. Willmore will take the mystery out of this powerful resource as he leads you through a series of exercises that teach you the tools and skills in small, easy-to-manage lessons covering both the major editing features and lesser-known tips and tricks.

Professional Results

Even professional photographers can struggle to capture the “perfect” shot. Whether it’s inclement weather, bad lighting, lack of time, or crowds of tourists at a famous location, there are many factors that can keep you from achieving the image that you want. With photo editing tools like those in Photoshop, these limitations can become a fun, creative challenge. This course will show you how to make the most of your editing opportunities. Along the way, you will master aspects of Photoshop such as:

  • How to use Camera RAW to adjust the majority of your images;
  • Tips to automate repetitive actions and speed up your workflow;
  • How to use keyboard shortcuts;
  • Selection essentials so you can work on small areas within an image;
  • Troubleshooting for common difficulties;
  • Advanced retouching techniques; and more.

One of the most difficult and intimidating aspects of Photoshop is navigating through the sheer volume of options available. Therefore, one of the first things Mr. Willmore covers is simply how to navigate the program—where to look for the tools you need and the best ways to use them for the effects you want. By understanding how to manage the panels, toolbars, and various menus available, you will establish the foundation you need to achieve your goals, while digging deeper into some of the most common tools that will give you different options to suit your needs.

Common Tools in Photoshop

Smartphones and digital cameras provide more and more options for altering and adjusting images on the fly, so why would anyone need to use professional software to edit photos? While helpful, these basic tools are often limited to preset filters and only provide a small range of options. As Mr. Willmore demonstrates, with the knowledge and skills you will develop in this course, you can make almost any alteration to your photos that you can imagine, from changing a few pixels to completely transforming your entire composition. Once you have learned some of the basics of adjusting images on the surface, you will gain even more control over your work as you move on to some of the most widely used options for correcting, adding, and removing features, including using layers and masking to build the image that you want from the ground up.

Those familiar with Photoshop but who have not had the advantage of professional training may be surprised by how often they are using common tools incorrectly, or at least inefficiently. One such tool, the magic wand, has acquired a reputation for being difficult—even earning the nickname the “tragic wand”—but as Mr. Willmore shows, it’s often a matter of understanding what the tool is built to accomplish, rather than what many users try to force it to do.

Understanding the capabilities of Photoshop also gives you the chance to enhance your photography skills in the field, allowing you to confidently capture images that are specifically suited for alteration in the program and plan your adjustments in advance.

Expand Your Photo Editing Repertoire

As you progress through the lessons, your toolkit expands from the basics of layering and simple adjustments to more advanced methods and creative effects, including how to:

  • Warp and bend images to fit different shapes,
  • Create surface effects,
  • Change perspective within an image,
  • Work in blend mode for stunning transitions,
  • Isolate portions of your images for area-specific changes, and
  • Add textures to mimic other art forms.

You will have the unique opportunity to learn not just how these and many other tools work, but also the underlying logic of why many of the functions work the way they do, from why circle selections often behave like rectangles to why adjustment curves are like “256 dimmer switches side by side.”

And while mastering Photoshop means understanding these tools, it also means learning the simplest and most efficient ways to use them. Mr. Willmore provides keyboard shortcuts and menu navigation tips throughout the lessons—with some lessons devoted almost exclusively to actions, automation, and troubleshooting—and even reveals some of the hidden features and unique settings of Photoshop. He closes out the course with lessons devoted to fielding questions from students and dealing with common issues that you will encounter at every skill level.

The beauty of modern editing software like Photoshop is that it can free you from the limitations of your camera. It can also help you transform your images into new forms, making it an invaluable tool for not just photographers, but artists in many mediums. Ultimately, altering images can be as simple or as complex as you choose; there are multiple options that can help create different effects and require varying levels of expertise, effort, and time. Once you know how to find and use these amazing tools, the creative possibilities are nearly infinite.

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21 lectures
 |  Average 71 minutes each
  • 1
    Introduction to Photoshop
    Begin by looking at what Photoshop is and its many features, starting with your first step: opening files. Then move on to resolution and color settings, file formats, managing panels, creating and using presets, and more. Also gain a valuable understanding of the differences between Adobe Lightroom, Bridge, and Camera RAW. x
  • 2
    How to Use Camera RAW
    Most of the basic adjustments users need to make to their photographs can be done in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR)—an easy, one-stop shop containing the best of Photoshop. Look at the capabilities of ACR and, through several demonstrations, why up to 70% of your image finishing can be accomplished there. x
  • 3
    Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop
    What do you do if you want to alter just a small portion of your photograph at a time? Learn the different editing tools and techniques for making selections in Photoshop, including the lasso, quick selection, and paint tools. Begin with simple shapes and progress to more complex and precise challenges. x
  • 4
    Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop
    Layers in Photoshop comprise the various elements of your image and they are an important concept to understand before moving into more advanced territory. Build a solid foundation in this first of several looks at the concept, as you explore not just the technical how-to aspects, but also how to think about layers and what you want to accomplish. x
  • 5
    Using Layer Masks in Adobe Photoshop
    Adding and removing elements from images is about more than cut-and-paste. When you understand how to use masking via layers in Photoshop, you can manipulate your images in surprising new ways. Watch as Mr. Willmore shows you how to alter specific portions of a single image and how to create a new image by masking and combining several shots. x
  • 6
    Tools Panel in Adobe Photoshop
    Get an overview of the editing tools panel and where to find the tools you need for various adjustments. Resize, trim, and rotate images with the crop tool; match colors with the eyedropper; navigate the color panel and brush panel; set up and store preset elements and swatches in the libraries panel; and more. x
  • 7
    Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop
    Often, you need to make adjustments to a particular part of an image, but without disturbing the other elements. Learn to use adjustment layers in Photoshop to make tonal adjustments to specific portions of your images, as well as how to reduce color noise or adjust brightness and contrast. x
  • 8
    Color Adjustments in Adobe Photoshop
    Learn the essentials of color adjustment in the Properties Panel, including hue, saturation, and lightness (HSL), as well as color matching and manipulation. See how you can isolate colors for adjustment without altering the other colors present and why you should be aware of the settings that can affect your tools. x
  • 9
    Retouching Images in Adobe Photoshop
    Begin your basic photo editing fixes with spot removal in Camera RAW. Then, turn to how to eliminate or downplay unwanted objects using the spot healing brush, followed by a look at how to fill in empty areas with the magic wand tool or the selection tool and the fill option. Also look at the healing brush and using paint tools for retouching. x
  • 10
    Layer Blending Modes
    Explore the layer blending modes menu, which you'll find throughout Adobe Photoshop, which can allow you to change the ways your tools and layers interact with each other. Use this handy tool to create all sorts of eye-catching effects, including how to layer similar images, create repeating patterns, and much more. x
  • 11
    How to Use Filters in Adobe Photoshop
    How do you combine multiple photographs to create a panorama? And how do you avoid making effects look artificial or generic? Learn how to use filters in Adobe Photoshop so you can fix problem areas, heighten contrast and detail, and create special effects, such as making your photos look like paintings. x
  • 12
    Advanced Photoshop Masks
    Take what you have learned about masks so far and turn to more advanced techniques. Learn how to use advanced masks to isolate a part of your photo so you can make targeted adjustments on that portion only. Also get valuable guidance on when you should use complex techniques and when it may be better to keep it simple. x
  • 13
    Using Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop
    Fundamentally change the way you think about Photoshop as you learn about using smart objects, which allows you to preserve the original properties even after saving and closing. Look at how the function works, when it can help you—and when it can get in your way. x
  • 14
    Photography for Photoshop
    Mr. Willmore helps you consider some things you might shoot with Photoshop in mind, such as taking multiple shots to stitch together as a panorama. Also, see how shooting in HDR can give you multiple versions of the same image that you can combine or adjust according to your needs. x
  • 15
    Photo Retouching in Photoshop
    Learn to do more advanced photo retouching in Photoshop with blend modes, the magic wand tool, the adjustment brush, and more. Understand how to determine which tools are best for the corrections you want to make, and when you should tackle things manually and when you can automate instead. x
  • 16
    Warp, Bend, Liquify
    The ability to warp, bend, and liquify your images is important when you want to place them on curved surfaces, add them to other photos, or make them match a particular perspective. Incorporate some of tools you have learned previously and combine them with new techniques that will allow you to move and combine your images in new ways. x
  • 17
    Advanced Photoshop Layers
    Use what you have learned about layers as you explore some of the hidden features and unique settings in advanced Adobe Photoshop layers that can take your skills to the next level. With these insights, you will be able to do more complex manipulations and adjustments and further increase your photo editing toolkit. x
  • 18
    Photoshop Tips and Tricks
    The more you work with Photoshop, the more you will uncover about its capabilities— and the techniques and workarounds that can make your experience even better. Learn helpful and time-saving Photoshop tips and tricks like scanning photos in bulk, using the histogram to make your adjustments, and automated color correction. x
  • 19
    Photoshop Actions
    Now that you know many of the tools and techniques Photoshop has to offer, learn how Photoshop actions allow you to automate common tasks to make your workflow faster and more efficient. Once you know what you need to accomplish, you can add plugins, shortcuts, and design presets that will make your Photoshop experience even better. x
  • 20
    Troubleshooting Photoshop
    Even the most experienced Photoshop users can run into trouble, and some issues are more common than you might think. Follow Mr. Willmore as he demonstrates some of the things that can go wrong in Photoshop and how to go about troubleshooting in a variety of situations. x
  • 21
    Photoshop Q&A
    Once you know the most important tools—and quite a few tricks and hidden gems— what is the next step? Close the course by looking at specific issues and roadblocks many users encounter as Mr. Willmore holds a Photoshop Q&A, where he fields questions from students via Skype. x

Lecture Titles

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Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Ability to download 21 video lectures from your digital library
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 21 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

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Your professor

Ben Willmore

About Your Professor

Ben Willmore, Photoshop Expert
Ben Willmore is a member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame who has taught over 100,000 Adobe Photoshop® users on all seven continents. His best-selling books, DVDs, and hit seminars have established Mr. Willmore as one of America’s favorite Adobe Photoshop® instructors, and he is often the top-selling speaker at design and photography conferences throughout the world. He writes for numerous digital imaging publications,...
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Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 34.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful course This is the course if you want to learn photoshop. The instructor is very knowledgeable and thorough . It is a great value and you won’t be disappointed.
Date published: 2019-11-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Out of Focus The screen shots are all out of focus! This makes the course very annoying. I expect better from the Great Courses.
Date published: 2019-10-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disc would not play First two courses I bought were fine; started up no problem. Third one not so good; I had to fudge the playback tools to get it to work. Seems I ran out of fudge; nothing I did made this one play. Returned it and requested removal from future adverts.
Date published: 2019-09-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Adobe Photoshop CC I did not expect to use Bridge rather than Lightroom. Bridge is a new program for me which I do not need. I got no help in working with Lightroom to Photoshop. Also the program is too advanced for me (a beginner)
Date published: 2019-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good information, but lacking in other regards I have been working through this course for several sessions now. I am disappointed that there is no printed course guide (all my other Great Courses topics have had printed course guides). Also the instructor keeps talking about bonus videos and supplied files that do not seem to exist. The presenter is very knowledgeable and the information is well presented. But this presentation is basically a video of a Photoshop seminar. So, although I do recommend this course, it is a limited endorsement.
Date published: 2019-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bought for Grandson I bought this for my grandson, so I don't have much too say about it. However, he has already made several political posters with it, so I know he is enjoying it.
Date published: 2019-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great teacher This is an incredible class. The teacher is very clear when he speaks. He makes this material easy to learn and understand.
Date published: 2019-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide After completing that course (covering over 20 lectures with more than 20 hours of material, as well as bonus videos, practice images, useful scripts, and the usual course guide), I now understand the scope of Photoshop technologies and details about how, when, and why to use specific tools for specific ends on my images. The course is well-designed in terms of scope, depth, and practical insights. While not filmed in The Teaching Company studios or edited by their staff, the course material has technical quality equal to or better than customers of the Great Courses have come to expect. The course spends almost all of its time within Photoshop software so that students can see how tasks can be accomplished and become familiar with the software interface as various features are explained. The course is based on the latest version of Photoshop at the time of release. In fact, the version of Photoshop was updated during the course filming and the lectures started using the newest version immediately. This is important because Adobe (the company the makes Photoshop) has moved Photoshop to a yearly subscription model, where updates happen twice a year or more. The instructor, Ben Willmore, takes care to point out which features are available in the newer versions of Photoshop, and even details how certain features may work differently in previous versions of Photoshop. This is important because some users may have chosen to retain older (owned) versions of the software, versions prior to Adobe switching to a subscription model. The best characteristic of the course, by far, is the instructor, Ben Willmore. Mr. Willmore has used Photoshop for over 25 years. He is clearly an expert who can explain how, when, and why to apply most features of the software. Beyond that, Mr. Willmore is a wonderful instructor on a personal level. His style is collegial and his demeanor is that of a helpful colleague. Yet, despite his excellent presentation style, his level of expertise is deep and quite clear. This comes through not only in the formal course material, but in the bonus videos that cover some detailed, yet fundamental, topics and that answer questions that arose during the course. You see, the course was recorded interactively as it was presented live to a classroom of about a dozen students. During the last lecture, Mr. Willmore provides a bit of insight into how he thinks about images conceptually while applying Photoshop features to improve them. After becoming conversant with Photoshop during the course, this conceptual material is meaningful. Unfortunately, the time available to devote to such topics was very limited. At the end, I was left wanting a whole new course on conceptual thinking that can help apply Photoshop features to improve various images. Perhaps the Teaching Company and Mr. Willmore can develop such a course as a follow-on to Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide. I don’t know what motivated the Teaching Company to acquire this material for use by their customers, but I am very thankful that they did. I learned more about Photoshop in this 20-hour course than I had in 10 years of using the software in self-taught mode.
Date published: 2019-04-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from workbook not packaged with product The course looks good but the electronic workbook is not packaged with the product but must be downloaded. Unfortunately, I don't seem able to download anything (for my Mac) which resembles what is listed and have not been able to actually do the course!
Date published: 2019-04-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Obsolete old program I expected this to be absolutely up to date, has very little relevance to Photoshop 19 and his much extolled "Bridge" does not connect to version 19. I'm going to send it back, it has caused nothing but confusion on my system. How it works with older versions I have no idea and don't want to find out - complete waste of time & money
Date published: 2019-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Course Extensive course material presented in a professional and easy-to-understand manner.
Date published: 2019-04-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Where is the bonus content I bought this because all of my purchase from your company have been great. I have only done two lessons so far and find this one does not come up yo your usual standard. The lessons are not made specifically for the great courses but are a recording of a class he was doing . The instructor speaks of bonus material there is no bonus material. They have shots of his students all with varying programs on their screens very distracting. I do not know if I will finish this as I find it disappointing
Date published: 2019-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Way to Get Started in PS The lectures were very thorough and easy to follow (although many rewinds were required to let the concepts sink in), and the attached pdf is a great resource. Given the complexity of PS though, it's hard to say how much was omitted.
Date published: 2019-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great instructor with crystal clear presentation! I have had this course for only 2 weeks. My knowledge of PS is slightly higher than beginner. Completed the first 5 units and so pleased with everything. Ben obviously knows this product incredibly well and his demeanour and presentation is relaxing and crystal clear. Great course and a great job Ben!
Date published: 2019-04-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Exactly what it is! Not all that fun to watch. Quite scholarly for elderly me. I'm not a young studious person anymore. I'm 85, this course would have been great 50 years ago. Nothing wrong with it, though!
Date published: 2019-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A big help I do not have adobe cc. I do have photo shop elements, so there are sections of this course that do not apply to me. There are large sections of this course however that this course does apply to. Many of the terms that I was unfamiliar with are explained. While some of this is over my head I am discovering many good tricks that I can use with Photoshop Elements. The Professor takes great pains to make the subject matter understandable. The course is well organized and logically presented. I have been able to pull a lot of value from it.
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Course! One of the best instructors I've ever had. What an OUTSTANDING course. I've been using Photoshop for about 15 years, and I've taken a few self-help classes. This course brought everything together for me, and if you are a beginner or novice, this is a perfect course for you!
Date published: 2019-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The instructions are easy to understand and apply. The lessons are presented in a manner that are easy to understand and apply. I have learned a lot and have improved my ability to process my images successfully.
Date published: 2019-03-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good course but ... I'm a third of the way through this course and I'm definitely learning how to use Photoshop. I'm a complete novice, having tried it only once before which was very frustrating. The instructor is great, spending 95% of his time on the subject at hand with a few timely reminders of what we learned in previous lectures. My one complaint (and it's a big one) is that this course is based on the 2015 version of Photoshop! Yes, 2015 -- that's ancient history in tech terms. So far, I've been able to figure out the differences between 2015 and my 2019 version. But it has been frustrating. So if you're a total Photoshop novice, this will be helpful. If you're looking for instruction on Photoshop updates in the last 4 years, this isn't for you.
Date published: 2019-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW!!! This course is terrific, exactly what I needed. With all of the extras well worth the $.
Date published: 2019-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent as Usual This is the third Photography Course I've purchased from Great courses, and it is excellent as usual. The videos are well done, the lectures are paced well, and the presenters really are experts in their fields. I recommend this course and the others as well.
Date published: 2019-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good review. A good review of a subject that can be difficult to understand, however, the instructor makes it quite clear & in this format you can easily review if you don't remember it all the 1st time.
Date published: 2019-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very thorough. Great instructor. I needed an in-depth review of Photoshop and this course succeeded. There is so much more to learn but what great start.
Date published: 2019-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for Skills Development With all due respect to the first reviewer, this is ABSOLUTELY a valuable course. Adobe comes out with new versions all the time, and many, many people and whole businesses use version much older than this one. It is not even "old" per se. But much more important this is not a keystroke-based/how do I find X feature in the program course. The SKILLS taught in this course are universally applicable to Photoshop CC, Elements, and frankly completely different, non-Adobe programs. You take this course to understand better how to do the work of digital editing, how to be smarter, more effective, how to understand the various tools at your avail. Ben does this beautifully in this and his other courses. As someone directing a team of more than 30 working on a different version at a large multimedia production house, I can assure you that we are all benefiting from this course. You will, too.
Date published: 2019-03-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A big disappointment I was so excited to see Photoshop being offered on The Great Courses. However this newly released course appears to be three versions old already, and seams to be a release of some course developed years ago by another company. I think the instructor is good overall and well organized, however students will struggle with the obsolete information and resource links on the Internet that are no longer active.
Date published: 2019-03-09
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