Change Background Colour (starting with a white background)
The Photoshop Training Channel is one of my most often visited Photoshop resources online. Jesus Ramirez is a motivated and enthusiastic teacher with excellent information. Beginners just know that many of his tutorials are more advanced but he always explains clearly and if you break down the steps, they’ll make sense.
This lesson is pretty straightforward - taking advantage of Select Subject, Quick Mask Mode and layer masks. He also refers to another of his tuts where he creates a white background, using Select and Mask, linked here.
Select and Mask
The Select and Mask feature which replaced Refine Edge has had a few changes in the latest Photoshop CC 2017 update, but this tutorial by f64 Academy is very well explained and is an excellent resource. Achieving perfect masking is an evolving skill, and one that must be practised! Don't give up early on this, time invested is well worth the effort because it will save you loads of time in the future.
When someone says 'that's been photoshopped' it is very often looking at the flawless skin of glamour shots in editorials and advertising. Previously only in the realms of professional retouchers, now there are technicians and artists who very generously share their knowledge online for all of us to learn. PHLEARN, once again, presents an excellent tutorial. This technique is definitely worth researching a bit further as well - look at a few different online tutorials and take notes with each of them. I personally found it helpful to hear the steps explained in different ways. If you find tutorials online that you think are great please share them on the LLC Facebook page or tag us in a tweet, and I'll share the info here!
Photoshop CC November 2015 Update
If you have just updated Photoshop CC to the latest November 2015 version you may have trouble finding your way around the Start Workspace, and a few other major differences. These next few videos are by Julieanne Kost from Adobe and are a good resource to navigate the new Photoshop landscape and functionality.
I have also diarised my own experience of some of these changes here on my blog.
Photoshop CC November 2015 Update - The Start and Recent Files Workspace and Customisable Toolbar
Photoshop CC November 2015 Update - Working with Artboards
Photoshop CC November 2015 Update - New Quick Export and Export As Feature Enhancements
Photoshop CC November 2015 Update - New Typographic Features
Correcting redness in skin
Phlearn Photoshop & Photography Tutorials have a heap of videos online - many of them are free to access, including this one which is a great way to address redness or blotches on the skin. In this tutorial a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer is used to pinpoint the redness and correct it to a natural skin tone. The PHLEARN website has links to their bountiful YouTube channel and other social media platforms.
Layer Masks - Don't Erase! Mask Instead.
Layer masks - just do it! They are one of the biggest gifts of the Photoshop workflow. Howard Pinsky's tutorial is concise but gets the message across. I'll be posting a few videos on this particular subject because it is a simple concept that has so many applications. Howard is another prolific tutorial poster on YouTube. His website is IceflowStudios.com
Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
Julieanne Kost is a Principal Digital Imaging Evangelist for Adobe Systems, which roughly translates to "knows a LOT about Photoshop and Lightroom". This tutorial is from the Lynda.com library but if you google Julieanne you'll find her demonstration videos in a number of places. In this video, see how to use the Refine Edge command, along with the Quick Selection tool, to select objects with soft edges. Refine Edge is fantastic when it works effectively with just a few tweaks, but it can get frustrating at times so be patient. Often it helps to use Refine Edge in conjunction with other Layer Mask techniques to achieve the perfect selection. To see more about Julieanne her website is here.
Quick Selection Tool VS Magic Wand Tool
Another tutorial from Howard Pinsky - a great look at two selection tools - the Magic Wand Tool and the Quick Selection Tool. There are a few key differences that can help you out in your projects!
Julieanne Kost demonstrating Camera Raw from the CS6 release in 2012, so there are references to earlier versions and how it has changed. Just skip to 1min 58 seconds on the video to where she starts explaining what the sliders and settings mean.
Camera Raw Filter
Howard Pinsky's video on the Camera Raw filter in Photoshop CC uses techniques that can also be applied when using Camera Raw straight from Bridge.