Photoshop Tricks for Beginners By Calvin Hollywood

1 hr 22 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

One of the things that make German photographer/digital artist Calvin Hollywood so unique is his approach to Photoshop – one that comes from hours upon hours spent exploring every facet of the program in order to develop a style that is instantly recognizable and completely his own. In Photoshop Tricks for Beginners, Calvin gives you a string of quick Photoshop tips that will instantly improve your own techniques in Photoshop CS5 and earlier versions. NOTE: Giving a class a skill level is always subjective. To some, this class may seem more advanced. We categorized this class for “beginners” because Calvin takes the time to explain the choices he makes, what tools he uses, and/or the functionality of certain features in order to give you a better understanding of how his effects are achieved and how you can utilize these tips in other situations. In addition, you’ll find some more advanced tricks and tips for achieving his effects. The result: a thorough arsenal of Photoshop tricks that has something for everyone! PC USERS: Calvin uses a Mac in this class, but you can easily integrate every shortcut he shows by substituting the “Ctrl” button for the “Command” button.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Calvin introduces himself and talks about what he will cover during the course
Calvin makes the iris pop with the exposure adjustment layer.
Add an ethereal glow to a portrait. Great for wedding photos or anytime you want to convey a soft, beautiful light.
Calvin shows you two different ways he uses a vignette to change light - something he uses in 99% of his signature work.
The purpose of this class is to learn quick masks but Calvin gives it a practical spin by showing you how to make teeth whiter too.
By using a selective color adjustment layer, you can add to or change the "mood" of a photo.
A basic technique that Calvin has discovered that most retouchers don't know or remember to use.
Use the blend mode to add color and brightness to hair.
Calvin shows you how to make certain commands easier to find in the command menus.
Use adjustment layers, blend modes, and the color sliders to change color and brightness without making difficult selections.
This trick is a great non-destructive alternative to using the Liquify tool to add dimension and keep the subject original.
Calvin shows you a few different tricks to make a photo pop more. Choose the one you like best.
Use a soft light blend mode to add contrast.
Calvin shows you a way to do more RAW conversions with one shot, along with a slightly more advanced technique.
Learn a neat trick to change a background and not have to deal with selecting around flyaway hair.
Same concept挞夆洛_ slightly different approach.
Another great compositing tip that works with a textured background.
Body contouring using the Pinch tool.
Colorize an adjustment layer for saturated and desaturated contrast
A "pastel" technique Calvin uses often in his fashion photos, hence the name
Using Free Transform, Calvin slightly changes the model's leg length. Use sparingly!
Some final bits of advice from Calvin. Thanks for watching!
Profile photo of Calvin Hollywood

Meet your instructor

Calvin Hollywood


Calvin Hollywood is a digital artist, photographer, Photoshop trainer and author from Germany. He's a photography based artist who focuses on getting the perfect shot with Photoshop. In addition, he also serves as an Adobe Promoter and writer for a number of magazines....

Calvin's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of pswizard007 pswizard007

    Amazing ! , I learned a lot.

  2. Profile photo of archiesg archiesg

    This is just what i have been looking for. I am a beginner to Photoshop and have been using Youtube, but most of the tutorials on there are to complex for a beginner. The Photoshop Tricks for Beginners is easy to follow and very well explained by Calvin. I will be watching this set over and over again. Great Job

  3. Profile photo of

    Vielen Dank Calvin! Your style is sick!!!

  4. Profile photo of Joan Erickson Joan Erickson

    I have been working in PS extensively for about 2 years and have watched many excellent training videos. Calvin, yours was one of the best! I like the way you start from the outcome you are looking for and then problem solve your way to a solution. You use PS in such a practical and intuitive way. I love the teeth whitening technique – simple and great result. (Love your accent, both of my parents were born in Germany.)

  5. Profile photo of sallyedworthy sallyedworthy

    An excellent course full of very useful tips and techniques. Calvin demonstrates and explains everything very well. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of bbarnes bbarnes

    This was a great course I really learned a lot of new things. I am a beginner with only two semesters completed in photography. I just want to say thank you for not forgetting about us newbies. Everyone starts at the same place its what we do along the way that determines our success. Your course helps with my success. I really enjoyed the instructor he is a good communicator/educator. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of lucienr lucienr

    Very good course. I have learned new tricks that I am planning to use. This course should not be called for beginners because these are more advanced techniques. Thanks ! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of jahwalee jahwalee

    I took several PS courses and this was one of my favorite! I can easily follow and apply the various techniques. Thank you very very much! It is an awesome course, Calvin. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in learning PS. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of EchEss EchEss

    Amazing tricks. I am amazed how much can be done in PS with such simple tweaking. The way of teaching is great and he approached big problems with simple solution. I would be coming back to this course again and again to refresh my knowledge. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of jimlawrie jimlawrie

    Fantastic outline of features in Photoshop for people new to the program. Terrific insight into customizing and the use of layers. Definitely will be listing this class for reference. Thank you!

  11. Profile photo of Julie Robinson Julie Robinson

    Excellent course. Loved the instructor’s style- so clear, so thorough, so friendly! Eager for more by him. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of Davey_Davey Davey_Davey

    Awesome, awesome, awesome, thank you for the techniques. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of davidbee davidbee

    I wasn’t sure I would like this course as it seemed like it would be a review. But was I wrong. He has some great tips and some quick ways to get very good results. And his English is far better than my German – I had not problems with that at all. Thanks for a good course. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of JohnHoffman JohnHoffman

    Calvin Hollywood is simply amazing! His techniques are simple and they must be as I can follow them, yet so powerful. He brings out the Oliver Twist in me, you know the line, don’t make me say it. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of batsgonemad batsgonemad

    Enjoyed watching this class all afternoon, while doing other things, but it’s at hand to watch over and over. Some great techniques and really simple once you know how it’s done. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of Lakelandsteve Lakelandsteve

    Excellent tutorial, really learned a lot. Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of gpauwen gpauwen

    Great course ! The only thing I am not getting right is the luminosity mask. I make the RGB selection, but when I get back to the layers and add the adjustment layers, everything in the entire photograph changes, not only the selection. It is like I am deselecting everything…does that make sense ? —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of

    Great beginner course. I had given up on cracking Photoshop until I viewed this course! Great job! Great instructor! I understood him perfectly! Now I can begin to use Photoshop! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of mazc00 mazc00

    Wow! Simple and easy techniques. Each lesson was short and sweet. My brain doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode. AND I feel like I learned a good range of skills that can be put to use immediately. I really enjoyed this course and Hollywood’s humor. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of

    Great class! I learned a lot of things that will save time. Will definitely watch courses taught by this teacher again. —- No, I’d keep it between us

  21. Profile photo of James Washer James Washer

    Calvin Hollywood is AWESOME! He goes at a perfect pace and explains everything in a very easy to understand and entertaining way. More courses from Calvin would be great. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of Vetsuburb Vetsuburb

    Mr. Hollywood, has a lecture style that draws me into his art. His easy manner and simple style makes the learning process fun along with stimulating. He often lectures in such a simple manner that I think I should of come up with his techniques on my own. Then out of the blue he performs a task that causes me to pause, rewind the tape over and over to re-establish my grip on the subject. Very sneaky intellectual person Mr. Hollywood. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of tprince tprince

    An excellent, excellent course. Why? Because you learn very cool techniques with just a few, simple keys. Calvin’s explanations are clear. I have watched a few Photoshop videos both at KT and simply on the internet. Calvin doesn’t rush through with this explanations, which makes comprehension greater.

  24. Profile photo of Rliessum Rliessum

    This is a excellent course! Really picked up a lot of useful techniques. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of Speller Speller

    I am not a beginner to photoshop, or so I thought. This was such a great video on easy to use photoshop edits that it has saved time and gave inspiration for new “ways” to approach my editing. Love to learn from others about photo-editing, but this gem is packed with ideas – thanks KH. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of JVatND JVatND

    This is an AMAZING course! It’s not for complete beginners, but for people who are starting to understand the basics of Photoshop. These little tricks are gret weapons in your arsenal and really make you feel like you’ve learned useful techniques. The instructor is also great, and I plan to look for other videos (andbooks) by him. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  27. Profile photo of randypollock randypollock

    That was like a cool glass of water…it hit the spot on what I needed. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  28. Profile photo of price237 price237

    Great course, I particularly enjoyed the segments on changing the background on the models with hair.

  29. Profile photo of Soumaya Schnur Soumaya Schnur

    so clear to understand and follow , thank you , learned a ton . want to see more please . —- Yes, please post my feedback

  30. Profile photo of KristaLynn KristaLynn

    Excellent info for beginners! Can’t wait to try many of these techniques! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  31. Profile photo of scozz scozz

    Thank You Kelby for choosing this great instructor. Hi Calvin You great. Ciao —- Yes, please post my feedback

  32. Profile photo of Anthony Scott Anthony Scott

    Beyond Incredible! You my friend are a “Beast!”

    Anthony Scott —- Yes, please post my feedback

  33. Profile photo of SaveryMader SaveryMader

    Loved it! Soo many ah ha the way i was doing it takes soo long and is soo painful. Very excited to try some of these techniques out :) —- Yes, please post my feedback

  34. Profile photo of chuckriley chuckriley

    Wunderbar —- Yes, please post my feedback

  35. Profile photo of 1144105 1144105

    I love, love, love Calvin Hollywood. His techniques are easy to follow and very powerful. Thanks for sharing. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  36. Profile photo of John John

    I really like how Calvin teaches and the quick easy way he comes up with ways to do things that would otherwise be very hard if not impossible to do.. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  37. Profile photo of adamtroup adamtroup

    Absolutely fantastic tips, one of the best videos on Kelby Training I have seen so far! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  38. Profile photo of Rophotographs Rophotographs

    This is a great course. I am a beginner and I found it really easy to understand. My only request would be for a course download that lists out the various steps described. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  39. Profile photo of

    This is a wonderful course! I am completely new to PS and this course makes it seem so much more managable. I have this course in my favorites and have watched it multiple times and each time I gain more knowledge. I look for this author! Great job! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  40. Profile photo of ad2012 ad2012

    Excellent. Loads of nuggets! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  41. Profile photo of pat1150 pat1150

    I enjoyed Calvin’s techniques very much. I learned alot from him.
    Thanks Calvin.

    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  42. Profile photo of benjio21 benjio21

    Excellent course, I learnt alot in a short time and the techniques used are so simple but so effective

    Many thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  43. Profile photo of diver22below diver22below

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I REALLY, REALLY learned a lot from this one. I am just trying out kelbytraining and a newbie at PS5 but after seeing this tutorial, you have convinced me that paying for every single cent is going to be worth it because they have instructors like you who are doing a great job at teaching people learn these techniques in a simple and straight forward manner. I am a bird photographer and hope that one day you will come up with a tutorial on how to make those feather details pop out more (provided of course that the photo is already sharp when it was taken). I have watched quite a few tutorials already and it is your way of teaching that has made this process a fun one. Thank you again so much and more power :-) —- No, I’d keep it between us

  44. Profile photo of 1144441 1144441

    So many good tips! Not just for beginners but also as a reminder to those of us who think we know it all. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  45. Profile photo of Jose Parcerisa Vilatarsana Jose Parcerisa Vilatarsana

    Calvin I have studied all your courses and I can say extraordinary, very dynamic very well explained and practical. Thank you very much to help me to improve my skills. Your friend Jos Parcerisa V. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  46. Profile photo of schetul schetul

    I was hesitant to view this course at first because of the title “Photoshop Tricks for Beginners”. I considered myself to be more than a beginner. However, I found the information to be extremely helpful to me with the type of post processing I do. I thought the material was presented in a very user friendly and professional way. I would certainly welcome (and view) more courses from Calvin. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  47. Profile photo of mrash mrash

    Thanks Calvin. I learned a lot. Your English is very good (I’m 1/2 German myself). Your course is very informative and I added several of the segments to my “favorite” list. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  48. Profile photo of ltdavecass ltdavecass

    Thank you so much for this course! Calvin’s explanations are thorough and easy to understand. His demonstrations show not only how to perform the techniques, but also lead to an understanding of why they work.

    I really liked the way the course was organized — simply jumping from one tip to the next without feeling the need to segue between them or stick to any particular theme. This led to a variety of topics that point the beginner to many new places to explore in the software. I would love to see additional beginner courses that follow this same format.

    Calvin mentions in his introduction to this course that he hopes his English isn’t a problem. It is not. He has an excellent command of the English language, and communicates very effectively. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  49. Profile photo of JayT JayT

    A wonderful introduction to some basic Photoshop techniques. Each lesson was short, to the point, and very easy to follow. I was able to use the lessons right away, and my images look so much better! Thank you! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  50. Profile photo of Nancy Cuppy Nancy Cuppy

    I like Calvin and his style of teaching, he reminds me of Adam Sandler.
    The thing I don’t like is no matter if I turn hardware acceleration off I still end up in buffer H…LL. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  51. Profile photo of PhotoShopByMark PhotoShopByMark

    Excellent – lots of great tips. Enjoyable

  52. Profile photo of W James Hunter W James Hunter

    Without a doubt some of the best training I have seen. Thank you… PLEASE HAVE HIM DO MORE AND MORE TRAINING…

  53. Profile photo of jrowske jrowske

    Great course! I learned a lot tonight and I can’t wait to go through this again as I try it for myself.

    Your English is fine as well!

  54. Profile photo of rhartbrich rhartbrich

    Danke fr diese Anleitungen. Als Einsteiger in die Bearbeitung mit CS5, ist dieser Kurs genau das, was mir die Arbeit erleichtert und einen guten Start ermglicht.

    Thanks for this course. That’s exactly what i needed for beginning to work with photoshop.

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