Photoshop Tricks for Beginners, with Calvin Hollywood

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.

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.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 01:23)

Calvin introduces himself and talks about what he will cover during the course

Lesson 2: Brightening Eyes (Duration 06:15)

Calvin makes the iris pop with the exposure adjustment layer.

Lesson 3: Add a Glow to an Image (Duration 06:26)

Add an ethereal glow to a portrait. Great for wedding photos or anytime you want to convey a soft, beautiful light.

Lesson 4: Change the Light with a Vignette (Duration 04:11)

Calvin shows you two different ways he uses a vignette to change light - something he uses in 99% of his signature work.

Lesson 5: Learn Quick Mask and Brighten Teeth (Duration 04:28)

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.

Lesson 6: Create a Color Cast (Duration 05:11)

By using a selective color adjustment layer, you can add to or change the "mood" of a photo.

Lesson 7: Luminosity Mask (Duration 03:39)

A basic technique that Calvin has discovered that most retouchers don't know or remember to use.

Lesson 8: Painting with Color and Brightness (Duration 03:52)

Use the blend mode to add color and brightness to hair.

Lesson 9: Highlight Commands (Duration 04:29)

Calvin shows you how to make certain commands easier to find in the command menus.

Lesson 10: Changing Color and Brightness (Duration 03:15)

Use adjustment layers, blend modes, and the color sliders to change color and brightness without making difficult selections.

Lesson 11: Add Dimension Without Liquify (Duration 03:53)

This trick is a great non-destructive alternative to using the Liquify tool to add dimension and keep the subject original.

Lesson 12: Contrast and Saturation (Duration 04:22)

Calvin shows you a few different tricks to make a photo pop more. Choose the one you like best.

Lesson 13: Painting with Color and Contrast (Duration 05:16)

Use a soft light blend mode to add contrast.

Lesson 14: Double RAW Conversion (Duration 04:31)

Calvin shows you a way to do more RAW conversions with one shot, along with a slightly more advanced technique.

Lesson 15: Light Background, Dark Hair (Duration 02:44)

Learn a neat trick to change a background and not have to deal with selecting around flyaway hair.

Lesson 16: Dark Background, Light Hair (Duration 02:08)

Same concept… slightly different approach.

Lesson 17: Dark Background, Dark Hair (Duration 03:04)

Another great compositing tip that works with a textured background.

Lesson 18: Body Shaping (Duration 03:36)

Body contouring using the Pinch tool.

Lesson 19: Contrast and Colorize (Duration 02:52)

Colorize an adjustment layer for saturated and desaturated contrast

Lesson 20: Fashion Look (Duration 03:16)

A "pastel" technique Calvin uses often in his fashion photos, hence the name

Lesson 21: Elongating Legs (Duration 02:29)

Using Free Transform, Calvin slightly changes the model's leg length. Use sparingly!

Lesson 22: Conclusion (Duration 00:54)

Some final bits of advice from Calvin. Thanks for watching!

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…

49 Comments

  1. Danke für diese Anleitungen. Als Einsteiger in die Bearbeitung mit CS5, ist dieser Kurs genau das, was mir die Arbeit erleichtert und einen guten Start ermöglicht. Thanks for this course. That's exactly what i needed for beginning to work with photoshop.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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..

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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 ?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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 !

  24. 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 newbie’s. Everyone starts at the same place it’s 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.

  25. 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.)

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