How to Learn Adobe Photoshop for Free in Three YouTube Channels or Less

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I get asked every week how to learn Photoshop. Forget paying Lynda or some other online subscription. If you want to be a Photoshop ninja, watch 1 tutorial from one of these three outstanding channels each day.

Blue Lighting TV / Marty Geller

If you’re lost in the barrage of buttons and features in Photoshop and have no idea where to begin, start with BlueLightning TV.

Marty goes step-by-step. Every. Single. Step. You never lose track of where he’s at (and if you do, hit pause.)

It’s almost painfully slow, but it was exactly what I needed starting off.

Pros

  • Best channel for those frustrated with Photoshop
  • Marty explains every click and keyboard shortcut
  • Professional designs for flyers, posters, logos, etc.
  • Good support in the comments
  • New videos every week

Cons

  • Tends to use bitmap over vector
  • Slowness in explanation may frustrate those already with a basic knowledge of Photoshop
  • Doesn’t always explain why he’s doing something

IceFlow Studios / Howard Pinsky

IceFlow Studios

What I love about Howard is that he’s not a Photoshop guy; he’s a teacher who knows Photoshop. As such, he excels at explaining why he’s doing something, not just what he’s doing.

This is exactly the opposite of Blue Lighting TV. Marty will say, “Set the opacity to 50% and the blend mode to Overlay.” Howard will say, “To quickly show the logo over the image, use the Overlay blend mode and then adjust the opacity as needed, maybe 50% or so.” Both Marty and Howard are great at their respective teaching styles.

Howard’s Photoshop: Basics playlist is great for beginners, while power users will like his Minute Photoshop Tips.

Pros

  • Excellent explanations
  • Great for beginners and intermediate users
  • One of the few YouTube channels to have detailed videos on Text effects
  • Lots of tutorials on both the bitmap and vector powers of Photoshop

Cons

  • Doesn’t always post frequently (which is not a big deal; it’s free after all)

Phlearn / Aaron Nace

phlearn

Aaron is a straight-up Photoshop boss. He knows the app inside-and-out, and his genuine smile and heart of a teacher make learning a breeze.

He covers a wide variety of Photoshop features, but his strength lies in photography. If you couldn’t care less about 3D text effects and just need to edit photos for your expanding photography business, start with Phlearn.

Pros

  • Photography/bitmap emphasis
  • Fun to watch
  • Easy-to-learn technical explanations (like how to use the histogram)
  • New videos every week

Cons

  • Tutorials are a long, usually 10-15+ mins
  • Few tutorials cover the vector features of Photoshop

My favorite?

If I had one channel to learn Photoshop, I’d pick IceFlow Studios narrowly over Plearn. I love how Howard explains the interface and features.

But now that I’ve been using Photoshop for 4+ years, Plearn is my channel-of-choice to learn something new.

Sound off

Did I miss one? Let me know in the comments.