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Phlearn’s Photoshop 201 Review, No Longer A Photoshop Virgin

By Lonnie Thurston on May 26th 2014

I must be a lucky man. When I reviewed the Photoshop 101 tutorial by Phlearn, I was hoping I would have an opportunity to review the Photoshop 201 tutorial as well. Photoshop 101 is a great introduction for a Photoshop virgin like myself, but now that I had picked up the basics, I wanted to learn more…

[REWIND: PHLEARN’S PHOTOSHOP 101, FROM THE EYES OF A PHOTOSHOP VIRGIN]

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Overview

The Phlearn Photoshop 201 tutorial is on Adobe Photoshop CC and is an extension of Phlearn‘s Photoshop 101. There are 185 minutes showing how to use features in Photoshop to edit an image. The tutorial is broken up in to six videos:
1. Intro
2. Retouching
3. Cutting Subject out
4. Creating a Background
5. Coloring
6. Finishing Touches

As a bonus, there is a 7th video that goes over the lighting diagram for the images that are used in the tutorial. This is a brief, yet fantastic video!

Intro

The majority of the preferences and settings were covered in Photoshop 101. This tutorial revisits preferences and covers things that were not covered in 101. Photoshop 201 talks about why specific settings were chosen. In this intro, the images are loaded and grouped together. The most important piece of information for me that was shared was not to select ‘delete cropped pixels.’ If you select ‘delete cropped pixels’ when cropping, you lose all information outside the cropped area and can’t get it back. It was a great tease and lead in to the tutorial.

Things I liked:
1. Choosing Color Pallet: ProPhoto RGB
2. Loading files into stack
3. Layers panel
4. Cropping: Do not select “Delete Cropped Pixels”

Retouching

I love what I would call special features. The liquify and puppet warp tools are selling features for me. You can do so much to clean up an image and make it look professional. You can play with an image to create something fun or edgy. I could watch this video many times and not get tired of it. Because of my lack of experience, I would have been satisfied if it had stopped here. It was that good for me.

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Things I liked:
1. Liquify Tool
2. Puppet Warp
3. Clone stamp Tool
4. Healing brush tool

[RELATED: Check out Photography 101 and Photography 201 by Phlearn]

 Cutting Subject Out

There is more than one way to cut a subject out. The tutorial covers the options and shows how to do it. It gives options on which way works best for the image that is edited.

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Creating a Background

You want to choose a background that creates a nice composition. I am happy with the techniques that were shown to figure out what type of background would work best with the image being edited. It was interesting to watch Aaron play and to hear his thought process. It was fun to see two separate images put together to create a background. You can take a landscape or structure you like and blend that with a sky you like to create something that works for your image.

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Things I liked:
1. Finding right composition
2. Blending layers
3. Using clipping masks
4. Curves adjustment layers

Coloring

Color, or lack of color, impacts an image tremendously. I am drawn to a good black and white photo, and I have fun playing with color. There are several tools in Photoshop that allow me to be as creative as I want to be with color. You can change color in a specific area of your image or you can change the coloring of the whole image at once.

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Things I liked:
1. Hue saturation adjustment layers
2. Levels adjustment layers
3. Gradient tool
4. Apply image tool

Finishing Touches

This was a really fun video. The image was turned into an ad. A border, words, and color blur were added. White highlights were added to the skin and there was talk about how to create a porcelain look. It was a good way to end the tutorial.

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Conclusion

This was a great tutorial and well worth the money. I don’t feel like I am going out on a limb by saying that this was worth much more than the cost. If I can improve my skills and the product I put out exponentially for a reasonable price, I’m going to jump at it. You get both the 101 and 201 tutorials, 408 minutes of instruction, for $35! That is well worth all the content you get in this series.

If you’re interested in purchasing, check it out Photoshop 101 and Photoshop 201 by Phlearn in our store.

Lonnie Thurston is a wedding, nature, and sports photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area.

5 Comments

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Great tutorials!

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  2. Basit Zargar

    great

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  3. Dan

    First of all great great tutorials!
    Second I dont know if it only appears to me like that but the pictures in the “Tutorial Progress” section are on a super bad quality that you actually even can see big color pixels in the image. I dont know if its supposed to be like that or if they only look for me like this. Just wanted to mention that.
    Keep up this insane work Phlearn!

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    • Penelope

      Ditto! I have a EIZO monitor and it shows the high saturation as well on
      the Tutorial Progress. Nonetheless, your tutorials are always helpful
      and energetic. Aaron and your team rock!

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  4. Hans

    Hi,

    I’m watching Phlearn tut’s for some time now and no other tut video is so amusing and learning as those of Phlearn!
    Aaron makes ik fun and easy understandable! Phlearn family on FB is also a group you should like! Many great things to see and people helping eachother is always good!

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