Most of us could really use some help with our computer skills, right? I’ve been wanting to take a refresher course on the basics of PhotoShop, so I began searching the net to see what I could find. Several people recommended taking a course at the local university, but I didn’t relish the snail’s pace of two hours per week over a nine-month course and it was very expensive.
There are lots of DVD-based training tools out there. These are definitely an advantage if you plan to use them multiple times or even share them with a friend, but they are pricey and you cannot always be confident of the quality until they arrive in your mailbox.
Here was my list of requirements:
- I wanted to “test drive” the training course before making a financial commitment.
- The course needed to be inexpensive.
- I wanted to start from scratch, as if I had never seen or used PhotoShop.
- I was looking for training on various versions of PhotoShop, since I owned PhotoShop CS (quite old) but was considering an upgrade to CS2 or even the latest version, CS3.
- The training had to be “on demand” and video-based, which meant either an online course or a DVD version. I had no interest in a written curriculum, because of the visual nature of digital photography and PhotoShop image manipulation.
- Once I learned the basics, I really wanted something that would allow me to jump from one topic to the other, so I could go straight to those things that interested me most. PhotoShop has so many features that I will never use and didn’t want to bother learning.
- If I liked the course, did the curriculum provider offer other courses that I might be interested in?
After searching the net for several days, I found a site that offered complete access to over 22,000 Quicktime video tutorials on 324 different topics. Lynda.com has eight different courses on PhotoShop alone: 56.5 hours on PhotoShop CS, nearly 103 hours for CS2, and almost 76 hours of CS3 training. The lessons were conveniently broken down into manageable, bite-sized pieces, ranging from 2 minutes to 15 minutes each. And if I learned everything about PhotoShop, there were courses on website design, learning to blog, mastering really technical stuff like CSS or HTML or Flash programming, and an unbelievable list of software-specific courses like DreamWeaver, Microsoft Office, Cold Fusion, Final Cut, and FileMaker Pro.
Here’s the unbelievable part: unlimited access to the entire online learning library is only $25.00 per month or $250.00 per year. There is a premium subscription for $375 if you want to download exercise files for the applications that use them. I couldn’t believe it! By the way, I am not part of any sort of affiliate program where I earn money if you click on a link to this amazing website: I don’t get anything for recommending it to you other than the satisfaction of pointing my friends toward a really cool resource. I signed up for the monthly plan, since I am hoping to get most of my training accomplished in a month, maybe two months at the most.
By the way, you can preview every course. For example, the PhotoShop CS Essential Training course offers nearly an hour’s previewâ€”the first nine lessonsâ€”of the 10.25 hours total training, so you can see what you’re getting before you subscribe to the site. I think that’s really great and it shows the tremendous confidence in their training products. I really hope you can get some use out of this tip!