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Photoshop CS4 One-On-One: Fundamentals is the perfect training program anyone who wants to perfect their Photoshop skills.

Video Training Review: Photoshop CS4 One-On-One: The Fundamentals with Deke McClelland from

Deke McClelland is famous for his Adobe Photoshop CS4 One-On-One book series and the unique manner in which he trains you. The Photoshop CS4 One-On-One training videos from continue his personable method of training, only in much more depth.

Photoshop CS4 One-On-One: The Fundamentals contains 14:24 (hrs:min) of video training that is contained in 12 lessons showing you all of the essentials of Adobe Photoshop CS4 as taught by the award winning author and Photoshop hall-of-famer. Exercise files accompany the tutorials on the DVD as well as with the premium subscription which will give you all you need to learn the fundamentals of Photoshop.

Lesson 1, "What Photoshop Can Do," begins by taking a tour around the new Photoshop CS4 interface as well as examining what you can do with Photoshop. You will learn about combining images, adjusting colors, cloning, adding layers, cropping, sharpening and adding text to an image. This lesson gets you familiar with how to use Photoshop and some of the basic techniques that are used regularly.

Lesson 2, "Open and Organize," introduces you to Adobe Bridge, the file management tool that comes with Photoshop. Here you will take a whirlwind tour of Bridge, see how to open images, add file information, filter the thumbnails, batch rename, group images into stacks, organize your images into a slideshow, and customize your workspace.

Lesson 3, "Setting Up 'Shop'," examines how to set up Photoshop so it works best for you. There are many preferences available to you and here the instructor will look at the ones that allow you to work at maximum efficiency and minimal frustration. Here you will lock down some important color settings, keyboard shortcuts, and other interface preferences. You will also see how to organize you palettes and save your workspace as well.

Lesson 4, "Navigation," will show you the most efficient way to move around in Photoshop. While this topic may seem mundane, it does contain some of the most exciting new features in CS4. Between all of the panels, windows, and tabbed interface items, there is a lot to work with. Here you will see how best to arrange, zoom, scroll, and rotate your images.

Lesson 5, "Basic Color Correction," gets you into real Photoshop work. Up till now you have been learning how to get around in Photoshop and become efficent; now you will learn how to use it. This lesson is all about color correction and manipulation. You will learn things like how to make drab colors look better, working with adjustment layers, working with the histogram, how to use the Color Balance feature, how to use the Variations command, and how to refine your color range.

Lesson 6, "Image Size and Resolution," is all about pixels. You will gain an understanding about image size as well as of print size. You will work with the image size command, interpolation as well as the best way to downsize an image and better ways to make an image larger.

Lesson 7, "Cropping and Straightening," works at framing your image to get it into the proper layout. That is, framing it wide so as to give you enough room to work the image in post processing. You will also learn of perspective cropping to make angled shots look straight, how to straighten an image with the ruler tool, and even how to crop without cropping.

Lesson 8, "Making Selections," will show you one of the more important techniques in Photoshop, especially if you want to do photomontage work. That is, the use of selections to cut something out of a picture. Here you will learn to use the Magic Wand tool, Quick Selection tool, Marquee tool, Move tool and Lasso tool to make your selections. You will also learn how to use Refine Edge to preview a selection.

Lesson 9, "Painting, Retouch, and Heal," examines techniques for cleaning up an image. Here you will learn how to remove red-eye, clean teeth, remove plaque, heal blemishes, and patch spots. Now you will turn your attention to the brush tools. You will use the Color Replacement tool, Dodge tool, Sponge tool, Patch tool, Healing brush as well as the Clone Source to make your images picture perfect.

Lesson 10, "Layer Essentials," now looks at what layers are, how they work, and how they benefit you. You will see how to move a layer, change the stacking order, and combine layers into a clipping mask.

Lesson 11, "Printing, PDFs and Web Galleries," examines the different ways to produce output from Photoshop. Beginning with printing from Adobe Bridge, you will then learn about color matching, how to gauge print size, outputting PDF contact sheets, as well as producing a Flash-based Web gallery.

Lesson 12, "Saving Images for the Web," finishes up with working with Web graphics. Here you will look at the color space of the World Wide Web, how to save a JPEG, how to copyright, Matte and Blur as well as how to downsample graphic art, and the difference between GIFs vs PNGs.

It is obvious that McClelland has been doing this for a while and is very comfortable with teaching Photoshop. His style is entertaining, natural, and never hurried. He takes you from one point to another keeping attuned to the task at hand, but never, never falling into staleness. He constantly shows you tips and tricks that make you use of Photoshop an easier and more enjoyable experience.
You can get Photoshop CS4 One-On-One: The Fundamentals two ways. One is as part of the DVD training package Photoshop CS4 One-On-One with Deke McClelland and the other is part of the online training experience at

The online training Photoshop CS4 One-On-One: Fundamentals comes in three flavors.  Monthly at $25 USD/month gets you all of the videos that are available online (approximately 39,301 videos on 624 topics at this time). Annually Basic at $250 USD per year or Premium at $375 USD per year gets all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or Basic annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

I can highly recommend Photoshop CS4 One-On-One: Fundamentals as the perfect training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It would be of tremendous benefit to the professional looking to upgrade their skills. You can also try out the first lesson and more for free at

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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