Pure Photoshop: A clean workflow for beginners

with Lisa Harrison

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august 8, 2016
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september 26, 2016
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Full Participation sold out.
Study Along seats available!

This Photoshop course is a 4 week workshop for the photographer who is ready to develop a consistent clean workflow, using Photoshop, ACR & Bridge. No prior experience in Photoshop is necessary. I will give you a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental tools. We will cover color management, white balance, histograms, exposure, identifying color casts, correcting skintones, basic retouching, cropping, resizing, sharpening and more. No actions here. You will be in control every step of the way. Each week builds upon the next and consists of a PDF and multiple videos. (Are you an alum of Lisa’s old course, Photoshop Fundamentals? If so please contact us before signing up to find out more about overlap between the old course and the new course.)

“Oh. My. GOSH!! I am SO thankful that I signed up for this Workshop! My only regret is that I didn’t sign up for it sooner. ”

4 Weeks


daily practice encouraged


4 hours of work per week


this course has prerequisites


We all know a strong foundation is the best place to start. You will get the most out of this course if you’re working with technically sound images. Not quite there yet? That’s okay. I supply a folder full of images that workshop participants can pull from throughout the course.

My videos and PDF’s were created using the Creative Cloud. You will need to install Photoshop CC and Bridge CC to follow along seamlessly. We will not cover Lightroom at all. This is strictly a Photoshop workshop. However, what you learn in ACR can be applied to Lightroom.

You should have a calibrated monitor.



Lisa Harrison lives in Vermont with her husband, 2 children and black lab. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, skiing and boating. Lisa loves natural light and clean processing. She is mainly capturing images of family and friends these days. Lisa is also the Intro to Natural Light instructor. Her portfolio is available here.

The following photographers also participate in discussions and provide assignment critiques as teaching assistants: Jodi Arego, Kristen Ryan and Jessica Nelson.



• Pre Assignment: 1 PDF, 4 Videos
• Week 1: 2 PDFs, 6 Videos
• Week 2: 2 PDFs, 15 Videos
• Week 3: 1 PDF, 13 Videos
• Week 4: 1 PDF, 6 videos
• Basic workflow action set with instructional video.
• Instructor-Led Online Q&A for Each Lesson
• Personal Written Critique of Weekly Assignments by Instructor & TAs

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students receive instructor and TA critiques of the posted assignment each week and have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.

Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.

Welcome & Preassignment

Week One: Basic Photoshop Tools

Reading: Color Space (In-Camera, ACR, Bridge & Photoshop), ACR Basics, Intro to Layers, Intro to Selections, Intro to Masking
Assignment: Creating a layered document (placing images, layers, selections, masking and brush opacity).

Week Two: Working With Light

Reading: Histograms, Levels, Curves, Blend Modes and light, Blend Modes and Contrast, Highlight & Shadow Recovery, Dodge & Burn, Selective Brightening & Darkening, Vignettes

Assignment: Building upon week 1 and using adjustment layers and other tools to correct exposure and add depth and dimension to our images. We will use layer masks to selectively apply adjustments.

Week Three: Beautiful Color

Reading: White Balance, Color Balance, Skintones, HSL Panel, Saturation and Vibrance, Blend Modes and color

Assignment: Building upon weeks 1 & 2. We will correct skintones and selectively deal with other color issues. As well as enhance the color in our images.

Week Four: Retouch and Prepare for Print and Web

Reading: Crop & Straighten, Cloning & Patching Basics, Skin Smoothing, Preparing for Print, Preparing for Web, Sharpening
Assignment: This week we will put it all together. We will put the finishing touches on our images and prepare them for their final destination.

The CMU workshop is a 100% online classroom experience. Once you sign up, you have access to a course forum that is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.

Each week students receive a set of course materials– these materials generally include a PDF and/or videos. Throughout the week, instructors and TAs are present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement. Students receive an assignment each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and class discussion throughout the week.

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive instructor and TA critiques each week. They also have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.

Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.

Whether you are a Full Participation student or a Study Along student, the course materials are yours to keep.


  • Kimberlie Pekez says:

    AMAZING WORKSHOP! I am so glad I took this workshop. I have learned so much about photoshop and my images look 100% better because of it. Lisa is a very patient teacher. She is so dedicated to giving you the best experience. She was always there to answer any question I had about photoshop and went above and beyond any expectations I had. This is a must take class!!!!!

  • Kathleen says:

    Oh. My. GOSH!! I am SO thankful that I signed up for this Workshop! My only regret is that I didn’t sign up for it sooner. I have been absolutely terrified of Photoshop for years and this course if exactly what I needed. I was fortunate enough to take the course as a full participant, and I am very, very happy with what I have learned. It was so much information in a short period of time, but Lisa was always there to help us through it and her careful and thorough critiques were key to my understanding the material. This course is the gift that will keep on giving because I know that I will be referring back to the course materials often as I continue to learn and experiment. Thank you Lisa, and thank you CM for offering such an amazing course. I am no longer a Photoshop-o-phobe!! :)

  • Kora says:

    What an informative class!! I almost took this class as a SA, but I changed it at the last minute – and I’m REALLY glad I did! Lisa’s CC and quick response to questions really helped me through this. I started with absolutely NO editing knowledge (as in, I had NEVER edited a photo before) and went to speaking the PS language. :) I still have lots of practicing to do, but I am armed with the information and techniques to do it. Lisa’s lessons and videos were very clear and informative. I feel like I learned more in this 4 week course than I would have taking this class for an entire semester. It’s definitely intense and loaded with lots of information, but it is presented in a clear and logical way. Lisa’s skills are amazing – and so is her patience and dedication. Great course!

  • Celia Sloan says:

    This course has changed my editing dramatically! Lisa teaches PS is such an organized manner. PS can feel scary, but Lisa’s materials were so clear and concise that I felt a sense of calm and excitement about learning PS. I learned how to navigate in PS, make adjustments and properly edit exposure and skin tones. I formerly edited only in LR, but will now use PS as part of my editing work flow. I highly recommend this course if you want to have a good understanding of clean edits. Lisa is so knowledgeable and helpful–you will enjoy her instruction!

  • natalie james says:

    This was a really intelligent intense class. I have tried many other ways to learn photoshop but this has been the best way by far.Fantastic to have Lisa available to answer all questions. Well worth the money.

  • CJ Olson says:

    I took this class as a birthday present from my husband. There is a lot of information to take in but Lisa and the assistants give great critiques on how to improve. Lisa also has wonderful notes and assignments that help you learn the basics in photoshop. Thank you so much for this class.

  • Dawn McCormick says:

    Another great and informative CM Workshop. Lisa is a great teacher with concise and informative PDFs and follow along videos. She offers great feedback and suggestions. I have been using PS for a while but always felt I was just fishing around- after taking the course I feel more on solid ground.

  • Jenn says:

    I wish I had taken this course much earlier! I have learned SOOOOOO much and I am taking it as a study along. Although Lisa hasn’t critiqued any of my work, I can see what she has done with everyone else’s work and WOW! She really spends a lot of time on everyone’s assignment and goes above and beyond. I HIGHLY recommend this course – and if I could go back in time, I would have taken it as full participation to receive all of Lisa’s awesome feedback!

  • Vivian Tyson says:

    I loved this class! Lisa is amazing. I had purchased the Scott Kelby PS book, but lost interest because I was struggling with putting all the pieces together. The PDF’s and videos are wonderful. They are very easy to understand. I wish I had taken this course sooner! Thank you Lisa, you are awesome.

  • This was a fantastic and thorough course. I did SA and I’m glad I did! I was pretty close to brand new to PS (had played with it for a few months and could do some basic stuff, having been using Lr for two years helped with that I think) and I loved that it started from basic basic and took off from there! Lisa is a phenomenal teacher and went above and beyond in class as people asked questions. She often made individual videos for people (that as a SA I was able to still watch, download and learn from). It was great value for the money and I’m so glad that I saved everything. I have found myself referring back to the videos lots to help cement certain concepts and tools. It was a great class and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn PS.

  • Kristen R says:

    This was my first class I took at CM in January of 2012. Lisa is an amazing instructor and not only taught me Photoshop but what I learned to look for in my images SOOC and in Post processing was amazing. She makes things simple and goes above and beyond to make sure each student understands everything. She is patient and encouraging and celebrates your every success while pushing you to do your best work. I cannot say enough about Lisa and her classes! Just take this class and you will be so hooked you’ll go right on to PS 201 like I did!

  • Mara Vaughan says:

    I am so glad I chose PS101 for my first CM workshop! Before I took this class, I was too afraid to open Photoshop on my computer. Lisa did an amazing job of teaching the material so that it was not intimidating at all. She is very encouraging and answered my many questions promptly, making sure I understood all of the concepts. She gave us lots of great tips that I know I would never have learned on my own. The week on skin tones especially was fabulous! Now I feel totally confident editing a photo from start to finish, and I never thought I would be able to say that. Thank you Lisa!

  • I am wrapping up my last week in PS101 and it was awesome. It was filled with a priceless amount of well-laid out, clear instruction including pdfs and videos. Lisa and the mentors really take to the time to give you detailed feedback to get you where you need to go. Lisa really goes above and beyond. She is responsive and very eager to ensure that you understand the content. Can’t recommend it enough! Thanks Lisa!

  • Colie J says:

    I cannot put into words how helpful this workshop was to me, even as a study-along. I had CS3 and never bothered to learn how to effectively use it. When I purchased CS5 in Feb I knew I needed some help in learning the ins and outs of the program because my photography desperately needed some quality editing. Most of the weekly material is covered in both video and print (PDF). Thanks to Lisa I will never again mistake an underexposed and off-color photo for a quality photo again :)

  • Jennifer Capozzola says:

    Just finished PS 101! It was a great class that took me from zero knowledge of CS5 to tons of knowledge. I can correct WB now along with skin tones. Lisa did a fantastic job with her course materials, both written and video downloads. I highly recommend this class.

  • Helen Rattray says:

    I’m so glad I signed up for this course. I had no knowledge of how to use Photoshop 4 weeks ago. The way Lisa has structured this course makes it so easy to follow. I loved the video tutorials each week and the feedback that Lisa gives is constructive and very supportive. I’m really looking forward to building on the knowledge I’ve gained over the past 4 weeks when I take my next course in a month’s time! Thanks so much Lisa!!!

  • Adele says:

    I loved this course. It’s been my first CMs course and i have learned so so much throughout. Lisa was so informative and helpful and it’s been a real pleasure. The amount of information is amazing – i feel like the last 4 weeks have flown by and i am so glad i have all the videos and downloads to look through again (and again). I now feel far more confident in my processing skills and hope to continue learning with more CM courses. Thanks so much Lisa!!

  • Krissy says:

    PS101 was amazing! I had no idea what I was doing in PS before I started this class but now understand how to correct skin tones, white balance issues, sharpening, and so much more. Lisa was so patient and the videos she provided for specific questions were wonderful and so helpful. The difference I see in my pics now and before the start of the class is amazing. I cannot recommend this class enough!!!

  • Amanda says:

    PS101 was my first CM workshop and after such a wonderful experience it certainly won’t be my last :)
    I thought I was quite well re-hearsed within photoshop and had a good handle on the basics, curiosity to see what the fuss was all about with these workshops got the better of me so I jumped in as a study along. I really should have done this sooner!
    Being self taught up to this point, I now realise I have only scratched the surface even at basic level, there is so much more to it than you think, you just need a good teacher to show you how it’s really done!! :)
    The amount of information received on this workshop is astounding. I feel all warm and fuzzy at how much I have learn’t, I can’t recommend this class enough :)

  • This is really a wonderful course to take, whether you are just starting out using Photoshop or have been for a little while!! I pondered whether to take this or 201, but I am sooooo glad I started with 101 first! It really filled in some gaps for me, as I was all just self taught, but quickly realized that I had missed a lot of fundamentals that are crucial for beautiful, clean editing! Lisa is really a phenomenal teacher and really puts forth 110% for each student to make sure everyone leaves the class understanding all lessons covered!

    Thank you Lisa for being such a great teacher!!

  • Paula says:

    Highly, highly recommend this course. Lisa is amazing. She’s right there with you every step of the way. Not only does she do a terrific job of demystifying PS with her teaching style, but her encouragement every week and personal feedback helps you stick with it. The time she spends with each student makes this course feel like its a 1:1 mentoring session. Wish I had taken this when I first got started. It’s the perfect first course for everyone!

  • Annie says:

    This is a fabulous course for anyone who is just starting out with CS5, pondering getting CS5, or just plain terrified of CS5. Lisa is a master of her craft, a true professional, and she teaches her course not only with a superb level of skill and organization, but a lot of heart too. Lisa cares about you and she wants you to succeed in her workshops and she is willing to go the extra mile to make sure you understand. Something that is hard to find these days, especially online! You will learn a ton in this course AND you will have fun doing it. If you are thinking of learning CS5, do not pass go, do not collect $200….go straight into this course and don’t look back. You will not regret one second of it!!!

  • Meredith says:

    What a FANTASTIC class! Before PS101, I understood how to use some of the basic tools in PS and I could muddle my way through an edit to an ok result. Now I really understand not only how, but why…when…and how much to use those tools – and it is invaluable!! Lisa presents complicated topics in an easy to understand manner, and patiently and thoroughly answers all of our questions (and I had a lot!). The online format for class is excellent as well, as you learn as much from other’s questions and assignments as you do your own. Highly recommended!!

  • Joyce K. says:

    What else can I say about this AMAZING class? I have learned much more than I ever had since I started using Photoshop back in 2005. Lisa was patient to answer EVERY question I had. When she couldn’t explain in the thread, she would provide personalized video to show exactly how it should be done. Now, I don’t have to rely on commercial actions. I am able to edit images without looking like everyone else’s; and I am able to preserve the naturalistic of the images without looking “over-done”. If you are thinking about taking FP or SA, I would highly recommend FP. You will not regret it!! PS201 Here I come :)

  • Elle says:

    This was an AMAZING class that really helped to cement the basics for me, and build upon those basics to achieve so much more!! Lisa is an amazingly patient and generous teacher, and the videos she provides are invaluable. A fantastic course for any skill level.

  • Laureen says:

    Wow. I can’t begin to say how thankful I am for this course.
    An AMAZING amount of information!!
    An incredibly knowledgable, accommodating and encouraging teacher, Lisa rocks this course!
    I was a tad hesitant to go for full participation and am SOOOO glad I did.
    I highly recommend that you take this, even if you know Photoshop.
    There were things I learned that I never even knew existed.
    Incredibly practical with a wealth of information.

  • Kim Kinder says:

    This was a great class that helped me a lot. Lisa was a great instructor that understood life happens and worked with you. I still have work to do but I have learned so much and it already changed the looks of my pictures.

  • Diane Eller says:

    Whether you are a visual learner or not this class has it all. Lisa has a detailed written lesson each week along with corresponding videos and down loads for practicing each lesson. The videos really did it for me. Loved this class. I was self taught so this class really pulled a lot of things together for me.

    Really enjoyed this class as well as the more advanced class. If you can afford to take only one class it should be this one.

  • Yuri says:

    This was an amazing class. I had just got CS5 and had no clue how to use them. By the end of the class, I felt comfortable with the basic things and was ready to learn more. Lisa is a wonderful and talented instructor!! Her comments and videos were very helpful:) I really appreciated her patience and making herself available to answer our questions:)

  • Tiera says:

    before taking this course, I understood the fundamentals of photoshop, but didn’t realize how much I didn’t know without using actions until I took this class! This is a great course and the videos are so helpful as I am a visual learner. I would highly recommend this course!!

  • Mandy H says:

    Before this workshop, I was editing completely blind. I didn’t have a workflow. I would just stare at images and then finally just apply an action. This was by far the BEST money I ever spent for my business.

  • Kelley Yenias says:

    Before taking PS201 I understood the basics of photoshop (layers, masking, etc). This class took me a step further and taught me how to put a creative edge on my photos without going too far. I learned how to make black and white photos without having a muddy look. My black and whites now have creamy skin and multiple tones. I use my new skills everyday in my processing!! I would highly recommend this class if you want to dig further into photoshop and have more control over your processing and creative vision!!

  • Julia says:

    A fabulous workshop for all levels of “beginners”. Lisa is great and she answers all questions you have. Her lessons are easy to follow, yet thorough. I would definitely recommend the workshop and Lisa!

  • Jenn Jones says:

    I took this workshop immediately after purchasing CS5. Best decision ever!!! I had zero knowledge of anything related to Photoshop and this class took the “fear” I had of it completely away. Lisa is an amazing instructor. Her lessons are super easy to understand and well thought out. By the end of this class, I knew my way around PS, knew what I needed to do, and how to achieve it. I can’t say enough about it!!!!

  • Jenny L says:

    Lisa is wonderful. Her videos are excellent and very detailed. Everything is very easy to follow and if you have questions Lisa is there almost immediately to answer your questions. Lisa’s classes are a must have for any photographer wanting to learn Photoshop. :)

  • Tina P. says:

    Even if you “know” Photoshop, don’t think this course is not for you! Lisa is an amazing teacher and her lessons were awesome! I did study along and so wish I paid for the full participation though as I wanted to jump in! BUT if you can’t afford full participation, you will still gain a tremendous amount of knowledge from this class. I still look through my notes and handouts!!

  • Pam says:

    I can’t say enough wonderful things about Lisa and this class. Her lessons are so complete, her videos are easy to follow and she is there to answer any questions you have so that you completely understand each step she is teaching. You learn all of the fundamentals you need to have a complete workflow in PS. You will take your images from good to great, or great to awesome, thanks to what you learn in this class. This is a must take for any photographer!

  • Jodi says:

    Lisa ROCKS! I wouldn’t be where I am today without this workshop!! I can’t believe how much I learned…and how I use what I learned every.single.day! My editing before taking this workshop was pretty hit and miss. I thought I was doing a good job…but when I really sat down and looked at what I was doing…I was doing it all wrong! Lisa was wonderful about answering all my questions, and was incredibly patient :) I totally agree with Michele…a MUST for anyone who wants to learn more about how to edit with PS!!

  • Michele says:

    This workshop is amazing, Lisa is a phenomenal teacher and is always there to answer any of your questions until you fully understand them. The dedication and talent that Lisa puts into this workshop is above and beyond anything I could have expected, I highly recommend this workshop!

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