Can You Help Me Design My New Course?


Hi Gang, and happy Friday. 🙂

I’m getting ready to record a new class for Lightroom users, but it’s actually about Photoshop. The course is called:

Seven Photoshop Techniques Every Lightroom User Needs to Know

I’m doing the class after talking with so many photographers during my current seminar tour who tell me they subscribed to the $9.99-a-month Lightroom + Photoshop CC photographer’s bundle, but they did it mostly to get Lightroom, and they’re basically intimidated about using the Photoshop part of the bundle.

When I ask why – they tell me they feel it’s too hard, or they don’t know where to start, or even that they don’t know why they need Photoshop in the first place. At the same time, most tell me “I know I need to learn it.” So, I’m going to try and help by just focusing on the things Lightroom users are most likely to need Photoshop for in their workflow.

Here’s where I need your help
I want this class to be really helpful, and so I was hoping you might leave me a comment below for anything you want to see included in the course. I’m cover A LOT in a short time, but I don’t want to leave any important techniques out (I’ve got lessons on everything from layers to retouching to selection [including really tricky selections], but I would love to hear from you on what your struggling with, and while I won’t be able to fit all the suggestions in, I know there will be some from you guys that will make me say “Man, I’m glad I asked!”

So, just leave me a comment below with what you’d like to see me cover in the class. 🙂


Four more things:
(1) Yesterday I released a new class called “Masking Hair and Compositing Made Easy.” If you ever wanted to get in to creating composites, this is for you. I cover the “holy grail” of selections, which is masking hair and fur and stuff like that, along with an in-depth look at how to take a person off one background; put them on another; get rid of edge fringe (I give you like 5 different techniques), how to match color and tone and more. Here’s the link.

(2) The amazing Corey Barker has just recorded a class for us on “Advanced Compositing” and it’ll be out in a few weeks (we release at least one new class every Thursday), so after my class, you’ll be ready for Corey’s. I’ll let you know when it goes live.

(3) The next stop for my “Shoot Like a Pro: Part 2 [reloaded]” full-day seminar is in Nashville, and if you’re in that area, I hope you’ll come out and spend the day with me. There’s an entire session on my Lightroom Seven Point System, and people are super diggin’ it.

(4) Did you notice that spiffy “7” Logo up top. Did you get the subtle Las Vegas vibe from it? You shoulda, cause we’re just 19 days from Photoshop World Las Vegas! Come out and join us. It’s a Lightroom / Photoshop / Photography love-fest. Get the details right here.

Thanks for stopping by today, and thanks in advance for sharing your comments on what you want included in my “Seven Photoshop Techniques Every Lightroom User Needs to Know” class. You rock!

Have a great weekend!




  1. Chad Kinsinger 9 August, 2016 at 15:32 Reply

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  2. Todd 6 July, 2016 at 19:48 Reply

    I see you already have a section on masking. But I need to learn VERY complex masking. For example, when the sky shows through the branches and leaves of a large tree and I want to change just the sky.

  3. Mat 5 July, 2016 at 15:36 Reply

    Hi Scott,
    I always wonder what is THE technique for sharpening (or noise reduction) to use, considered that there are so many options in PS (an LR) to choose from. When should i switch to PS and how do I make sure not to over done it with these kind of adjustments?

    • Chris 5 July, 2016 at 16:19 Reply

      I want to second this. This is a very important question. There are a million ways to sharpen. What is the best way to do it and are there indicators to look out for on how much is too much or too little.

  4. D J 5 July, 2016 at 06:14 Reply

    So, not sure that this is a ‘technique’, per-se, but, I think that many people still view Photoshop as something that is only used by professionals, and as such don’t know or understand why they would need to use Photoshop. I’ve only recently gotten on the Lr-Ps-CC wagon, and unless I’m dealing with pictures that were taken an a phone, I don’t feel like I need to do much with them.
    Also, the mobile apps are going to create a new breed of photographers. Explaining how mobile can be enhanced (is it needed) by the desktop would be useful (admittedly, not a technique for this, but…)

  5. Barney Streit 3 July, 2016 at 19:55 Reply

    One problem has been nagging me. In previous versions of LR, if I opened a raw file via LR, edited it in PS, then it would usually automatically add it to the LR catalog when I saved the PSD file. This new version never does, so I must import every time I save an edited file. There must be a setting somewhere to make this automatic…

    • Chris 4 July, 2016 at 14:13 Reply

      Barney, he answered that question in either his “How do I do that in Lightroom?” book, or also in the “Photoshop for Lightroom users” book. Either one you can get at the Kelby training website, Amazon or download the digital copies from Itunes or Kindle. Best, Chris

  6. Chris Scoggins 3 July, 2016 at 17:52 Reply

    Scott, It’s great to hear what everyone else wants to learn. But, you are trying to narrow down 7 things that everyone wants to know. So… I believe that what everyone (ul) would want to know WHEN to go in photoshop. What is your workflow and why. Lets assume most people are shooting jobs such as family portraits or weddings. When and why should they ever go out of Lightroom? Also, should they bother with lightroom or just use Bridge? Thats my two cents 🙂

    PS – Since I am writing this I just wanted to add that I think your the man and I super appreciate all of your hard work on Kelby One, The Grid and Photoshop Magazine.

    I am a good friend of Serge Ramelli who speaks highly of you, so while I missed Photoshop world next time I make it out to Florida I hope to see you at one of your workshops!
    Best, Chris

  7. Mike B 2 July, 2016 at 16:22 Reply


    Maybe something on incorporating text. I do some work for a local DJ helping with promotional CDs – adding titles and track names over cover photos I take for him. It is a struggle sometimes trying to do things that are second nature in word processing software.

  8. Jim 2 July, 2016 at 11:40 Reply

    I mostly make trips to Photoshop when a task requires more control over a selection than Lightroom can provide. For me, that’s usually for removing elements from a photo and rebuilding the background behind them.

    That’s just an example, I’m sure there are other good (and better) ones.

  9. Craig 2 July, 2016 at 09:18 Reply

    Changing color of an object(s). If a face is too red or if the blue dress was too purple – without desaturating the entire shot. Or if the grass looked too yellow in the photo, but then you change the WB to green which then makes the faces turn green.

  10. Randy Fullhart 1 July, 2016 at 18:37 Reply

    Hi Scott…thank you for all that you and your team do…and for asking us all the question!!

    I struggle a bit with a suggestion because I think that the things are already available in KelbyOne…but they aren’t all in one place…which is why you’re asking! 🙂

    I would offer a suggestion this way…help us think through how to analyze a photo and determine which things are appropriate to do in Lightroom (presumably faster, easier, and good enough) and which things that it is just better to pull up your britches and learn how to use photoshop to do it because the results will be so much better or that Lightroom just really isn’t equipped to handle it.

    Perhaps using that as a guiding principle the ‘things that need to be covered” might emerge.

    I think that many people would just wish that the things that photoshop does best could be incorporated into Lightroom without bringing the complexity and multiple levels of steps to get something done….and without having to shop files back and forth between the two programs.

    Thanks again…I look forward to each and every new class!


  11. Alex Corbett 1 July, 2016 at 17:57 Reply

    Hey Scott,
    What about covering the most commonly used filters such as Gaussian blur,smart sharpen, high pass, etc.
    Also, in college I had someone kinda freak when the application frame disappeared. A section on small things such as that and how to fix them. Another one would be the color space dialog when you open a SRGB in a RGB document.
    I know there’s more, they usually only come to me when I am actully editing.

  12. Francisc Sanabria Sanabria 1 July, 2016 at 17:56 Reply

    Hi Scott. I am trying to start moving from LR to PS, I find quite frustrating moving back and forth between the two, particularly because I have to deal with the PSD or TIFF files, I already ate the bullet of moving from JPG to RAW, still trying to find out why you can’t save as DNG in PS.Once done in PS do I have to export as JPG and reimport in LR? too much for my workflow.

    Beside this, I think it will very good

    2. How to remove distracting object.
    3. What Must be done in LR but never in PS.
    4. What must be done in PS but not in LR
    5. Please, please,please use LR Develope instead of Camera RAW.
    6. I’ve been working on setting up a toolbar, menu and workspace for photos, removing all the clutter. SInce Adobe don’t provide on, may you can?

    All the best

    P.S. does this look familiar to you? (still working on getting an even exposure)

  13. Mark F 1 July, 2016 at 15:16 Reply

    I have transitioned from just such a student (Lightroom intermediate to Photoshop beginner). The things that I wanted (and baffled me) were #1) the differences that SAVE, SAVE AS, EXPORT and QUICK EXPORT have on my Lightroom Catalog (e.g. metadata very different, have to reimport or resynchronize a folder to see PSD or JPG). #2) White balance, Auto Tone, Auto Contrast (e.g. why do I get such different automatic results in Photoshop versus Lightroom?). #3) When to mask versus when to erase. #4) learn to ALWAYS copy my layer first (CTRL+J). #4) Remember to recover space by deleting PSD files I don’t need (and can create a smart collection to find the PSDs (but can’t delete from a smart collection, of course). #5) masking to get a subject in color and desaturating (or doing black and white) as the background. #6) Setting up filters/plugins (e.g. Nik, Perfectly Clear) to bring a new dimension into my pictures #6 Cloning out telephone wires and small objects #7) How to move something and then naturally fill in the gap of where the object was…then refining the area to make it more realistic #8) knowing how “much” I should edit in Lightroom first before I go into Photoshop (big one for me because I can work so much faster in Lightroom than Camera Raw because of my familiarity with the tools/brushes) #9) How to copy/replace the sky/background #10) Cool ideas (e.g. like the many great examples in your Photoshop magazine)

  14. George 1 July, 2016 at 12:58 Reply

    1.Do’s and don’ts of working with smart objects in Photoshop and Lightroom. Seems very confusing when working with multiple layers in PS when one has a smart object.
    2. Any do’s or don’ts when working with collections and moving back and forth from Lightroom to Photoshop… I find from time to time I have to go to the original file folder to find a working Photoshop file that does not show up in the collection I started from.

  15. Mark 1 July, 2016 at 12:12 Reply

    I think some common things Lightroom users wish they could do in Photoshop are removing distractions, adding something to an image, swapping out a background… These all involve selection and masking. Teach it with some of these common uses as examples.

  16. Dwig 1 July, 2016 at 12:07 Reply

    I agree that a discussion of layers, grouping layers, and their blend modes would be valuable. Baciscally, the Lr user new to Ps is most in need of info on what is different, don’t waste time on what is the same or in detailed discussion of some special technique.

    Another thing the new Ps user needs is info on the commonly used “secret handshake” features in Ps. So many useful things, in both Lr and Ps, are not visible in the UI. Things like holding the Alt key when creating a new Adjustment Layer creates is with an opaque mask instead of the default.

    Thirdly, management of Ps’s panels (showing, hiding, docking, saving a Workspace, …) is an issue for many and it is quite different from Lr’s management. There are “secret handshakes” (read: keyboard shorcuts invisible in the UI except in the dialog for editing the shortcuts) that can hide panels and can be hit by accident. It’s rather intimidating for a new user to recover his work environment after such a simple accident if they are unaware of the Workspaces.

    • Scott Kelby 1 July, 2016 at 14:06 Reply

      Hey Dwig:
      I’m not covering ANY of the stuff Lightroom can already do well – it’s everything else, so that’s already set. Lots of shortcuts and secret handshake stuff – some for beginners, and intermediates alike.

      • Dwig 5 July, 2016 at 15:00 Reply

        I wasn’t referring to editing functions that Lr can do, but UI controls like showing and hiding panels, etc. Things that despite being present in Lr you must deal with in Ps.

  17. notlyle 1 July, 2016 at 10:47 Reply

    How to push sets of files to PS to use statistics – median on stack to get rid of wandering people from pictures. Same with focus stacking.

    I use these 2 techniques, and while they’re not maybe the 7 top things they are very useful in many, many scenarios. (Might fit in somewhere else another time.)

    Otherwise, masking for selective sharpening on different areas – and using smart sharpen best.

    Good luck on narrowing to your LUCKY 7- all your stuff I’ve seen is good…

    • Scott Kelby 1 July, 2016 at 14:04 Reply

      Hey Lyle – those sadly are all outside the scope of this class. This is for people who aren’t yet Photoshop sharks. You’re asking much more advanced stuff than I’ll be covered (i.e. read my intro above of who the class is for). That’s the problem with being an advanced user like yourself – there’s not much for people who already know so much. 🙂

  18. Paul W 1 July, 2016 at 10:37 Reply

    Scott, have to confess I have not looked at your new masking course yet. Rather unusual for me, just a busy week with the holiday coming. You may have already covered it, but so many masking courses cover hair masking from an easy background, not a more involved difficult background. If already there thanks, if not would be nice.

    • Scott Kelby 1 July, 2016 at 14:03 Reply

      Hi Paul. They don’t make a tool that works well – not Adobe not anybody – that works well masking someone with dark hair against a dark background – that dog just don’t hunt. I show you how to shoot it right the first time, so you don’t pull your hair out (wink) in Photoshop trying to do something no real tool has ever done Blond hair on a light background just isn’t going to work – it’s going to select all kinds of other junk. You might get lucky here and there, but it’s just that – it’ll work on one particular image, and then next 50 it won’t. I’ll show you a rock solid technique, but you have to meet Photoshop half way. 🙂

  19. Paul C 1 July, 2016 at 10:21 Reply

    Hi Scott – yes, blending layers. I do some long-exposure work and this means parts of the scene can change during a shoot, so I tend to take several then plan to use masking to get rid of the elements I don’t like, but the layers bit drives me nuts. In fact Tim Wallace showed us this in one of his classes where he lit different parts of a red car in a garage then masked out all the cables and shadows – seriously cool but too many layers for me to cope with. So it’s layers, masks, blending modes. I’d rather use this than content aware features

    Another thought. Several years back I bought Elements 9 so I could overlay text and borders. I could manage this OK but then found myself returning to LR for printing. I’ve heard you say before that PS printing is a dragon whilst LR printing is a princess, but how about going through the whole “round-trip” of one of the classic Scott-Kelby montage posters.

    … and EDGES. LR is not good on the edges (spot healing, etc). Show us why we can save the frustration of all that edge and corner work by leaving LR and taking a quick trip over the border into the new-world of PS.

    … maybe I should buy your PS-4-LR book!

  20. J. B. R. 1 July, 2016 at 09:57 Reply

    I have used PS a couple of times, but don’t know it well enough to use most of it. Is there a way to do basic adjustments, i.e. highlights, shadows, etc. in PS or does one have to use Adobe Bridge? If so, what is the best way for both PC and Mac?

    ALSO…if the dialogue boxes go all awry, is there a quick way to get the interface back to square one? In other words start from a neutral space/starting position.

    • Scott Kelby 1 July, 2016 at 14:00 Reply

      Hi J.B.R. You can use Camera Raw (which is the exact same as Lightroom’s Develop Module – same sliders in the same order that do the same thing). I will show how to get everything reset back though – thanks for the idea. 🙂

  21. Gizmo 1 July, 2016 at 09:39 Reply

    One reason I don’t jump over to Photoshop is the need to convert the file to a PSD or TIFF file. I really like the non-destructive editing feature of Lightroom. Creating the new file also takes up extra room. I know you need to make a bitmap type file eventually, so it woould be good to know when to lock in your Lightroom editing and then leave to finalize your edits in Photoshop.

  22. Roshan 1 July, 2016 at 09:35 Reply

    I would second John above…Layers and masking is key. Also I believe there are different types of layers – why you would use one over another and why ?

  23. John West 1 July, 2016 at 08:56 Reply

    I would like to see more on blending images together (layers and masking) when HDR isn’t quite what is needed. I also agree on the different blend modes. Some are sort of self explanatory but it would be nice to know more about them and how/when to use them.

    • Scott Kelby 1 July, 2016 at 09:21 Reply

      That’s a great idea. I didn’t have that exact scenario (though there’s plenty of layers and masking), but I’m going to check if I have images I can use for exactly what you’re asking for. Many thanks for the idea! 🙂

  24. Florian 1 July, 2016 at 07:53 Reply

    Cloning and stamping with content aware to remove objects that can’t be easily removed in Lr is my 2c

      • Mike 5 July, 2016 at 14:47 Reply

        The major reasons I leave Lightroom:

        Exposure Blending: LR does ok with it’s HDR but luminosity masking gives me better results in most cases.

        Filters: I use Noiseware to reduce noise (gives me more control than what LR or PS do). NIK (Silver Efex and Color Efex).

        Content-Aware tools, especially the brush so I can remove distractions.

        Sharpening: sometimes with filters but often Highpass in PS on another layer.

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