Photoshop Training in DC - Last Minute Gift
December 24, 2008 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Bail me out. I need to find the best place for my wife to get additional training on Adobe Photoshop in Washington DC. This is her (nail bitting) only Christmas present and I haven't found the perfect place yet. She's a budding photographer and has most of the professional equipment she needs (Nikon D300, New Desktop w/ CS4, etc). I would classify her as currently at the top end of the intermediate skill range. I'd prefer night time classes, but can arrange for day care if it is an excellent class. Anything below $2,000 works. Bonus points for anything that leads to any Adobe certifications. Thanks! Any other suggestions would be great as well (she's learning Fireworks and InDesign right now too).
posted by roundrock to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Just as a supplement for self-directed learning, I would encourage her to check out, a fantastic online training site. They offer extensive Adobe tutorials. Good luck with the instructional side of things! What a great gift.
posted by anonnymoose at 12:38 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Try Figleaf.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 12:42 PM on December 24, 2008

I'm also a fan of Figleaf.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:45 PM on December 24, 2008

I used to work for Future Media Concepts. Their training tends to be pretty good.

I highly recommend videos from Total Training. is good, but Total Training is the gold standard.

If someone was offering me $2000 of Photoshop training, I'd want the Total Training videos, a subscription to Lynda and maybe VTC (they have a few good titles) -- and a subscription to Photoshop User Magazine and Layers Magazine (disclaimer: I write for the latter).

In the case of Photoshop, I generally think the video training (from Lynda, VTC and Total Training) is better than most live courses.

Also, why does she want to be certified? In my opinion (as an ACE), the Adobe Certification program is a racket. It drains your wallet and gives you little in return. I've rarely heard of an employer or client who cares about it. (Instead, they want to see your portfolio) The exception is if she wants to become an Adobe Certified Trainer. Then she has to get certified. It's the only reason I did. Now that I'm no longer training full time, I don't bother.
posted by grumblebee at 12:50 PM on December 24, 2008

I know this isn't "official" but I've learned a *lot* from photoshop you tube videos. Also, another thing that helped me was interning with a photoshop specialist (if that's in your area). That helped me a lot as well.
posted by Hands of Manos at 1:41 PM on December 24, 2008 might also work. the classes are sweet and there are coupons on
posted by krautland at 2:58 PM on December 24, 2008

There's a free Indesign user group (Google it and you should be able to find...)
posted by waylaid at 3:18 PM on December 24, 2008

USDA Graduate School offers different levels of Photoshop classes.
posted by arco at 3:36 PM on December 24, 2008

Of course I screw up the link and send you to their InDesign class, but you get the point.
posted by arco at 3:37 PM on December 24, 2008

Montgomery College in Silver Spring is offering an advanced Photoshop class in the spring, although this class might be offered in Gaithersburg. Click on the name of the course in this list for details.
posted by arco at 3:44 PM on December 24, 2008

Corcoran College of Art + Design offers evening courses that can be applied toward a certificate.

Westlake has daytime training courses that usually run 5 days.

She may also want to consider joining the DC Web Women mailing list which is a great resource for people working in digital media (it's where I learned about the above places).
posted by hoppytoad at 5:20 PM on December 24, 2008

The Smithsonian Associates offers various classes, on photography , and digital media . The digital media link includes various photoshop classes for various skill levels.
posted by gudrun at 6:02 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd just point out that if she's focusing on photography, a lot of photoshop stuff is going to be not that helpful. The skill set for photographers using photoshop is a very very small portion of what photoshop is capable of.
posted by sully75 at 7:24 PM on December 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

Seconding Future Media Concepts. I also share grumblebee's beef with Adobe certification.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:11 AM on December 25, 2008

I would second (and third) sully75 and nimwunnan in that she should focus (hehe ....get it?) on the photography end of things instead of retouching. It's kind of a slippery slope when you learn photoshop. You'll always want to do or learn one more skill and before you know it it's occupying all your time.

Contrary to popular belief shooting and retouching don't necessarily have to go hand in hand. If she loves shooting she should concentrate on getting shooting jobs and hire a retoucher.

I learned retouching professionally on the job so I don't have a training program to recommend other than use the application all day, everyday and a year or so from now she'll be able to retouch an image in her sleep.
posted by eatcake at 6:56 AM on December 25, 2008

I'm (I'd say) REALLY good at photoshop (but only for photography) and basically use it just as a darkroom. I could literally explain all the techniques I use in about 24 minutes. I'd be talking fast, but that would be it. It's like 1/10 of 1% of photoshop.

And yeah, I suppose, once you learn how to put a magical unicorn layer on something, you'll want to do it on everything. And then, you'll be a hack.
posted by sully75 at 2:33 PM on December 31, 2008

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