I can’t remember now how I came across Phlearn.com, although I imagine it probably had to do with Googling some kind of Photoshop technique I was having trouble with. However I found out about them, I am SO glad I did! There is no better site on the entire internet for providing photography and editing tutorials. And so many of their episodes are free! They also sell very in-depth, comprehensive Pro Tutorials for a very nominal price considering the wealth of knowledge each one contains. I myself have bought and thoroughly enjoyed several of the Pros, and I’ve been watching their frequent free episodes with pleasure. There are few times I watch an episode and don’t exclaim, “holy shit, I had no idea you could do that!” at least once.
The thing is, Phlearn teaches me things that I’m interested in learning. Let me give you an example; I’ll introduce you to them the way I came to them, with an episode on editing your photo to give it a fairy tale feel. As soon as I saw the title, I knew I was in for something very different. The internet is full of information about Photoshop, and many tutorials, yes, but few like this. No other site comes close to matching Phlearn’s inventiveness, it’s constant ability to stretch and challenge itself and its audience, while simultaneously breaking Photoshop down into understandable chunks. I’d been editing my photos, doing composites and levitation photos for a while; I was not unfamiliar with Photoshop, but I feel that my skills have improved dramatically since I’ve been watching Phlearn. I would be remiss if I failed to mention Phlearn’s founder, Aaron Nace, and how much he personally adds to the learning experience. He is friendly and silly, and immediately puts you at ease, like your good buddy is talking to you. But that ease is combined with an unmatched, nearly omniscient knowledge of Photoshop, and a gift for explaining complicated things in a way that’s easy to grasp. Phlearn would not be Phlearn without Aaron… who is also unfailingly nice every time we interact on Twitter 🙂
Want some more examples of the kind of instructions you’ll be getting with Phlearn? Here you go. Turn day into night. What makes a good composition: Analyzing 7 great images. How to create a cinemagraph. Create stars and fog in Photoshop. Changing the mood of your photo with color and texture. Create scary eyes. Make Lady Gaga-esque makeup.
The list of episodes just go on and on. They run the gamut from lighting, composition and other photo basics to the surreal and fantastic. That’s why I love them; they cover absolutely everything useful and interesting about photography and Photoshop. If I ever have a question about either subject, I look to Phlearn first, and there’s usually a video ready to explain it to me.
Plearn is so endlessly inspiring to me, it’s difficult to pick out just one photo of mine and point to it as a direct result of an episode. I tend to use bits and pieces here and there, and weave them into my photos naturally as the need arises. But, here are a few I can point to where the hand of Phlearn can be seen.
And no, I’m not getting paid in any way for this post; no one’s even asked me to write it. I just genuinely love Phlearn. It’s such an incredibly useful site that gives so much while asking for nothing. Aaron Nace is committed to spreading knowledge as far and wide as possible, so that all can benefit from it. That’s such a rare and worthy motivation. So since other people who read my blog are also into photography, I wanted to make sure everyone knew about Phlearn, to keep the knowledge growing. And maybe have the chance to thank Aaron and all the other people it takes to run Phlearn just a little bit for all their very hard work. It is certainly appreciated 🙂
Don’t forget to order your 2013 calendar of my work soon if you want it for Christmas! The blank cards would make excellent stocking stuffers also 🙂