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I was recently sent a copy of ‘Creative Retouching Essentials In A Day‘ to review, and after having given it a thorough read though, I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

If you’re interested in learning Creative Retouching Essentials In A Day, then stick around because I have a 50%-off coupon code to share with you.

11-150x150The ebook is written by Julia Kuzmenko. She’s an internationally published professional Beauty, Fashion & Portrait photographer, digital artist and retoucher.

An International College of Professional Photography (Melbourne, Australia) graduate and NAPPmember.

She also a Wacom & AfterCapture Digital Imaging Contest 2012 winner (Portrait Category, second place): the winner image & retouching video.

Lets start by looking at the lessons you’ll learn and what’s inside them, then we can look at some pros and cons.

[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.Ed.]

LESSON I – Setting up for a good start:

  •   Preferences & Memory Usage
  •   Customizing Your Workspace
  •   Image File Formats, Resolution, Size & Canvas
  •   History Panel
  •   Color Theory & Management

For what I consider to be quite a short ebook, there is a surprisingly large about of detailed knowledge in this lesson.

People often overlook the importance of things like color management, not really understanding why it matters, but all the information I would expect to find here, is here.

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 15.36.26

This section ranges from image size and resolution, all the way to your computer’s RAM. It’s the sort of information I skipped over when I started processing myself, not fully understanding why it mattered to much, and that’s held me back in the past.

Reading this lesson is a good way to start as you mean to go on.

LESSON II – Painting and retouching tools:

  •   Brush, Clone Stamp, Healing Brushes & Patch Tool
  •   Default Tool Keyboard Shortcuts
  •   Brush Opacity vs. Flow
  •   Free Transform Tool
  •   Selection Tools & Refine Edge Function
  •   Liquify Tool
  •   Photoshop Actions

This is where the most important information can be found. These are all the tools that you need to  know about to get started with your photo retouching.

If you’re like me, then everything you’ve learned about Photoshop has been through either trial or error, or Googling a problem whenever you’re stuck.

The good thing about this section is it covers the important information you need to know before you get started. Simple things like brush opacity and flow, and clone, healing and brush tools.

There’s some useful diagrams for each.

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 15.36.04

This is also where the ebook starts to get quite creative with liquify tool, and various Photoshop actions.

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 15.47.51

LESSON III  – Essential Photoshop panels for beauty & portrait photographers:

  •   Layers Panel: Opacity & Fill, Handling, Grouping
  •   Blending Modes
  •   Layer Masks
  •   Adjustment Layers

This lesson is all about setting up Photoshop and your workflow to produce the best results.

Simple, but powerful tools like layer masks are used to create a nondestructive workflow, so that you can make adjustments, and then come back later and change them if you like, using the layers system.

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 15.53.29You will also learn about things like selective color and curves, so that you can really understand how to creatively process your photos.

The curves tool is a very popular tool for photographers these days, and they’re a great way to create a cross-processed effect.


  • Essential Beauty Actions set ($69 VALUE: Magic Smile, Magic Eyes, Frequency Separation preset, and many more) + USER MANUAL & VIDEO TUTORIAL BELOW
  • Getting Better Every Day in Photography & Photoshop / ADDITIONAL PDF
  • Custom Beauty Brushes (free download URL) & USER MANUAL
  • Collection of Photoshop Gradients

Who doesn’t love a few free bonuses, eh! The first bonus is a set of actions (they’re like Lightroom Presets).

They’re used to make a few changes at once, and it’s a great way of having a professional input on your amateur processing.

The other bonuses are equally useful, as they provide additional information, and another Photoshop tool.

PROS – Creative Retouching Essentials eBook

Length – I didn’t really expect this to be a positive in my books, but I have to say that I was actually quite pleased with the length.

We’ve all bought training products before, whether it’s a book or a DVD, and more often than not, when it’s too long, we don’t ever get round to using it at all.

This ebook is only about 25 pages, which is much less daunting, easy to manage, and provides me with exactly what I need.

You don’t need to waste your time learning all the tools and panels Photoshop has to offer, if you only want to master or improve your photo retouching skills. The layout helps too…

Layout – This is something I’ve overlooked myself in the past. The way the pages are layed out in three columns, you end up with all the information you need in a section on 1-2 pages.

This means that it’s much easier to refer back to when I’m trying to find a particular piece of information.


Interactive – Throughout the ebook there are links to different resources and videos to help you with the learning process.

Images – The images that Julia uses are simply fantastic. She’s a very accomplished photographer and retoucher, and her images speak for themselves. Have a look at some of her images below.

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CONS – Creative Retouching Essentials eBook

No Refunds – As this is a digital product, the author has decided against offering a refund, through fear of someone purchasing it, and then immediately asking for their money back, effectively stealing the product.

I always offer a refund with my digital goods, but I can see where Julia Kuzmenko is coming from.

I would say that you need to make extra sure about your purchase before you go through with it.

Final Thoughts

Even though I’ve been using Photoshop for a couple of year, I still learned a lot from this ebook.

I have never really used Photoshop as my processing software, as I tend to stick to Lightroom, but I think that might start to do more processing in Photoshop now that I’ve seen how powerful it is.

I’ve negotiated a 50% discount for the ebook for Expert Photography readers, so enter ‘Expert50at the checkout to make the saving.

About the eBook

This ebook is targetted to photographers to want to retouch their photos professionally, using Photoshop. If you do not use Photoshop, this ebook is not for you.

The ebook is best viewed using Adobe Reader, but you can also read it on your tablet too, although please download it to your computer first.

ESSENTIALS-all-devices-900So if you like what you’ve seen, but you would like to know more, check out the full description of the ebook here.

If you’re ready to take your photo retouching to the next level, and you would like to get started right now, click on the button below, and enter the following coupon code for 50% off:

50% Off Coupon for ExpertPhotography readers: Expert50

Creative Retouching Essentials In A Day eBook

Creative Retouching Essentials In A Day eBook Review & Coupon

A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:

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Hey I'm Josh, I'm Photographer in Chief here at ExpertPhotography, and I'm in charge of making sure that we provide you with the best content from the most knowledgeable photographers in the world. Enjoy the site :)