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Adobe Photoshop is hard to learn on your own because it’s not intuitive photography software, and it’s catered to professional photographers and graphic designers. There are many tools available to new users, making Photoshop not easy to learn.

However, if you follow the right course or tutorial, you can obtain a working knowledge of Photoshop.

Why Is Photoshop So Difficult to Learn?

There are a few reasons why Photoshop is difficult to learn:

  • Tools: Photoshop has an abundant amount of tools available for image editing, restoration, typography, graphic design, and even video. There is so much to learn. But you don’t need to learn them all.
  • Layers: Photoshop image adjustments are applied on layers like editable or stackable image edits. If you’ve never worked with layers before in another program, you will need to understand how this works.
  • Masks: Masking allows users to brush away/in image adjustments. For example, if you want to increase the saturation in a particular part of an image, one way is to use a mask. Masks can be basic to advanced.
Screenshot showing why Photoshop is difficult to learn: tools, layers, mask.

These are only some of the reasons why Photoshop is difficult to learn.

Can I Learn Photoshop on My Own?

Technically, you can learn Photoshop on your own without any help, but it’s unrealistic; you will waste time and prolong the Photoshop learning curve. 

You’ll be more productive in learning Photoshop by watching YouTube videos or taking a course from Udemy or LinkedIn Learning.

How Long Will It Take to Learn Photoshop?

Everyone student learns differently, and it also depends on how much time you can dedicate to studying. But in general, if you study for 2 hours per day, it should take about 3 to 4 weeks to learn Photoshop, and you’ll have a good working knowledge of the most powerful photography software.


Photoshop is hard to learn without proper guidance. This isn’t to discourage you from using Photoshop; it’s only to convince you should take a course to learn it faster.

If you want to learn Photoshop the easy way and for free at the beginning, then I suggest getting Photoshop for free with Adobe’s 30-day trial in addition to LinkedIn Learning’s free month.