I think the whole ‘Photoshop For Morons‘ concept is cursed.

I recall the first course being a nightmare to record but this second volume was even worse.

Oh The Humidity

Once again, I stupidly (one could say moronically) decided to record these tutorials during a heatwave with no air conditioning. What I didn’t take into account was the humidity of the East Coast of Canada. There were times when I resembled a melted candle with a full-blown ‘shiny face’. The only solution was to record the tutorials in my underpants during the coolest part of the night between 3 AM and 5 AM.

Needless to say, I had to keep my voice down lest I wake sleeping beauty but I reckon my lowered tones added to the ambiance of the tutorials, and dare I say it, theatrical charisma.

The Spicy Cough

Not long after I began recording the course, Amanda and I both came down with a debilitating case of the ‘spicy cough’. You know what I’m referring to but I dare not mention the real name lest I be punished by internet censors.

We were both delirious for several days and I simply wasn’t capable of pretending to appear competent. Also, the last thing you want to see is a feverish Fototripper with a face like cauterized prolapse trying to teach you the joys of Photoshop. At this point, my throat felt like I’d been gargling with a set of hotel keys and my voice sounded like a bag of masonry nails falling down the stairs.

If we’d had the luxury of just staying in bed and sleeping it off that would have been fine, but no. Things got worse.

The Never Ending Office Moves

If you don’t already know, we moved into a 100-year-old church in Nova Scotia that is somewhat dilapidated (Check out the Hardcastle Towers channel). When it comes to our domestic situation, we can easily rough it in the church and the camper during the extensive renovations but that doesn’t quite work for my office space.

One thing that computers and recording equipment cannot tolerate is reno dust. There’s also the mess and ugly backgrounds that aren’t very conducive to a soothing and inspiring Photoshop tutorial. So I had the bright idea of renting local AirBnB offerings for some nice clean office space.

This worked out great until day 5 of the spicy cough when we had to move offices because the current booking had expired.

Packing up my entire office, loading it into the camper, making three moving trips, and then rebuilding my office while in a sweaty stupor had me questioning my life choices. Luckily we were well past the contagious phase and avoided all human contact. On the bright side, at least I was being constantly harassed by black flies. All I can say is thank God for Polysporin to reduce the itching of those evil bites.

This was actually the first time I’d ever seen Amanda in a fit of rage while using those bug zapper tennis racket gadgets. If I’d been feeling human at the time it would have actually been a hilarious sight to witness.

Oh God, The Cats

I love them, I really do. They are my children, but there are times when they test my patients. Those times are almost exclusively reserved for those rare moments when I’ve got the lights just right, the temperature is bearable, I’ve spent the last hour practicing my tutorial, my underpants are just out of the frame and the burps are under control. I’m ready to record – but the cats are ready for a grappling match.

Of course, my timing is terrible. 3 AM is when the cats are in beast mode. It’s when they’re usually needing to be outside murdering smaller creatures just for the fun of it. Unfortunately, since moving to the East Coast, the presence of coyotes means the cats are now housebound until such time as I can afford to build them a Catio.

For now, I must tolerate their nightly warblings and acrobatics as my penance for depriving them of their freedom. If you watch the tutorials carefully you might be able to spot the edits where I had to break up a 4 AM brawl in between dodging and burning.

In spite of all these challenges, I still had a blast recording Photoshop For Morons 2. Truth be told, it was more enjoyable than recording Photoshop For Morons 1 because this time I got to flex my creative muscles a little bit. I’m one of those nerds that actually enjoys image post-processing and my goal with this course is to inspire that same enjoyment in you.

I truly believe that if you put in a little time to absorb the golden nuggets that I’ve sprinkled into this online photography course, you’ll not only become better at Photoshop but you’ll also progress as an artist.

If you haven’t picked up the course yet while it’s still on sale, you’ve only got a short time to enjoy EARLY BIRD pricing.



Thanks for reading
Gavin Hardcastle – Fototripper

Published by Gavin Hardcastle

Gavin is a professional landscape photographer from Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC. He teaches photography workshops all over the world and writes extensively about his experiences on location. You can read his photo guides and tutorials here at Fototripper.com.


  1. Thank you for that glorious explanation – but I have already purchased said download to compliment version 1. I am a cynical sod but I say truthfully that I am delighted with the content even though I have just had a quick skim to see it downloaded properly – I know you Yorkies like shortcuts so i had to check in case I had a face like …………………………………………………………….. if it was corrupted.
    Seriously Hudders, its another really useful piece of kit for me to use to get the best out of my efforts.
    Best £40 ive spent in a LONG time ( unlike that Betty’s which is a proper rip ).
    Many thanks for the huge effort in constructing it 🙂

  2. Gee wiz. Really glad you are both feeling better. And talk about persistence. Am about to purchase Vol. 1 but wanted to respond anyway. Also – good call regarding your kitty critters. We’re spending a good portion of the summer in Ontario. I saw a coyote track in the middle of our dirt “driveway” this morning. I’m really glad we’ve confined our two little monsters to the cottage and breezy screened porch. And the chippies are thanking us for it! ; ) Anyway, we love both your channels, appreciating all we learn plus great laughs. Cheerio, Kathy

  3. Although I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop since it came out I operate under the belief I don’t even come close to knowing everything I should and most likely I’ve always been doing something wrong. Photoshop for morons has helped me correct and improve my workflow and I’m grateful. Now I guess I need to get a cat.


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