Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration and Digital Photography
Online Photo Editing Course course at Sessions College

Online Photo Editing Course

30 hours

4280: Photo Retouching

Correct and enhance photos with advanced Photoshop techniques

Nearly every photograph can benefit from retouching, whether it's to correct subtle color problems or make major changes to the subject or background. In this online photo editing course, you'll learn how to turn good photographs into showstoppers. Using Photoshop's tools and filters, you'll learn to make seamless changes, realistically enhancing your images so that no one knows work was done. Photographers and designers will benefit from learning systematic professional routines taught in this course.

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Study at your own pace
  • Complete this course in 3-4 weeks


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Ken Milburn

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. The Retouching Toolbox

      If you're comfortable with just your favorite Photoshop tools, you may be missing out on some new and enhanced ones that can make retouching work a breeze. In the first week, we explore the techniques behind making accurate selections, selections that produce blended results, and even selections based on custom shapes. Image editing tools for darkening, lightening, healing, and patching photos are explored, as well as techniques for subject knockouts and the indispensable Liquify filter.

    2. Retouching Portraits

      When you talk to someone in person, you don't always notice the little blemishes; personality, conversation, and movement distract you. But when you see a portrait photo of a person, you see it all, down to the last detail. In this session, you'll cover techniques for "digital dermatology," handling color and tone, trimming errant hairs, and even a little plastic surgery. Portrait retouching can, at times, be controversial, so you'll also learn when it's best to use these techniques and how far to go with them.

    3. Retouching Products and Scenes

      If you're preparing product shots for a catalog, or a landscape for a nature magazine, you know that sometimes things get in the way and the lighting is rarely ideal. This final lecture will take you through techniques for correcting a range of common issues, including changing the color of a product while still keeping it realistic.

Sample Student Work

Marcie Lund photo retouch by Marcie Lund

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

Practical and fun photo retouching projects include image restoration, glamour retouching, and creative compositing.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop CC or CS6.
  • Basic experience in the above software.

What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Demonstrate a basic proficiency in using a range of professionally used correction tools.
  • Make a variety of precise and soft selections.
  • Apply techniques for darkening and lightening parts of an image.
  • Use specialized techniques for knocking out and modifying a subject.
  • Correct color and overall color balance in digital photographs.
  • Use tools and filters to remove skin blemishes and smooth skin tone.
  • Apply the sharpening routine in appropriate situations.
  • Retouch portrait photos using the Spot Healing Brush tool, Healing Brush tool, Patch tool, and Highlight/Shadows command.
  • Apply techniques for enhancing the glamour of a portrait photo, with special attention to lighting, skin, lips, and eyes.
  • Apply changes to a subject's body shape.
  • Remove litter and other small items from a scene that might get in the way or distract from the subject.
  • Create a realistic composite photo by superimposing a subject on a background with appropriate shadows and perspective.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Enroll today, start tomorrow
  • Study at your own pace
  • Complete within 3 months

Course Tuition and Fees 
Registration Fee* $50
Total Course Price $669

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Click Register Now to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. There are no set logins, so you can study at your own pace. In each course you’ll complete a series of lectures and projects designed to stretch your creative skills.

How Much Time Do I Need?

This course can be completed in 30 hours or less. You’ll have three months from enrollment to complete the course studying at your own pace. Extensions are available for those who need more time.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. You’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).