I started an online Photoshop class called 30 Days of Photoshop through Creative Live.com It is taught by Dave Cross who is one of the best Photoshop instructors I've seen. To date, I am self-taught when it comes to Photoshop and I usually just google whatever it is I am trying to do. I have the time right now and got the class on a two-day sale for $20 so I could not pass it up.
I thought I would share with you some things I learn along the way. Many of you may know Photoshop quite well. If you are interested in techniques of a particular application just let me know and I can give you more detail if necessary.
On day one Dave covers realistic expectations and exploring Photoshop. Each day (for 30 days) you get about an hours worth of video. I've decided to spend at least an additional hour working on something relevant that I learned in the session. I often fly through the videos and forget just about everything I should have learned and didn't apply. Right now I'm in a headspace for learning.
In addition to some handy Photoshop shortcuts, Dave shows how to use the oil paint filter to recover a mediocre image in some way. You first duplicate the layer, convert the layer to a smart object and then select the Filter menu, select Stylize and Oil Paint from the dropdown. I need to play with this feature some more, but I found that you can apply this filter to an image and get something quite fun and creative. I'm not sure how much I will use it, but I thought the results were fun and creative. You can see the original images at the end of this post. You may like the originals better. It is all very subjective.
Below are the original images. As you can see, they were not exceptional images. It was fun to pull a few of these from my archives.