Intermediate Photoshop CS5

Intermediate Photoshop CS5

Learn how to use Photoshop more creatively and productively. This course explores the more advanced features of Photoshop CS5, including layers, layer masks, Smart Objects, and others that let you enhance images and create templates for professional-looking graphics that are print or web ready.
6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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Photoshop is the world's most popular photo-editing program. It's a fun and creative way to alter photographs and prepare them for print or the web. If you're already familiar with Photoshop, this course will help you explore the program's more advanced features.

Whether you want to use Photoshop to edit photos, design scrapbook pages, or do original artwork, this class will give you the building blocks you need. You'll take a giant leap forward in creativity and productivity—and you'll also have a lot of fun!

Enrollment Options:
6 Weeks Access Course Code: nc5
Start Dates*Nov 17 | Dec 15 | Jan 12
*Choose start date in cart
$115.00 USD


Layers add a new world of possibilities to using Photoshop. In this lesson, you'll create, view, and hide layers. Why do layers matter? Well, they open so many opportunities for fine-tuning your images. You can edit a layered image nondestructively, so you don't have to start over if you make a mistake or need to change something.

In this lesson, you'll focus on the clues Photoshop gives to explain exactly what you're doing to a layer as you're working. You'll create, move, duplicate, lock, unlock, cut, and paste layers. Knowing this information will let you alter images quickly and nondestructively, and the lock commands will help you prevent others (and yourself!) from accidentally altering your work.

Take advantage of Smart Objects—the most awesome and significant innovation in Photoshop since the layers feature was introduced. You can place a RAW-format photo (or JPG or TIF) file inside the Smart Object and re-edit it in Camera RAW anytime you want. You'll discover how to crop and resize photos nondestructively using Smart Objects, and you'll love the way they let you make a protected package out of an image.

In this lesson, you'll see how you can make an individual layer in an image larger or smaller, rotate it, and use the amazing Warp command. From there, you can reverse your changes anytime you want—if you make them on a Smart Object layer. You can even use filters nondestructively, so long as you apply them to a Smart Object. You'll also create a pear that, when cut open, has an orange inside it.

Each time you edit the exposure in an image, you lose image quality. But what if there were a way to edit the exposure as much as you wanted and not hurt the quality? There is! An adjustment layer makes no permanent change to the image, and you can stack up these layers as you wish. You won't ever want to apply a regular Levels command or Adjustment command directly to an image again.

In this lesson, you'll find out about layer masks—another way that Photoshop lets you have your cake and eat it too. If you bring a picture of little Johnny onto a new background image, and you erase all the stuff that was in the background, what happens if you change your mind? You'd better hope you have the original image somewhere, and then you're in for a lot more work. However, if you use a layer mask, you'll keep every pixel that's in the original image and hide the parts of the original that you no longer wish to see.

Did the dog eat Grandmother's portrait? Or did time and water do that damage? No matter. Using layers makes it easier than ever before to restore some of your treasured family heritage. Like before, the goal here is nondestructive editing, which means working in layers so that you can always change your mind about a correction without having to begin again.

What happens if you want to place a person into a swimming pool or the ocean using Photoshop? To make the composite realistic, you need to transition from total opacity above the water line to total transparency below it. You'll learn that skill in this lesson as you work with grayscale and gradient masks. You'll also experiment with vignette edges and other edge effects, plus you'll create a web page header.

One of the most common ways to lose sleep while using Photoshop is to try to add a new background behind a model with wispy, flowing hair. Hair and fur have always been the bane of Photoshop users. Photoshop can help, however. You'll learn some new tricks as you explore the commands on the Masks section of the Properties panel.

Have you ever wondered how to put images inside text like those old postcards for various cities? It's called a clipping mask, and it's a digital version of spreading glitter onto a paper that has a design drawn in glue—the glitter only sticks to the glue. In this case, the new layers only stick to the base layer in the clipping mask. Making a clipping mask is easy, but it provides one of Photoshop's "wow" moments.

Photoshop can use the values in an image to correct the image. That sounds scary and mysterious, but it's actually easy to do. In this lesson, you'll create luminosity masks and use them to correct images and to develop false duotone images and wonderfully creative image composites. This lesson should nurture your creativity and yet give you some solid ways to add punch to an image or to create stunning sepia tones.

In this course, you've created composites in so many ways. But there's still more to learn! In this lesson, you'll create an image that has a different photo in each color channel. You'll use Content-Aware Scale to make unusual adjustments to your image size. You'll try a wonderful stained-glass framing technique. And you'll finish the course with a fun assignment that lets you put together everything you've learned.



Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • You will need Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Windows or Adobe Photoshop CS5 for macOS (not included in enrollment). This can be part of the Creative Suite in Standard or Extended editions or it can be a standalone version of either Standard or Extended. However, no features from the Extended version will be taught. You may also use the 30-day free trial software provided by Adobe, but if you do, you must wait until the relevant lesson of the course to install it and actually begin to work through the course, otherwise your trial will end before the course is over. You can also obtain a one or two-month subscription for the product at a cost of $49.00 per month. This allows you to use the demo for one month if you like and then buy a one-month subscription so you can take the course for its full length.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.


You will need to have a working knowledge of the basic tools in Photoshop and be able to make selections, use the Clone Stamp tool and Healing brushes, and do elementary color correction. If you are new to Photoshop, you should start with Introduction to Photoshop CS5. You also will need to know how to create a new file folder and locate files on your hard drive.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Doug Sahlin is an experienced author, photographer, and website designer who has written several bestselling books about photography and applications such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Doug is President of Superb Images Inc. and a photography instructor for Wyzant. He uses his extensive Photoshop experience to edit images he has created for clients and his fine art images. He also uses Photoshop and Illustrator when designing websites for clients.


This was a very challenging class and you are a great instructor! I took your first class and then this one and enjoyed both. I would recommend this class to anyone. Thank you so much for giving us plenty of assingments to help get us more aquainted with the program and not restricting the amount of postings. Even though I wasn’t in a classroom I felt I could get help when I needed it and that is most important.

Some very challenging and heavy stuff in this excellent final lesson. So much more to master in the months ahead it makes my head spin…The sky's the limit for using this very artistic concept as well as the use of luminosity masking. This course was more than challenging, and it was worth every penny. A tremendous educational value! Kudos to Sherry London and staff!

I am glad I got the chance to use CS5 with all the assignments. I learned so much from them all. There were a few assignments that I did not do, however I plan to review and take advantage of all assignments. This was a really great class. You and Beth are wonderful instructors. I have an artist friend who has taken classes online under your expert instructions, and she also praises you highly. I hope to be able to take more of you classes in the future.

Thank you so much for a wonderful course! I looked forward to every lesson and have just received my copy of Photoshop Gone Wild in the mail. I also plan to take further coursework on ed2go so I'm sure to meet you again. Thank you so much, I can't tell you what this course has done for me.

Thank you for a truly wonderful class. I have learned a lot and feel a little more confident about tackling some of the old photos I have wanted to retouch.

I've really enjoyed this class and appreciated all the feed back you've given us along the way. As I worked my way through the exam, I could see the wide range of skills you've taught us over the past eight weeks. It was good to be reminded of them again! I've learned a lot, and I'll miss our online community. Now I just need to keep practicing and build some confidence!

I want to thank you Sherry for sharing your expertise and knowledge of Photoshop. Up to this course everything I learned was self learning from reading books, online tutorials from different websites ect... But know the things I learned from your course open up a lot more abilities, creativity ect... Thank again

I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with me during this course and during the intro course I took with you a couple sessions back. I learned so much...more than I dreamed possible...and I leave with enough resources and recommendations from you to keep me learning for many months to come. I attribute my success to the quality of instruction, the design of the course, and the flexibility of the program offered by ed2go. As a high school English and Journalism teacher with more than 20 years of experience in the classroom and as a peer mentor, I know "quality" when I see it.

Thank you, Sherry (and Beth)! I learned so much from this class and will definitely use these techniques personally and professionally in the near future. I really appreciate the quality of your instruction and your presence on the discussion boards.

I have taken a couple of beginner's courses online prior to this one. I will confess, your style was so different then my other classes, and I took a little time to surrender and just go with your flow. So happy I did! Once I let myself just follow your step-by-step instructions, it led to "playing around" with different commands and ideas. I really feel you walked me through each lesson. And, for an online class, it was almost like being in a classroom. Thank you.