Have you ever struggled with taking picture on white background but got grayish and dull background instead of clean, crisp, and bright white? Congratulation, you are in the right post! During those frustrating times, post-processing or editing, is my savior. I feel like this step is often overlooked in many photography tutorial posts, when editing is so powerful and I personally find it to be fun part of whole photography process. Psst, these tools are also the one responsible for changing my blog photos quality from June.
Maybe because we fear things when it got to technical, but trust me, these three tools I'm going to introduce to you are simple and easy to use! They will give your image instant lift without altering the actual color of the product too much.
I'm using Photoshop CS4 but you can find similar tools in pixlr editor (free).
1. Screen Layer
Is the most simple and almost no-brainer step when you want to brighten your image in general. It gets tricky when you have bright-colored product on top of white background, but if you products have solid color, then fingers crossed, all you need to do is set your layer to screen, and you're done!
I know people recommend using 'Curves' all the time, but I find when my problem is just getting brighter background, 'Levels' give me more control. There are five variables you can play around, but ignore the two on the bottom and focuses more on the upper three. The first left 'solidifies' your object, the middle one brightens the whole image, and the last one brightens your background.
Either play with the slider or change the variables by manually inputting them. If you just want brighter image in general, play around with the last two by dragging the slider to the left side. They compensate each other, so if you happened to end up with too bright image that takes away the intensity from the object, enters large number in the first left variable. My safe bet is with '10 - 1.23 - 245', works every time ;)
3. Selective Color
So, your product is on point, the picture is bright enough but the background is too dull? Selective color is the magic tool that will transform the grayest of background into white. Open the selective color layer and changes the color mode into white. Pay no attention to cyan-magentas-yellow, and go straight to 'black'.
On the variable box, enter any number begins with -/minus (I usually start with -50), it will takes away all the bleak gray from your white background/any white object without altering the other color. Neat, right? With this tool, you don't have to make your actually dark red lipstick into something brighter than it actually is.
Below I lined up how each processes alters the photo, in screen - levels - selective color order. Notice the differences on the shadow and the brightness of white background, but not on the actual product itself? I personally like to combine all three, but depending on the picture, sometimes, I'm satisfied with only using one.
Will you try using these tools? If you have any question, feel free to leave it in the comment box below! As someone who's enthusiastic in editing as much as in photographing, I'd love to hear your thought!
acceptance over understanding
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