Is the white background really white?

or how to make a white background (RGB:255.255.255) and prepare image for a catalog print

Step 1. Finding not white areas of the background

  • Convert photo from Raw using Raw Converter
  • Duplicate layer
  • Create New fill ore adjusted layer/Curves:
Create new fill or adjustment layer

Create new fill or adjustment layer

  • Than drag the graph from the left lower corner to the right lower corner:
how-to-make-white-background

How to make white background

Now we can see that our “white” is not really white. So next steps will explain how to make 255-255-255 white background but leave  nice realistic shadow under the object.

More detailed screen shots of this step you can find on my previous lesson How to determine overexposed and underexposed areas using Photoshop

Step 2. Clean background

  • Using Dodge Tool (from your left tools palette) clean the background. My parameters for the brush is on this picture:

dodge-tool-brush-parameters

I start from big soft brush to clean bigger areas, decreasing brush size  and  adding more hardness when I clean the edge of the object. And as you see on this screen shot I do not remove shadows under the boot. If you like the shadow to be a little bit lighter just change Dodge Brush Range from Highlights to Midtones and slightly brush that area.

Clean background with dodge tool

Clean background with dodge tool

  • Open the photo 100% and clean edges by smaller and harder brush:
Cleaning background

Cleaning background

Now we have a perfectly white background with real shadow under the boot.

Step 3. Cleaning and retouching

  • Open the image full size (100%) and using Clone Stamp tool and Healing Brush tool correct all imperfections and motes.

And now we have a nice clean product photo with real white background and realistic shadow.

Mouse Over to see Before and After

Final retouched image with white background

Final retouched image with white background

Now we are ready to Flatten image (Layer/Flatten Image), crop, re-size, add sharpness, save JPEG for web or TIFF for print.

If you are interesting how this boot was photographed, here is the article about it on Atlanta photographer blog: Product photography lighting: It is simple when you know how

Please ask question and comment below this post.

16 comments to Is the white background really white?

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