Product Images and White Background Removal - Photographer's Notebook #4
How To Produce The Perfect White Background Product Image
Why do we show our products against a white background?
Being an online store, having good quality images of the products is crucial because it determines the customers decision process, which is ultimately whether to purchase the product or not. It is also the only way they will get a sense of what they are buying, which makes it very important to have images that represent the product accurately.
Our product listings contain two types of photography, lifestyle and product-only. In most cases, product-only images would be the first photo you would see on the site, lifestyle shots afterwards. Having both style of images allows the individual to see the product in detail as well as what it would like like in life situations, such as wrist shots or the product sitting amongst other objects.
It is essential to have high quality product-only images with the white backgrounds as it provides many benefits. The product can be seen clearly making it stand out with no distractions meaning the focus is purely on the product. A solid white background also provides consistency across the whole site.
What software do we use?
With many software options out there with the ability to remove backgrounds of images, Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 was the best choice for us. For a more in depth description of equipment we use for photography, click here.
Step By Step
- Set up your camera ensuring the battery is of full charge and has an appropriate lens for the product you are photographing. Our go-to lens for smaller product photography such as watches and straps is the Sigma 105mm, an extremely sharp lens, especially for the price!
- Attach the camera to a tripod
- Set camera settings and put the self timer on.
- Placing the product on a white, flat surface (table) or you can use portable studio tents/boxes that are designed for photographing product images. These help eliminate any outside factors that may reflect onto your subject matter.
- Position the product emphasising important features.
- Adjusting the camera position using the tripods features.
- Positioning of the light boxes
- Take photo/photos. Here at Geckota we do not use flash photography, but we do use a technique called focus stacking which helps us achieve the sharpest possible image. We will be discussing this further in a future blog, so stay tuned!
- Upload to Photoshop.
- Remove the background of the image.
- Retouching of the image including dust removal and other minor changes.
White Background Removal:
2. Be selected on the layer mask attached to your image.
3. Select the Pen Tool. There are many different tools in Photoshop to remove the backgrounds of images. The most common being The Pen Tool, The Lasso Tool, The Magic Wand. However in most instances using the Polygonal Lasso Tool and Pen Tool are our preferred methods. The Pen tool allows you to create the perfect curve and The Polygonal Lasso Tool allows you to be more precise with your selection.
4. Point and click (outlining) around the image being as precise as you can. Tip: Trace slightly inside the image to ensure no white is included in the selection.
- Add layer mask to your image.
5. Join up the Selection so the whole image is selected, then right click and select 'Make Selection', then click 'Ok'.
6. Select the Brush Tool with 100% hardness on a black colour picker. Begin to brush away the background until all white is removed (you can make the brush larger for certainty) as well as brushing around areas you want to keep. Repeat the selection steps to remove other white areas.
7. Now the background has been completely removed!