The success of your promotional campaign is largely dependent on the quality of product images that you use for attracting prospects. To add commercial value to images, they have to be professionally retouched to ensure that their resolution is optimum and excellent quality prints can be taken.

Adode Photoshop is the industry standard software for retouching images. By leveraging the tools and techniques used by professional artists, you too can pull off similar effects on images captured by you.

product photo retouching in photoshop

Over here, the proven ways to retouch your product shots in Photoshop would be discussed to help you carry out the same with ease. An example of a glass product is taken to understand ways to retouch images that pose challenges. But, before that, let us begin with understanding the concept first.

What is Product Photo Retouching?

Photo retouching is an important step for creating compelling products portfolios. It involves light adjustments, managing gear, pre-production processes and much more. You cannot limit image production to shooting a photograph of the model donning the apparel or displaying a product; this is merely a basic step. There are plenty of important steps to follow including the most important photo editing process that can eventually provide the perfect image. For high image quality, all the imperfections and distractions in the photograph should be eliminated. With proper techniques for processing product photos with Photoshop, you can exclude all such flaws to come up with attractive and flawless images.

Common Types of Product Photo Retouching

Now, let us check the common types of product photo retouching in the industry.

  1. Garment Photo Retouching

    While garment sales are multiplying online, you need to improve its presentation through advanced retouching techniques.  You can photograph the clothing flat, don it on a mannequin or suspend it on a hanger and shoot it. If you consider the images used by e-commerce stores, then you can understand that most of them are choosing to don their apparel on a mannequin or on models. This helps the potential buyers understand the fitting and style of the garments. They can easily imagine how the garment looks on them while wearing it. So, you have to present these modeled apparel with high-quality photos.

    Simply shooting a photograph in the studio cannot provide you with a high-quality image, but applying photo editing techniques can. You can apply retouching techniques and improve its presentation. You want that branded shirt to look crisp, immaculate and spread over the bold shoulders in the perfect fit. But you are not sure how to attain the perfect fit. With photo post-processing, you can present your shirt perfectly and capture the attention of the potential buyers. This can help you to sell your products quickly. You can change the shape of the hemlines for jeans, reduce flared handcuffs of shirts, remove wrinkles at the armpits and apply plenty of retouching techniques that are even most effective on the garments. It is even possible to remove the shadows that appear in the images. A silhouette of the garment is created and the garment is retouched to fit in the shape. You can actually watch the difference of the images after the application of retouching. However, in the enthusiasm to retouch images, do not remove the original features of the products; instead focus on the flaws and gain perfection of the product in the images.

    Your mannequin may not be designed in exact size for the garments. Then the stylist needs to pin the garment to alter the fit. With good photo touch-up, you can remove the distractions and produce a flawless high-quality image.

  2. Shoe Photo Retouching

    There is a great application for editing if you are shooting photographs of shoes. Leather crinkles easily on the use and the images will need retouching. You can easily moderate the shine on the shoes, remove crinkles and transform your photo easily using the retouching techniques. You can use the techniques for all footwear and present your photos fresh and perfect. Tidy your footwear easily in the images!

Step-by-Step Guide to Retouch Product Photos

Lighting and photographing glass products are a tough task. This is because incident light gets reflected and refracted from the surface in unmanageable proportions which present difficulty in retouching.

Photoshop, however, offers the tools needed for adjusting, correcting, improving and enhancing the images convincingly. The lighting exposure can be improved and specks, as well as color casts, can be eliminated for achieving impeccable results.

Let us now learn the steps through which you can retouch images with Photoshop for achieving immaculate outcomes.

1) New Layer Creation

Creating new layer for editing

  • Open Photoshop and then open the product image on its canvas
  • Navigate to Layers palette
  • Get the original layer duplicated
  • Press Ctrl or right click on the Background layer
  • Select the Duplicate layer
  • Get the new layer renamed to ‘Image Correction’

2) Image Cropping

Cropping the product image

  • Move the cursor to the Tools bar for selecting ‘Crop’ tool
  • After clicking on image’s top corner, drag the crop cursor to bottom corner in a diagonal manner
  • The crop cursor at opposite bottom corner is now to be pulled up to crop out the edges
  • Keep the Shift Key pressed to maintain the basic proportions
  • Crop unless you find that the product image is properly positioned in the frame

3) Level Adjustment

Image Levels Adjustment

  • Navigate through Images menu to arrive at Adjustments and then choose Levels
  • The Levels adjustment layer is opened
  • For correcting image exposure, pull in the histogram’s left-hand side’s slider (Highlights)
  • Move up the mountainous gradient to more height
  • To give a striking contrast, the midpoint or greys slider needs to be moved

4) Cleaning the Image up

Cleanup the images

  • Start by creating a new layer and name it ‘Image Clean-up’
  • Choose the Clone Stamp Tool from Tools bar
  • Choose soft edges for Brush from settings and keep the size as small as dust specks
  • The Opacity should be 100%

5) Clone the Image Out

Duplicating the image by cloning

  • The image needs to be zoomed in to identify flaws, spots, and marks
  • The Clone Stamp tool chosen earlier is to be applied now
  • The area adjacent to the mark to be removed should be selected
  • Press down the Opt or Alt Key for selecting the image area to be cleaned
  • Position the cursor over the mark/ speck to be removed
  • Press the tool down for cloning out the area
  • Repeat the process for every flaw

6) Applying Quick Mask

  • Some surfaces which experience more light reflection can have marks that are hard to eliminate
  • Hold down Q on the keyboard or switch to Quick Mask mode
  • For masking background, choose the Brush tool and keep Opacity to 100%
  • Paint the entire area where marks are present
  • Choose eraser Tool for error correction
  • Again, press Q for previewing the area selected
  • Cut the masked area out by navigating to ‘Layer via Copy’ option under New in Layer menu

7) Eliminating Subtle Dust Particles

  • Select the masked cutout
  • Navigate to Medium under Noise in Filter submenu of Layer menu
  • Choose Radius to be 8px and go about blurring the pixels
  • The layer opacity has to be adjusted at about 80%
  • The layer needs to be edited initially by Darken blending mode followed by Linear Dodge
  • The overall opacity of the layer can be reduced if required

8) Color replacement

image color replacement

  • The background color needs to be evened out
  • Choose Replace Color under Adjustments in the Image menu
  • Select the Eyedropper Tool and click on background region which is darkest
  • The Lightness slider needs to be dragged up for brightening out the dark area
  • This would also create a white background with an even spread
  • By zooming in the product image, analyze if the white hue has blended seamlessly with the already present background color

9) Correcting The Color

image color correction

  • Navigate to Color Balance under Adjustments in Image menu
  • The warm tones of the product image have to be removed now
  • This would facilitate the blues to be more visible
  • Color Balance adjustment layer would facilitate this
  • The ‘Preserve Luminosity’ needs to be enabled
  • Move the sliders of Highlights, Midtones and Shadows for proper adjustment
  • Keep checking the new results being obtained by pressing the Preview button
  • You need not manipulate all the options; just slide the ones that give attractive results

10) Concluding Image Touchup

  • Start by zooming in the image to identify eyesores that are still present
  • For diluting warmer tones further, you may opt again for Replace Color adjustment followed by selecting a light blue region (or what may seem better)
  • Move the Lightness slider slowly to clone out the unwarranted specks

11) Adjusting Image Contrast and Flattening It Up

Image contrast adjustment

  • Navigate to the Shadows/Highlights adjustment layer
  • Move the Midtone Contrast slider till the desired contrast is before your eyes
  • This file layer is to be saved as a .psd file for future editing
  • Navigate to Flatten Image under Layer menu for flattening the final image layers

12) Sharpening Up The Image

image sharpening

  • Prior to saving the final product image, its sharpness quotient is to be ensured
  • Overall quality and edge visibility should be professional
  • Navigate to Unsharp Mask under Sharpen in Filter menu
  • The mask amount is to be made 100% and Threshold level 0
  • The Radius has to be slowly brought up to 2.6px or more
  • Keep previewing the effects for best results

13) Image Resizing

image resizing

  • Once all the product image related photoshop touch up have been carried out, image resizing needs to be done to render it web or printer friendly
  • The image resolution needs to be 300DPI or more for best print results
  • Navigate to Resolution under Image Size in the Image menu
  • However, for website publication, the resolution needs to be lesser like 72DPI

14) Saving the retouched Product Image

saving the retouched image

  • To ensure that copyright protection is applied, watermark the images before use
  • Once the correct image proportions and resolution have been achieved, it is time to save it
  • Navigate to Save As under File menu and save the image in JPEG format
  • Take the print out for brochures or get it uploaded to your site for catalog publishing

Other Options for Product Photo Retouching

There are two other options when it comes to product photo retouching. One is to hire the retouching professionals and second is to outsource the tasks to product photo editing services companies.

The first option of hiring skilled permanent or freelance retouchers is expensive. But if you are establishing a full-time venture for retouching, then hiring expert professionals can be feasible especially if you have plenty of services to complete.

Outsourcing product photo retouching requirements to reputed companies are affordable and the cost is much lesser. You can seek assistance from our professional retouching company and benefit from the specialized image retouching services offered.

Final Words!

Retail image editing is an important application in the retail industry since the images need to be presented to a multitude of customers. There is a marked difference between the images of the products with and without retouching. You can spot the wide differences yourself; understand the perfection and quality of the retouched images.

Your brands can easily benefit from photo editing techniques. Using the best techniques, you can dynamically improve the presentation of your brands and kill competition. If your brands are highlighted through excellent images, clients will notice your products and prefer them over others. Photo editing techniques are already effective in improving retail sales and marketing.

As e-commerce stores are extensively applying these techniques, their products are marketed easily. So, plan to increase the image quality of your products and win over potential customers. You can introduce your products to new customers more effectively by presenting them the images that have been retouched.

Get ahead of other brands in the market! If you need expert assistance, PGBS is the name you can trust. We can provide end to end support for photography post processing and we have separate division of product photo editors who are trained to edit photos particularly for popular ecommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and FlipKart. We will carefully cull the photos by selecting the best images which will attract the targeted audience.

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