Two Saturdays ago I showed you guys how I trick my point and shoot camera into using the right amount of light. Today I’m going to show you the basic photoshop trick I use to make the pictures look truly polished. I’m going to demonstrate this technique on two photos, a white background and a normal scene with stuff in the back so you can see the difference.
Here are the two photos we’ll be working with:
An itsy bitsy G!
First thing I’ll do for both is adjust the curves. This lets you change the dark and light balance.
Mess around with the line until you get the results you want. Mine tend to wind up like this:
Here are the two pictures after the curve adjustment with the originals on the left and adjusted on the right:
Obviously the curve adjustment makes a lot bigger difference in a picture you have lots of lights and darks as opposed to more midtones.
Next I’m just going to work on the white background picture and remove the background completely so it’s a true white. I usually use the magic wand for this, but whatever erasing method works for you is fine.
Leave shadows where you can, it makes the object look less like it’s just suspended in space.
Next, for both photos, we’re going to create a new layer by duplicating the current layer:
Get to this menu by right clicking on your original layer
Once you’ve created a duplicate layer, we’re going to go to the filters and select “surface blur”
Don’t freak out! I know that your picture now looks like this:
We’re going to fix it right now! That blurring is going to soften the edges of our product picture and it’s going to blur out the background in our portrait. So make sure you’re on your second layer (the one you’ve blurred out) and use the magic wand to select the things you DON’T want blurry. That’s your product, the baby’s face, ect. When they’re selected, delete them.
Don’t forget that you can change the opacity for your layer, so if the contrast between blurred and not blurred is too harsh, make your blur layer less opaque. You can always add another layer, blur it out and add blurriness slowly.
Here’s the finished product:
I’m still not crazy about the composition of the portrait, so I’d probably crop it down closer to his face, but, this way at least you’re looking at the baby and not the planter behind him!
Hope this helps, as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me and I’ll do my best to clear it up!