Please enjoy another installment of the photography series written by Melanie from Violet's Buds!
Few things are more frustrating than concluding a photo shoot and noticing you had a dust spot on your lens, stray fuzzball on your product, or that the model had a smudge on her face.
Similar to the cloning tool (which you can read about here), the healing tool can be a lifesaver for product photos. The healing tool works by sampling the surrounding pixels to blend the imperfection away, which is why it will work on textured areas such as skin or hair.
Please Note: It is never okay to edit out actual blemishes on your product like stains, discolorations, or rips. This tutorial is intended solely to help you remove fuzz, floating dust spots, skin blemishes, or stray fibers that floated into your product photo shoot. You should always use a lint remover on products before photographing items, which reduces the need to edit!
My friend has allowed me to use her arm as an example to remove blemishes and freckles for this tutorial.
Start by opening your favorite photo editing program. For this tutorial, I used Adobe Photoshop, but both Pixlr and PicMonkey are free editing programs that also have this feature available.
Select the healing tool, which resembles a little bandage. Next, (depending on your program) you may need to define a source point. This is where the editing program will select pixels from. Do so by holding down the ALT key while clicking.
Zoom in on the photo, and begin clicking around to "erase" the blemishes. If necessary, you can change the size and shape of the healing tool brush. Remember, that if you make mistakes you can always go back in the image history or click Edit>Undo (or press CTRL+Z to quickly undo your last step).
The healing tool can take a little time getting used to, but is a great option to fix minor issues.
No matter how practiced you at at taking photos, its safe to say that the majority of photos will need some editing. With a well-exposed photo, you can make it pop with a few adjustments.
Here is the image- straight from the camera. The subject is adequately lit, the background nice and smooth, but everything seems flat and dull.
Using your preferred editing software, go into the Curves menu.
Using this tool in RGB mode, you can adjust the brightness and the contrast by moving the shape of the line. Basically, the steeper the line, the higher the contrast. Moving the center curve of the line will change the brightness.
After adjusting in RGB mode, you can then adjust the individual Red, Green, or Blue channels. Starting at the center point, moving it up or down will add or subtract the color of that channel.
I find that its best to adjust in the Red and Blue channels only.
It can take some getting used to, so give yourself time to experiment. If you mess up, you can always cancel and start over. One great way to see if you have edited too much, is to look away from your screen briefly then glance back. If your first reaction is "woah! that's too red!" then you know you need to make further adjustments.
When are happy with the brightness, contrast, and color of the photo, crop it to the size and shape that will work best for your product listings.
With a few adjustments in the Curves menu, and a square crop, this photo is ready for product listing and to share on social media!
Check out this post for a list of 3 free photo editing programs.