Photography Tutorial/FAQ Part III

Part One of this tutorial dealt with setting up your space to take photographs with a clean white background, whilst Part Two concentrated on camera settings and how to get the best from your photographs. This third and final part concentrates on using photo manipulating software to get a similar look when photos turn out dull due to bad lighting conditions or camera inadequacies. It’s always best to get a good shot to start with using the techniques in parts 1&2, but for those too impatient to wait for a brighter day and better conditions, here’s an alternative.

There are almost certainly many ways of achieving this same effect in Photoshop, I’m pretty sure I once knew some others, but I have successfully pushed them all out of my head when I discovered which way I decided to be the easiest.

So, after opening the file (above) in photoshop it should only take a few short steps to make this picture shine.

From the toolbar, select Image > Adjustments > Curves

Now, from the window that pops up, select the eyedropper on the right of the group of three. This is the one that sets the ‘white point’.

Ooh, we’re so close – the magic is about to happen…

Now guide the little eyedropper tool tip to an area of the background that was your white sheet of card, click it and pop!

What this essentially does is tell the imaging software ‘hey – you see this colour here? It’s supposed to be white, darn it. Now, go fix it!’ and photoshop duly obliged.

You should now have a perfectly white background. If you do not, then just click around a few more areas of the background until you do.

Well, that really is the sum of all of my knowledge. Not much, is it? Nevertheless, after playing around with the settings a bit you soon find what works for you.