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I have photos of a product and I would like to create a white background behind it. See it here:

product shot

I have tried playing with levels and the brightness but that also messes up the product itself. How do i do this?

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the answers are good, but also consider a reflector somewhere in front to more fully light the face. ( for example: [random link]) – horatio Aug 31 '12 at 14:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

For what it's worth, here's my attempt. It essentially takes the same approach as Scott's answer, so credit should go to him, but with a different approach to the top roll-off.

I noticed there was a slight green colour cast which I removed in a pretty quick and dirty way too (though not very well).


The reason this has been so easy to do is that you have otherwise done everything right - it's photographed with a light backlit background (normally you don't want, but in this case you do) so it can easily be isolated just with curves.

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You can get most of the way there with a simple Curves adjustment


I would mask the product so it's isolated and tweak the actual product further if needed.

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The key here is to observe where he has put that node on the top right (to effectively clip to white). On the histogram there is a very pronounced rise which represents the white background. You want to clip highlights on the left of this rise as done in the example in order to clip all the background to white. You also want a soft roll-off, which means you want to curve towards it as shown in the example - which is why the levels control won't cut it. – thomasrutter Sep 5 '12 at 0:35

One option, at least with an image like this, could be to automate the levels by using the "pick white point" option. The screenshot below is from the Gimp, but as you can see in @Scott's answer, it's available in Photoshop too.

enter image description here

After you click on "pick white point", you can click on the grey area of your image, and you'll end up with something looking like the following, which isn't too bad for a one-click solution:

enter image description here

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