I'm hoping you guys can help. I've been using photoshop for donkeys years, but the one difficulty I have is cutting out products in a professional way. I decided to take the underlying photo on a black background because the product is white.

I have attempted inverting the black, magic wand, AND quick selection tool but just can't get a nice result. I know the quality of the image isn't great, but my DSLR is pretty old now.

Hope you guys can offer some advice.


  • it could use better lighting. Lighting always helps with these things – deecemobile Nov 22 '13 at 20:14
  • We've got a few questions already for cutting images out: How do I trace an image and place it over a different background? and Completely remove background from image. There are a few techniques in those posts. If they don't work, then feel free to post a new question with an example of what you've tried and why it's not quite what you're looking for. Good luck! – JohnB Nov 22 '13 at 20:23
  • This is a snap to extract via channels. i.stack.imgur.com/2OtQ8.png – Scott Nov 22 '13 at 20:30
  • Hi Scott - how do I do this? – JamesBriggs Nov 22 '13 at 20:42
  • 1
    For future photos, if you separate the backdrop from the product by several feet, you can light them separately. Use a white backdrop, and use four lights, 2 for the foreground 2 for background. Put up blinders for the background lights to prevent light from getting forward. Take 2 shots without moving the camera: 1 with foreground lights only, 1 with background lights only. If you set things up just right, you will have 1 shot with a lit product against a black background and 1 product of a white background with a silhouette of the product. The bg one can be used as a mask. – horatio Nov 22 '13 at 20:51

I cheat with Quick Mask.

Make a rough selection using your method of choice.

Go into Quick Mask and (depending on your preference and settings) use either the eraser or pencil/brush to make your selection perfect. Flip out of Quick Mask and delete occasionally to check your work.

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