My questions

  1. Should I capture the product in a completely black background then use my method to make background transparent in GIMP?

  2. I know the product color is also white so how do I make it outstanding in a white background?

What I've done is normally for product with completely white background, I will use Fuzzy select then Color to Alpha to make the white background transparent. But what if the white background contains shadows something like gray-ish color (refer Image 1)? I have hundred of images shot in this way, imagine if I were to crop for each image.

Image 1 below: enter image description here


3 Answers 3


Use the Paths Tool in GIMP to go around bottles. If you don't know how to use the Paths Tool, there are tutorials on youtube.

Turn the path into a selection, by right clicking the path in the Paths panel, and choosing Path to Selection.

Back in the layers panel, select the image layer, right click it, and choose Add Layer Mask. In the options choose the "from Selection" option.

Screenshot showing a layer mask made from a path

If you take some time to learn how to use the Paths Tool effectively, the result will be almost perfect, and it's quick. I did this in about 5 minutes. Obviously this is a skill that takes some time to develop - but you have plenty of images to practice on!

Here's the finished image cut out, and placed over a blue background so you can see the extraction clearly.

Example of cut out image

  • may i know how much time for u to edit 1 photo? I have 120 product images, do I really need to use the same method to apply to all? Jun 23, 2017 at 8:51
  • @4LeaveCover 5 mintues - there is no way to do this automatically sorry.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:52
  • @4LeaveCover - there are tutorials on youtube that show how to use the Paths Tool properly - there's one I made here on my youtube channel: youtube.com/watch?v=9bMJH6aQwsw
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:54
  • 1
    Probably I will need to burn midnight oil for this image editing, but thanks a lot for your answer and tutorial, at least I learnt something useful =) Jun 23, 2017 at 9:05
  • 1
    Oh by the way, I've just subscribed to your youtube channel Jun 23, 2017 at 9:15

You have taken the photos a little underequipped. Not bad, I have succeeded with a phone mostly worse.

Other user's already have given some quidance on how to take the photos, but check this, too:

Removing backgrounds from product photos

Altough it's Photoshop-centric story, there's still surely something useful which is not connected to any software.

Back to your current problem.

At first stretch the contrast to the limit of overexposure. You do not have much room because you have bright highlights. Here's a screenshot that shows the situation and how much I added:

enter image description here

Removal of the background: I tested some easy methods to your photo with no succes. the contrast is too low and there's plenty of noise and JPG artifacts. The only way that went through streamlined was drawing a clipping path. That seems already well presented in other answers, so I show only the result. If you have 100 nearly as hard cases to clear, you can expect to need 15 hours pauseless intensive work until you have 100 pieces in this condition:

enter image description here

That calculation maybe gives one reason to enhance the photographing methods.

This is not good enough to a webpage. No matter, what is the background, it's not glossy enough to be attractive. You must increase the apparent sharpness and contrast.

One easy to understand method to increase the contrast without overexposure is to make a copy layer, increase its contrast and by layer mask hide the overexposed areas. Insted of the overexposed white is shown the previous version:

enter image description here

Merge the layers.

Sharpening is limited by JPG artifacts and because it generates white edges. An unsharp mask is applied. It's applied after merging the layers and making a copy layer for the sharpening. The radius was 1px and the amount = 1,00. The white edge outlines were mostly wiped off by the eraser.

How to be clearly seen against a white background?

No way, because the bottles are too nearly white. That is helped by adding shadows. The drop shadow below the stuff is stronger and tha back shadow is weaker. Both are blackened and blurred copies of the objects.They can also created by spraying black.

enter image description here

ADDENDUM: Before I noticed that you specifically asked about white background, I had made this whitened version for slightly colored background:

enter image description here

It can be useful to check if the total presentation plan allows other background than full white.


Really a question for a future photography.stackexchange.com

What pro photographers do is have a lighting on the background to make sure it is over-exposed and therefore completely white. The product receives less light and so isn't pure white. Since the background is pure white you don't even need to cut it out in many cases.

Removing black can be tricky (and getting real black in a photo is not that easy...). Things can be simpler with a color background (green or blue, to contrast with your subject) but it has to be uniformly lighted.

  • What kind of setup can I use to make my background over-exposed? when capturing the photo isn't the product will be over exposed too? Jun 23, 2017 at 7:32
  • Photography Stack Exchange does exist :)
    – Cai
    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:00
  • So many SE sites, so little time :)
    – xenoid
    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:22
  • @4LeaveCover You typically use a flash behind the subject that shoots at the background, and you set your camera for spot/area exposure. Some people use glossy white (vynil) for the background.
    – xenoid
    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:26
  • @xenoid Umm... I only have iPhone 6 and the product, so basically my products were shot using my iPhone 6. Any idea how to simulate the flash behind the subject while I capturing the product cover? Jun 23, 2017 at 8:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.