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In Product Photography for E-Commerce, designer Dane Howard shows how to take professional-looking photographs that showcase products and build buyers' trust. Using a practical approach, Dane covers objects from collectible coins to real estate, and the lessons can be applied to just about anything that can be sold online. When it comes time to capture images in the studio, Dane discusses how to select a camera and other equipment on any budget. He shares his favorite tips and tricks for getting the most out of camera angles, backgrounds, and scene lighting. He reviews image editing basics, such as cropping and retouching photographs, and explains how to take a presentation beyond a 360-degree view with the integration of rich media.
The next thing we're going to talk about is retouching. Now we've talked about cropping and adjustment of the image, but retouching is a different beast and here's why. Retouching is different because if you think about what you're going to isolate inside of the image itself, think about how you might crop it, and whatever is inside of that crop, if you don't like what you see, you're going to have to do some retouching. Now this is something that you can do that you can't do just in Auto Correction. That means you're going to have to paint on top of an image or isolate some part of the image to actually reduce, blow out or paint over it.
Now you can see here, I am just going to isolate the area that I want here. I go up to Image>Crop. Once I have a good crop, this is important because I don't want to mess with anything that's going to be outside of my crop. Well, the second thing I need to do here is I need to start to isolate this area. Well, there are a couple of different ways to do that in Photoshop. Here is the quickest ways that I've learned. Now if you've got a good exposure, a quick way to isolate the background, there is a bunch of them. Now this isn't going to be in print or anything where I need really hard line, so I am just going to go into the selection mechanism, instead of anything where I'd have to draw around these specific shoes themselves or create a very detailed mask.
The first thing I'm going to try is this thing called Color Range. Now Color Range menus are sometimes the best bet, because you can go in and you can start to select things. Now if I select different ranges you can see that items in the center here are actually chosen inside the shoes. I'm not after any selection after the shoes. If I start to bring up the Fuzziness, I can start to see some things in the shoes. That's not going to work for me. If I go ahead and select this, and start doing adjustments, I'm going to get some things selected that are inside the shoes. I don't want that.
Well, to undo what I just did, I can hold down Ctrl+D to deselect that selection. The other thing I'm going to might think about is the Quick Selection tool. What's nice about the Quick Selection tool is it has quite a bit of settings. This is used to be the Magic Wand. Well, the Quick Selection is really helpful. You can see that there's different types here. You can see that the settings and basically, what's going on here is I can select, and then select more or less. Well, let's go ahead and start to go into this. I'm going to start selecting around this area here, and as I'm holding down, I'm starting to get a really nice selection. Oops! It grabbed some of the yellow.
Oh, no fear, I'm going to hold down the Alt key on a PC and I'm going to start painting out this yellow here. Go ahead and do that until you have a nice selection and this should work really, really lovely for you. If you want to get really, really close, I'm going to hold down the Ctrl and the Spacebar and zoom in. You can start to really finesse this just the way that you want it, down to the very detail here. So, if I go right around here, you can see what I'm doing.
I am going to hold down Ctrl+Minus, I'm going to zoom out. Now the next thing I do is I actually go into the Feather menu. So you can see here that I have a little bit that I don't want, and a little bit that I don't want here. So I'm going to just fine-tune this a little bit, and I can go up to Select>Modify>Feather. I always feather it based on the resolution from 1 to 5 pixels, based on it. I can go ahead and select that. That gives me a nice, soft edge.
The next I'm going to do is hold down Ctrl+L. What is that? That's the Levels. I'm going to go ahead and drag this one, this is my first indicator. This tells me where I am at. I'm going to start moving this piece up a little bit more. Now, the nice thing about isolating this is I am using the Adjustments in an isolated way. So, I know that nothing is going to touch those specific shoes. That's a pretty good start. The next thing I usually do is I select a color. I'm going to select I, which gives me the Eyedropper, and I'm going to select something that's already on the image.
It gives me a color, not just pure white. It gives me something to work with. Then I can go onto my Brush and I can start to paint in something that I know is already there. What I'm doing, essentially, is ironing out these wrinkles, and I am not touching the shadows so much because I like what's going on there. This just gives me a way to iron out the wrinkles on the outsides of what I don't necessarily like. Now, I'm going to hit Ctrl+H, and that hides the marching ants. I like to do that, just to see where I am at.
I'm going to go back in and adjust a few of these things because I think these shadows are nice and it just gives it a nice little bit of presence here as I'm resting it on here. I go through there, I am about done. I like what I see. Now in a few short minutes, you can see that I've quickly touched this up and I haven't adjusted the color or the exposure that's on the shoes themselves. So I haven't color shifted them, and I've kept their color accuracy great. You are now ready to save this out. So that's just a quick tip on very quick color adjustment tools that I've used.
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