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How to Color Correct Product Photos in Photoshop 51 Comments


In this short tutorial, I show you the process of color correcting product shots in Photoshop. Color correcting product shots present their own challenges and can be tricky because you have to keep the integrity of the color and tones of the product in mind and still make it look good. This is true with 3D renders of product shots as well. How do you color correct your product shots?

Examples

City Kit
Texture Kit Pro

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51 Comments

  1. yo gorilla, nice to see a new phototut! thanks for sharing. i still love the PS for photographers, it really helped me out so much.

    Reply
  2. Great to see some photoshop tuts, especially on color correcting and that kinda stuff, and not how to make som stupid text effect :)

    I’m really looking forward to get my hands on the new Nikon d7000 when it comes to denmark :) maybe you could make some tutorials on how make som color correction in aftereffects for live action video ??? kinda like this one but for AE

    Reply
  3. Hey Nick, thank you so much for the tutorial. There are plenty of these out there on youtube and whatnot but your stuff is always so much more concise and clear cut. It really makes a difference.

    One question in terms of shrinking the image for web, is there a standard size that you size portrait and landscape photos to for the web? In other words why not just use the full size jpeg?

    Thanks again
    Keep up the helpful tips

    Reply
    • well, as you were saying – it’s all about shrinkage ^^

      if you save images for the web, it’s all about finding a compromise between quality and filesize, so all the images can be loaded quickly, even by people who don’t have access to broadband internet and to keep your traffic as low as possible

      so there’s obviously no standardized image size, i don’t know if maybe nick uses one for his photo-convert, but in general you won’t find it, it depends on what you want to do with your images

      another thing you might want to think about when it comes to pixel size is that you want to avoid abuse of your images. of course you can always put a watermark right in the center, but that’s usually not what you’re looking for, so filesize is a rather quick, easy and elegant way of protecting your photos

      Reply
  4. Thanks Nick, I’ve always been a bit lost when editing photos, and usually end up with 7 or 8 adjustment layers when I probably only need a couple.

    The little tips like using the number keys to change the opacity were great. Another one I found recently is when you want to make a new layer below the layer you have selected, instead of clicking the new layer icon and then dragging it under, you can just hold the Apple key and click the new layer icon instead. Only saves half a second, but it helps if you’re on a sprint and working with a bunch of layers.

    I hope you continue posting PS tutorials!

    Andy

    Reply
    • LessThanThreeLeo

      Yes Nick! I’m a photographer, so it’s great to see you’re getting back into photography tutorials again. Good tutorial by the way.

      Reply
  5. Colortrails

    Good stuff Nick. There are many ways you could go with these corrections, but a couple things you might try:

    Use the Content-Aware option with the Spot Healing Brush for the background fixes, or maybe the patch tool since the areas around the border of the shot are not high contrast. They may do a better job of keeping the subtle patterns intact.

    For the colors, if you started with raw photos try the HSL panel in ACR (I think you said you don’t use Lightroom). It’s usually very accurate and a bit easier to use than the H&S adjustment, plus it’s non-destructive so you can start over if needed. Here is a tutorial I posted today about HSL in Lightroom, though it’s about styling a photo rather than color correction.

    http://www.vimeo.com/16098188

    Also, if you know the photos are going to be limited by the colors people can see in their web browser (as opposed to a print or proofing monitor), you might want to go with sRGB output from ACR, and make sure you’re saving the JPEGs in Save for Web with that option.

    Sometimes if you start out working in Adobe RGB or ProPhoto, and then save or convert something over to sRGB you can get a fairly obvious color shift in some hues. Thanks and keep rockin’ the great tutorials! :)

    Reply
  6. Pablo

    good one nick, always giving that touch….but i have a question……you took your photos with your nikon D700….and i wanna buy a canon 7D, i also have to say that im getting in to it, and you are more pro…….
    What do you say about this cam????.
    i want your view of this, cause you know more than me!!
    thanks nick!!

    Reply
    • Midge

      The 7D and 5D Mk2 are comparable cameras, whereas the 7D is used more for action/sports photography because it has a smaller sensor and is thus a little faster than the 5D Mk2, which would be used more for product photography.

      But if you’re getting into it, either one wil be more that satisfactory.

      Hope that helps,

      Midge

      Reply
    • Which DSLR is preferrable when it comes to Movie making? Just Small movies and videos?
      I am Planing to buy a Canon 550d for both Photography and Movie. Is it a Good choice?

      Reply
      • I hear all the canon’s now are great for video. Which is upsetting, cause I have nothing but Nikon Glass.

        Reply
  7. Great job Nick, thanks for the sharpening tip, I never thought about it.

    I recently purchased a Canon 60D and I have some knowledge of photography (Dad + college course). I was wondering if you could do some photography shooting tutorials (lighting, setup, exterior photography, how to shoot outside without being shy about it, etc.)

    Thanks !

    Reply
  8. firebrick

    Yea for ps tutes! Never was/is my strong suit so thanks for the knowledge! :)

    Reply
  9. Go Go Go Gorilla!
    Getting it done, Photoshop style.

    Nice tutorial.
    Really enjoyed it.

    Thanks
    James Wicks
    South Florida

    Reply
  10. Good stuff nick, Its nice to see a photoshop/photography tut on the blog again. looking forward to more of them!

    Reply
  11. Its great to see PS totorials back here!
    What about some tips for macro product shots (jewellery for example)? It might be one of the next tutorials.

    Reply
  12. Andrus Rähni

    Good tips you got there. I liked it.
    I got a good tip that i have to upgrade my adobe CS4 to CS5. :P Looks nicer and more user friendly.

    I bet my lady seeks these dresses on eBay right now :D

    Oh, and another thing.. you said that you post all the things what to you do, see or experience in a day – any tips how to cook food? :P

    Sunshines from Estonia,
    Andrus

    Reply
  13. Nice tut. Grear content. Good level of detail. Most importantly, you are a great instructor. You are the gorilla! Keep doing what you’re doing. Love your stuff.

    Reply
  14. Brett Perry

    Hey Nick, it’s good to see some photoshoping. I have to admit my Photoshop and Illustrator skills are really dusty. I spend most of my time in AE. The tutorial makes me realize I shouldn’t forget the basics. I’m really getting into Cinema 4D and you’ve helped in that regard as well. Rock on, Dude!

    Reply
  15. Germ Henk Blumers

    I like your tutorial because you explain things undertandable, and you’re creative with it. Hope you do more Photoshop tuts in the future!

    Reply
  16. Thomas

    Thanks for the tutorial, fun to play with other programs too. I wish you(r wife) good luck with the dresses!

    Again; thanks for the post!

    Reply
    • Thomas

      I really like the manner and attitude of yours in the tutorials/posts – no matter program – as you explain not just what could be done, but also why you approach each step a long the way.

      Like this being a product shot, others where you talk about reels, ads, promos etc.

      The workflow of creative tasks are not just the practical clicks’n'drags – it’s a lot managing the mind-soup, so thanks for inviting us into yours! :)

      Please keep it up on the blog, and do accept the tons of gratitude expressed in the comments. They’re all for you :)

      Reply
  17. the audio is quite out of sync
    i did like the walkthrough though :)
    I could suggest something.

    You can use the burn brush tool whatever it is, and use it to burn out only the highlights of the background.
    It wont affect the skin tone, especially if you wear a dark blouse.

    A photographer did it to my photo when i had to buy a couple for a passport or something.

    thanks Nick

    Reply
  18. Richter

    NICK!!!

    I hate your website!
    Everyday I have to look if there’s something new. I’m addicted.

    Thanks for all the tutorials and everything you offer for free!!!
    Have a nice day ;)

    Reply
  19. Thanks for the tips here nick. For all asking about cameras, we bought a canon 7D for video at work and the stills you can shoot are amazing too.

    One quick tip that I do when editing photos is to duplicate my background layer first, put it on top and turn off the visibility. So when I get a lot of layers going on, all I have to do is turn on that one layer to see the original as apposed to turning off 10.

    Thanks again Nick!

    Reply
  20. Robin Smith

    Nick, thanks for coming back to PS, its been a while and it was nice to see you in action again. Since purchasing the Photoshop for Photographers set I have switched to Bridge and expanded my photoshop skills no end, so it was good to learn some more from you today.

    I hope you will do more PS soon, you do explain things so well and have a certain flair for teaching – thanks a lot :)

    - Robin

    Reply
  21. Michael

    Hey Nick,

    This is a bit off subject but I was wondering if you were planning on porting over your iphone apps for the new Windows Phone 7 platform…?

    Great tutorial BTW!

    Michael

    Reply
    • Thanks, Michael.

      For Windows? Probably not. Apple gives me a simple and successful platform to sell my apps. Besides, I only wanna sell stuff I use. And, I have an iPhone.

      Reply
  22. great tut nick as always.

    nice to see it being broken up a bit with photoshop tuts as well.

    do you take requests? if so how about a look into python scripting in c4d?

    Reply
  23. Nice tutorial. I picked up a few things. A nice Photoshop tutorial is refreshing. Thanks Nick.

    Reply
  24. ogonnokaba

    Hey Nick,

    pretty good tutorial on the basics of retouching a shot. Remember, you can also use the patch tool to get rid of the crinckles in the paper or instead use the clone brush.

    What helped me was the tip from where to actually shoot the image (middle of the ring light) to get a decent lighting. Got me some pretty good productshots with your technique.

    Thanks Nick.

    Reply
  25. Hi Nick,

    I enjoyed seeing another photo tutorial come out; it’s definitely been awhile.

    As always, I appreciate your willingness to invest your time in teaching others.

    Reply
  26. Shane

    i liked the explanation but i feel like this is more like creative color enhancement than color correction. do you use a color checker in your workflow, i just started using it and tried it in a shoot after purchasing a set of monolights. i was impressed because it got the skin tones perfect across a wide gamut of ethnicities (after generating a profile w/ accompanying software). enjoyed your video cast a lot as with all of them, thanks for putting so much effort into your casts.

    Reply
    • This is just semantics isn’t it? They are the same thing, really. I don’t use a color checker, but I also don’t do too many things that are supposed to look “real”. Shinny type and spheres is my game. :)

      Reply
  27. nice tutorial! Its always great seeing others techniques. I noticed you used the “i” key for the eyedropper, another option is to use the “alt” key while in brush mode, it toggles the eyedropper. It’s a little faster.

    Reply
  28. Alvaro

    Just said that with sharpen mask you are giving more detail to the high frequencies of your image, and that is what you you don’t need, like this, you get a white edge on the image. to not make this happen you have to made a “mexican hat”, to get detail in low and middle frequencies. Also if you want to get a realistic color for a web try to buy a color card for your next shooting instead of hours of preproduction and check correctly the change of the image to RGB to SRGB

    Reply

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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.