Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Photography tips from a non-professional: Making your product photos stand out

This blog post on photography was so popular, I thought I'd dare to venture down that road again and show you my tips for post production, or making your product photos really pop after you've taken them.

I use Gimp but I'm sure the instructions are pretty much the same for other photo manipulation software.  Gimp is my choice because it's free and there are bits of it I can understand.  If only I had more time to work with it, I'm sure I could do some pretty cool things.  But I'm a confirmed amateur, and I'm deliberately avoiding any technical language here because I just don't understand it. 

Anyway, here goes!  Hope it's helpful.

Open your photo in Gimp - you perhaps want to make a copy to work on.  Here's some tigers eye and carnelian earrrings looking a little grey and flat.  What I'm showing you here is how to get a white background and make the image stand out but without distorting the colours or contrast of the product.

 Choose the 'colours' menu, and from that 'levels'

You get a graph - don't panic!  You are going to manipulate the graph, but it won't be like maths in school, honestly :-)

 Locate the little triangles underneath the graph at either end...

 ... and simply grab them and drag them to where the black shape on your graph starts.  I've started with the right hand one and pulled it over to meet the end of the black blob graph shape.  Note how this has already lighted the background from grey to off white. ('grab' and 'blob' are technical terms, honest!)

You can experiment with moving the triangles further, but you'll see once you are in the zone of the black shape of the graph, you'll start to distort the colour and contrast.  Keep the triangles right at the start of where the graphs start at either side, and you'll generally get the clearest image.

 You can save now, or alternatively, you can pick up the 'dropper' icon on the right....

 ...and pop it anywhere on your background.  With a bit of luck, it will give you a snow white background too!  Combine the two approaches and your product should really start to stand out.

 You've done it!  Any problems, you can always use 'reset'.  Don't forget to save before you quit. 

Phew!  My first tutorial with screen shots.  Let me know if it's useful, and if I've made any mistakes. 



  1. Off to have a look at Gimp now ( What a horrible name for it!)

  2. Wow Alison, I am impressed, and with screen shots?!
    I use Picnik, and it does not have any graphs like that, where Ive been, although I would be super happy if I had a white background!

    Thanks for sharing <3
    I know you will see this post in the am, its almost 2:50 am there :)

  3. I hadn't heard of Gimp but will check it out.

  4. Cor... sound really technical.... BUT, I might just give it a go...
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Jo. x

  5. Really useful tips, thanks - will look into it when I've got some time. Getting a white/clear background without distorting the image is what I find tricky!

  6. Picnik is very good too ladies, but i love your blog and post, i need to hear non techie terms as i never understand them!
    So thanks for being a breath of fresh air xx

  7. Thanks so much for recommending this to me- very useful. I'll have to give it a go. Tried Gimp before but didn't have a clue so this will really help!x


Please share your thoughts here - the more, the merrier! I've had to enable word verification because of the amount of spam comments - sorry, I know it's a pain!

Related Posts with Thumbnails