A Beginners Guide To Photo Retouching

Product photography is an art in which it’s extremely important to master if you’re looking to produce a quality image that promotes your product well. Let’s face it though – not everybody is a professional trained product photographer, but by following these steps you can get a great result!

product_photography_tipsUnfortunately, sometimes the product itself has blemishes which can cause imperfections in the image. To help minimise this, it’s wise to ensure the product is new and cleaned prior to photographing. Lighting is also very important but if these things are unachievable or undesirable,  photo retouching using software can be extremely effective.


If you’re a beginner with little knowledge of Photoshop or any other advanced photo editor GIMP is GNU Image Manipulation Program which is simple to use and free.

To make changes, open the image file with GIMP. You will want your product to have a white background which is a standard for display in many major online stores, go to ‘color’ then ‘levels’. Pick the white point ‘eye-dropper’ and click onto the darkest part of the product photo background that needs to be turned white. This should make the background white. You then need to get the right dimensions for your photograph. Press Shift+C or got to ‘Tools’, then ‘Transform Tools’ and finally ‘Crop’. Crop by dragging the photo frame to the desired size and then hit the ‘Enter’ key when through.

You can clear background errors using the pencil tool or the paintbrush, with the colour set to white. For the image, use the Heal tool (press H) or the Clone tool (press C). You will use either of the tools to transfer color and texture from areas having the same qualities as the areas you want to heal by covering the specks of dust.

The blemishes caused by making the background white can be corrected in two ways.

  1. Go to ‘Color’, ‘Hue Saturation’ the click the selector next to the color you wish to manipulate. Play with the ‘Saturation’ slider till you get it right. You may want to try the ‘Overlap’ slider if it may help. Hit ‘OK’ when done.
  2. If that doesn’t give you a deal, try the color balance. Go to ‘Colors’ then ‘Color Balance’ and play with the sliders till the image looks right.

You may then want to play with any other tool to get your final photo right. ‘Filter’, ‘Enhance’ then ‘Unsharp Mask’ may help sharpen the image if diffraction blurred it due to a small aperture setting.

There is a lot you can do with the GIMP! It beats Photoshop and most other commercial photo editing software by virtue of its simplicity, and much more, it is free. It also does a good job for you.


Once done, you want to save the changes so that you don’t lose all the effort, time and creativity. You are now ready to send you’re your product photo to your client or post it on your website for your visitors to see.






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