At the beginning there was the idea. Then, perhaps, there followed some retooling work in order to create a suitable shooting environment in one’s own apartment. Finally, product photography could begin: lighting atmosphere, first attempts, decoration, further attempts, changing camera settings, even more attempts. Hours later: finally finished. The pictures are in the box.
But before you can really publish them, one very important last step is still missing: image editing. Nowadays practically nothing works without digital optimization. In order not to blow up this article, I will only briefly list some of the key points I normally use when editing pictures for our shop. Everyone works differently here, but maybe this overview will help you not to forget anything or to come up with new ideas. I almost always do it this way:
Define target size
I always make the first decision about the dimensions of the final picture. If you think of the result, you usually save yourself a lot of extra work and trouble, which can be associated with later changes and size adjustments.
The aim here is to eliminate small errors that appear optically in the image. For me this is sometimes a small rotation. But also other improvements are possible. However, if you have to screw around a lot, then it is usually advisable to take a new picture.
If everything is correct, I choose the desired image section or crop the image to the desired size. I do this only after step one and two, as these two processes can influence the usable image area.
Now it’s the turn of the colors. If I haven’t been able to do these completely realistically, I’ll now take care of the finishing touches. If necessary also by means of masks and partial adjustments.Brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness: In my experience, you almost always have to adjust these values slightly to get the desired result. Also very useful here: Partially adjust the brightness using masks. This removes the last unwanted shadows.
This is not always necessary for product photography. However, I have to take care of this if I take pictures that are to be reproduced later. This step can take an extremely long time and requires the patience of an angel. It is best to make a lot of tea and buy good radio plays.
Incorporate a watermark
Also an optional step. But if you want to use your pictures online later, I can only advise you to include a watermark. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stealing on the Internet. I only use a watermark for images that others could theoretically use for reproduction. Otherwise I try to exclude an unauthorized reproduction over the picture composition, because a watermark in the picture does not look really beautiful.
Now I save the image in the desired format. Usually this is JPEG, as these are complex images. PNG is only used when I need transparency. And I generally only use GIF for symbolic graphics without complex color gradients, so this graphic format doesn’t play a role here.
And another little tip. If you haven’t already done so, then calibrate your computer monitor before you start with the image processing. This is possible with almost all modern models. Not an easy topic, but here is a good guide: Adjust and calibrate the PC monitor correctly.