Photo Editing for Bright and Bold Product Photography | Kristina Turner | Skillshare

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Photo Editing for Bright and Bold Product Photography

teacher avatar Kristina Turner, Crochet Designer • Tiny Curl

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (48m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Getting the Shot

    • 3. Editing Programs

    • 4. Step 1: Sort, Align, & Crop

    • 5. Step 2: Levels, Curves, & Brightness

    • 6. Step 3: Shadows & Replace Color

    • 7. Step 4: Getting a White Background

    • 8. Step 5: Photo Correction with Stamping

    • 9. Step 6: Sizing & Saving

    • 10. Editing a Colored Background

    • 11. Editing a Poorly Lit Image

    • 12. Phone Editing Workflow

    • 13. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Learn how to edit your product photography to perfection – quickly and effectively. If you’re a creative business owner, you know your photos can make or break your business. In this class, I’ll take you step-by-step through my editing process in both Photoshop and phone editing apps, using multiple examples including a poorly lit photo, a product on a white backdrop, and a product on a colored backdrop.

After this class, you’ll know how to:

  • Achieve the perfect white background
  • Correct a poorly lit image
  • Brighten and polish your photo


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Meet Your Teacher

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Kristina Turner

Crochet Designer • Tiny Curl


Hello! I'm Kristina and I'm the crochet designer behind Tiny Curl. I love happy colors, quirky characters, and squishy yarn. I'm always learning techniques to level up my handmade business using photography, branding, marketing, and creativity! You can find free crochet pattern and crochet tutorials on the Tiny Curl Blog.

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Christina and I'm a crochet designer. For my business Tiny Curl, I use product photography almost every day from my Etsy shop listings to my Instagram and for my pattern design. I know how to get product photography done and off of my to-do list. In this class, I'm going to teach you my workflow and process for editing my product photography and I'm going to include lots of great tips for getting your backgrounds as white and clean as possible even with not ideal lighting. I'm not going to barg you down with a bunch of technical information. I really just want to simplify your process and help you get your photo editing done as quickly and perfectly as possible. If you're wondering, if you need to edit your product photos, I'm here to tell you that you most definitely do. Not only does it make my photos look better, it creates a cohesive feeling between my Instagram feed and my Etsy shop because I'm editing in the same way every time. Editing is especially important for product photography because we're talking about our businesses products. We want that product to be the hero of the shot and to look as perfect as possible. For the class project, you'll be taking one of your product photos and editing it to perfection. You're going to share the before and after photo in the projects and resources section of this class. Now, let's get started editing. 2. Getting the Shot: As you might imagine, editing is lot easier when you start with a really great base photo. You can take great looking photos on any camera you have. I like to use my Nikon DSLR for more professional photos, and I use my iPhone when I'm taking pictures on the go or I need to edit really quickly. Really a great picture can be achieved on any camera if you have one thing, and that thing is good lighting. Good lighting can take your picture from bad to excellent. If you have bad lighting, it's really difficult to correct in the editing process. Especially for product photos, you're going to want to have good lighting so that your product is really showcased your limiting shadows, and you're getting closer to achieving your perfect white background. I find it easiest to achieve really great lighting with natural light, so I set up inside next to a big window that gets a lot of sunlight and I take my shot there. You're going to want to make sure that you're not getting direct rays onto your photo setup, if you are, you can hang a white sheet to diffuse the light and limit the shadows on your shot. If you want more tips on taking really simple product photos, check out my class, Product Photography For Your Handmade Business. In it I detail everything you need to set up a simple home studio and taking both seamless and flatly photography for your products. If you'd rather stick around here and get straight to photo editing, I'm going to give you a really brief synopsis of how to get a good shot. You're going to set up a table next to a big beautiful window with a lot of indirect sunlight, then using whatever background you'd like to use, I use a white poster board, you're going to set your white poster board up with your product on it, and then a second way poster board, bouncing the light from the window off of that board onto your product. This really eliminates the shadows and gets your image as bright as possible. From there, you just take your shot. Now, we're ready to edit. 3. Editing Programs: When editing my product photos, I either use photoshop or I use a variety of apps on my iPhone. In this video, I'm going to talk you through the pros and cons of each method and when I use each one. I use photoshop when I need a really professional image and I want to get as close to perfect as possible. So for my Etsy shop or from my patterns, I'm using photoshop to edit. Photoshop is an extremely powerful photo editing software and you could do a trillion other things in photoshop. I have it because I use it for graphic design as well as photo editing. Editing, and photoshop takes me only a few minutes because I've developed a really cohesive workflow when working on photo edits and photoshop, which I will walk through with you. Photoshop doesn't have to be challenging to use, especially with the workflow that I use. It's very simple and I accomplished my edits and wanted to minutes per photo. If I want to edit something really quickly and simply for my Instagram, I will edit on my smartphone. I have an iPhone and it has a ton of apps that you can edit photos with. I use a variety to achieve different effects, which I will walk through with you in a later video. I will say that editing on my phone has less control, less power. So typically I like to start with a better image. So if it war wavelet or has better composition, I'm fine editing on my phone. But if it needs a lot more tweaks or if it's not perfectly lit, then I'm going go on photoshop because they can do a lot more edits that way. I would say I use photoshop the most for my edits because I like to get it as good as possible regardless of if I'm using it for my shop or my Instagram, I like that it has way more editing power. I can erase imperfections and correct less than ideal lighting situations all in one place. So right now I'm going to take you through my photoshop workflow in the next video. 4. Step 1: Sort, Align, & Crop: In this video, I'll show you how I sort and align and crop my images. I've included some sample images for you to edit in the projects page, but feel free to use your own images and edit alongside me. The first thing I do after shooting pictures is upload them to my computer and sort them using the Mac Photos app, I work in groups I'll first look through all options of one type of photo, then all options of next type of photo. I quickly scroll through the photos, I zoom in on shots to see if it's blurry. For this blue and pink shot I'm also looking to see if the center line is straight down the center. When I find a shot I like, I click the Alt button to favorite it so I know to go back to it. I try to limit the amount that I favorite so I'm not editing several versions of the same photo. This saves me time. When I've picked my favorites, I save the originals to an unedited folder and then take them into Photoshop to edit. I'm going to take you through my entire workflow on the white background image first, and I'm going to go step-by-step and give you some info about each of the edits. Then in Video 10, I'll take you more quickly through the steps on the blue and pink background image. The first thing I do in Photoshop is align and crop. Aligning straightens the image and cropping trims the excess. To align and crop, I select the crop tool by clicking the keyboard shortcuts C. It's also located here on the toolbar. First, I need to decide what aspect ratio I need for my image. The aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height. The most common aspect ratios are 1-1, which is a square commonly used for Instagram, 16 by 9, which is the size of most computer screens. 9 by 16, which is the size of most phone screens, four by three and three by four. This is a common photo print size. You can also use a free form crop tool if aspect ratio isn't important to you. For Instagram photos, I use the one to one square aspect ratio, which I'll show you now. Once I've decided on aspect ratio, I align the image by going to the lower right corner until the double-sided arrow appears. Click down and adjust the image. I look for something in my image that needs to be straight and aligned to that. The reason I align before cropping is because sometimes when aligning, parts of the image will be cut off. For this image since there isn't a straight line to align to, I'll use the bottom of the cats as a guide. Once you crop your photo using the crop tool, you'll lose the cutoff portions of the photo. Here I've cropped the photo into a square, but I want to show you how to take the square and change it to a different aspect ratio using the fill tool. The fill tool fills in empty areas with what is around the missing piece. You can also fill it in with a color like your background color or foreground color. If I want to take this square to a screen size aspect ratio of 16 by nine. First, I'll select the crop tool, choose the 16 by nine aspect ratio and adjust my image. Then I select the marquee tool with the keyboard shortcut M, and select the unfilled portion of my image. Keeping the marquee tool on, I right-click my mouse and choose fill from the drop-down menu. Then under contents, I make sure content aware is selected. This option takes data from around my selection to fill in the missing piece. As you can see, it does a pretty good job at filling in the missing space. There are a few lines and sketchy areas that are easily correctable, which I'll show you how to smooth in the next few videos. The fill tool works best on areas that are all one color with very little or no detail. Now we're ready to move on to editing the brightness. 5. Step 2: Levels, Curves, & Brightness: Brightening your photo is the most common edit that needs to be done. There are several ways to go about this besides the obvious brighten tool. A quick note about editing. When making adjustments to your image, toggle your edits frequently using the eyeball next to your layer to make sure you like the direction the edits are going in. If the effect is too powerful, you can always lie down the opacity, which is how visible the effect is. Before I get to work on brightening my image, I'm going to make sure my Canvas color is white. The default is a dark gray color but when you're editing white background images, you want to see it next to true white to compare it. To set the color for my Canvas, I right-click on the space outside of my image, select custom color and set it to white. Now we're ready to go. Levels is the first adjustment I make to my photo. To adjust the levels, I click the levels icon in the adjustment window. If you don't see any adjustment window in your Photoshop workspace, go to the Windows menu and click adjustments. Clicking the levels icon creates a new layer above my image. This is called an adjustment layer. With layer adjustments, you can adjust the opacity. You can also delete or alter the adjustment layer later. If you go to the image menu, you'll see another adjustments option. This is an image adjustment. Using an image adjustment makes a permanent change to your base image. You won't be able to go back and edit the adjustment. For levels I only ever use an adjustment layer. Levels adjust the highlights, shadows, and mid tones of an image. This is represented as a histogram, which is the mountain looking thing in the middle. The slider on the right represents the highlights or white tones of the image. The super simple thing I do is move the highlight slider to touch the histogram. For bright white product photography, I don't move the shadow or mid-tone sliders. When you toggle the levels layer, you can see it's made a big difference in the brightness of my image already. The next adjustment I do is curves. The curves tools are similar to levels, but it gives you more power to control shadows, highlights, and mid-tone separately. My main use for it in my editing is to adjust the white balance. When you're photographing your light source may add unintentional tints to your image like a yellow or blue cast. With curves, you can set a true neutral point. To use the curves tool, select the curves icon from the layer adjustment window. This creates a curves layer. Then select the layer thumbnail. By default, the layer mask or the white rectangle will be selected. For curves it's important that the layer thumbnail is selected. For a layer adjustment, that's the half-filled circle. Then in the curves window, double-click the white eyedropper to set the highlight color. We'll be changing the RGB numbers which stands for red, green, blue to the highest of the three numbers so they're all the same. Using the eyedropper, select a point on your image that should be white. If you're lighting was even, the RGB numbers should be fairly similar in multiple parts of your background. If you're lighting was inconsistent, your background will be too with blue and yellow tinted areas. I'll show you how to correct more inconsistent backgrounds in video 11. For this photo, the lighting and background are even, so with the eyedropper, I select a point on my image that should be white or neutral. Then with the eye dropper in the same place, I use my keyboard to type in the highest of the three numbers clicking the "Tab" key between numbers. Click the "Enter" key to select okay, then enter again for no. With your mouse in the same place, left-click. Your white background should now be a neutral color with no tints of blue, green or red, as you can see when I toggle the layer. Again, if the effect is too strong, you can adjust the opacity. The last brightening adjustment layer I make is brightness contrast. I select the brightness contrast layer adjustment icon, creating a new layer. Then I adjust the sliders until it looks good to me. It's very easy to go overboard with best adjustment. You want to make sure you aren't losing detail in your image. I like to zoom in on my product to see if I'm overdoing the brightness. As you can see, I'm losing little detail in the blue cat, but because I'm happy with the overall brightness except for this tiny part, I'm going to correct it later using a layer mask in the next video. Now I'm going to combine all of my layer edits into a folder so I can see my progress so far. I select all of my adjustment layers and drag them to the folder icon at the bottom right of my workspace. I'll rename it adjustment layers and toggle to see my before and after. A lot of the time I stop here if I'm happy with my image. These edits have already made a huge difference in my image. In the next video, I'll show you how to make your background even lighter. 6. Step 3: Shadows & Replace Color: In the last video, I showed you how to make adjustment layers to your photo to make it brighter and bolder. In this video, we'll be making a few tweaks to the actual image to improve it even more. When I make edits directly to my image, I first make a copy of the base image. This lets me change my mind later on. I drag my base image down to the new layer icon to duplicate it. Because this layer is on top of my base layer, it will essentially cover it up. I'm going to be adjusting the shadows on this layer, so I'll name it shadows. To reduce the shadows, I go to the Image menu, then adjustments, and then click Shadows highlights. With the preview button checked, slide the shadow slider to lessen the shadows. If you look at my image you can see the effect. I'm going to cancel this and zoom in on my image and show you how it affects the cats. The shadow tools is very powerful, you don't want to overdo it, or you'll have a washed out image. Usually one or two percent is enough to make an impact on our image. Because I'm happy with the shadows layer, I'm going to duplicate it again. A note about these image adjustments. Once I duplicate the shadow layer and make edits on a new layer, I won't be able to change the shadow layer independently. My new layer covers up the base image and the shadows image completely. Now, I'll be doing the replace color adjustments, so I'll name the layer replace color. Go back to the Image menu, go to adjustments, then replace color. With the eye dropper, I'll select my white background and you can see in the preview box the entire background turns white as well as portions of the cats. The eye dropper is picking up everything in my image that is in the same color range. White means the effect will be 100 percent opaque. Gray areas of the image will be affected a little, but not all the way, and areas that are black won't be affected at all. You can try selecting different areas of your image to get different results. Adjusting the fuzziness slider determines how much the effected sections will blend with the unaffected sections. To make my background lighter, I slide the lightness slider to the right. Now I'm going to show you how to use layer mask to fine-tune how your adjustments affect your image. Because our replaced color adjustment affected the cats a little, I'm going to show you how to remove that adjustment from just part of the image using layer masks. You can think of the layer mask as an eraser, erasing part of the image and letting lower images show through. You can use a layer mask on any layer by clicking the Layer mask icon at the bottom of our workspace. This adds a blank mask represented by the white rectangle on our layer. White here means the effect is 100 percent opaque on the layer. Black means you can't see the effect at all. With the mass selected, I'm going to use the paint bucket tool to fill in the entire area with black. You can see that the effect is not showing up on our layer anymore. I'm going to go back to white, I'm using the X key to toggle between back and white colors. In order to erase the replace color adjustment on only part of my layer, I use my brush tool using the keyboard shortcut B, or finding it in the toolbar. I set the hardness which dictates how hard or soft the edge of my brushes, to 30 percent and switch my color to black. With the layer mask selected, I start painting the blue cat to remove the replace color adjustment. I worked carefully making sure I'm not brushing the white background. If you mask out the white background, you'll have a weird dark shadow around your item. If you hold down the Option plus Shift keys and click the Layer mask, you'll be able to see in red where you've already gone. This helps you get more accurate with your mask. To exit out of the red preview mode, just click the layer again. As I mentioned in the previous video, the brightness layer is clipping some detail from the blue cat, so I'll go ahead and add a layer mask to the brightness adjustment, and mask out the side of the cat. Now join me in the next video as I make my background smooth and flawless and bright white, if that's your thing. 7. Step 4: Getting a White Background: In this video, I'm going to show you how to get that perfect white background. I personally don't think a pure white background is necessary. I very, very rarely make my background completely white. I think what's most important is a neutral, clean background that is consistent between pictures. But you got to do what you got to do. If you need a white background, I'm here to teach you how to get it. First, I'll show you how to get it clean, neutral, almost white background. Then I'll ramp it up and deliver that crisp white background next. As I mentioned before, there are some lumps and bumps and my background due to my imperfect poster board. To get rid of that, I paint over the background with a brush. My first step is to create a new layer by pressing the new layer icon at the bottom of my workspace. I'll name it neutral background. Then I activate my brush tool. Make sure that the hardness is set to 0 percent. This gives your brush the softest and most blended edge. Using the eyedropper, I click my background to pick up the color. As you can see in my color picker window. My background is not quite white. But that's okay. I change back to my brush and begin brushing the background with my selected background color. I make sure to not get too close to my cats. Because the hardness of our brush is set at 0 percent. It's easy to accidentally cover parts of the product with the soft edge of the brush. You definitely want to avoid this. To make it easier to see what's going on in the background at another brightness contrast adjustment layer and slide the brightness all the way to negative 150. If I toggle the neutral background layer, you can see more easily how much this layer smoothed out our background and I can also see that I didn't cover the cats with this neutral background layer. I'm going to go ahead and bring my brightness back to zero. Toggling my neutral background layer, you can still see a difference in my background. It's removed some of the shadowing at the bottom and top of my image and given it a uniform bright effect. Now I'll show you how to make your background perfectly pure white. First, I'll delete the neutral background layer and make a new layer called white background. I'll keep the brightness layer there to check my white background later. Make sure your white background layer is under the brightness layer. I can skip the eyedropper step and go straight to the color picker because I know I want the color to be white. I select white and adjust my brush using the right bracket key. I start brushing the white around my cats. You can tell more easily where you're brushing because the background on my original image is not perfectly white. Once I've gotten most of the background I'll turn on my brightness layer with a brightness at negative a 150 again, to see what spots I'm missing and keep painting on my white. Now I'll turn off my brightness layer and see how I'm doing. As you can see, there is a distinct difference between the background around my cats and the new perfect white background. To fix this, I'm going to need to increase my brightness more to push my image background to match the white. I want to check the images background around the cat. I select my color picker and click on the area close to the cat. I watch the Rgb numbers to see if the color is actually white. It's close enough to not be perceptible to the eye so I'm good here. Toggling my brightness. You can see now that the background area around the cats is now white. But the cats had been brighten too much. I need to mask them out so they aren't affected by the brightness layer. To do that, I'll select the layer mask, choose black, and set the brush hardness to 35 percent and brush over the cat's. Pressing the option and shift keys and clicking the layer mask will show me where I've colored in so far. I make my brush smaller and larger with the left and right bracket keys. When you're masking, it's important to work carefully so you don't get wonky edges. Toggling the brightness layer, I can see there is still some brightening on the edges of my cats. I'll go back in and carefully mask out the edges. Crusade pieces are soft on the edges anyway, so I can get away with a little fuzziness around them. But if your product has sharp edges, you'll need to be more precise and play around with the hardness of your brush. That's looking good to me. I'm going to group all my edits together to see the before and after and now I have my perfect white background. 8. Step 5: Photo Correction with Stamping: In this video, I'm going to show you how you can correct your photos using the Stamp Tool. First, I'm going to start by creating a new layer, and naming it stamping. As you can see when I zoom into my photo, there's a couple of imperfections I want to fix. To use the stamp tool. I click the keyboard ''Shortcut S'', or you could find it in the toolbar. Then with the ''Alt'', or ''Option Key'' held down, I click an area of the photo that I want to duplicate on top of the part that's messed up in my photo. The stamp tool basically copies and pastes the information from what I just picked up onto the area that I click next. As you move your brush around, the set point also moves with you, so the information that you're copying and pasting will change as you move around. I make sure my stamp layer is under my adjustments layer, so that the adjustments layer can affect the stamp layer, the same as the base image. The stamp tool gives you a dim preview of what will be placed in the position. I change my set point frequently to test different areas. As you can see with my image, I need to be pretty accurate for it to appear natural in image. Sometimes I need to undo what I just did, and try again if it doesn't look natural. As you can see, the stamp tool help me perfect my image, and get rid of all those little lumps and bumps I didn't want. 9. Step 6: Sizing & Saving: After you've completed your edits, you're going to change your image size based on what you're using your image for. To change your image size, click 'The Image Tab", then "Image Size". In the image size Window, you'll see the first set of dimensions, which are the pixel dimensions, and the second set of dimensions is the document size. I like to keep my resolution at 300. Most of the time, my photos are at 300 by default, but if it's less than that, I like to change the resolution, so that if I want to print it or use it elsewhere, my photos will be higher quality, even if I reduced the pixel dimensions. To change the document size, uncheck the resample image box. This will cause the pixel dimensions area to be uneditable. Now is when you change your resolution to 300. The width and height of your document size will change along with it, but the pixel dimensions won't. After your resolution is set to 300, you can go ahead and change the pixel size to the dimensions you need. I'm using this image for the title card of this video, so I'll save it with a width of 2,000 pixels. Changing the pixel dimensions will automatically change my document size. I click "Okay" and my image is resized. Now onto saving. To save as you head to the file menu and click "Save As". For saving photos, I only ever use JPEGs or PNGs. I only use PNGs when there is a transparency in my image that I want to maintain. Otherwise, I use JPEGs. Once I save my photo as a JPEG or PNG, all of my edits will flatten and I won't be able to edit my layers again. If you want to maintain your editing power, save your document first as a Photoshop PSD file, and then use Save As to save a copy of the flatten image. On the my image, then click "Save". The JPEG options will pop up. I always save my photos at the maximum quality unless there's a size limit on the website or if I'm sending it over e-mail. I click "Okay" and then I can find my saved photo in my edited folder. 10. Editing a Colored Background: In this video, I'll show you how my editing process works for a colored background and show you some fun things you can do with the replace colored tool. I use the same process as I did with the white backdrop photo. I start by aligning and cropping my photo using the crop tool, because this image has line in the center, I aligned to that. Then I add a levels adjustment and move the highlight slider to the left to touch the histogram. I skipped curves for now and add a brightness contrast adjustment layer. I'll add a curves layer now, but because there is no white area of my image and the white balance appears correct, I'll show you another way you can use the Curves tool. In this drop down menu or some presets for altering your photo. Think of them like filters you'd have on Instagram. You can play around with the different options and see how they affect your photo. I'm going to use the lighter preset and lessen the effect by using the handle and the curves Window to straighten the curve a bit. I'm also going to reduce the opacity a touch. Then I'll go back and make any tweaks to my adjustment layers. Now I'm going to duplicate my base layer to reduce my shadows. I'm happy with that so I'm going to stay on this layer to do my replace color adjustment. Replace color is really fun with a colored backdrop, because it allows me to isolate the color and change it up. I'm going to select the pink background with my eye dropper. You can adjust the lightness like we did with the white background, but I'm going to play around with the hue. As you can see when I go too far outside of the pink range it looks odd. The shadows around the blue cat are still tainted pink and you can see some of the pink from the background has bounced up onto the blue cat's body. You can try the adding eyedropper to select the pink shadow color and see what looks right to you. I want to keep my backdrop in the pink family but more closely match the hue of the pink cap. I'm going to rename this layer, replace color and I'm going to be wild and do another replace color on the same layer. Once you do image adjustments and hit OK, it's done. Doing another image adjustment to this layer will add it on top of what I've already done. It won't edit the adjustments I already made to the shadows or the pink background. The reason I usually duplicate my layers is so that I can change the opacity of those layers later on. But when I'm sure I don't want to change anything, I use the same layer for my image adjustments. I go back to replace color and I'll tweak my blue background. I like this new color, so I will click ''OK''. You can see the difference the replace color adjustment has made to my image when I toggle it. There you have it. A super fun colored background image. 11. Editing a Poorly Lit Image: In this video, I'll show you how to correct a poorly lit image. It will take a bit more work to get this photo looking good, but we'll get there. I start with a Levels Adjustment and move the highlights lighter to touch the histogram. This image has a dark yellow tin due to the low lighting conditions. I'm going to correct it with several curves layers. On my first Curves Layer, I'll select the layer thumbnail, double-click the highlights eyedropper, and select a section of my background. Not moving my mouse, I set my RGB numbers to the highest number, clicking tab between them. I click Enter twice and then click on my background with my mouse. It's looking a little bluish, so I'm going to redo this Curves Layer using a different spot in my background. That looks better. Because the background is not even, I'm going to have to do several Curves Layers to correct all the various colors we have going on. I create a new Curves Layer and work on a different spot at the background, repeating the process several more times. Now I'll group all of my Curves Layers together to toggle the effect. It's still looking a bit blue to me, so I'll decrease the opacity and bring some of the yellow tint from the base image back in. That looks better. Now I'm going to add a brightness contrast adjustment layer, zooming in to check on the detail of my snail. I'll duplicate my base image to reduce the shadows. To present really brightened up the image here. I'm going to decrease the opacity of the shadows layer to reduce the effect. I'm still losing detail on my snail. I'm going to go check on the levels to see if I need to adjust it again. As you can see, reducing the shadows changed my histogram. I'm going to move the highlight slider and more to the right. Zooming in on my background, I like how overexposing the image a little makes the background less pixelated. I'm going to bring the highlight slider into my histogram, to address the loss of detail on my snail space, I'm going to mask the shadows layer. I add a layer mask and instead of using black to paint onto the snails face with my brush tool, I'm actually going to use a light gray. Doing this will decrease the opacity of the shadows layer where I paint, but will not remove it completely. Because there's still some weird shadowy areas in my image, I'm going to increase the opacity on the shadows layer again. That's made the shadowy parts look better to me. Now I'll group all of my edits to see the before and after. These edits have made a huge improvement to the brightness of my image. I think it looks so much better. 12. Phone Editing Workflow: If I want to edit something quickly or on the go, I'll edit on my phone. I'm going to edit these two photos on my phone so we can compare the results of my phone edit versus my Photoshop edit. The main app I use is Snapseed. Snapseed is a free app available for IOS and Android. I've tried many photo editing apps, and this one is by far my favorite. All of the features on it are free, whereas a lot of other editing apps charge you for premium features. The UX on Snapseed takes a bit of getting used to. It really wasn't intuitive for me right off the bat. But once you get the hang of it, you'll love it. I'm going to open my cat image on Snapseed. In app you have 'Looks' which are preset filters. They apply different adjustments to get a stylized result. I don't use these in this app. The next tab is tools, which has all the good stuff for editing your photo. I stick to the first three rows of tools. The last tab is for saving your photo. Then up on top the first icon allows you to undo and also view and alter all of your edits. That's a big plus for this app. The info icon tells you about your photo and then the last icon has tutorials which are super helpful. Now I'm going to start editing. First, I'll click the rotate tool to align my image. When you're happy with your edit, you just click the check mark at the bottom right corner. Back to tools to crop. On the bottom, you have all of your aspect ratio options. I'm going to stick with square. Now I'm going to click 'Tune image' to adjust the brightness, contrast and shadows of my image. On the lower left corner, you can see the image histogram. You can't edit it directly, but it will update as you adjust your image. If you click on the slider icon on the bottom, you can see all the things you can edit it with the tune image tool. I'm going to start with the brightness. I slide my finger to the right to increase. You can see how much I'm increasing it on the top. If you press and hold on your image, you can toggle the effect. Swiping up. I can select another adjustment. I'll increase the contrast and saturation and brighten the shadows. It looks good. I'll select 'OK.' Next, I'm going to tweak the white balance. The icon with the A automatically corrects your white balance. Sometimes it works, sometimes it makes it worse. I like to give it a shot just in case it looks good. In this case it does so I'm going to leave it. Back to tools for curves. Here we have similar presets as the curves tool in Photoshop. I like to try some of these on to see if I like the effect. Soft contrast looks good as I toggle it. Unlike in Photoshop, the eye doesn't toggle the effect it shows or hides the tool window. You can toggle the effect by pressing and holding down on the image or by clicking this icon in the top right corner. Now I want to take a look at the edits I've made so far. I go to the upper left icon and click 'View edits.' This app is awesome because you can mask each individual edit like in Photoshop if you want to remove the effect from part of your image. You can also adjust each layer individually. I'm going to cancel this because I don't want to mask this layer, but it's a great tool to have. The last tool I'm going to use is the selective tool. The selective tool lets you spot edit parts of your image. You can adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation or structure. I click the plus icon at the bottom and place my first point. Brightness is set by default, which is my main use for the selective tool. I use it to brighten my background. I swipe the same way to increase the brightness. Pinching the screen, adjust the radius of the effect. As you can see, the effect is coming onto my cats. To avoid the brightness from over brightening the cats, I'll set another point but won't adjust the brightness. Each point you place independently controls that section's brightness. Now my first will not affect my new point. I'll copy and paste this point and add it to my blue cat. I pinch the radius so that it is only covering my cats. As you can see when I try to expand my first selective point the effect is going around my cat's. I'll copy this point and paste it around my image to cover the background. As you can see when I toggle the effect, it's made a big difference in the brightness of my background without losing detail on the cats. I'm done with my edits and Snapseeds, so I'll click 'Export' and save a copy. You can definitely stop here and have a great image. But I wanted to show you another app I love to use called a color story. A color story is a free app for Android and iOS with options to purchase premium filters. What I really love about a color story are the filters. They are so fun and really add something special to your photos. A color story also has many editing tools and you could use it as your main photo editor. But it's definitely not as powerful a Snapseed. The only thing I'm going to do in this app is add a filter on top of my pre-edited picture. I'm going to add the pop filter to my image and decrease the opacity. Then I'll save it. Now this photo is done. Here is the before and after. Here is the after from my phone edit compared with the after from my Photoshop edit. You'll notice I used a different photo for the iPhone edit because the yarn is different. But I really liked the saturation from the iPhone edit. I do think the Photoshop edit looks more natural, but both are really great results. Now I'll start the process over with the poorly lit snail image. I go into Snapseed and open my tools. I'll select tune image and adjust the brightness contrast, saturation, highlights and shadows. Now on the white balance. As you can see, the auto balance made my image really pink for some reason so I'll change the temperature manually. Next, I'll add a curves adjustment. First, I'm going to manually put a point at the center and pull it to the lab to make my image a bit lighter. Then I'll add another curves layer on top of that and use the soft contrast option. Now onto the selective tool. I'm going to add my brightness points to brighten up the background. Then I'll add the brightness point on the snail and my hand to control how the brightness affects the subject of my image. I pinch and zoom the brightness points on my background to make sure my whole background is covered. When you're outside of an adjustment tool, and you press down on your image, you can toggle the full before and after of all of your edits. I'm done with my edits in Snapseed, so I'll click 'Export' and save a copy. Here is the before and after of my snail phone edits. Here it is compared to my Photoshop edits. I did lose some saturation on the phone edit, but both are really good results for such a poorly lit image. 13. Final Thoughts: I hope you enjoyed seeing my photo editing process and that you're leaving with a ton more tools in your tool about photo editing. I can't wait to see your before and after photos. Please post them in the projects page so that we can see other people's examples and maybe get some new tips and tricks from them. Definitely took me a while to get my workflow simplified and to a place where I could get it done in less than two minutes. So just keep practicing and I think you're going to end up with great product photos that you'll love and that will sell out your shops and that your customers will love and that will look beautiful on your Instagram. I know it, happy editing. Thanks for watching.