Product Retouching, Cologne Bottles Before and After

Product Retouching

The imaging work for product photography generally falls into three categories. The first criteria is color correction for accuracy. The color must precisely represent the product. Profits are riding on it when the photograph is for a catalog. Second is silhouetting–sometimes referred to as “knock-outs”–where the product is isolated and placed on a white background or within another environment. The third task is retouching and enhancements of photo illustrations, sometimes referred to as “glory shots”.

In this first example, the white background was replaced with a pleasing gradated background. As the intermediary step shows, when the shadow of the object is eliminated it looks fake. The object must interact with the new environment to look realistic.

To complete the work, tone and contrast was increased to improve the appearance of the product. Tone (referred to as ”weight” in prepress terminology) was added to the bottle’s silver caps so they would hold a printing dot and not print as paper white when sent to press.

Client: Wedding Style Magazine

Copyright Belongs to Respective Image Owner

Cat on black background, photo silo example Before & After

Task: Silhouette Cat

This photograph of a cat is not exactly a product per se, unless maybe it was a photo for a cats catalog. I’ve included it here to provide an example of a complex silhouette. To excel at product retouching, one must be good at both simple and complex silhouettes. This example pushes the envelope of a complex silo. Every whisker and wisp of fur was maintained when the cat was lifted out of its original environment and placed on the solid black background.

Additional work was then done to lighten the face and front of the body, the eyes were made greener, the magenta color cast was removed, and the nose and ears were made pinker.

Client: Self–Assignment
Photo by Martha DiMeo
Photo Available for Licensing

Rose painting reproduction on mantle

Task: Improve Color and Design

This photo is an example of a photo illustration or “glory shot”. The product, a giclée canvas reproduction of an original oil painting, was photographed in a home setting for a promotional postcard. The photograph–shot on film under natural light–had a blue cast, the frame was not quite square, the rose on the mantle was a bit to big, and the colors in painting were not accurate.

As the publisher of the canvas reproduction, I had access to the digital file that was used to print the reproduction. It obtain a precise color match, the file used to print the giclée was merged into this image. The overall cyan color cast was removed, the rose was reduced in size and de-saturated, and the frame’s perspective corrected.

Client: Melody The Artist Home
Photo by Martha DiMeo
Photo Available for Licensing

Before and after retouching instructions for catalog photography

Task: Improve Color and Design

This is another example of a promotional piece for the line of art reproductions offered by Melody The Artist Home. The retouching work needed–as indicated on the proof–was to replace the print with the actual digital file that was used to make the reproduction, straighten the frame and increase the size slightly, extend the wall, remove the pins and glare from the plate. To bring emphasis to the framed print, the dried flowers and reflection of the photographer in the mirror were removed, and the objects in the foreground were softened.

Client: Melody The Artist Home
Photo by Martha DiMeo
Photo Available for Licensing

Retouching for magazine ad Before and After

Task: Improve Color and Design

Before any other considerations, a global correction was made to remove the cyan color cast. With the overall color balance falling in line, selective moves where then done to bring the art on the coasters to a more pleasing and accurate rendition. The roses in the background were de-saturated to enhance the design.

Client: Melody The Artist Home
Photo by Martha DiMeo
Photo Available for Licensing
Art coasters available for purchase.
Email / Call ChromaQueen for more information.

Art coasters advertising photo Before and After

Task: Replace Background

As both the photographer and Photoshop specialist for this project, I knew when I was shooting the image that I would replace the dull gray seamless during post production. The blue hue was selected by picking a color from the cup. The gradation was added to bring further emphasis to the tile coaster. The featured tile was lightened and the cup darkened.

As with any product silo, the key to making it not looked Photoshopped is edge control. The product must blend smoothly into the new background without jagged edges.

Client: Melody The Artist Home
Photo by Martha DiMeo
Photo Available for Licensing

Photo retouching to remove wrinkles in fabric Before and After

Task: Make Photograph Suitable for a Magazine Ad

Photoshop as an iron. I was charged with making this photo suitable for a magazine advertisement. When removing wrinkles, I kept some of the modeling and variation in tone rather then replacing fabric with a flat color. To complete the image, the silver base was made black.

Client: Wedding Style Magazine

Copyright Belongs to the Respective Image Owners

Photo retouching to change the color of an item Before and After

Task: Create the Shorts in Additional Colors

Changing the color of things. The garment was needed in 5 colors but only one had been provided. The original khaki shorts were changed to off-white, blue, brown, and black.

Copyright Belongs to the Respective Image Owners

Retouching gold lettering Before and After

Task: Enhance the Gold Lettering

Making gold lettering gold. This image appeared in Fortune magazine as part of a story on Steinway’s anniversary. I’ve included it here in the product portfolio, rather than the magazine portfolio, because the underling goal of the retouching work was to make the product look superb.

Client: Fortune Magazine

Copyright Belongs to the Respective Image Owners

Product Retouching Before and After Still Life Photo

Task: Retouch Image for Email Marketing Promotion

Improvements to tone, color, and contrast combined with retouching indicated on the proof resulted in a beautifully designed and executed email promotion for Valentine’s Day.

Client: Melody The Artist Home
Photo by Martha DiMeo
Photo Styling by Melody Phaneuf
Photo Available for Licensing
Notecards available for purchase.
Email / Call ChromaQueen for more information.