As some product and still life photographers may tell you when photographing objects on a pure white background, shooting them on a not-completely-white background and turning that off-white backdrop into a true white in Photoshop later is not an unused technique. Having a really white background may blow the edges of the product and cause some flare into the camera. So, to remedy to this, I usually ensure that the background in the RAW files is around 230-240 for each pixels instead of 255 (pure white).

To effectively turn that backdrop into white, you need a killer selection of your product.

So, let me show you a super easy way to cut out a product in Photoshop.

It all starts with the right file. Every edge should be in its crispest focus. To do that you can use a focus stacking technique. Also, having the most even background is a good thing. When those two things are fulfilled, you can use the Magic Wand tool and click on the background. Either of two things will happen; the tool will select a very large part, if not all, of the background or it will keep itself to a smaller area. In both cases, you can hold down the ⇧ (Shift) key while clicking on another area to add that one to the selection.
 

If you see that the Wand is taking too little at once, you can start playing with the Tolerance value. By increasing it, you will allow more of similar colours to be selected at once. Furthermore, you can try changing the Sample Size to something as 3 by 3, 5 by 5 or 11 by 11. This will make a square of the given values around your cursor and make an average of the values of the pixels inside. It will then utilize this new number in its calculations to determine the selection.

The Magic Wand tool is great but it tends to make selections with rough edges. To solution that, you can press on the Refine Edge button on the top of the screen. Then, you can Smooth the selection out by about 20px (that’s the amount I like to use on a 24MP file). Before quitting the dialog box, choose to output the selection to a New Layer with Layer Mask. As it says, this will ensure complete un-destructivity of your work and will allow you to make easy changes later if need be. Now, you will find that the mask is inversed but that’s easy enough to fix; just select the layer mask and press on ⌘+I (Control+I on PCs) to invert it.

The last step is to add a new pure, #ffffff white layer under that product with the newly-made layer mask.

Quite frankly, you don't really need the Background layer but I like to keep it there just to be safe

That’s it! I told you it was easy! I change the background to ensure I have pure white on a lot of the product shots I make so this technique comes in handy quite a lot!

Do you use another method? If so, inform us of what it is below!

Cheers,

Tristan