Product Photography, Part 11: Image Editing

Editing is a critical step in producing product photos that engage e-commerce buyers. If you fail to make what you are selling stand out, consumers likely won’t buy it.

This is the 11th installment in my series on helping online merchants create better product images, following “Part 1: Choosing backgrounds”, “Part 2: Selecting tripods” , “Part 3: Basic principles of artificial lighting”, “Part 4: Angles and points of view. “,” Part 5: Choosing a camera “,” Part 6: Selecting a lens “,” Part 7: Magnification and close-ups “,” Part 8: Essentials of composition “,” Part 9: Advanced Composition ”and“ Part 10: Lines as Design Elements.

In this and the following articles, I’ll cover post-production topics. I’ll cover the editing process, explaining how to use desktop and mobile software to create high converting product images.

Desktop applications

Capture a is a desktop editing program for Windows and macOS. I have never used it, but it is the first choice among many professional photographers. The software comes with extensive editing features for studios. It has a steep learning curve, which probably means there are better options for most DIY merchants. The license starts at $ 294.00.

Capture One is the first choice among many professional product photographers, but it has a steep learning curve. Source: CaptureOne.com.

Adobe photoshop is a desktop editing program you’ve probably heard of. It’s an incredible tool in the hands of a skilled editor. For example, the Spot Healing feature can quickly remove unusual lighting reflections in an image. The Clone Stamp tool can hide a label or minor damage to a product that you didn’t notice before shooting.

But it has drawbacks.

You will probably spend a lot of time learning the program if you are unfamiliar with it. Like Capture One, the curve is steep. If you only need to edit a few images, a more user-friendly program might be a better option. I recommend Photoshop if you are experienced and have the time to tweak every detail of your image, especially now that Adobe has moved to a subscription model starting at $ 239.88 per year.

Screenshot of Photoshop software features

Adobe Photoshop is an amazing tool in the hands of a skilled editor. Source: Adobe.

Adobe Lightroom Classic is cloud-based, cross-platform editing software for iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows 10. It is arguably the best desktop editing suite for most product photography needs. Lightroom features are mostly free to use without a subscription. It also has a user-friendly interface with tools and cursor-based presets to ensure consistency across all your images. Lightroom is a great option for beginners. You can start an online project using your mobile device or on a desktop computer, and all changes will automatically update on all your devices.

Lightroom offers cool features, such as connection sharing, healing, and cloning tools; non-destructive editing; and almost universal file conversion. Additionally, Lightroom’s popularity among photographers means that there is an abundance of how-to guides and plugins for all skill levels. The starting price ranges from $ 9.99 to $ 19.99 per month.

Adobe Lightroom Mobile is a primarily free app for iOS and Android devices that provides access to all the features and functionality of Lightroom Classic, but with the ease of use of touch controls. Lightroom Mobile sells thousands of presets for consistent editing in an easy, one-click way.

Mobile app

You don’t need an Adobe Creative Cloud membership or a semi-professional editing program to create stunning product images. Modern mobile apps can facilitate all editing needs. Here are three of my favorites.

VSCO is for shooting and editing images from a mobile device. Available for iOS and Android, VSCO costs around 19.99 per year. It’s worth it for a mobile camera that can take photos in RAW file format and control ISO (light), shutter speed, and white balance. In addition, the editing tool is ideal for working with color, light and contrast.

I use VSCO when working on the color of an image. The app comes with many great presets. It is a good alternative to traditional desktop editing software.

VSCO home page.

VSCO is a good alternative to traditional desktop editing software. Source: VSCO.

Snapseed is a free mobile photo editing application developed by Google for iOS and Android. The app has plenty of pro-level tools, ranging from adjusting an image’s white balance to changing its perspective and correcting blemishes. I use Snapseed to adjust the lighting in a specific part of an image and to add an extra area to a photo I post online.

Screenshot of Snapseed on a mobile phone screen from IphonepPhotographySchool.com.

Snapseed, a free mobile photo editing app developed by Google, has many pro-level tools. Source: IphonepPhotographySchool.com.

Touch Touch Up is an inexpensive application for quickly retouching quality images. It is available for iOS and Android. TouchRetouch can remove objects and lines from images and has a quick repair tool that works wonders. It’s my go-to solution for cleaning up blemishes. It only costs $ 2.79.

TouchRetouch image of a mobile screen from IphonepPhotographySchool.com.

TouchRetouch can remove objects and lines from images and has a quick repair tool. Source: IphonepPhotographySchool.com.

Consistency is the key

Clean, level and good looking product photos are essential. But also consistency. All images on an ecommerce site must go together. Create a formula with presets for programs like Lightroom, or find a filter on VSCO, to get a consistent look across all photos. It is consistency that makes your site and its products attractive and appealing to buyers.

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About Laura J. Bell

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