Oh HEY, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a ‘blogging’ post, but today I want to share how to make your white photos really pop.
Have you ever taken a photo on a white backdrop with the hopes of it looking bright and vibrant, but instead it turned out gray and dull? Yeah, me too, and it’s pretty annoying. Luckily, through trial and error, I’ve learned how to make my white backdrop really POP when I want it to. Truthfully, I used to try to do this without Photoshop but didn’t have much luck. Before Photoshop, I would simply increase the exposure, which as you can probably guess, wasn’t always the right solution.
This photo is tragic, so please learn from my mistakes. As you can see in the bottom right hand corner, the white plate has completely disappeared because of how overexposed this photo is. I believe in making your photos bright and beautiful, but don’t take it too far like I did in the above photo. All I did to edit this photo before publishing to my blog was increase the exposure and contrast—that’s it!
Luckily I’ve learned since the above post went live and there’s a technique in Photoshop that will allow you to whiten your whites without overexposing your photos.
Here are two much, much better examples, before and after style.
Of course I made additional edits to the “after” photos as well, but if you just focus on the white backdrop you can tell that it really POPS in the “after” photos.
So, how did I do it? Do I own 22 white backdrops that are perfect in every single photo I take without any editing needed? Ha! I wish. Truthfully, most of my white backdrops start out white and then get a little dirty over time, so editing is absolutely necessary. There’s nothing worse than a dirty white backdrop (but really..). Let me walk you through the process of editing a white backdrop.. I’ve included both a zoomed out and zoomed in photo of each step, so hopefully everything is super clear.
1. To whiten your white backdrop, you’re going to want to start by opening the photo you’re trying to edit. Make sure ‘background’ is always selected before trying to edit your background (makes sense, right?)
2. Next, select the paint brush tool.
3. Adjust the size of your paint brush, depending on how large of an area you’re trying to whiten. For this photo, I chose a pretty large brush since I needed to edit the entire background. Sometimes, it’ll just be a small area and therefore, the brush will need to be smaller.
4. Next, make sure you’ve selected “white” (color code: ffffff) as the color from the color palette.
5. Click on your photo and start whitening! Be careful when you’re whitening directly around your subject, as you do not want it to turn white as well. In fact, you may need to adjust the size of your paint brush throughout the whitening process. I typically start with a large brush to whiten the larger areas, and then switch to a small brush brush to whiten around the subject.
6. Done! Beautiful and white. Now you can continue editing your photo as needed, and smile at your beautiful bright WHITE backdrop.
And just as a reminder, the before and after of JUST editing the backdrop:
Viola! Please please let me know if you have any questions—hopefully you found this helpful!