Removing the background from product photos

How do you remove the background from a product photo?

I’m trying to find a faster and cleaner way to remove the background from my product photos. I shoot on a white background but because the product is a clear glass bottle, its hard to make a quick selection without deleting parts the product itself.

What I currently do is use the Select Color Range tool for the background and then use the Polygonal Lasso tool to remove parts of the bottle from the selection.

This usually comes out pretty sloppy and imperfect. If anybody has any tricks to share that would be awesome! Below is the image I’m starting with today and I want to experiment on this one

Soda Pop Shop


Take two photos. One with lights on only for the white background and one with the product also illuminated. It’s much easier to find the border of the black silhouette. Put those 2 photos into the same Photoshop image as layers and use the silhouette for selections.

The silhouette must often be manually enhanced by adding contrast and painting more black onto it. But that’s still much faster than creating high quality clipping paths.

You must have a rock solid camera stand to prevent shifting between the takes. Preferably use the timer for the shots. Low cost led panel behind the object is an easy and uniform white background. White backdround under the oject is needed, too if non-horizontal views are wanted. If only one panel is available, then you can try highly white paper or even a mirror, but they definitely increase the need of precise cutting by hand.

A couple of heavily diffused flashes are a good front light. I have photographed hundreds of products this way.

Maybe you also like to do something to the bottles. They seem to be filled with milk if they will be placed onto a non-white background. This subject is discussed here:

How can I remove background from an image of a transparent object?

ADDENDUM: I copied one bottle out from your photo and put it back into the frontline after doing some enhancing for everything. Light and contrast were added, more of them to cap and label. The transparency is taken into the account, too.

one bottle doubled into the frontline

Altough your photo is well underexposed and noisy, you definitely have succeeded to keep your light uniform – very closely like in a light box. Also all disturbing gloss is absent. These things are good for easy cutting and adjusting.

Noise is bad – worse still, if you must use highly compressed JPG photos, because noise is a complex pattern which worsens JPG compression artifacts, which even without any noise can make edges too trashy for easy cutting. Simply: avoid underexposing, high ISO values and tight JPG compression.

It was acceptably easy to select the bottle by using the Quick selection tool – thanks for uniform light. The trick is to select a bottle and copy it to another layer. Selecting the background for deleting was much more difficult.

The Quick selection tool is quite clever. It learned when an exessive selection was taken back by using the tool in subtractive mode (=holding Alt) or missing part of selection was added by holding Shift. Finally only some corners and the mirror image at the bottom needed the Polygonal Lasso for shaving.

Sometimes none of the easy selection tools (=Magic Wand, Quick selection tool, select color range) is not enough because there simply is not enough contrast nor color difference. Then it’s worth of gold to be able to draw a clipping path with the Pen tool, A beginner easily struggles hours until he gains any control over the Pen, but in the long run it really is worth of the effort. Curved borders are made much faster and more accurately than with lassos.


In product photos nothing can be left to look out dirty or used or not well standing at straight position.

Different viewing angles could be more interesting and expressive. But the customer must like them, too.

Source : Link , Question Author : Trevor , Answer Author : user287001

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