How To Get Rid of a Background with Photoshop

Photoshop How To

Here is a little How-To if you want to eliminate a background for your photos. I recommend taking a photo of your item on a white (or cream) colored background. Unless your image is really well lit, you will likely have a background with a tinge (in my case blue). Here is an easy way how to get rid of it in Photoshop. There are many different (more sophisticated and time consuming) ways, but this one will often do.
You will use the “Curves Tool) in Photoshop. It doesn’t matter if you understand curves or not. (It essentially redistributes contrast. It will also change saturation and hue, but we do not care right now.) This is what you do:1. Open photoshop
2. File – open image
3. Make sure your layer box is showing (if not, go to “Window” at the top bar and click on “Layers” in the pop up menu)
4. Click on “Layer” on top bar and “Duplicate Layer”
5. You have now two images in the layer box
6. Highlight the top layer you want to work on
7. Go to “Image” at top bar, “Adjustments” and “Curves”
8. To make things easy, keep the Channel “RGB” on top (you can also change the tone in the color channels, but you can experiment with this later)
back to just eliminating the background
9. Move the “curve” in the left corner down and see what happens. The input number goes up and the output one down. Once you are happy, let go. Don’t worry if you have still a light shadow in the background, otherwise you lose too much of you photo quality if you get the background to white in one go. Now we have one last step:
10 Change your brush to white in the tool box (if you can’t find it, go to “Window” in the top bar and click on “Tools”
Get a brush (4th box on the right from top) and make it big enough to “paint” the colored tinge white. Be careful not to get to close to your object you are trying to isolate or its shadows. You can also set the brush size smaller and lower to opacity from 100% to around 60% or whatever works to have a completely white background.
You’ll have likely to try different things, but this is an easy, fast (and dirty) way to get it done fast.
Have fun experimenting.

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5 Responses to “How To Get Rid of a Background with Photoshop”

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  1. mayaluna says:

    Great tutorial! This has been on my list to figure out for so long. Thank you!

  2. Tanya says:

    Oh ho….soooo good. Very professional result for idots like me. You are really impressing me!

  3. Crystelle Boutique says:

    Thank you. this is so what I needed. I was so lost on photo shop. Thanks
    In fact I just decided to keep all my backgrounds. Maybe there is hope for me….

  4. kodl says:

    Thanx,but….it will only change background color to white. I need to remove any background color completely. Any idea? Thanx for any help in advance.

  5. kathrin says:

    Hi kodl, I know what I’ve described is a very rudimentary method. If you need to erase the background, you would have to use layer masks, which is a bit more complex. Maybe this link would help:

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