DIY Lightbox: Post Processing
I’ve been struggling over the past week to modify the DIY light box setup to achieve a perfect lighting that will give me a 100% white background. I continued reading through the Photography On The Net forums for any solutions to my problem. There were people who managed to solve the white background problem with some post-processing on Adobe Photoshop CS3. So I begun experimenting with my shots as well and I’m quite happy with the results.
Before I begin, let me clarify that I know nuts about Photoshop. If you know of a better way to do this do let me know about it. This is not intended to be a rigid guide to be followed strictly. There is no universal setting which will fix all your shots.
Anyway, the software which I will be using is Adobe Photoshop CS3. So fire up the software and load the image in. Here’s the fresh and unedited shot of my toy car taken from my v1.1 DIY Lightbox.
Firstly, I attempted to fix the not so white background of the photo. Do this by opening up the levels option by going to Image > Adjustments > Levels. The following option box will pop out.
Notice the value which I have circled in red. Try reducing the value until you get a perfectly white background (for my shot, I reduced it to 250). I’m not too sure about the algorithm and mechanics behind all this but what I think it does is it effectively compresses the histogram of your shot. Hence, areas which are bright in the photo will be made brighter while the darker areas will be left almost unaffected.
To check if your background is completely white, you can use the Eyedropper Tool (shortcut key: i). Select areas on the background and check the numbers which appear on the color bar on your right.
If all 3 numbers are 255, then you have a 100% white background. Here’s what the original photo looks like after the levels adjustment.
2. Shadow / Highlight
This step is really optional and I did it to improve and bring out the reflection of the car on the glass which has been slightly brightened by the first step. Open up the Shadow / Highlight option by going to Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight. You will see the following option box.
These were the settings which I used. The end result is a slightly darkened reflection of the car on the glass with a perfectly white background.
My quest for a perfectly white background has been fulfilled!