Cutting Out an Image in Photoshop


Adobe Photoshop is not a program that is just for “fixing” problems in a photo. It can also be used as a vital component to achieving your vision of an image. Once you begin to possess some mastery over the program, you begin to see where you can use it in your overall workflow – knowing when to fix things “On-Set” versus “In Post.”

In this tutorial, I examine a situation where a client needed a clean “on white” product shot of a particular product that had been shot on-location. Using the Pen Tool, I create a super-tight selection of a hard-edged object and begin to strip it out to a new surface and create a believable product shot from what started as a location shot.

Solutions like these add value for clients, and are par-for-the-course techniques in a commercial photographer’s toolkit.

About the Author

  • Jeff McLain is a photographer, videographer, digital technician, and location sound mixer. After his photography education, Jeff got his start as a freelance photo assistant in San Francisco working on editorial, catalog and advertising shoots. His skills in Photoshop and computing allowed him to help photographers bridge the gap between the film days and all-digital workflows, and he stood at the forefront of the advent of the career of the "Digital Technician." Jeff then moved laterally to video capture. Locally, he is the Director of Arrowroot Productions, LLC, a commercial videography business. His background as a multi-instrumental musician has also benefited his understanding of sound design and audio capture, which can be a technically challenging aspect of film-making. He is regularly called by filmmakers and television networks to record sound-for-video. He has been a freelancer for over 20 years and takes a 'real-world' approach to his perspective of the photographic and video industry and the skills needed in today's market.