Editing posts in PS

Most of my Instagram posts have one thing in common: The whitest white backgrounds. You don’t really need to be so obsessed with it as I am XD , but if you are wondering how I edit my pictures, here you have the (very) basic steps that I follow in Photoshop.

Original (left) and posted (right) picture of a floral wreath

First things first, you need a good picture. I don’t scan my pieces. I just take pictures of them with my phone (iPhone 7, but most phones have a good enough camera nowadays). I always take them under natural sunlight, but if you cannot do that, aim for evenly illuminated pictures. Strong shadows are difficult to fix.

Take a look at the next two images. The one on the left needs adjustments, but the light is even. The one on the right is darker in one corner, and the color of that corner is very similar to the grey I used for the shadows, so the workflow explained here won’t work well.

So, let’s say that you have your picture ready. Open it in PS, and in the layers box (bottom right in the next image), double click on the name of the layer (Background) to turn it into a normal one (the padlock should disappear).

Your white paper probably looks kind of grey or yellowish, and that’s what we want to change. I use the “Levels” tool in PS (Image/Adjustments/Levels…), because with just one click you can choose what “should be white”, and adjust the rest of the image accordingly. You can, of course, play with the sliders to manually adjust Shadows, Midtones and Highlights, but if you use the “sample in image to set white point” tool (see next image), and click on a point that should be white, you normally get good results.

Check this video tutorial if you want to know what that hystogram and sliders mean 😉

Now, try clicking on different areas of your picture (white areas that don’t look so white), and you’ll see how the rest of the colors change as well. Bad news, if you have grey shadows, they will fade too, so try using a darker grey for shadows next time 😉 . Moving the first slider (the black one) towards the right will help getting back the intensity of the darker areas.

Maybe you are already happy with the result, but if you want to make sure that the background is just white (or if you want to save the image with a transparent background) you can use the Magic Wand Tool to select the white areas, and remove them. This tools has a Tolerance level. If it is too low, it will be complicated to select all grey areas at the same time. If it is too high, you may be selecting very light colors too, which will be erased as well. Try different values, and remember that you can use the Lasso Tool to remove certain areas from selection.

You can change the tolerance of the Magic Wand
Selected areas with different tolerances. In the left image, not all background pixels are selected. In the middle one, part of the green leaves is selected too. The right image shows a good selection, except for small areas that can be erased later on.
With the Lasso Tool, you can toogle between normal selection, add to selection, remove from selection, and intersect with selection

Once you are happy with the selection, press “delete”! If some areas weren’t selected, you’ll find it easier to detect them by creating a black layer and placing it at the bottom. Once those little ones have been properly removed, you can change the color to white (or any other color of your choice).

Transparent, black and white background.

Finally, you just have to crop your image in a square size (Image/Canvas size…, or using the Crop Tool), and it’s also a good idea to resize it, (Image/Image Size…). I normally use 1080 px for mine and they look sharp enough 🙂 . You are now ready to post!

*** I am no expert and this is just the process I follow. While I am sure that there are hundreds of more professional ways to do it, this works for me :). If you have any question, feel free to ask in a comment below!

1 thought on “Editing posts in PS

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *