Chapter 1 | Introduction to Product Retouching 2 Videos (6:23m)
  • 01 - Getting to Know Ross Floyd
    Ross Floyd is a professional product photographer that has taken over 70,000 product images. In this tutorial, Ross and Aaron team up to put together the images taken in The Ultimate Guide to Product Photography.
  • 02 - Working with a Retoucher
    Collaboration is an integral part of a creative professional's day to day. Ross and Aaron discuss how a photographer and a retoucher come together to create great product photos.
Chapter 2 | Oak Dresser on White 5 Videos (1:17h)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron discuss the plan for our first edit, a dresser on white.
  • 02 - Compositing for Exposure
    Compositing is a common tool for product photographers. Learn how to quickly and seamlessly combine multiple exposures.
  • 03 - Removing the Background
    For products that need to look sturdy and well-built, straight lines are crucial. Watch and follow along as Aaron makes a perfect cut out of the dresser using the Pen Tool to straighten each edge.
  • 04 - Adjusting Highlights & Shadows
    Product Retouching_02_04
  • 05 - Retouching & Blemish Removal
    Product Retouching_02_05
Chapter 3 | Oak Dresser with Dramatic Lighting 4 Videos (59:43m)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron discuss their plans for fixing shadows, creating a gradient background, and maintaining separation between the product and the dark areas behind it.
  • 02 - Compositing & Removing the Background
    Follow along as Aaron composites the images of the cabinet for the best overall exposure and then cuts the cabinet and shadow out from the background.
  • 03 - Building a Background with Gradients
    Aaron builds a custom gradient for the background using the original lighting as a reference.
  • 04 - Retouching
    Learn to make local adjustments to smooth out highlights and shadows and also use selections to recover areas that might be too dark.
Chapter 4 | Designer Stools on White 2 Videos (38:52m)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron lay out their plan for editing the images of the stools.
  • 02 - Compositing & Retouching
    Composite two images together, place the stools on a pure white background, and create two clean, well-defined shadows.
Chapter 5 | Leather Handbag on Multicolored Background 5 Videos (1:44h)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron have a lot to cover in this series of images which include a high-end product, a model, and a custom built set. Hear how they want to approach this complex edit that will require advanced compositing and retouching.
  • 02 - Compositing
    We begin with a challenging composite of multiple images that were taken during the same photoshoot but at slightly different positions. Watch and follow along as Aaron manually aligns each image and pulls in each respective element that we need.
  • 03 - Extending Multiple Backgrounds
    Learn to extend multiple connecting backgrounds while maintaining well defined edges and corners.
  • 04 - Frequency Separation
    Retouch and reshape the bag using the Liquify Tool, Spot Healing Brush Tool, and more. Then dig into our frequency separation action to smooth out the surface of the bag and refine textures.
  • 05 - Retouching & Background Texture
    Aaron cleans up some of the interior edges of the bag and then adds texture to the background using a trick with blurs and Emboss.
Chapter 6 | Leather Handbag on Pink Background 3 Videos (49:54m)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron discuss crop options, keeping attention on the product, reshaping the bag, and what areas will benefit most from retouching.
  • 02 - Product Shaping & Retouching
    Learn to add a natural looking highlight to the bag then smooth out the edges of the bag using the Pen Tool and the Clone Stamp Tool.
  • 03 - Frequency Separation & Dodge and Burn
    Aaron uses our frequency separation action to dodge and burn both the handbag and the skin of the model, adding shape and definition to both. He then cleans up some details to ensure that the viewer's eyes will be drawn to the bag.
Chapter 7 | Leather Handbags on Colored Steps 8 Videos (2:27h)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron talk color, composition, and their creative approach to making this image the best it can be.
  • 02 - Extending Multiple Backgrounds (Part 1)
    Follow along in this challenging section where Aaron extends each of the colored boards along with the edges and shadows.
  • 03 - Extending Multiple Backgrounds (Part 2)
    Aaron finishes up extending the background, cleans up and straightens some of the shadows, and removes some minor blemishes from the colored boards.
  • 04 - Product Shaping & Retouching (Part 1)
    Reshape the bags using the Liquify Tool, clean up blemishes and texture, and even learn straighten important details like buttons and stitching.
  • 05 - Product Shaping & Retouching (Part 2)
    Aaron retouches the last bag of the group while also cleaning up the shadows and the background.
  • 06 - Frequency Separation
    It's time to load our frequency separation action and put it to work. Follow along as Aaron smooths out the surface of each bag while cleaning up and enhancing the texture.
  • 07 - Adding Texture & Changing Background Colors
    Learn to clean up layer masks so that the background colors can be easily changed. Then see how to use noise to add a realistic texture to the colored boards.
  • 08 - Creating an Animated GIF
    Animations can go a long way to help grab attention and help a client sell their products. Learn to make a simple and eye-catching GIF that cycles through multiple background color variations.
Chapter 8 | Leather Backpack with Multiple Backgrounds 5 Videos (1:26h)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron talk about goals to smooth out the surface of the bag, add symmetry, add more intention to the reflection, and more!
  • 02 - Product Shaping
    Use the Liquify Tool to create shape and volume and learn to make a product look more symmetrical by duplicating and flipping parts you need to look identical.
  • 03 - Removing the Background
    Use the Pen Tool to create an accurate selection of the bag while smoothing out curves for a more pleasing shape.
  • 04 - Retouching
    This leather bag has a lot of beautiful texture that needs to be represented in the final image. Watch as Aaron uses frequency separation to smooth out distractions without damaging any of the details.
  • 05 - Changing the Background
    Remove color fringing so that a product will fit seamlessly onto any colored background.
Chapter 9 | Peak Design Backpack 6 Videos (1:37h)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron discuss how to make this image as versatile as possible and their approach for retouching soft goods and fabric in Photoshop.
  • 02 - Product Shaping
    Master the Liquify Tool to create symmetry, smooth out edges, and add natural curves to the straps of the backpack.
  • 03 - Removing the Background
    Learn to use a combination of tools like the Magic Wand Tool, Select and Mask, the Brush Tool, and the Pen Tool to create advanced selections and remove a background.
  • 04 - Retouching
    In this section, Aaron cleans up dust and blemishes, straightens stitching and a logo, and uses the Clone Stamp Tool, Spot Healing Brush Tool, and Brush Tool extensively to completely retouch the bag.
  • 05 - Frequency Separation
    In this section, you will learn how to use frequency separation to remove waves and wrinkles from fabric while preserving the product's original texture.
  • 06 - Adding New Backgrounds
    Product photography normally requires versatile images that work on any background. Learn to change the background to any color, change to a gradient, and learn to remove color fringing from the original background.
Chapter 10 | Peak Design Backpack Unique Shot 5 Videos (1:19h)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron plan their approach to retouching this unique shot of the Peak Design backpack.
  • 02 - Object & Blemish Removal
    Learn to remove large objects from an image using the Clone Stamp Tool as we cover up the metal stand used to suspend the bag in place.
  • 03 - Product Shaping & Creating Symmetry
    Learn how to create symmetry using a variety of tools like Liquify and Transform. Aaron even duplicates and flips one side of the bag to rebuild the other.
  • 04 - Retouching
    Use the Clone Stamp Tool and Spot Healing Brush Tool to clean up dust and stray threads and to smooth out rough edges.
  • 05 - Frequency Separation & Dodge and Burn
    Since this is such a graphic image, smoothing out wrinkles and imperfections will be extremely important for an effective final image. Learn to remove blemishes, enhance definition with dodging and burning, and add contrast to the most important detail in the photo—the rivets.
Chapter 11 | Peak Design Backpack Detail Shot 4 Videos (45:34m)
  • 01 - Planning with Ross Floyd
    Ross and Aaron discuss their strategy for drawing more attention to Peak Design logo while still highlighting the overall shape of the backpack.
  • 02 - Retouching & Dodge and Burn
    With no compositing and no background to replace, we can focus entirely on retouching and enhancing the details! Aaron tackles blemish removal, straightening the Peak Design logo, and dodging and burning to emphasize the shape and curves of the backpack.
  • 03 - Frequency Separation
    Use our frequency separation action to smooth out some wrinkled areas and make the bag appear more full—all while preserving the original texture!
  • 04 - Sharpening
    Guide the eyes of the viewer with some final adjustments to the highlights and shadows and add some high-pass sharpening to the important details.
Catalog  >  PRO Tutorials  >  Retouching Tutorials  >  How to Retouch & Composite Product Photography



How to Retouch & Composite Product Photography

About this Class

Capturing great product photos is only half the battle. In this tutorial, join Ross Floyd and Aaron Nace as they walk you through 10 professional product photo edits from start to finish. You will learn to cut out objects, create clean backgrounds, remove blemishes and distractions, sculpt and reshape products, and explore advanced techniques like frequency separation and dodging & burning.

**This tutorial is linked with The Ultimate Guide to Product Photography

What’s Included

49 Video Tutorials   |   31 Sample Images   |   2 Photoshop Actions

Class Instructors

Aaron Nace – PHLEARN Founder   |   Ross Floyd – Professional Product Photographer

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How to Retouch & Composite Product Photography

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Retouch Any Product



Make Every Pixel Perfect

Learn the magic of frequency separation, dodging & burning and texture replacement to make any product photo look stunning.

Lights. Camera. Perfection.



How to Edit Product Photos

Product photography doesn’t end when you put the camera down. The post-production process is extremely important in making sure that your images highlight the most interesting and beautiful parts of a product. Learn important skills like changing backgrounds, compositing, and retouching that will have you ready to impress any client that comes your way.

Bring Out the Details

Texture. Shape. Color. Features. Once you identify the things that make a product unique, it’s up to you to help tell that story using the tools in Photoshop. We show you how to get down to the details to make sure stitching, buttons, corners, and edges look picture perfect.

Professional Workflow

Product retouching needs to start with a professional workflow. Learn to work non-destructively and tackle steps in the best order to hit your deadlines on time, every time.




Retouching is all about removing distractions while highlighting the natural beauty of a person or object. In this tutorial, you will learn how to remove blemishes like scratches or dust, straighten edges, enhance shape and form, and refine textures.


Compositing is a powerful tool for the product photographer to ensure every part of a product is properly exposed in the final image. Learn how to combine multiple exposures so that every side, detail, and feature is clear and visible!

Prepare for Print, Web & Social Media

Product photos are everywhere. We teach you how to create images that will be versatile enough to fit perfectly into a web page, print ad, or social media campaign. You’ll also hear valuable advice on industry standards and preparing images to hand off to a graphic designer.



Planning & Collaboration

In The Ultimate Guide to Product Photography you learned that a product photoshoot will often involve more than just a photographer. Clients, models, stylists, and assistants are all there to offer help and input. In post-production, a photographer will often lean on the expertise of a professional retoucher to bring it all together.

Working with a Retoucher

Ross Floyd has captured over 70,000 professional product photos. While he occasionally does his own retouching, he often relies on the expertise a professional product photo editor to bring his vision to life. Hear his direction and advice before Aaron brings the images into Photoshop.

Deliver to Clients

As a working photographer, a client’s needs are always paramount. In each of the 10 examples, Ross will help plan each edit, calling on his years of experience to predict what a client might want to see in each image. Learn to make a plan for your post-production process and make sure your clients get everything they need and more.

Frequency Separation – For Products



Make Any Product Look Stunning

Our unique approach to frequency separation allows you to make huge improvements to your images without losing texture or detail.



Tips & Techniques

Every edit is a puzzle and some will be more challenging than others. When the usual tool doesn’t work, what do you do? Watch Aaron as he shows you how to edit product photos while calling on a wide variety of tools and techniques to creatively solve problems.

Professional Finish

The best product images are the result of a lot of little changes. Throughout this tutorial, you will learn to develop the eyes of a product retoucher that will help you see all of the small distractions that might take away from the story you’re trying to tell.

100 Megapixel Sample Images

Professional shoots will often have you working with professional gear. We include 31 sample images taken with a Phase One Medium Format camera. Follow along and work with ultra-high resolution images that provide the highest quality and flexibility while editing.





Perfect Composition

Whether you’re editing a single product or a group of products, where and how you place them in the frame will make a huge difference in the final image. Learn to extend backgrounds, crop photos, create symmetry and more!

Shape & Style

Straight lines. Smooth curves. Symmetry. All of these things are extremely important and can separate a good product photo from a great one. Learn to reduce and remove distracting elements while making a product look its very best.

Cut Out Backgrounds

When editing product photos, the background is just as important as the product itself. We show you how to prepare images that will fit seamlessly into a web design, a print ad, social media, and more. Learn to extend backgrounds and build brand new backgrounds from scratch!



Frequency Separation

Frequency separation is one of the most powerful techniques for the professional retoucher. Learn how to edit color and texture separately for maximum control and flexibility. Better yet, our custom Frequency Separation Action which will have you editing like a pro in no time!

Dodge & Burn

How do you place a three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional image while preserving its shape and form? Learn to sculpt highlights and shadows to help accurately express the size and volume of any object.

Photoshop Actions Included

Make complex tasks a breeze, speed up your workflow, and still get professional-level quality. Up your retouching game with a frequency separation action and give your images a professional finish with our sharpening action!

Class Instructors

Ross Floyd

Professional Product Photographer

Ross Floyd is an award-winning product and interiors photographer and director based in Chicago, IL. He specializes in telling the story of the designed object and space. Ross uses bright and graphic imagery to elevate objects while emphasizing line, shape, form and material with light. He is hired by clients around the world for his ability to convey the experience of an object or space through brilliant images.
View Ross’s Portfolio

Aaron Nace


Aaron Nace is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world reaching millions of students in 146 countries. Known for his unique vision and conceptual style, he prides himself most on making creative education affordable and accessible for anyone that wants to learn.


  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Aaron is such a nice teacher and this is amazing tutorial, thank you so much. And thank you for the possibility to download assets, very useful!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5
  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    This tutorial is seriously packed with a wealth of information on using Photoshop to an advanced level. Aaron does a fantastic job clearly communicating the techniques he is using which makes the tutorial well paced for familiar Photoshop users. It’s very insightful to see Aaron and Ross discuss ideas for adjustments to each image and then see how Aaron interprets the changes in Photoshop. A fantastic tutorial series that comes highly recommended.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    The best tutorial by Phlearn! Absolutely amazing and actually the most useful tutorial I have ever completed, and I’ve completed many of them. There isn’t many tutorials or resources for aspiring product retouchers out there which is a huge shame, I was so ready to purchase this tutorial when it was released. It would be so awesome if you made some more product based tutorials which maybe focus on different type of images such as cosmetics, cars, jewelry etc., if you make more product tutorials, I will buy them all!! Thank so much for this amazing tutorial!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’ve watched a lot of tutorials about Frequency Separation on Phlearn and all over the web. To be honest, the best explanation of this technique is on this tutorial, on section 3 of the chapter 11 (the PD grey backpack): Aaron shows how to handle the texture, the light, the color clearly and very quickly. And the tip on section 4 of the chapter 11 about sharpening is definitely amazing. Now I get the technique and Aaron is a great teacher, thanks a lot!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sensational! So much care and attention to detail for every aspect of this precise craft; explained in such a way that anyone from any experience level can benefit. Pure pleasure. I’ve been using PS for many years and I found this tutorial very helpful! In fact, in typical PHLEARN fashion, it’s easy to understand, and effective to apply. Thank you, wish you a fantastic 2019! ~ Alldaron

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Another brilliant PRO Tutorial from Phlearn and a great follow-up to the previous product photography tutorial with Phlearn and Ross Floyd. The different products with their different and unique material characteristics and different retouching requirements made for a varied, extensive and comprehensive tutorial, demonstrating a wide range of retouching techniques. The only thing I was somewhat hoping for was a wrap-up with Ross Floyd, going over the final images against the initial retouching notes. That would’ve neatly brought together the interplay and interaction between all the parties involved: the product owner (the client of the product photographer), product photographer, and the retoucher (subcontractor for the photographer). But that’s a just a bonus wish. The tutorial was excellent and I highly recommend it.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Absolutely blown away with the demonstration of techniques to achieve utterly beautiful images. The dialog with Ross Floyd gives a wonderful view into the collaboration to create a product image. “Building a Background with Gradients” in chapter 3 is a master class in itself. Grateful appreciation to Aaron and the PhLearn team for this amazing tutorial.


This tutorial includes 31 sample images, 49 video tutorials, and 2 Photoshop actions. Download the sample images and assets at the top of the page.

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