Clinique shoot post production 4: Creating a white background & refining water splash

In the next part of the Clinique retouching process, Karl looks at adding additional splash elements and creating a pure white background for the image.

After adding the main splash shot, Karl works on a creating a clean white background for the image. He demonstrates a quick and effective technique for this using a combination of selection tools, the paint bucket tool and the highlight dodge tool. He then makes further adjustments to the splash part of the shot, looking to introduce further splashes and drops on the bottles and base surface.

Class objectives:

  • Demonstrate how to create a white background in Photoshop
  • Show how the highlight dodge tool can be used to create a white background
  • Demonstrate how to add further splash elements to the shot
  • Show how to include water drops on the base surface

Clinique product splash shot

The additional splash shots and water drops.

To see how this image was shot, watch the Clinique Style Advertising Shoot classes.

If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comment section below.


  1. Hi Karl,

    I was wondering why I haven’t seen you use the Bron Cumulite? Is it simply because you don’t have one in the studio or do you prefer using something else for an overall even light, especially from the top?

    Thanks, Joe

    1. Hi Joe, the Cumulite is a lovely piece of kit. I don’t have one, I don’t think born do them anymore. I’m not sure how much use i’d have for one though as most of my softbox work is with them behind scrims for gloss surfaces and where the softbox isn’t reflecting off of a gloss surface then I don’t think the perfect homogenousity wouldn’t really be necessary

  2. Hi Karl. Curiosity, when you set up the backlights to be close to white 255…. had you gone a little higher ….. would it help you later to get pure white?
    Would it save you time and you wouldn’t have to do dodge so much?

    1. Hi, Yes you can usually go over and in this case it wouldn’t have been a problem, I usually anticipate that the light I’m adding on the product will also add a small amount of light to push the background from around 250 to 255.

  3. Actually I think I probably know the answer, you used the barn doors to create gradient so that the water showed up better and now you are cleaning up and putting the background back to white?

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