Clinique shoot post production 6: Final adjustments

In this final chapter of the Clinique post production course Karl applies the finishing touches to enhance the overall freshness of the image.

In this class Karl uses burn and dodge to increase three dimensionality and contrast in the bottles and caps and also uses a solar curve (download this visual aid layer here) to even the tones throughout the bottles. These subtle yet effective changes, coupled with his additional colour adjustments go a long way in enhancing the image.

After applying some final colour adjustments to the bottles, Karl then finishes off by enhancing the contrast in the water splash, another subtle yet important change that helps achieve that fresh Clinique style.

To see how this image was shot, watch the Clinique Style Advertising Shoot classes or read my blog post on ‘Identifying & overcoming the challenges of a high-end product shoot‘.

Class objectives:

  • Show how to use burn and dodge to enhance contrast
  • Show how to smooth products using visual aid layers and burn and dodge
  • Demonstrate using solar curves
  • Show colour adjustments on bottles and caps
  • Show how to use curves adjustments to increase contrast in water

Clinique product image

The final Clinique advertising style image.

Remember, if you’re unfamiliar with the techniques covered in this class, you’ll find additional classes on essential Photoshop tools in our Post Production section.

If you enjoyed this class, you may also find our Floating Cosmetics Splash Shot and the corresponding post production class useful.

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


  1. This project is a really good example of the complete lifecycle of a product asset production project.

    It was a great exercise to sit over your shoulder and see how my intuitiveness did and did not match yours.

    I’m sure that you’ve heard and otherwise realize that the post-production is personal and specific per each person. The tension/suspension of watching you in post is like a watch party for the Game of Thrones, for goodness sake. I was literally grimacing, delighted and surprised (often enough at the same time 🙃) while you took the steps you did to achieve your desired result.

    It was fun and well done.

  2. to whom it may concern
    hope this message finds you well.
    I have a problem with my account. i have just paid $19 for this month and my account has not activated yet

  3. Great tutorial, really complete and easy understanding 🙂
    Just a question , I have the last version of Photoshop and it hasn’t the option of the solar curve. How can I resolve it ?

    1. Hi Thank you, you can make your own and save it or use or Visual Aids Layers action downloads from our downloads section, from our Advanced Photoshop Course.

  4. One thing I noticed, it is of paramount importance to have a larger screen with good resolution to check such smaller details.
    ( When i work on my MacBook, which inspite of having retina display – due to sheer small size of screen limits the ability to see and assess certain aspects/defects etc )

    Am I right Karl, correct me please if I am wrong.

    – Sanket

    1. Hi thanks for the info, I just checked and at 17mins it goes out of focus for 4 seconds, it must have been a problem with the screen recording software which we need to use to record what I’m doing.

  5. Wow! I am so surprised of the inconsistencies of the Clinique product photos. Your thought process is very detailed. I never would have thought to use solar for anything. After seeing what you did and why…makes total sense. I agree these product do look fresh. Thank you for this tutorial from start to finish. I can’t wait to try something like this and then send in my photo for critique one day.

  6. Great tutorial Karl, very thorough. Good to see how your thought processes work in getting things just right. Nice end result.

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