Adobe Photoshop Tutorial: How to Enhance Your Stainless Steel Product Photo and Increase Its Salability

By on September 7, 2011 — Updated on June 14, 2013

When designing product packaging and label, one of the element you should consider is the photo, especially the photo of the product when it is needed t be incorporated in the design. The picture of the item on the box has a very big impact on customers’ perception about the product itself inside. It may cause them to buy or to leave the item in the box.

stainless steel image

On this tutorial, we will be learning on how to enhance the photo of your stainless steel products. I should say that highly polished stainless steel items are indeed hard to shoot. Thus, post processing is necessary.


Our objective on this tutorial is to create a well pleasing stainless steel product photo through image post processing and manipulation using Adobe Photoshop. Notice the difference between two pictures below, the unedited photo of a kettle is being compare with the edited one, which is similar to the final picture above. Please take note that the difficulty level of tutorial is average. I do not show here an illustration on where to get the Photoshop Tools because I presume that you are already familiar of them so if it’s your first day to learn Adobe Photoshop, please bookmark first this page, familiarize the Photoshop Tools then come back here to learn this tutorial.

Step 1.Apply adjustments on the color of the photo by applying Desaturate (Image > Adjustment > Desaturate), the shortcut key is Shift + Ctrl + U. This function will turn the whole layer to grayscale so make sure to use the Quick Mask to select the areas of the which should  not be affected when you desaturate the layer. After applying Desaturate function, remove the unwanted reflections on the photo using the Retouching tools especially the Healing Brush, Patch and Clone Stamp.

stainless steel

Step 2.After cleaning the the photo, draw shape following the form of the product you are enhancing then apply Gradient Overlay layer style on it using the black and white colors; set the Gradient Angle to 130° or 50°, do not use 90° and set the layer Opacity to 50%. Since the product I use on this tutorial is a kettle, this is what the shape looks like:

stainless steel kettle

Step 3. Add another similar smaller shape similar to what you have done in Step 2 with darker color at this time. Do not reduce the Opacity at for this layer. Of course, don’t forget to apply Gradient Overlay on it.

stainless steel tutorial

Step 4.Create a white strip above the layer you have made in Step 2 using Pen Tool and reduce the Opacity to 40% as shown below. Take note that the white strip should follow the form of you product photo.

stainless steel photo

Step 5.If you want that your stainless steel product photo to have better accent, you can add more layers of white strips at the both sides of the layers you have created in Step 2 to Step 4 just like what is being illustrated in next pictures but it you find that the previous layers you have added are enough, you can escape this step then proceed to the Step 6.

enhance photo tutorial
photo editing tutorial

Step 6. Create a new empty layer (Menu > Layer > New > New Layer) by pressing Shift+Ctrl+N then using the Brush Tool with soft brush, apply white color on the layer. Erase the portions that cover the details of product photo to have glossy effect. Make sure that you put this glossy effect on the areas where it is appropriate.

photoshop tutorial

Your’ done! Below is the example of the final output of this tutorial.

stainless steel picture


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2 Comments

  1. carmel

    June 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Great tutorial! Post processing is really important when dealing with photos. It’s definitely a must to do a bit of retouching to present a better image esp. if you’re working on promotional materials.
    I invite you to read: Exploring GlasgowMy Profile

  2. RonLeyba

    June 29, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Thanks for the very detailed and step by step instruction. I only use the automatic color balance or any automatic settings, most of the time, when I am editing photos.
    I invite you to read: 8 Basic Camera Shots for Photography AmateursMy Profile

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