Q: “How can I remove a white background from an image?”

After you have inhaled this thorough answer you will be able to remove white backgrounds from images. With this new skill you will be able to remove white backgrounds in stock photography which is not always straightforward to do (without possessing the method explained in this answer). Why is this important to mastering photoshop? Simple. When you understand how to remove subjects from white backgrounds you will then be able to put them on any background you want …

Step 1 Open image

1 Open image with a subject on a white background. I got this image from a premium stock image site – these types of images taken in professional photography studios are very common – but how can we remove the white background? There are a number of ways that will do the job – and we are going to look at one of the easiest and quickest ways here …

Step 2 Let’s Create Our Selection

1. Select the ‘magic wand’ tool. The magic wand tool selects areas based on color.

Click on the white background of the image.

1 With the magic wand tool selected point and click oin the white background in the active image area.

Right now we have created a selection of everything but our subject (the gentlemen striking a pose), so let’s inverse our selection so our man is selected – let’s inverse.

1 Go to “Select > Inverse”

Step 3 Start Masking

1 Enter ‘quickmask mode …’

The ‘quickmask mode’ is a fantastic way to create accurate selections, and that’s why we are using it in this example …

While in ‘quickmask’ mode, we can see a problem with our selection (the red area shows deselected areas and clear areas show what is selected), we can see red within our selection under the chin of our subject. Luckily because we are in ‘quickmask mode’ we can quickly and easily fix this problem.

1 The red area represents deselected areas – parts of the image not selected.
2 The instances of red within our selection show that the ‘magic wand’ tool did not create the ideal selection – but we are going to fix this.

Select the ‘zoom’ tool and zoom in on the problem area …

1 Select the zoom tool in the toolbar (press ‘Z’ if you want to select it pronto).

Ok. Now that we are zoomed in on the problem area, let’s get to work.

1 We are now zoomed in right in on the problem area. Notice the red areas within our selection – this is what we are going to fix.
2 Select the ‘brush tool’ (press ‘B’ to go pronto) tool.

Let’s sort out our selection right now …

1 Click and drag to paint away this unwanted selected area – ensure white is the selected foreground color otherwise we will be adding a selection here, which is not what we want.

There are other of the area’s of the selection that need dealt with. In this example there are. And in this example we need a smaller brush, so let’s select a smaller brush size.

1 From the options bar (with the brush tool selected) reduce the ‘Master Diameter’ (the size) of your brush.

Continue masking out any other problem areas …

1 Click and drag to brush out remaining problems …

Step 4 Check Out Our New Selection

1 Switch back to standard mode.

Back in ‘standard mode’ our selection should now be free from the previous problem of unwanted selected areas within our selection.

1 Our selection is looking good.

Step 5 Copy and Paste

1 Select Edit > Copy
1 Select Edit > Paste

Step 6 Check it out

1 Our man is now separated from the white background.
2 The background.
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Your Comments

  • Paulj077

     

    Background removal easy, cheap and fast! Say bye to the
    Background on your Images say hello to higher conversion rates – http://www.Byeground.com
    the leading background remover offers affordable services such as: photoshop
    masking, keep clipping path, background removal, knock out mask and image cut
    out that’s fast and affordable within 24 hours – best of all prices starts at
    $0.85 per image at Byeground.com.

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  • Jason Smith663

    Background removal easy, cheap and fast! Say bye to the
    Background on your Images say hello to higher conversion rates – http://www.Byeground.com
    the leading background remover offers affordable services such as: photoshop
    masking, keep clipping path, background removal, knock out mask and image cut
    out that’s fast and affordable within 24 hours – best of all prices starts at
    $0.85 per image at Byeground.com.

    http://www.byeground.com
     

  • sav

    THIS IS USELESS. Why Cant Google remove all these useless posts that people dont UPDATE

  • EternalMyrtle

    haha so much harder than it needs to be! old too