Let’s face it, as a product photographer often times you are faced with the challenge of dust and scratches on the objects you just photographed. Especially when the products are very small, they have to be enlarged many times for display.
We’ll use ths vintage cufflink that I just photographed as an example. The product surface is really scratched up, but we sure want to present it in a nice way, that’s when Photoshop comes in handy.
The first step is to use the “pen” tool to create a path for the green area of the product to be fixed, and then select the path (Command+Click on Mac or Ctrl+Click on PC on the path):
The next step, is to simply use the “brush” tool to sample areas in close proximity (with brush selected, hold down alt/option key to sample neighboring areas and brush away).
Make sure that the brush opacity is not at 100%, try a lower value and brush through one area at a time to build up strokes. Change your brush size and hardness to fit different situations.
Keep sampling and brushing, eventually – you’ll end up with something like this below (I cut out the shape quickly, notice some areas are not perfectly smooth). Cutting out a good path is important to most touchup works, so make sure you practice using “Pen” tool. Also, a Wacom tablet is essential in all kinds of photography/design work and I would highly recommend that you get one if you haven’t already done so.