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Professional Grade Image using focus-stacking

Retouching Techniques

How to obtain a Professional Grade Image using focus-stacking and a few retouching techniques

In this retouching session, we wanted to illustrate how we can get a high-end image after the shoot, by using focus stacking, and on the way, using various retouching techniques that will enhance your Raw Image into a publishable advertising picture.

From the use of various software in the process (like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Helicon Focus), to understanding small details like how an image natural noise will affect how the eye perceives any item you include in post-production, you will, hopefully, learn some advanced techniques that will enable you to create your next amazing image, either for your portfolio or for a client.

Final Image

While retouching an image of a bottle of liquor, we’ll learn how to use multiple software in coordination, and also a few tips and tricks that will allow us to achieve a Professional-Grade final Image.

Programs used:

• Adobe Lightroom
• Helicon Photo
• Adobe Photoshop

Focus Stacking

When shooting product photography, the use of a 100mm Lens is very usual. This is due to its low distortion effect on the object and the sharpness of such a prime lens.


Now, the trade-off, is that you will intrinsically have a shallower depth of field for your subject. We take total control of this with the use of a technique called: Focus Stacking.

From Lightroom to Helicon Focus, Helicon Focus to Photoshop and Back

As you can see, the main sticking point of this tutorial is the use of multiple software available to us, that allows us to create Professional-Grade images. Each software gives your workflow has some specific and specialized advantage, that you could get by using only one, yes, but in my experience, work best when combined with the others.

My workflow is always very similar. I start in Illustrator “stabilizing” the images, then export them to Helicon, Focus Stack them, and from there, to Photoshop, ending the process with general and final edits back at the illustrator.

Success Story Interview with Hector Coto

About the Instructor

Hector Coto, the founder of the Vhector Shots Studio, is a Commercial Photographer out of North New Jersey, who was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. Having such a rich historical city at his disposal, my father loved taking photos with a very old Russian Camera. The moment he let me shoot on the single frame while we were on a walk, I fell in love with this art form, and evidently marked a path I later would revisit… and never steer away from.

About instructor:

Hector Coto, the founder of the Vhector Shots Studio, is a Commercial Photographer out of North New Jersey, who was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. Having such a rich historical city at his disposal, my father loved taking photos with a very old Russian Camera. The moment he let me shoot on the single frame while we were on a walk, I fell in love with this art form, and evidently marked a path I later would revisit… and never steer away from.

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