Tweak a Little Sparkle into your Photos with Photo Editing

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Photo Tips

Welcome to our new photo tips series where we will aim to support and encourage you to take the best foodie photos of your creations you possibly can!

Photo editing can turn a dull, lifeless photo into a showstopper with just a few tweaks,  but not knowing where to start can be a little daunting.

Whilst professional editing tools can take your photos to another level, and are probably a really good idea if you are looking to sell to magazines,  there are plenty of free alternatives that will help give your photos the x-factor. However, if you read the tips from Helen, Jane and Sandhya, who all have amazing photography on their sites, you will see they all use Photoshop and/or Lightroom for the majority of their editing. So if you are looking to up your game it’s probably worth investing a little money and time.

Photo Editing Tips…

  • Pic monkey is a brilliant tool for doing quick edits and adding text and graphics. It is also free and available to use on desktop and in an app. There is an option to upgrade which gives a larger choice of fonts, extra effects and more.
  • Canva is probably better for blog graphics rather than editing but if you like adding text to images this site is fantastic, they also have an app for ‘on the go’ editing.
  • Helen who writes at Fuss Free Flavours uses Lightroom to edit on her computer. ‘The luxury of still life; including food, photography, is that you can get most of it right on the camera when you use a tripod, which makes the edit process far faster.  I will import, discard the ones I won’t use, then tweak white balance, exposure, take out some shadows and add a little clarity and vibrance (this brings up the duller colours without increasing the saturation everywhere). If in doubt when shooting, underexpose a little if you are hand holding and fix in post processing.   But the best thing it to focus on getting the image right on camera, and to do less editing.  Double check your settings as you shoot, especially ISO, aperture, focus point and white balance.   Always shoot in RAW rather than JPG, the images will need a little more work, but there will be so much detail in them that you can rescue almost any image that is sharp.’
  • For super quick edits ‘on the go’ Helen uses a mix of Pic-Tap-Go, SnapSeed and VSCO.
  • Jane from Little Sugar Snaps also shoots in RAW, then fine tunes the white balance and exposure in Lightroom before importing them to Photoshop where she does the majority of her edits.
  • The process Jane uses involves –
  1. Export the image to Photoshop in PSD format
  2. Create a background copy and clear up any imperfections or blemishes using the clone stamp tool
  3. Add a little pop of colour (using Gaussian blur to boost colour saturation)
  4. Lighten or darken any areas that need adjustment (using a new blank layer filled 50% gray, the overlay blending mode and the brush tool)
  5. Enhance the sharpness of the main focal point in the image (using a high pass filter and masking)
  6. Once happy with the final image the layers are flattened and it’s ready to save as a jpeg file.
  • Jane uses pre-recorded actions in the editing tool which speeds up the work flow at the press of a button! She also recommends the book ‘Food Photography: from Snapshots to Great Shots’ by Nicole S. Young with easy to follow instructions to help anybody getting started. 
  • Sandhya from Sandhya’s Kitchen is also a big Lightroom advocate, but uses Canva for collages and text insertions.
  • Sandhya says,
  1. Don’t be shy to edit.
  2. Always Shoot in Raw, so you have the full control of the image.
  3. Basic Edits to enhance the images are by sliding the contrast, saturation, sharpness and highlight.
  4. Once you are familiar with your tool, play around with Tone Curves, Vignettes
Photo editing tipsImage Credit[Sandhya’s Kitchen]

Wow, you can see what a difference the tweaking and editing has made in the photos provided by Sandhya.

In a nutshell:

  • Use RAW to take your photos
  • If you’re really serious about your photos use Photoshop or Lightroom
  • Don’t be afraid to edit
  • Using a tripod can cut down on the editing by taking a better photo straight away
  • Edit the white balance, exposure and any imperfections
  • Check out PicMonkey, Canva, Pic-Tap-Go, Snapseed and VSCO for ‘on the go’ editing
  • Consider getting a copy of ‘Food Photography: from Snapshots to Great Shots’ by Nicole S. Young

Thanks to Helen, Jane and Sandhya for their tips and don’t forget to check out their blogs for inspiration.

Do you have any fail-safe photo editing tips to share?

 

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photo editing tips

Photo Credits [Timothy Lamm Unsplash]

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Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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