When I look at my older work and see some of those unedited sad… sad photos, I cringe. But then I smile and realize how much I have improved. There is so much more to learn about food photography but I think I’m finally heading in the right direction.
Here is an old photo taken of some potato salad (a simple, yummy, easy recipe you can whip together for a summer BBQ… recipe at bottom of post). I never blogged about this salad because at the time I thought the photo came out underexposed and unappetizing. So using the knowledge I have now, here is how I transformed the photo into something more appealing.
Using Adobe Photoshop, open your photo, crop and resize into a mangeable size. If you want to submit your photos to “food porn” sites such as foodgawker and tastespotting, you should consider a square shaped image. I like 500×500. I try to crop the photo with the rule of thirds in my mind’s eye. With this photo, however, there wasn’t much to crop as it is already such a tight composition.
Step 1: Auto Levels. (Menu) Image -> Adjustments -> Levels… Auto.
I always try this step first and see if I like the change it’s made. For this photo, I thought it was a good step so I kept the change.
Step 2: Increase Exposure. (Menu) Image -> Adjustments -> Exposure (.3)
Step 3: Adjust Shadows/Highlights. (Menu) Image -> Adjustments -> Shadows/Highlights… Shadows +15%, Highlights +15%.
Step 4: Sharpen. (Menu) Filter -> Sharpen -> Sharpen.
Step 5: Blur the background. Select the Blur tool from the toolbar. Using the proper sized brush, carefully blur the background to make less noise.
Step 6: Increase Vibrancy. (Menu) Image -> Adjustments -> Vibrance… +50%.
- Baby potatoes, scrubbed clean
- Crème fraîche
- Dijon mustard
- Chives, diced
- Salt & pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Boil the potatoes until tender when forked. Drain and set aside.
- When cool enough to handle, halve the potatoes so they are bite sized. Place in a large bowl.
- Gently stir in a spoonful of Crème fraîche and a few tablespoons of dijon mustard, chives, salt and pepper to taste. Taste and add more ingredients depending ou your preferences.