Photo Editing: Potato Salad

Before and After
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.

Crop Photo

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.
Auto Levels

Step 2: Increase Exposure. (Menu) Image -> Adjustments -> Exposure (.3)
Exposure increased by .3

Step 3: Adjust Shadows/Highlights. (Menu) Image -> Adjustments -> Shadows/Highlights… Shadows +15%, Highlights +15%.
Shadow and Highlight Adjust by 15 each

Step 4: Sharpen. (Menu) Filter -> Sharpen -> Sharpen.
Filter 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.
Blur Tool for background

Step 6: Increase Vibrancy. (Menu) Image -> Adjustments -> Vibrance… +50%.
Vibrance by 50

Potato Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A simple and delicious salad. No need to measure ingredients, just taste and adjust to your liking.
Serves: 6
  • Baby potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • Crème fraîche
  • Dijon mustard
  • Chives, diced
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Boil the potatoes until tender when forked. Drain and set aside.
  2. When cool enough to handle, halve the potatoes so they are bite sized. Place in a large bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. Enjoy!

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