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Food Photography and Food Photo Editing

An Introduction to Post-Processing in Food Photography

Post-Processing is a process used to transform photos from what was captured in a camera either to be closer to what our eyes saw or to alter the image artistically. When a photo is taken during the shoot; it is usually raw, bare and lacks color. Post-processing in food photography is important. It enhances the food images by adding extra color and improving the photo’s quality.

Post-processing Improves:

Photographs can often be improved by making adjustments to them, such as:

•    Cropping

•    Color


    Shadow detail

•    Sharpening

What is Food Photography and Editing?

Food photography is a life specialization of commercial photography, aimed at producing attractive photographs of food for use in advertisements, packaging, menus or cookbooks. Professional food photography is a collaborative effort, usually involving a professional photographer and photo editor.

Every photo needs a little improvement and enhancement; that is when editing is necessary for food photography. To edit food photography it requires a bit of a different approach than you might take with other types of photography, like portrait or landscape. The objective is to keep the food looking as fresh and appetizing as possible.

In editing food images you need to be knowledgeable about the following:

1.    Histogram

It’s important to have a basic understanding of the histogram in order to make adjustments to the exposure and tones in your image. The histogram is one of the key tools available for analyzing your image.

2.    Cropping

Before you can start making global adjustments to your image, it makes sense to crop and straighten it first.

3.    Lens Correction

The Lens Corrections options fix optical distortion caused by the position of your subject in the frame, or where your camera is positioned relative to your scene.

4.    White Balance

This removes incorrect color casts and ensures that your whites and colors render accurately.  In food photography, White Balance can be used creatively, depending on your image.

In line with the White Balance Correction, mind the following adjustments too:

•    Exposure and Contrast

•    Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks Sliders

•    Clarity, Vibrancy, and Saturation

When it comes to post-processing your food photography, the best thing to do is still strive for a natural look for your subject.

Why Do Restaurants Want Their Images Edited?

Food photography is a great tool to promote a restaurant’s food items. Nowadays, people remain more engaged with the internet and therefore, you can post your food items and entice them towards your brand. On top of that, it will help your food business stand out than your competitors.

What are the Advantages of Enhancing Food Photos?

  • Attracts Customers

 If you want to make an impression with your food business in a short time, food photography can fulfill your demand. Polished images of foods can make wonders in the twinkling of an eye as they can produce an engaging effect in their mind. Advertising tantalizing photos of various dishes with menus, social media posts, banners enable you to reach your potential clients without them coming to your restaurant.

    Great way to start marketing

If you want to flourish with your food business in the current age, there is no alternative to food photography. Text without an image will neither spice up the images nor scale up sales. Whether you are running a website or making a restaurant menu, incorporating food images is a must along with the text. This will not only successfully promote your business but also make your food business perform exceedingly well.

•    Promotes your signature dishes

With the help of food photography, you can also advertise the signature platters and dishes of restaurants.

Food Photography Tips and Ideas

Shooting food in its natural state requires that it be fresh and ripe, and free from blemishes, bruises, and marks. While post-processing can easily deal with small hairs or other imperfections, you should ensure that whatever it is you’re buying looks as good as possible, to begin with.

Whether it is an after-party from the perfect cocktail, or the homemade roasted chicken recipe on the farm, like all photography, you’re telling stories.

1.    Choose your angle

There are really only a few camera angles in food photography that you see. Think of the food beforehand. Its size, shape, height and what is unique about it. Then place the camera where you think best highlights these qualities.

2.    Surround your Hero (final dish)

When shooting from the front of the food try to keep a great foreground and background to play with. Surround your main dish with ingredients and props that relate to the food.

3.     Hold the Color

When placing items into your food images; try selecting neutral tone.

4.     Selective focus and depth of field

 Focus is another thing to consider when photographing food. Depth of field concerns the distance between objects in the frame. In the same way that certain foods have better angles, they also have better spots to be in the photo to be more focused.

Post-Processing Tips

•    Get it right in Camera

This means getting the right shutter speed, focal length, and exposure with the camera. 

•    Sharpening

To the naked eye on a 4×6 prints, no sharpening is fine.  But if you want to do a full-sized print (8×10) it can make a big difference. 

•    Darkroom Techniques

Techniques like burning and dodging are traditional darkroom techniques that you can do in photo editing software.  Dodging will lighten an area of a photo that is too dark and burning will darken an area that’s been overexposed.  Both will help to preserve fine detail that might otherwise have been lost.

•    Cross Processing

Cross processing or split toning is a traditional darkroom technique that has crossed over to photo editing software-Allowing you to play with different tones, adding them just to highlights or shadows or both.

•    Photo Retouching

The retouching is done with a combination of Photoshop techniques: cloning, spot healing, and dodging and burning. 

  Whether you are clicking food photos out of passion or for commercial reason, special effects have a lot to beautify your food photographs. Sometimes, food may not look appealing and mouthwatering only with taking shots. Hence, you can add special effects like motion effects to make the visuals spectacular.

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