Beginning Editing of Food Photos
Editing food photos can be different from one person's style to another. The common goal for all of us, though, is to make the food look appealing. Some people may be better at getting it "right in camera" and do little editing, while others change their images drastically. In my workshops, I talk a little about editing, and am now expanding how much I talk about it because I never realized how much it can help your image. I tend to be pretty minimal with my edits... I don't like using a lot of extra distracting layers and effects that might distract from the food.
However, there are a few things I do to EVERY picture using Photoshop Elements.
1. Shoot in RAW
I love making my initial edits in RAW, and most often I adjust the white balance, clarity and play around with the fill light and blacks. Depending on the subject being photographed, I may also bump up the saturation. Once you know your style, you will see a trend in what edits you often do to your images. If you find you are always needing to bump up your exposure, remember that the next time you are photographing something...adjust the time of day you shoot, your location, or the setting in your camera.
2. Check White Balance and Sharpness
Making sure your white balance is correct is KEY. Don't do anything before making sure of that. If your dishes are white, make sure they are white in your resulting image...not gray or blue.
I like using the adjustment layer for "hue/saturation" to take away unwanted color-casts on plates and backgrounds.
In Photoshop Elements layer<New Adjustment layer<hue/saturation
3. Clean It UP
Once adjusted in raw, I open it in photoshop elements and start looking at the small details that need to be "cleaned up"
The clone tool is great for things like this.
3. Ask: Does it need to be straightened or cropped?
By thinking about your audience, you may choose to focus in on a particular part of your picture.
Maybe there is a part you don't want others to see. Adjust these things and try to remember them before you take a picture next time.