4 Simple Tips to Edit Food Photos using Picmonkey.com
It’s time to come really clean with you guys and tell you a little bit about my “professional” training:
I majored in Sociology (not photography, not journalism, and nothing culinary). My idea of a really nice camera was the itty-bitty Canon Power Shot my husband and I bought for our first anniversary. I had never heard the word “midtones” until about 6 months ago. I didn’t know that the best natural light is in the shade until about 5 months ago. And I couldn’t find my way around Photoshop or any other editing program if my life depended on it.
Which is why I love Picmonkey so much. Because despite all of my inadequacies in photography, Picmonkey is the online photo editing program that can make up the difference for my inexperience with a camera and editing software! As long as I can style a decent set and shoot sometime during daylight hours (although some hours will always be better than others), I can still make out with a pretty good looking photo without pulling my hair out trying to use some complicated program.
If you’re a pro photog and could Photoshop these in your sleep, more power to ya! Color me impressed!But if you’re like me, a novice photographer who doesn’t have the time to take on a fancy pants editing program that costs your first born child, Picmonkey is for you. And this tutorial is for YOU!
Disclaimer: Results will vary depending on the original state of your photo. No amount of editing can fix a truly awful, horrible, no good photo. Always shoot in natural light, use a tripod if available, and use the highest quality camera you can get your hands on. I can only recommend this method for up-close food and product photography, as that is my only experience.
Step 1: Re-size the image for web use. I size the image down to 585px wide to fit the width of my post area. This makes it a lot easier to work with (otherwise editing may be sluggish) and makes for better quality edits .
Step 2: Auto-adjust the Exposure. I know some people cringe at the term “auto-adjust.” But hey. That’s me. I need all the auto-adjusting I can get. I’ve found that there are some elements of editing that simply cannot be auto-adjusted, but fortunately, exposure is not one of them. As long as you follow the next two steps, auto-fixing the exposure seems to work just fine.
Step 3: Use the Unsharp Mask to sharpen the image. [Shapen >> Unsharp mask] As you can see below, I set my Radius for 3, Strength for 50%, and Clarity for 3. You can play around with those numbers and see what works for you, but this is where mine is set for nearly every photo I post.
Step 4: Adjust the midtones in Curves. Simple curve the line in the Curves tool until you like the look of your photo. This is pretty standard for mine…
And that’s it!
Again, I want to reiterate that I acknowledge I’m no expert. So, please, no critics in the comment gallery if you don’t mind. But my inexperience is the point of this post– if I can come up with a decent looking food photo, so can you.
Disclosure: Picmonkey.com is an official sponsor of Something Swanky and I do receive various forms of compensation from them. However, opinions are my own and I was not compensated for writing this post.