You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Here is a simple image – fresh red butter lettuce in a stainless steel colander. The straight out of camera (SOOC) image is not bad but, like most SOOC images, it can be better. In this particular image, for example, I find the reflection of the table in the colander to be distracting. Using the gradient tool in Lightroom, I was able to remove it by simply lowering the saturation. Check out the video below for my full post-processing workflow on this image.
Here is a simple method for increasing the saturation of a specific color in Photoshop. In this example, we’ll use it to “ripen” tomato slices on a bacon cheeseburger.
- Here is the “before” image. The tomatoes are in need of a saturation boost.
2. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Select the Reds (vs Master) and push the saturation slider to the right until you achieve the desired effect.
3. Now select the Yellows and move the hue slider just a bit to the left.
4. These changes are currently applied to the entire image, but we only want them applied to the tomatoes. In order to hide the effect, fill the layer mask with black (command-delete on a Mac).
5. Now choose a soft brush and set the foreground color to white. With the layer mask selected, start to paint the effect back onto the tomato slices.
6. Continue painting the color back into the tomatoes, being careful not to stray into other areas of the burger.
7. Finally, adjust the opacity of the Hue/Saturation layer to a level that suits your taste.
Prefer video? Here you go!
Most food photographers will agree that natural light makes for the best photographs. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to take advantage of natural light. In these cases you are left to artificial light, usually in the form of speedlights or strobes. While artificial light can be used to produce beautiful images, it generally requires the use of some type of modifier as, on its own, artificial light tends to be harsh and flat. Modifiers come in all shapes, sizes, and forms – from the DIY bedsheet diffuser to a professional Softbox.