Lesson 29 – Learn Simple Post Processing

30 Day Food Photos Day29Post processing can be a very intimidating topic, but it doesn’t have to be.

Today we will discuss post processing at a very high level.

There are many softwares that you can use for post processing. I use Lightroom and absolutely love it. Aperture is another software used by many but I haven’t used it all that much. I am not sure if there is a good equivalent open source software like Lightroom. These are relatively basic image editing and library management softwares.

Then there are advanced softwares like Photoshop and an open source FREE software called GIMP. In both these softwares, you can use layers and other advanced features to process your images to a great extent. I don’t have enough patience to use these tools and tricks.

Of all the tools you can use in post processing, there are few that you should absolutely know how to do. Here are those three adjustments -

Adjusting exposure – Learn how to change exposure, technically different than brightness, but some tools use it interchangeably.

Adjusting white balance – White balance is important setting in food photography. Color of food can make food unappetizing when the color is not exactly same. Remember the red cranberries?

Removing dust and other noise – Dust is something that invariably gets in the camera and can destroy the entire photo. Dust sometimes gets on the camera sensor or can be on lens as well. Yes clean your sensor and lens, but also learn how to remove this in post processing.

In coming days, we will discuss post processing in more detail.

The goal for today should be to start playing with post processing software. Today’s assignment will also be very straightforward.

We will slowly and simply ease in the post processing door. Let’s look at the assignment below.

Today’s Assignment

Estimated time: 30 mins

Step 1 – The very first step for today’s assignment is to decide your post processing software. I use and highly recommend Lightroom. It simple and intuitive and love using it.

Step 2  – In your selected software, learn how to change white balance. Read help or go to software website to learn more about editing white balance.

Step 3 - Choose a photo to experiment this with. Set white balance to 5100Kelvin, save the photo. Change the white balance to 3500K and save. Now change white balance to 6000K. save the photo.

Step 4 –  Post all these three photos and original photo in Facebook Group.

Step 5 – For some of you, this will take less than 5 mins to complete. For others who are not so experienced, it may take much longer. Please leave a comment below and give me feedback about this assignment. Was this too basic lesson? Or too challenging? Leave a comment with your thoughts about this assignment.

  • Elina Belova

    The assignment is average level for me. I know what you are talking about but I don’t know white balance values by heart. I know how to do all the things mentioned above but I’m not sure if I’m doing them right as I learned it from my own experience.

  • What a great lesson, not only for first timers, but also for seasoned shooters. Nice to see good advice on the software. Lightroom is the major player. Nice to see alternatives mentioned, especially open source.

  • This is a course for everybody, not solely for professionals. It is a basic lesson, very easy, however, everybody needs to be able to complete it. And we shouldn’t forget, not everybody has CS6 or Lightroom and they cost a lot of money. For beginners (in picture editing software) I suggest GIMP 2 or PS Express for iPhone or iPad. Free and brilliant results!

  • Meghan

    This lesson was new for me. I’ve never heard of these editing softwares much less used them. In the past, I’ve used PicMonkey which is a simple program and while it allows you to adjust the brightness, it doesn’t specifically allow you to adjust the White Balance, or if it does I don’t know how.
    I downloaded GIMP, which looks 100% foreign to me and I wasn’t able to figure out how to adjust the WB as requested in the assignment despite searching for how to’s on the Internet. Also when I downloaded GIMP, it downloaded a bunch of other nastiness which my IT based husband is going to have to clean up now. 🙁

  • anariva95

    Sometimes I use Photoshop but only for increasing the light. I’m going to download Lightroom for this assignment.

  • Bam’s Kitchen

    Hello Neel, I have only used some of the free software editing tools like pic monkey, etc. Which adobe lightroom software package did you purchase specifically? The first one on your link that you have sent or other? Take care, BAM

  • I usually use lightroom and I love it, too! It’s fantastic, but I’ve to study it better!
    This lesson was too easy for me, but I hope to can do something more difficult with you, about lightroom!

  • I use Photoshop CS6

  • Catharina Linkenbach

    yay, thank you, Neel, although I’ve been using LR for some time now I’ve learned a new way to adjust the WB…

  • Anna Zazdravnaya

    I’ve been using Photoshop for some years and use all this things