Food Photography Retouchment in Lightroom

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For many photographers worldwide, the development of scenes related to food photography is quite the challenge. Not only we are talking about taking the right shot with proper camera settings but also the overall feeling of the scene and the composition of the scene itself.

Assuming we are on the other side of this challenge; meaning we took a great shot with our camera and the image looks stunning on its own, let’s face the post-production stage. And for this task, I would like to present you a fantastic set of presets made by Sleeklens.

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Yes, the Food Flux preset set for Lightroom. Through this tutorial, we are going to learn how to do a good food photography retouchment in Lightroom, both with Lightroom native tools and with Food Flux presets.

For this tutorial, I am going to use this photo.

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When we are working with food photography an important thing is to understand the aim of the retouchment. For example, unless you actually plan to do a minimalistic shot approach, it’s best to have a wide range of vivid colors on the plate, as they would be more appealing to the eyesight. Food photography sets a quite different way of working in comparison with other fields like landscape photography, when you don’t want saturation to overcome your scene as it won’t look realistic.

In the case of monotone pictures, our aim would be enhancing the tints at the photo itself, rather than using Saturation or Vibrance to overcome the scene.

Food retouchment with Lightroom Tools

Just as always, the first step would be correcting the WB values. For this I am going to use the Dropper tool and sample at the gray area, looking for neutral grays.

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The exposure values are going to remain the same, otherwise, the highlights are going to become too strong and the image can start looking somewhat burnt.

Increase the contrast value so the image starts looking more vivid.

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Decrease the highlights just as I did

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Increase the shadows; now you will notice a huge change since we started

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Leave the whites as they are and reduce a little bit the blacks

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For adding a bit of “juicy” effect, I am going to increase the clarity values.

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And as a must, I have to increase the values on both Vibrance

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And Saturation

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Now comes the Split Toning adjustment on both Highlight

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And Shadows

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Values for Split Toning can be guessed from the tints we have in our picture and will depend mostly on the kind of feel you want to add to your picture.

To end up this effect, I always think it looks appealing to add a bit of Lens Vignetting since it enhances the feeling of a macro shot.

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As you can see on the before and after, the result is pretty obvious. Our picture gained life and looks… let me tell you, delicious 😀

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Workflow with Sleeklens Plugins

As many of you know, Sleeklens produces stunning presets that can really make our pictures look professional in only a few clicks. To cover up what this Food Flux set of presets can give us, I am going to apply them directly on the original image to compare the results and finally add the one I think will suit the most my work to the previously processed image in Lightroom.

For using the Sleeklens Food Flux presets, you must know that they work on separate elements of retouching, but for the user convenience, they have the name of each adjustment.

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In this instance, I am going to correct the White Balance naturally and then apply a first preset MedContrastLightRight. Reduce the Exposure value a little bit because this image has too many highlights.

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And finally, use the AddVignetteBlack to add the vignetting effect.

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For the case I mentioned before, you can always mix up presets with Lightroom common workflow. Now I am going to apply the AddVignetteBlack to the first image I processed in this tutorial and with the before/after of Lightroom you can see by yourself the difference between this produced image and the original.

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And our final image is this one

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Hope this tutorial was useful for your workflow and see you next time!

About Sleeklens Food Flux presets: This preset pack is made for bringing your dark and dull food pictures back to life. Created by a team of experienced photographers and food bloggers, you can find inside this package presets like

  • Vignette
  • High Contrast
  • Low Contrast
  • Bright White
  • Vintage
  • Strong Color

And much more! Fully compatible with Lightroom 4-6 and CC, these 20 Lightroom presets are waiting for you to buy them.

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