Tag Archive for: editing

6 Tips for Editing Dark And Moody Photos

With these simple tips for editing dark and moody photos, you’ll be able to make your images pop and create stunning imagery with ease.

With these simple tips for editing dark and moody photos, you'll be able to make your images pop and create stunning imagery with ease.

Today we’re gonna go through tiny little things (that are actually not that tiny) that you need to be carefull about when editing dark and moody photos. I’m gonna take you through a few things I find very important while I edit. And if you stick around, at the bottom of the page, you also have a video of me editing my moody image in Lightroom, with lots of explanation.

And if you’re a fan of presets, which I most definitely am, I have a Moody Food Preset Collection right here.

Correct exposure

Let’s start with basics. Exposure, or better said, correct exposure is abslutely important in any kind of image. The thing I see very often is dark photos being to dark. Too dark to see the detail well and far too dark to make the subject stand out from the scene.

This is not only important when you light your scene while taking it, but also when you edit!

With these simple tips for editing dark and moody photos, you'll be able to make your images pop and create stunning imagery with ease.

Create contrast

Okay let’s talk more about your subject popping out. This is definitely always the most important thing to achieve. So just like with exposure, we also need to take a really close attention to the contrast in our images, especially when they are dark.

With dark and moody photos, contrast is your power! You want contrast, but you also want to make sure it’s not blowing out the detail.

There’s no one tip for making the contrast perfect, it’s all about your creative vision. But generally, if you take a good look at all the detail up close, you’ll be able to see, if you’re loosing some important parts of your image.

With these simple tips for editing dark and moody photos, you'll be able to make your images pop and create stunning imagery with ease.

Textures

Naturally, when we shoot images in a dark setting, we’ll get lot’s of shadows. And shadows will enhance textures. And texture is good. The problem arises, when you’re shooting a textured food on a textured backdrop. If you just adjust textures and shadows for the entire image, you might see your backdrop distracting from your subject. This will especially be prominent in flatlays, since you’re most likely have the backdrop entirely in focus.

Local adjustments are your friend in this case! With local adjustments, you can apply the edits only to a particular part of the image.

With these simple tips for editing dark and moody photos, you'll be able to make your images pop and create stunning imagery with ease.

Local adjustments are your friend

We discussed local adjustments a bit in the previos tip. And here we’ll talk about the full power of local adjustments in editing dark and moody photos.

Shooting in a dark style can often create things like too bright highlights, too dark shadows, not enough exposure in some parts of the image, and so on. Even if you pay close attention to all these things while you shoot, you might still get some things look a bit off.

Local adjustments are super helpful in these cases.

With these simple tips for editing dark and moody photos, you'll be able to make your images pop and create stunning imagery with ease.

Don’t go overboard with a vignette

We love a vignette, right?

And for a good reason. A vignette in dark images will definitely give a definition to a dark image. However, this is the one edit to be careful about. It’s very easy to go overboard and make it look fake.

Here’s where you should be very tough on yourself and asses whether your vignette is looking fake or real.

With these simple tips for editing dark and moody photos, you'll be able to make your images pop and create stunning imagery with ease.

Your camera makes a difference

You’re probably thinking ‘What has my camera to do with editing?’

Each camera creates the photos a little bit differently. Each one will produce different colors and contrasts. And therefore the edits will also need to be different.

If you only ever use one camera, you’re already used to it. You know what kind of images it produces. But when you take another camera in your hand, let’s say you got a new camera. This camera will see things differently and you’ll have to adjust your edits if you want to get the same result.

With these simple tips for editing dark and moody photos, you'll be able to make your images pop and create stunning imagery with ease.

Watch me edit a dark and moody photo in Lightroom

To see how I’ve applied all these tips into my editing proces what me edit an image of some blood oranges in Lightroom.

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    3 Editing Mistakes You Are Making In Your Food Photography

    These three common food photography editing mistakes can be ruining your food photos, but you can fix that easily.

    These three common food photography editing mistakes can be ruining your food photos, but you can fix that easily.

    One of the biggest pain points of any new photographer is editing. Editing is fun, it’s not like camera settings. All those sliders and options are exciting, but that doesn’t mean editing is easy. It takes some time to get a grasp on how to edit so your images look interesting but true to the eye.

    With editing, we want to bring the best out of the image. However, it can also make your image look worse. Here are a few editing mistakes you might be making and how to avoid them.

    1. You’re overediting

    Raise your hand if you’re quilty of making your food images look anything like the food looks in reality. Not in a good way, obivously.

    I’m raising my hand up high! I was really loving my clarity slider at one point.

    It is very easy to get tangled into all the settings that editing software has and just bump all the settings as high or as low as possible. There’s no such thing as too sharp, right? Wrong.

    While we can really enhance textures, colors, shaprnes and contrast with editing, we need to make sure it’s not all too much. With editing you want to showcase how beautiful food looks in real life. You evoke a sense of taste, smell and texture of the dish.

    Imagine if someone served you a garlic soup, but there’s just too much garlic and it’s not cooked all the way. All you’re left with is the intense smell of raw garlic. Not very appetizing, right?

    It’s the same with food, you want some taste, but not too much.

    How to make sure you’re not overediting?

    First of all, you need to diferentiate editing jpeg and raw files. Raw files are, as the name states, raw and unedited, while jpeg already have some edits that were created in the camera. This means that if you apply same settings in the same amounts to jpeg files as you would raw files, they will very likely be overedited.

    This is also an essential concept to understand, whenever you’re using presets. If the presets were made for raw files, then you might need to make a move some sliders, so you don’t decrease the effect of the preset.

    On a side note, let me encourage you to start shooting raw if you aren’t already. Especially, if you’re working for clients!

    One other thing that will help you with not overediting is to really ask yourself ‘Does this look true to life?’

    If you’re photographing red peppers, you need to ask yourself questions like ‘Is this color like I see it in real life?’

    I know, it’s hard to be stuck in the exciting slider mover state! I know, I get it! But just think of the mantra ‘Less is more’.

    Let’s look at the two images below. The left image has way too much contrast and sharpness because Texture, Clarity, and Dehaze were set up too high in Lightroom. The right image is more balanced and true to life.

    These three common food photography editing mistakes can be ruining your food photos, but you can fix that easily.

    You’re only making global adjustments

    Global adjustments? What even are global adjustments?

    Global adjustments are settings applied to the entire image. However editing the entire image at once might not alays end up in an appealing image.

    This is when local adjustments come in handy. While global adjustments make changes in the entire image, local adjustments only change one part of the image – the part that you intentionally choose.

    Lightroom offers three different types of local adjustments – brush, radial and graduated filter. These are all super powerful tools that you shouldn’t neglect if you want to see your food photos improve.

    If we look at the two images below, we can see that by applying some filters only to a part of the image (the cake) you can add more interest to the main subject. I applied clarity and lifted the exposure in both images. In the left image, I applied it to the entire image. In the right one I only applied it to the cake. The difference is very subtle but you see how the cake pops just a little bit more in the right image.

    These three common food photography editing mistakes can be ruining your food photos, but you can fix that easily.

    3. You’re ignoring the histogram

    One of the editing mistakes people make when they start with photography is not paying attention to the histogram. Either in their camera or in editing software.

    The histogram is a graphical representation of exposure. There are a few things you can read from a histogram, but one of the most missed is ignoring the clipping warning. This feature warns you if your shadows are clipped or highlights are blown out. Histograms can clearly tell you if you’re losing data on either end of the graph – the shadow end or the highlights end.

    Lightroom has built-in warnings for lost detail in highlights and shadows. You can turn it on and off by clicking the tiny triangle on either side of the histogram, just like you see in the image below.

    These three common food photography editing mistakes can be ruining your food photos, but you can fix that easily.

    You might think, you’ll be able to see if you have blown out highlights or shadows. Trust me even with a trained eye, that’s difficult. Not to mention that it really depends on your screen, it’s rendering of color and it’s brightness.

    Can you think of any other editing mistakes?

    I hope you enjoyed my short list of possible editing mistakes you’re making. Let me know in the comments, if you feel like there are some other mistakes food photographers make when they edit their photos.


    I also have a brand new Moody Food Preset Collection specially designed for food photographers: