Adobe Lightroom and Food Photography

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Have you thought of making photographs of your dishes that truly look like masterpieces, with images that inspire your viewers, making them want to be part of the scene? A challenge no doubt; but in order to make it an attainable goal, it is necessary to consider the following elements..

  • Artificial lighting is not everything

This can be confusing at first. If we think of food photography, the first thing that comes to mind is a dish served at a table enticingly decorated, with drink accompanying or solo, in an environment where the lighting is controlled: where we would probably have a main light, a backlight and a fill light, so to ensure appropriate tones and perfect shadows. However, it is in the natural light where lies the secret of the best food photographs: there isn’t anything more inspiring for a viewer than to see a dish served at a table near a window – where the pleasure of the moment doesn’t only relate through the culinary but to live an experience of relaxation and comfort.


To do this, it is necessary to have sufficient creative resources to enhance the quality of natural light. In case of not having an environment that knows how to take advantage of these circumstances, Lightroom Presets are a great alternative to simulate natural lighting effects.


  • Vivid hues, delicious food

There isn’t anything more depressing than to contemplate a dull photo: those photographs in which tones seem to be bound, without an iota of dedication by the photographer in highlighting the main aspects of the scene. When we start out as beginners this can become a major challenge; however, as time goes by and we gain more experience (mainly by observing the work of others), we may take for granted that we can become even more demanding than we thought, regarding the quality of our work.


Adobe Lightroom provides efficient solutions with All-in-One presets, designed to affect different parameters in just seconds. This not only translates into results of professional quality, but also in not falling under the false premise that it is necessary to master the software if we plan to use it. With quality tools, Adobe Lightroom’s intuitive interface will guide us in the process of post production with a great chance of success: it all depends on how self-critical you happen to be.


  • Composition and its rules

Perhaps when we are beginners, we worry too much to not get out of that world of rules which we were taught at the Academy or have been learning in books over time; however, even worse than not complying with such rules is to let them condition our creative spirit. Such waste of opportunities that everyday life offers us in the relentless pursuit of a perfect image is a guaranteed path to frustration, since it is in those moments where we most likely put into practice all of those rules without even noticing.

The naturalness of spontaneous pictures is something that will always prevail over any feigned pose, and in the case of the photographs of food and beverages, it becomes easy to differentiate a forced atmosphere from a photograph taken “on the go”.


How can Adobe Lightroom help us in this situation? Two words: Crop Tool. Your photography is not as sufficiently well positioned to your liking? Well, you just need to select the Crop Tool and adjust its format for your convenience. You can try it as often as is necessary – adjustments made in Adobe Lightroom are done so in a non-destructive interface.

  • Monochromatic effects

A classic will always be a classic; and not for always listening that it is “cliché” to use B & W or Sepia presets it means that we should not incorporate them into our digital portfolio. In my personal opinion, this is something that should flow at the moment. There are photographs that just by seeing them inspire us to convert to monochrome mode, while others are going to meet the range of tonalities, but will simply become one more picture.


Experiment with presets, seek creative effects, and if you’re not sure what step follow, check out the work of experts – you can always get fresh ideas that way.

  • Let your work tell a story

There is no use in enrolling in a lot of courses and having a vast knowledge of techniques and software if our images are not able to be a “window to the soul”. The ability to inspire people with our work must be present in each of our steps; it should be the goal to achieve, the model to follow. Do not force situations that you know will not meet your expectations, and this applies from the moment in which we capture the image to the post production process – your post production tools ought to be used as a helping hand, rather than relying on them to show your effort; remember that they are tools, they are not apt for embellishing or making up for what your skills or instinct may not show.


Good luck and keep editing!

Guest author bio:

Daniel is the cofounder of Sleeklens and also manages his photography projects on the side. When Daniel is not working with photography, he enjoys long distance running and traveling around the world.