ADDING LIGHTROOM MOBILE ENHANCEMENTS
Then comes the enhancement. Because food plating usually involves many elements, some of which do not stand out much, Lightroom’s Selective Edit tool comes in handy. Most of my photo editing is done on the go now, so Lightroom Mobile is my favorite app.
1. Basic Color settings
I always start by adjusting the white balance of an image as it instantly makes the photo brighter.
2. Color Mix settings
Depending on the image, I usually go into ‛Color Mix’ to make tweaks to specific colors. I tone down blue saturation as food items look better in warm tones.
3. Basic Light settings
Next, I work on the basic light settings. My norm is to use Auto mode just to see how this affects the image. It usually does the trick for most photos, requiring just some tweaks to the shadows, whites, and blacks after to get the effect that I like.
4. Selective Adjustments
After that, I take a look at the photo to see what areas need to be tweaked. Usually food items like roast beef or sautéed mushrooms lose their depth due to the lack of vibrant colors. This is where radial selective edits come in handy. In this image, I’ve lightened the shadows over the mushrooms so that more texture can be seen. The lime has also been lightened so that it appears more vibrant in the photo and not overcast by shadow.
5. Finding the right balance
As mentioned above, White Balance adjustments always help to perk up a photo. It’s also one thing friends always ask how to get right! In Lightroom Mobile, the white balance picker helps if you can select a neutral area, but sometimes manual adjustments are still required. It’s always good to have something black or white in the photo if you’re just starting to understand white balance. Another trick is to leave a small piece of paper that has both black and white at the side of your photo. Use the white balance picker to detect the white balance off that then crop it off after.
Use table props to enhance the natural ambience of the location. Or if you’re geeky enough to carry notebooks/gadgets in your bag, they can also come in useful to fill up spaces in your composition.
Usually cafés are decorated with flowers or little display items you can borrow for your setup, but always remember to put the items back. Composition can be tricky sometimes in small spaces like cafés but there’s always the Photoshop replace tool to get rid of elements in the photo that shouldn’t be there.