Laura Cowan is a second career dietetic student at Kansas State University. Her nutrition interests include researching the psychological aspects that emotional states have on our food choices and weight management. Outside of class, Laura's hobbies include woodworking and baking. Laura's food photography has been featured on the Instagram's accounts of Food 52, A Creative DC, Brightest Young Things, and Whole Foods MOCO. You can follow Laura's food adventures on Instagram @OneLOVENutrition.
It’s always fun to share your food pictures, but wouldn't it be more fun if you could edit a picture in under 5 minutes while on a study break or in line at the local juice/coffee bar?
Using mobile editing software for your food photography is the sure fire way to add structure and clarity to your pictures without spending hours in front of your computer using programs such as Photoshop that are very labor intensive. Editing on a mobile device, whether it be your phone or tablet, also allows for quick sharing with friends, sharing on your blog or on Instagram and Twitter.
The first mobile editing software that I’m going to talk about is VSCO. VSCO came on the market in 2011 and has its own sharing community, but it also is an easy tool because it has preset filters that allow you to quickly change the look and feel of each picture automatically. It also has custom adjustment functions such as crop, perspective, color, etc. VSCO allows the user to edit and share to the VSCO community, but it also allows the editor to save to the camera on the phone, so you can then upload the
picture to another application if you wish.
The second editing software that responds the best for both editing, sharpening, and sharing is Instagram. Like VSCO, Instagram has preset filters that you can use or you can customize your image using the adjustments found on the toolbar. You don't have to be actively posting on Instagram to take advantage of its editing tools. If you have a free account, you can use it to edit your photography and then use the screen shot feature in the camera to upload a picture to any other media source. Please remember to crop the image before upload or you will have the Instagram banner in your picture. That’s a few more steps than most will go, but it shows you options. The following three sets of images (before and after) were edited using Instagram and show adjustments from simple to more complex.
The images below show the use of Instagram’s “warmth” and “saturation” buttons. Warmth will add more yellow tones to the picture. Saturation will add more color, in general, to the image. Please be careful with your use of the saturation tool. It can easily make your image look overly manipulated. In the center image I used the warmth tool to add more yellow tones, but it also took away the green vibrancy naturally found in a freshly cut avocado. In the right image, the warmth was reduced and the saturation increased very slightly to pump up the image and bring back the avocado’s natural color.
Below are the major steps in Lightroom to edit an image. After you import the image (the app syncs to your camera), you can crop the image to your preference (most images you find on sharing sites prefer a ratio of 1:1) and use the “adjust” button and select “Auto. Next, click on the “Auto Tone” button on the right side of the toolbar and make sure it is indicated as “on.” Next click the “export” button on the top right (mail box and arrow) and save it to your camera to share your picture to any other media platform.