Fight For The Light

how to improve histogram using Photoshop

It’s nearly winter.

If you take photographs (and especially if you take photographs inside your home) then you’re surely familiar with what winter time means to a photographer.

Short days and poor light.

Right?

Right.

 

“But what are we going to do?”

“WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT IT?”

“And what else are we going to do?”

“WE ARE GOING TO HAVE MORE MARS BARS THAN USUAL.”

 

Well, that was my inner motivational trainer talking to the evil part of me that likes to solve all problems with bars of chocolate. They clash, those two, quite often.

Anyhow, as a food blogger, I am currently solving just that problem – how to achieve a better looking light in my pictures.

But you know what?

I have found out that sometimes it might be good to face an obstacle. Because facing an obstacle might lead you to learning new things. Like finding out what a histogram is. And finding out about its magical powers.

Because that strange looking and strange sounding histogram is in fact a dear friend.

Just let me show you…

Photography ~ A Sweep Stand

photography, photography, Lowel EGO Sweep Table-top Background Support Stand & Colored Paper Backgrounds, amazon.com

Have you ever heard of a sweep stand?

For me, a sweep stand is a gorgeous thing. Since when I got it, my life has been one sunny, happy place. It is one of my most favorite photography tools.

I used it to create a background in all the pictures that you can see in the photo-mix above.

 

photography, photography, Lowel EGO Sweep Table-top Background Support Stand & Colored Paper Backgrounds, amazon.com

This is what my sweep stand looks like ‘naked’.

Photo Set (Bundt Cake)

Right now I am preparing a yummy recipe that I’ll be posting here tomorrow. Meanwhile I have something else you might want to see.
Over the past few months some of you asked me how this or that photo had been taken. Your questions gave me an idea that you might find interesting to see how several of my sets looked like. I myself love this kind of information and seek it eagerly wherever possible.

So, from now on, if I find the photo set that I’ve created interesting in a certain way I’ll show it to you.

If it helps at least one of you then my mission was worth it.

 

The picture above is by far not perfect or exquisite or anything. But what I find interesting about it is the lighting. You might be wondering how on earth that set was lit and whether I used artificial lights or not. And how I dare own photography lighting without letting you know.

So, this is what the set looked like.

I don’t use lights since I don’t own photography lights.

But what I own is my home-made silver reflector (you can find its heart-touching story here). And then I have one window. And then I have some white paper that I duct taped to the wall and to my kitchen countertop. And that’s it!

Very, very simple.

This is the job that my camera did.

Well, she was really trying.

I still love her dearly.

And yes, I refer to my camera as her. It’s my best friend after all. Actually, I might start calling her Amelie.

And this is how Photoshop helped.

Needless to say, I love Photoshop.

I might start calling it Fred.

 

See you soon!

Love,

Petra

How to Eliminate Shadows with Photoshop

how to eliminate shadows with Photoshop picture tutorial

I am writing this post for one reason.

I’d just like the whole world to know how much I love Photoshop.

Among millions other things it helps me with every day, it is a real hero when it comes to correcting shadows.

Especially in food photography, eliminating the underexposed areas (aka shadows) and showing their true structure and color is a very precious thing. It makes the food so much more appetizing.

Just let me show you something…

how to eliminate shadows with Photoshop picture tutorial

This is the original picture from my recipe for Farfalle with Tomato-Cheese Sauce.

I like the picture, but not as much as…

how to eliminate shadows with Photoshop picture tutorial

… I like this one.

This picture has undergone one simple Photoshop procedure.

As a result, the most wonderful shade of red color I know has appeared. Mere looking at that color has strong therapeutic effect on me.

how to eliminate shadows with Photoshop picture tutorial

This is how to do it:

1. Open the photo is Photoshop (I am using Photoshop Elements 8).

2. Click EnhanceAdjust LightingShadows/Highlights in the upper bar.

3. A smaller window will pop up with the first (Lighten Shadows) slider dragged to 25 automatically.

You should already see that your picture has improved substantially. If you don’t see any change, make sure you have selected the Preview check box.

You can move the first slider left or right to find the right amount of correction.

4. If you are happy with the result, click OK.

And that’s it.

how to eliminate shadows with Photoshop picture tutorial

Just give it a try and enjoy the beautiful changes it brings.

Love,
Petra

(To learn more about my quest against shadows have a look at this.)