Fixing Image Imperfections in Food Photography
After shooting some outrageously beautiful food photos, you have to think about post-processing and fixing image imperfections. When you have a gorgeous photo with a tiny flaw, such as an errant speck lurking on the plate, it’s time for the magic of photo editing.
The Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop allows you to spot an imperfection in a picture by using color, tone, and texture. It basically allows you to paint over small imperfections in an image by using sampled pixels for the paint.
When using the Clone Stamp tool, zoom in — zoom way in. Maybe 100 to 200 percent or more! And choose a smaller brush size when cloning. Your modifications will look much more realistic if you work on one small area of pixels at a time.
Cleaning up specks, drips, and drops
When you have a little speck or problem that needs a bit of cleanup, use the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop to tidy up the image. The image of the beautiful apricot and nut square in the following figure shows a tiny speck of lavender in the middle of the crust. Lavender smells great, and it even tastes great, but sometimes it doesn’t look so great in an image.
To fix an imperfection like this, zoom in on the portion of the image you want to fix, select the Clone Stamp tool, and then press the Option key and click on a white area of the surrounding crust. Then use this tool to paint the white crust-colored pixels over the stray lavender bit. The next figure shows the result. With just a few little clicks, the image is left with a nearly flawless crust.
Filling in the background
When shooting a food subject, particularly when outside of a controlled studio setting, sometimes you can inadvertently shoot an image that has an unwanted gap or break in the background, as you can see in the top right corner of the following figure. It happens to the best of us; when you intently focus on the composition, lighting, or highlights of a food setup, the background becomes secondary and can sometimes be overlooked.
Now, you can crop out the problem if you’d prefer — that’s one way to handle it — or you can use Photoshop’s Clone Stamp tool for an easy fix. The next figure shows the image after using the Clone Stamp tool to get rid of the distracting windowsill line.