Ask 4 Questions Before Post Processing Your Next Food Photo

Question Post Processing How long does it take you to post process an image? Of that time, what amount of that time do you spend understanding your intention with the photograph?

In Vision & Voice, David duChemin says that the image that we produce is made up of three images: one that we envision, one that we shoot, and one that we develop.

To create the image that you visualize, you need to first understand your vision and then do express the vision by choosing how to shoot the image and make decisions on how to develop the image in post production.

The better you understand the first image and the better you can execute the last two images. And the better you are at shooting the image and developing it, the closer we come to what we visualize.

This post is about post processing and what you should think about, before starting to post processing. Moving the saturation slider does take less than a second. Cropping a photo takes less than 5 seconds. And post processing without thinking doesn’t help you achieve anything.

If you shoot photos without asking what you want to achieve and without asking that important question, you won’t get anywhere. Similarly if you start moving the sliders without asking yourself why you are trying to do move those sliders and what you want to achieve at the end of this process, you won’t end up with the image you want.

So what are the questions you should be asking? You don’t need to ask 10 questions. Asking just four right questions  is enough. Here are those four questions:

4 Essential Questions to Ask Before Post Processing

  1. What do you want the photograph to look and feel like? – Ask yourself, what do you have in mind, what is the vision you have in mind? Visualize your ideal image.
  2. How should the photo be processed? – Now that you know what you image should look like, think about what specific elements do you notice in this visual image? Are the colors bright? Is your main subject at the “thirds”? What else?
  3. What settings should you choose for that? – You just specified what elements you want. If the colors are bright, what settings should you change? Can you increase saturation? Can you reduce vibrance? If you want subject to be at the thirds, can you crop your image to achieve that?
  4. Does the photo look closer to your vision? After making these changes, ask this question. Is the processed photo close to what you envisioned? If not, repeat questions one to four.


As an example, if you are trying to communicate a rustic breakfast, you should try to process your image to make it feel rustic by decreasing saturation and/or reducing luminescence. This is just one way out of many many possibilities you can choose to create a rustic image.

The point is that without asking yourself what your vision is and without knowing what the first image looks like, you will never know whether you achieved you goal or not.

Good luck post processing your photograph.

Photo by Corey Templeton

  • Photoshop is an integral part of food photography nowadays, it’s vital to know how to get the best from it.

  • thanks for the article (y)

  • Hi

    Lightroom can give you fast and easy results


  • I totally agree with David stating that Photoshop is the integral part of photography. With the help of Photoshop, one photo will gain a total enhancement. This article truly is a big help.

  • I simply want to say I am just new to blogging and site-building and definitely liked this web-site. Probably I’m want to bookmark your site . You actually come with beneficial article content. Kudos for sharing with us your web page.

  • I’m extremely pleased to uncover this page. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you book-marked to see new stuff on your web site.

  • A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I think that you should publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people do not speak about such subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

  • I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

  • This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Thank you!

  • Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  • You’re so cool! I do not think I have read a single thing like that before. So good to find somebody with genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

  • An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but typically folks don’t talk about such issues. To the next! Kind regards!!

  • This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  • Pingback: ajs 562()

  • Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this info.

  • Pingback: oi 365()

  • Pingback: laser()

  • The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  • After I originally commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!