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How to edit food photos with stunning results fit for Instagram (Snapseed basic EP4)

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In this article, I will explain how to use Snapseed to edit food photos to share on social media even if you do not get the best lighting and environment in the restaurant and cafe.

If you are new to Snapseed, it is a free app to edit food photos with your mobile, which has far more features available in most of the native photo editors of the mobile phone. 

I will show you how to:

  1. First, remove the unwanted area for better composition with the Crop tool.
  2. Second, increase the contrast of the photo.
  3. Bring out the texture of the cake with the Details tool.
  4. Increase the brightness and saturation with the Tune Image tool.
  5. Use the Brush tool to increase the brightness of the plate.
  6. How to change what you have already edited.

Let’s get started.

1. How to use the Crop tool to remove the unwanted area of the photo

Open the photo in the Snapseed app. Choose Crop tool.

edit food photo in Snapseed

It will bring you to where you can choose the layout dimension.  In this case, I choose the 3×2 aspect ratio.

crop image with snapseed, edit food photo

Zoom in by using two fingers and then reposition it to the area that you want.

how to crop image with crop tool, edit food photos

Once you are satisfied with it, click the Tick icon to apply the changes.

how to crop image
edit food photos

2. How to improve the contrast of the photo

Let’s pick the Curves tool to improve the contrast of the photo. First, click the pencil icon, then choose and click the Curves icon.

curves tool of snapseed,edit food photos

Followed by clicking the Style icon.

adjust contrast with curves tool, edit food photos

It will bring you to a selection of styles. Since I want to improve the contrast, I picked the soft contrast preset. 

presets in curves tool of snapseed

It will automatically adjust the contrast by changing the shape of the curved line. You can also pick another preset to check the effect before clicking the Tick icon to apply the changes.

use curves tool, edit food photos

3. Bring out the texture of the cake with the Details tool

So far, we have cropped the photo to improve the composition and the contrast. Now you can enhance the texture of the cake with the Details tool.

how to use details tool

There are two adjustments to this tool. The first one is called Structure. Let’s zoom in to see the details of the cake.

sturcture option in details tool snapseed, edit food photos

Now increase the intensity of Structure but not overdo it as it can look artificial.

improve the texture with details tool, edit food photos

Next,  back to the select icon at the bottom at the center and choose Sharpening.

sharpening option for details tool snapseed, edit food photos

Once you increase the intensity of Sharpening and Structure, the texture of the cake is much improved.

how to use sharpening option in details tool

As usual, click the Tick button at the right bottom to save the setting.

how to save editing in snapseed, edit food photo

4. Increase the brightness and saturation with the Tune Image tool

Now let’s use the Tune Image tool to adjust the brightness and the saturation. First, choose the Tune Image tool, and then select the brightness option.

use tune image tool
improve brightness with tune tool, edit food photo

I will go ahead to increase the intensity of the brightness, the contrast, the saturation, and the highlights. 

improve saturation with tune tool snapseed

You can explore the effects by sliding each adjustment to the left and the right before clicking the Tick at the right bottom corner to save the adjustment.

improve highlight with snapseed

5. Use the Brush tool to increase the brightness of the plate

The photo looks much better now. The cake looks great, but the plate looks a little bit too dark. So, I will use the Brush tool to increase the brightness of the plate specifically.

brush tool of snapseed

Once you choose the Brush tool, it will give you a menu with four options: dodge and burn, exposure, temperature, and saturation. 

exposure option in brush tool

Choose the exposure option to brighten the plate,  then click the arrow up icon to adjust exposure to 0.7.

adjust the exposure strength in brush tool snapseed

Highlight the area that you want to brighten (the plate). The initial exposure is zero. Since I chose 0.7, the color will become brighter now.

brush tool of snapseed

Once you are satisfied with it, save the setting. Now the plate is brighter, but everything else is unchanged.

save changes in brush tool, edit food photo

6. How to change what you have already edited

The photo now is already good enough to share on social media.  However,  I want to show you how to edit what you already saved if you ever change your mind. You can use the Edit Stack function to make the change when you edit food photos.

Click Edit Stack, and then View Edits.

use edit stack snapseed
view edit

It will bring you to the stacks of edits that you have done so far. The first edit is shown at the bottom of the stack, and the latest one is on top. 

If you want to crop the image again, click the Crop tool of the stack.

change edit in snapseed

Then click the Adjustment icon that’s the one with the arrows pointing to the right and left.

how to change what has edited in snapseed

It will bring you back to where you have adjusted earlier., Now you can change the size of the crop and the position again.

crop image with crop tool snapseed

Click the tick button to save the new adjustment. 

food photo editing

You can click and edit anyone on the stack.

Lastly, click done to save the image.

save image after editing, edit food photo

That’s how to use a combination of different tools in Snapseed to improve the quality of a food photo. 

A quick comparison -before and after

Here is the comparison of before and after images.

Let’s take a look at the final result.  The texture of the cake is clearer. The color of the plate is lighter. We now have a photo that is nicely cropped.

Please click the before and after image below to watch the video version of this tutorial.

How to edit a stunning Instagram-worthy food photo

Links to other tutorial in Snapseed fundametal

This image will look even better if you combine it with other tools. You can get the links to other videos on using different tools in snapseed by getting back to the main page of Snapseed Fundamental.

  1. You can watch other videos on using Snapseed by getting back to the main page of Snapseed Fundamental.
  2. Alternatively, click the link below to access to other step-by-step tutorials: