Photography Tutorial + Makeover: Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I’m going to share a food photography tutorial and makeover with you. It’s all about the Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I first made 6 short months after I started blogging. I was using my iPhone 4s to take photos. I had no clue about proper photography lighting. The photos were meh. The new photos are spectacular. I’ll let you know camera settings, time of day and how I edited the photos in Lightroom. I’ll also link to the original post so you can get the recipe. Hooray for cookie recipes!

Food Photography Tutorial and Makeover: Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies. Equipment, camera settings and Lightroom editing info included.

Happy Monday.

Wait, are Monday’s ever happy? Maybe when you don’t have to work. But I do, which means I had to get up early today. Boo. But once I have my cup of coffee, I’ll be fine.

OH but happy dance for real. The new AP Clerk starts today. Which means I get to start training her on how to process AP. Which means I’m one step closer to AP NOT being the main focus of my job. I’ll still be a big part of AP, which is fine. But my main focus won’t be keying invoices. Which is awesome. I hate keying invoices.

Also, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was awesome. Ken and I stayed home. He smoked meats. I baked sides and a dessert. Seriously, I made enough food to feed a crowd. We still have a ton of leftovers. And I’m ok with that! Along with Thanksgiving came my much needed annual break from most blogging activities. I shared some posts on social media. But that’s about it. No cooking for the blog, aside from a few dishes that were made on Thanksgiving. I’ll be sharing those soon. No visiting other blogs. Well, I think I visited three. I loved the break but I’m ready to get back to blogging!

So on this first day back from the blogging break, let’s take a look at the original photos for the Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies Before

Both of those were taken with an iPhone 4s. The yellow placemat and the use of warm white fluorescent lights throws off the color, giving the photos a yellow tone.

I’ll share two of the new photos with you now. You’ll be able to see the complete set of new photos over on the actual recipe post.

Photo Makeover: Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies

The above photo was shot with a Canon 6D, using the Canon EF 100mm IS f2.8 Macro Lens with the following settings:

  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure: 1/100 / f3.2
  • Time of Day: 1:50 pm, 11/16/14 in Southeast Florida
  • Shot in manual mode, raw format

I edited the photo in Adobe Lightroom and adjusted the following:

  • Temperature to 6277
  • Tint to +16
  • Exposure to +.95
  • Contrast to +4
  • Highlights to +11
  • Shadows to +16
  • Whites to +13
  • Blacks to -4

And now photo #2

Photography Tutorial + Makeover: Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies

The above photo was shot with a Canon 6D, using the Canon EF 100mm IS f2.8 Macro Lens with the following settings:

  • ISO: 100
  • Exposure: 1/100 / f3.2
  • Time of Day: 1:45 pm, 11/16/14 in Southeast Florida
  • Shot in manual mode, raw format

I edited the photo in Adobe Lightroom and adjusted the following:

  • Temperature to 5831
  • Tint to +13
  • Exposure to +.70
  • Contrast to +7
  • Highlights to +19
  • Shadows left at 0
  • Whites to +9
  • Blacks to +24

I used Pic Monkey to sharpen the photo. I still haven’t gotten the hang of adjusting sharpness in LR. I feel that my photos end up too grainy when I do so for now, I edit in Pic Monkey with the following method.

  • Upload the photo
  • Sharpen
  • Unsharp Mask
  • Adjust Radius to 3.02
  • Adjust the strength using the Strength Slider until you the sharpness is adjusted to your liking.

I hope this tutorial will help you with your food photography. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or send an email to me at thisgalcooks (at) gmail (dot) com

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE >> Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Comments

  1. says

    I thought this was very helpful as I’m trying to figure out how to get clearer pictures with my Canon. Thanks for the post.

    • says

      You’re welcome, Teresa.

      One thing I would suggest is getting an image stabilizing lens (if you can afford it) or getting a tripod. I personally hate tripods and love to shoot while holding the camera so I saved up and went the IS lens route.

      Keep on practicing! You’ll get there one day. :)

  2. says

    Interesting! This helped me to confirm that my camera settings are pretty decent, but I’d love to get a macro lens and I’d love to get better at composition and setting the scene. I struggle with that the most! I also need to get better at editing, but baby steps.. haha. :)

    • says

      Composition is pretty tough and tricky. I used to have that problem a lot and I feel that I still do, sometimes. I’ve really only improved that since earlier this year. One thing I suggest is to use other photos as reference and inspiration. I started getting out some of my cookbooks and looking at them as I was setting up a shoot. Works really well!

      Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!

  3. says

    This is really great for people who want to learn a bit more about photography. I need to reshoot some of my old photos, too. Sigh. Oh, and you can reduce some of the noise and grain in LR using the adjustment brush. I recently discovered it and have had some great results with it!

  4. says

    What a difference! I love how you shared the change from your earlier blog photos to the photos you share now. I have not jumped into Lightroom yet and just use Picmonkey but have been considering it. Do you think it is worthwhile to learn? Maybe that will be something I try in 2015.

    • says

      Hi Holly!
      I think it’s worth it to learn, especially if you’re shooting in RAW format. I was using Elements before Lightroom and I found that you can do so much more with editing in Lightroom. I bought the Tasty Food Photography book from Pinch of Yum to help with learning the basics of Lightroom. They include a tutorial with videos on how to use certain editing features. Worth the $20 that it costs! If you take the dive into Lightroom, let me know. I’ll try to answer any questions or give any tips!

  5. says

    Oh my gosh this is awesome!! I love the before and after. Really shows how far you’ve come and how amazing your photos are now. I need your camera AND lens!! Common Santa :)

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