Editing Walkthrough: “Lava Cake”

Hey y’all! I apologize so much for my long hiatus! I’ve really missed blogging for Snap and now that my school year is over, I can get right back to it (and hopefully stick it out for the long run!).

My semester was writing articles for my journalism job, listening to lectures in James Carville‘s class (!!!), learning data software, taking a spring break family trip to Amsterdam (!!!), running my favorite pre-law fraternity, taking copious amounts of food-related photos, and putting on a TEDx conference — and now I am back in the glorious cornfields of Champaign-Urbana with little else to do but blog and learn the LSAT.

So now, consider this “lava cake:”


[I put the words in quotation marks because this so-called lava cake from Latea was slightly below room temperature even after I asked the Latea staff to heat it up. The results? A bangin’ photo and a skinnier me.]

Editing Walkthrough: “Lava Cake”


  1. Get to that new bubble tea lounge and find out it serves lava cake. Experience unexpected elation.
  2. Grab your plate and dash to a spot by the window, because you need natural light to offset the distasteful glare of the yellowy lamps above you. This will give your image a sharper contrast and richer colors.
  3. Consider your compositional choices: aerial, head-on, or looking-down. Decide that the zig-zagging chocolate sauce deserves the viewer’s full attention, and notice how the powdered sugar adds an element of texture to the aerial shot. Admire the contrasting designs of the softly marbled table (what a classy bubble tea lounge) and the gooey, rich chocolate. Arrange the plate in a diamond shape for sharp outlining lines.
    {Take a head-on shot for good measure; end up with this: IMG_2543.JPG
    Don’t forget that composition is everything…}
  4. Know your editing genesis: first there was light. And don’t forget the trinity: exposure, warmth, and contrast. Increase exposure to bring out the whites; decrease warmth to replace the yellow (thanks overhead lighting) with a frostier but subtle blue; increase contrast to sharpen the dark chocolate against the clean plate. Play with shadows, highlights, and black-point for good measure, but using natural lighting here has made further edits unnecessary.
  5. Then, there was color. Increase saturation to bring out the depths of the chocolate browns.
  6. Check lighting again and adjust as necessary.
  7. Finish your photoshoot only to realize that your cake is cold?? Express concern to the lounge staff.


Happy cake-editing!




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