Darya Pino Rose

I'm Darya Rose (formerly Darya Pino) and this is my personal blog. I'm the author of Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting, and creator of Summer Tomato, one of TIME's 50 Best Websites. I'm also a neuroscience Ph.D, NYC foodist, former dieter, & soulmate to .

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iPhone + Photoshop = surprisingly good photos

Chickpea puttanesca 

Today is the first time I've used a picture taken on my iPhone 4 as a main image for a recipe on Summer Tomato, and I must admit I'm impressed. 

Food bloggers understand how important (and difficult) it is to create enticing food photography when publishing recipes. Traditionally I use full photography equipment including a tripod, light reflectors and diffusors to create the desired effects, then polish the image in Photoshop. The process takes hours.

But today's post wasn't originally intended to be a recipe, and dinner was already late and I was hungry. There would be no waiting to set up photo equipment.

Here at this blog though, I frequently use my iPhone to capture images to make simple points. So I snapped a few iPhone pics anyway, for good measure. The next morning I checked the images and was impressed at how well they turned out, so I decided to play around in Photoshop to see if I could make one good enough for Summer Tomato.

Here's the photo I started with:

unedited photo 

I adjusted the Image using Auto levels and Auto contrast. Auto color didn't turn out right, so I adjusted the color balance manually. I optimized the vibrance and saturation manually as well. Next I used my friend Danny Jauregui's tips to enhance the bokeh using masks and filters in Photoshop.

Though all these tricks work better when I use my real camera and equipment, I was impressed enough with the results to use the photo and recipe.

I'm happy to say there were as many "YUM!" comments as ever.

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Reader Comments (14)

Thank you for always posting "beautiful" food pictures.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrayson

Tell your BF Digg V4 sucks.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSirDiggAlot

For some reason, the shells and the sauce remind me of a crustacean. A tasty, tasty-looking crustacean.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJared Sutton

I must admit, I enjoy taking photos of food also, but don't post enough of what I take. The iPhone 4's photographic capabilities have been quite impressive. Great pic.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris Toms

rad pic!!! woot for the iPhone4!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Moser

Would be so much better if you had sold Digg for $80M prior to taking this picture.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHop


Really? You're using this platform to complain about something unrelated to the content in this forum? Seriously?

@SummerTomato Nice job. Photo's look great... nice blog.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJimothyk

I agree. The ip4 is not a replacement for my Nikon D300...but in a pinch, it does a nice job for a phone cam. I'll check out the recipe when I go back home next week. By the way, the blog looks very interesting. I hope that most of these recipes are simple enough for us non domesticated types.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJames Helland

Cool pictures @summertomato on iPhone 4, do you ever think of shooting some video with it and tweeting out short videos of when you prepare food?

@SirDiggAlot you're an asshole.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDylan

Awesome pic
tell your bf new dig is fine,some. people hate change they would say new Digg sucked even if you got free candy with every Digg

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjplynch

Lol @SirDiggAlot V1 sucks

@SummerTomato tell your bf I am jealous of the food!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJtielo

Looks so good! I'm really happy with the iPhone 4's new camera. Inspired me to use it in a new way. Tell all the dig haters to get a life..Kevins a lucky man

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMortondity

It is spelled "bokeh". Boca means "mouth". As in Boca Raton means mouth of the rat. I would have cleaned up a little bit more along the left side (the highlights are ever so slightly distracting). Otherwise, a very colorful picture and the photoshop work really did help! Where is your white point? I wouldn't have used the highlights, but maybe you just set it as a value.

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdole

Nice work with the photo and editing, Darya! I wouldn't have guessed that this picture was taken with an iPhone.

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
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