My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!



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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free



Food Photography Tip of the Week |18|

Food Photography Tip of the Week |18|

How to diminish noise in your photo with Lightroom.

I’m sure at one point or another you’ve had to crank your ISO higher than you’d like when shooting in a low light condition. Maybe this has happens to you in the winter months when it seems like daylight is gone in the blink of an eye. It’s also completely possible that you accidentally set your ISO to a high setting without realizing it. Or, maybe you’re trying to capture a pour shot and to get your shutter speed fast enough with a properly exposed photo it’s necessary to crank your ISO.

Whatever the case may be you’ve ended up with an image that has more noise in it than you’d like.

Now what?

Well, there’s a nifty section in Lightroom where you can edit the level of noise to make it softer and less visible while still keeping the detail in your photo. It takes a little trial and error adjusting the settings but it’s really pretty dang simple!

*I’m currently using LR4 but I know the following settings are available in [at least] LR 3 + 5 as well and possibly earlier versions.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

This is an image I took yesterday for a recipe I was making for my job with Craftsy. It’s completely unedited above and below. The photo below is simply a zoomed in version of exactly what you see above.

I purposely took this image with an ISO setting of 3200. Now, at the size you’re viewing on the blog the noise is not blatantly obvious, but you can still see it a bit. The graininess you see is noise from having the ISO set so high.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

Above and below are the edited versions of the same photo. These are the typical edits I make to most photos, which you can read more about here. This does not include any edits to help diminish the noise.

The photo looks okay but there is a definite roughness to it due to the ISO setting being at 3200.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

How to Diminish Noise in Lightroom

1 // Scroll down to the “Detail” while in edit mode.

2 // Click the square I’ve circled in yellow and choose the point you focused on in the photo. This is what will show up in that little viewing screen you see in the right panel. Doing this gives you an ultra zoomed in look at what you’re editing, which will show exactly what you’re changing in the photo. You’ll be working with the tools under “sharpening” and “noise reduction.” You can really click any point in the photo where you want to see in great detail how your adjustments are affecting the look.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

Here are what the sliders actually do:


Amount: The amount of fine detail sharpening you’re applying to your image.

Radius: This adds a softer [smaller radius] or harsher [larger radius] feel to the pixels. The larger the radius the edgier the detail will look.

Detail: This brings out more of the texture in your photo and also helps to sharpen and show more detail.

Masking: The higher you set the masking the less of the photo will be sharpened. It chooses the most prominent edges to sharpen and then as you slide it to the right [increasing the number] it lessens the sharpening on less prominent edges of the photo. So, as you slide to the right the image appears smoother.

Noise Reduction:

Luminance: Adjusts the smoothness of the luminance in the photo. I typically keep this at 35 or below, or the image can start to look overly smooth.

Detail: Detail in the image you want to see. The higher you slide the more detail will be apparent, however, too high and it will start to look fake. I never use this setting and always leave it at “50” which is what it starts at.

Contrast: This gives more detail to the contrast in shadows. The higher you slide it the more contrast will appear in the shadows but this will also increase the noise. I typically leave this at 0.

*I never really use the last two sliders for “color” and “detail.” It may be more useful in people photos when skin colors get tricky to edit.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

3 // To smooth the image and decrease the level of noise you’ll be using “masking” and “luminance.” If you were to increase those both to 100 this is what the result would be. The image looks way too smooth and more like Play-Doh than real food. So, let’s work on these adjustments gradually.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

The photos above and below are with the masking + luminance at 100 which looks too smooth.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

4 // Let’s start by sliding the amount and detail sliders under “Sharpening.” The higher you slide these the more detail you’ll see but it will also make the noise more pronounced. Start gradually.

5 // Next, you want to reduce the noise by smoothening the photo a bit with the radius, masking, and luminance. I rarely change the radius but adjusted it slightly to the right in this photo. I set the masking and luminance to 30 which is typically around the highest I’ll go. It helps diminish the noise just enough to give a smoother feel without feeling fake and still showing enough detail.

6 // Go back and make slight adjustments to amount and detail if you want more or less.

7 // Export your image and you’re all done!

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

Here is the final edited image with the noise reduction tools as set above. Below is the zoomed in version.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

Below is the “before” image after adding only the standard editing.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

Below is the “after” image with the noise reduction edits added. Compare the corners and even the tops of the cookie. You can see the image below has a softer feel to it and the out of focus areas aren’t quite as noisy and harsh.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom |

That’s a wrap! Now you know what to do to diminish noise in your photo using Lightroom!

I would love to hear any questions you have for future Food Photography Tip of the Week posts! They can be related to styling, props, editing, camera settings, etc.



The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Welcome to the veggie sandwich that is going to change your life.

Bold statement. So true.

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich | #vegan #glutenfree

This sandwich was inspired by one I ate a few weeks ago while in Truckee, CA. It was from the cutest ever natural foods store—New Mood Natural Foods—that also had an outstanding sandwich shop tucked inside. We ate their twice in 2 1/2 days and everyone raved. I actually scored two sandwiches since gluten-free bread is so small. This equaled about 1 1/2 normal sandwiches, of which I ate the entire thing both times. There was no stopping me.

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich | #vegan #glutenfree

There are a few key components to this sandwich that you are not allowed to skip. If you skip them I will hunt you down and tell you to make it again! Yes, this sandwich has rules.


  • toast your bread, just slightly
  • p e s t o – seriously do.not.skip.
  • balsamic glaze – you want the thick stuff – make your own or buy it
  • grilled vegetables – and stack them high! okay, roasting works too
  • do not use a super hearty bread – this thing is already a mess, so use something on the softer side
  • it’s not right unless it’s dripping everywhere and you have to use 5 napkins
  • slather it on – now is not the time to go all light on the pesto + balsamic

But despite the rules, you really have a lot of leeway with this sandwich—of your dreams.

How so? Glad you asked.

  1. It can be eaten hot or cold. You can grill the veggies, let them cool to room temp, and then chill them before stacking on your sandwich.
  2. You can use your favorite pesto. My current pesto obsession is from last week. I’ve made it three times since and have used it every single day. It’s also vegan! You will not miss the parmesan one bit. Promise. Chris used it in our breakfast yesterday and I about died.
  3. You have leeway with the vegetables. I recommend a mix of what you see below but you could do double zucchini if eggplant isn’t your thing. You can also add things like sun-dried or oven-roasted tomatoes. The peppers are good, but not mandatory. The portabella and zucchini are pretty important, but you could probably get away with one or the other.
  4. You can make this for 1 person or 10! If you’re making it for a crowd keep your oven at about 200* and keep piling the grilled veggies onto a large baking sheet. Your veggies will stay warm until you’re all done with the grill.

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich | #vegan #glutenfree

If you don’t make a complete mess while eating this sandwich you’ve done something terribly wrong.

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich | #vegan #glutenfree

Let’s dig in.

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich | #vegan #glutenfree

Print this!

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich gluten-free, vegan // yields 2 sandwiches

  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 large portabella
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup pesto
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze/reduction
  • 4 slices of bread
  • salt + pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil, I used high-heat avocado oil

Trim ends from zucchini and eggplant. Cut each zucchini in half [not end to end] and slice into 1/4-inch thick slabs. Slice eggplant into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place on a large cutting board or baking sheet in a single layer. Generously sprinkle each slice with salt and let sit for 15-20 minutes.

While waiting, preheat your grill to 375-400* F [med/med-high]. Place a kitchen towel over the veggies and press down firmly to soak up the moisture. Place zucchini and eggplant in a large bowl and swirl in enough oil to lightly coat. Toss to distribute. Lightly oil the portabella and the pepper and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place vegetables on the grill in a single layer. Turn the pepper every 3-4 minutes for about 4 turns. Let other veggies cook about 4-6 minutes per side, turning twice. Once grilled to your liking place on a tray and bring inside. Lightly grill your bread for about 1 minute per side. Slice the pepper [letting liquid drain] and the portabella.

To assemble: Spread pesto on all 4 faces of the bread. Layer the vegetables, add a few pinches of salt and pepper, and add a bit of the balsamic as you layer. Top with remaining balsamic and bread. Serve immediately.


notes: The vegetables salting step can be skipped, however, it helps bring out a lot of the moisture in the zucchini and eggplant which helps tremendously with the texture. You can roast the vegetables in your oven at 400* F. They will probably take about 8-12 minutes per side [the hot grill grates cook the vegetables faster].

To make a balsamic reduction: Place 2 cups of balsamic vinegar in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces by half (or more, if thicker consistency is desired), about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. Or, buy this. We’ve been using it for years on our salads and love it.

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich | #vegan #glutenfree

Happy Monday!