Editing Grainy Pictures and Cloning

I recently had a guest post on my food blog from Maternal Spark. Well, actually it’s a republished post of Butterfly Cupcakes with a little photo editing. I’m getting pickier about the photos that go on my food blog and not that hers were bad but they were a bit grainy and there was a distraction.

With this simple tutorial, you’ll be able to fix those grainy pictures and use the clone stamp. First, the grainy stuff is called noise. This is usually caused by using a high ISO which is whole nuther topic to get into and we won’t do that today;) The clone stamp does just what it says. It will clone what you have selected. I will be using the FREE paint.net program because I know that most of you probably can’t afford software like Adobe Photoshop. Hell, I can’t even afford it. It was given to me! But if you do find some awesome budget software somewhere, please do share!

With this cute little butterfly cupcake picture, I needed to reduce the noise so that it wasn’t so grainy and I wanted to get rid of that line because it distracts from the cupcake itself.  I also cropped it closer to the cupcake so that you focus on the cupcake and not the napkin or plate so much.

Here’s the orginal photo:

First, let’s reduce the noise and get rid of the grain.  After having your photo opened up in paint.net, you’re going to click on:


Now some numbers will come and you can change it to suit your liking.  I don’t mess with it, I leave it at default because I’m lazy and hit OK.
Here is the side by side comparison of what kind of impact reducing the noise makes.  Can you tell the difference?  The right side has had the noise reduced.
Okay, so you see that horizontal line?  It aggravates me and takes away from this adorable little cupcake so I’m gonna get rid of it!  This is where the CLONE stamp comes in.  You click on the little stamp first.  Then you find the part of the picture that you want to use to cover up that line.  I want it to match the wood so I’m going to clone as close to the line as possible to get a perfect match.  I do this all the way to the end.  I don’t just click one time and use the same color all the way because the wood color doesn’t match all the way across.  
  1. You are going to hold down the CTRL key while you left click on the part you want to clone.  
  2. Then you are going to let go of the CTRL key and just do a regular left click over the line or part you want to camouflage.  
This is what it should look like.
I did this all the way across the photo and for those small in between spots, I zoomed to make it easier.  That’s all there is to it!  It’s very easy to do and here is the final result.
Here they are side by side.  I cropped, reduced the noise, and cloned a little to get that line out of there.

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  1. says

    You did an awesome job on that photo! I have to admit, I rushed taking them because it was so hot that week that the wings were melting! Hubby loved the wilted cast offs that wouldn’t work for picture taking but I was starting to give up and I guess it showed :) Thanks for the linky love too!

    H.E.Eiglers last blog post..Scatterbrained – a Creative Funk

  2. A Cowboy's Wife says

    I rush to all the time but I have tried a little harder on my food pictures. Jaden from Steamy Kitchen has been giving me some tips.

    Anyways,I hope you didn’t mind me editing it. I’m not even sure but I don’t think I even asked! Geez.

  3. says

    Thank you for the quick tutorial. I’ve been fortunate to always have graphic designers around to do this kind of work for me, but it’s empowering to know the basics.

    Keep the Photo 101 posts coming. More like this please.