Before & After

To edit or not to edit, that’s the question

Let me dive right into it then.
Yes! I edit every picture.

Each photo has undergone editing, has been given a little more contrast somewhere.
Every photo has some highlights suppressed or some lowlights picked up.
Each photo has colors that have gained some strength

Let me explain.
And no, that’s not just a filter, nor is it always extensive photoshoping.

Those filters, let me let you in on a secret then, photographers who take themselves seriously don’t do that.
At least, let me speak only for myself, I think it’s important for colors to remain natural.
Grass stays green and that a blush on the cheeks are actually red blushes.
Especially in my world of travel and landscape photography, this is important.
As a corporate photographer, it is also imperative that the colors reflect reality.

The editing that I do, i do that in adobe lightroom and on1 software.
I always shoot in RAW, not jpeg, and the big difference is that in a RAW file color information is not fixed. That way I have complete control over all the colors, highlights and shadows in the image.
A RAW file is a very big file.

Photography is also sensitive to fashion.
I do see the photos that are into fashiom now if it comes to family and bridal photography, an entire shoot takes on a somewhat brown vintage look.
Very hip on Instagram, do ask yourself if you will still like such a series in a few years.
But as with everything, color and atmosphere is very personal.
If you desire a photo series with that look, then by all means do so.
Also, really pick your photographer on that, every photographer has their own style in this.

A photograph should be as well photographed as possible, but straight out of the camera is always a bit flat and a bit tame.
So I am going to tweak everything, the contrast, the high and low lights and the colors are all addressed separately.
Imperfections are eliminated and the photo is given the correct composition.
For example, I have a pretty crooked eye, all photos always need to be straightened just a little bit.

* I took this drone photo in the Algarve, Porugal. Photographed during sunset. By then the colors are already a bit warmer and deeper, and the shadows long and less harsh.

I mostly lightened the shadows here, made the blue a little deeper and especially in this important, the photo is rotated from a horizontal image to a position image. Contrast has also been increased a bit.

*This photo is also available as a print

Once I’m completely satisfied, I save that color palette as a preset in lightroom.
This bit of the process is certainly as much fun to do as the photography itself.
If a whole series can be edited the same then it’s copy-paste on all the photos, or I can use the preset later for another photo.
But usually I can’t use such a preset, because every reportage is unique and requires different settings.
That color palette, the way of editing, that is the photographer’s signature.

Every photographer has his/her own workflow with editing, completely adapted to his/her own style.

Then do I not Photoshop at all? Yes a little, sometimes…
When I edit a portrait it’s called retouching and that immediately sounds much friendlier too, right?
Small blemishes we like to touch up, but not too much.

And if I’m portraying you and you subtly ask for some photoshop here and there, I’ll answer you right away:

Das good, 5,- per kilo and 10,- per wrinkle 😉

I can make of you what you want, but is that what you want?

*This photo was taken in natural light, my models are standing in the opening of the barn door. The background has been made blacker and the horse’s fur has been given a little more sharpness. Thats all!

Converting a photo to black and white is also, of course, editing and 1 of my great loves, which is what this blog is about .


I am Imca van de Weem and if you like to be the first to read my stories, subscribe now and I will send you new stories regularly. Your mailbox won’t explode, I promise to keep it fun.

The photos from my blogs are also available as prints or digital files, some you can find in the Fine Art shop .
Aren’t they in the shop? You can always request them.