Making Magic

The art of digital editing

You don't take a photograph, you make it.

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams pioneered landscape photography in the 1920s and was a master not just of capturing outstanding images but also of creating stunning prints. That's no surprise. For example, he worked for four days before he was happy with his print of the Half Dome at Merced River in Yosemite National Park.

So what does this have to do with your wedding photographs? Well, Ansel Adams has the answer for that. The image that the photographer captures is just like a musical score. You can give the same score to a school orchestra and to the London Symphony Orchestra, and when they play it the performances  won't sound the same. Making the final image is like that performance and that's where your photographer can really make a difference.

Below are three different images that will give you some insight into what we can do with your images before you see them. Most of your images will need some digital adjustments to make the image look better but some of them cry out for more attention.

So this is the story of how the dedicated photographer doesn't just take the photograph but can also make the ordinary extraordinary.


Original Image

This is original file straight from the camera. Obviously there is some editing work to be done.

The first edit

First I changed it to black & white. Then I made it very bright and give it a soft look.
But I didn't like that jacket on the door.

The final image

OK, it took a long time to rebuild the wardrobe but the jacket has gone. Oh, and I didn't like the distraction from that ceiling light either.

A final adjustment to the brightness, a touch of white vignette round the outside and it's done.

Stacey & Dan

Original Image

This is the original, unedited image. Not too bad but not good enough to show to the bride and groom. What would you do to make this a better picture?

The first edit

The first thing to do was straighten the image. Then there was some work to enhance the lighting and correct any issues with colour balance. Finally, the electric socket by Stacey's feet was taken away.

The final image

This images was going to be mounted in a square frame so the first thing to do was to crop it accordingly. We really liked this one in black & white. When you change a colour images to black & white it will usually look soft and lack depth. So changes were made to the brightness and contrast to give the image more bite. The final change was more subtle. The safety lighting you can see in the colour images has been removed.

Claire and her father

Original Image

Again this is original file straight from the camera. When we first saw this image we rejected it as the background was not good but then I had an idea.

The final image

I went into Photoshop and carefully removed everything in the background and then left it white. I tightly cropped the sides of the image and adjusted the brightness of the faces. This is now one of our favourite pictures.