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Popular Photography Editing Styles Comparison | Photo Tips

engaged couple on the chicago river

You want photos captured, but what do you want your photos to look like? In the

digital age of photography there are currently three main categories: light and airy, true to

life and dark and moody. And then everything in between. Imagine a color line with dark and moody on the left (black), true to color in the middle (neutral) and light and airy on the right (white).

I am a true to life photographer. I do my very best to match what I saw on that

given day to color, warmth, contrast, brightness, etc. However, to help illustrate

the examples I am going to show a comparison of photography edits in four photos below: original, true to color, light and airy and dark and moody. Hopefully these examples will help give you a better idea of what style of editing you are drawn to. Again, bear with me, I am a true to color photographer and have never edited in dark and moody or light and airy. These are subtle examples.

Below is a photo straight out of camera, meaning no edits

straight out of camera photo

Here is a side by side comparison of dark and moody, true to color and light and airy.

examples of photography styles for editing

Generalizing from what I have seen, dark and moody photographers have are more muted tones with less highlights and darker blacks.

dark and moody photography edit

True to life photographers bring the photo back to what the naked eye sees.

True to life photography edit

Light and airy photographers have brighter photos with less contrast and in general less yellow tones (especially in their greens).

Light and airy photography edit

I hope this helps you understand the styles of photography a little better. There are many more I am sure as well as variations of each style. However, this is a great starting point!


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