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Greetje van Son: Photographer of the week

Greetje van Son is a most versatile and talented photographer. She simply shoots what interests her, but her favorites topics are architecture, macro photography and landscape. She is always looking for details and emphasizes them. Her goal is to continue to grow in quality and originality. Let us enjoy the photographer behind the images in this week's interview. Thanks to Yvette Depaepe for conducting the interview.


Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I was born in 1950 in Eindhoven, a town in the southern Netherlands. At age 15, I started work at the Philips company as an administrative assistant. At a young age I was already blessed with two beautiful daughters. So I got out of the workforce to care for them until they were old enough to study independently. In 1985 I picked up the thread again and returned to Philips, again asadministrative assistant. The last 10 years I have lived in Waalre, a village near Eindhoven and I have three lovely grandchildren. In the meanwhile I'm retired and I now spend a lot of time with my hobbyphotography

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography? 
In my youth photo shooting was only reserved for the rich. Since I come from a working environmentally, and my father had to work hard to maintain six kids, there was no place for photography. Once I was married, I bought a good clutch small camera to take pictures of my children. Most of all they were nice family snapshots. But that was the beginning. Over the years I have tried out my creative talents in many areas. During my time paintingI learned to watch. I could apply the lessons of composition and light to my new hobby photography.

Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
I was most inspired by my surroundings to go further with photography. Because family and friends complimented my photos, I became more critical of my photographic work. I wanted more and more to show my photos to others, and began to put my pictures on websites. For instance at, where I received a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism of my portfolio.

3 years ago I had the opportunity to follow a two-year study at the Dutch Fotovakschool. There I learned the SRL technical backgrounds, processing images in RAW mode, and a preparation for entrepreneurship. But the most important thing to think about yourself, what I want, what style is the most appropriate for me. My graduation theme was commissioned architecture.

What first attracted you to photography?
During my painting period I became more and more impatient. It took so long before a painting was finished. Besides, when I took enough time for a good picture, then I also can put creativity into a photograph. When I had the chance to buy a real digital SLR I go for it. It was a relief to make as much picture as I wanted without to change the film roles andI had the post operation (including the quality of the results) in my own hands.

Describe your overall photographic vision.
A good picture catches your attention immediately. Your gaze lingers longer. That could be a special game of lines, a special blur effect, a fascinating composition or a fantastic scenery.

Why are you so drawn by architecture and abstract photography?
In both, architecture and abstraction, I can view my own vision. I create a new reality for an object through the perspective of my eyes. I can put lots of creativity in both subjects.


What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
I find both the atmosphere as well as the quality important in my pictures. Although in my abstractions, I find the atmosphere most important. In architecture I want especially quality. In particular, the finishing touch should be good. Straight lines and no disturbing objects for instance.

Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
I usually do not prepare my photographic shots. For example, if I go to a city to shoot architecture,I take the light as it is on that day. Sometimes though it gives disappointing results, then I'll go back on another day. I do research on the internet for interesting buildings. Unfortunately, I am forced to travel by public transport, since I don’t own a car. I think that's a limitation for architectural photography.

What gear do you use?
Camera: Sony alpha 77V.
Objectives: Sony SSM, 16-50 mm, SSM f2/8  .  Sigma, 70-200 mm 1:2.8 APO DG HSM Sony SAM 50 mm, f1.8. Tamron macro, 90 mm, f/2.8. Tamron 10-24 mm, f3.5-4.5 Samyang tilt/shif T-S 3.5/24. Lensbaby Composer
Accessories: Sony Flash HVL F43AM. Benro tripod 
B+W filters: Polarisation filter, gray gradient filter, ND 0.6 gray filter.

What software do you use to process your images? 
I always shoot in RAW. This gives me the opportunity to obtain optimal results during post processing. In the RAW converter I do the basic adjustments such as contrast, exposure, lens corrections. I further make improvements in PS6. I make the perspective lines OK and I crop the picture if needed. With NIK software I create the black & white pictures that I want.

Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
RAW converter:
I made a basic cluster correction "presets”. With contrast, whites, blacks, local contrast, liveliness. 
Then I use ‘lens corrections’ specific to the lens used,

I look if a white balance correction is needed (often inside a building).

With a high ISO I use noise reduction, depending on the ISO values. 

Finally, I put the picture right, if necessary.

Photoshop CS6: In case of architecture: I select the whole picture. Via > transform > skew, put the lines straight. Crop the image, if necessary.

Nik Filters:  With Silver effex pro 2, I chose a filter, this is always depending on what kind of atmosphere I want to make. I play with it, every time.

Back to Photoshop:  The last correction is sharpening.

What is your most important advice to a beginner in architecture and abstract photography and how do you get started?
For architecture it is useful if you have different lenses. For example, a wide 10-24 mm, a kit lens 16-50 mm and a telephoto zoom 70 - 200mm. Preferably light strongly f2.8, so youdo not need to increase the ISO value with low light conditions. With this set of lenses you can make different kinds of pictures. Many large buildings in one picture or details of a building.

It's also handy to immerse yourself in advance into where there are interesting buildings to photograph. This can be via google or a photography site: 1x, Instagram, Pinterest etc. Keep the weather in mind before you go. In pouring rain it is less fun to photograph! If you are at the place of destination, first take the time to walk around the building and look at the different points of view.  For instance what is the result of shadow on the building. Take this well into your mind, before you go start shooting. TAKE YOUR TIME! I noticed that when I’m in a hurry, no matter the reason, the results of my photography are less.

Take advantage of the help raster screens in your camera, if you can. This helps to place the lines properly in the composition.



For abstract photography I do not have an immediate recommendation. It is purely a personal idea that arises when you see the picture on your monitor. Often I am inspired by other photographers on!


Who are your favorite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?  
In the beginning I did not really have a favorite photographer, but as I started to specialize in architecture and abstract photography, I saw on 1xCom many photographers who caught my attention. I cannot name them all, but Jeroen van de Wiel is a photographer who I admire greatly. Not only for his style but also the high quality of his photographs and his extremely precise finish. Huib Limburg is also one of my favorites. His photographs show a very high creativity in composition and finishing.

Partly because of them, I learn to look 'differently' and I work more and more to perfecting my work.

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I continue to learn and hope to be able to offer higher quality photos in the future. I would like to delve more into editing photos in PS and NIK. I think I can thus get even more of my picturespublished.

I would also like to travel more to see interesting buildings, which is currently utopic for me, because of my financial situation. For example, Valencia with its fantastic architecture Calatrava. On the other hand, it is a challenge to make interesting photo's in my neighborhood and in my own country.

Describe your favorite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?


This picture was taken in the municipal museum in Den Bosch. It's my favorite photo because I was not expecting this fantastic result when I took the picture. I had seen many pictures of this particular staircase, but this composition was new and after high key post processing the picture became slightly unreal. Therefore I gave it the title: 'Stairway to heaven'.

Is there anything else you wish to add  and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
I am grateful that I have found the site 1x and my photos were accepted there and even several photos have been published. This is a confirmation for me that my photographic work is appreciated and of a good quality. I also find a lot of inspiration from other great photographers that I found on 1x. It keeps me growing.

I look forward to even more interesting and exciting pictures on 1x!


Dear Greetje It is with red cheeks that I only now write my reaction to you. Sorry for that. We know each other now already for some time, because of and our photoclub ofcourse. Why do I mention the latest, well in real I am the only one here ,who can judge your printed photo's and where you can see that all yr photowork is showing a perfection that we don't see everywhere and very important as well the clealiness,superb! You are just a great photographer.!! Congrats for beiing chosen here! Jan
I'm bloshing now Jan. Thank you so much for your nice and great compliments!!
What a wonderful collection of art you share with us, Greetje! Please take my sincere respect for your work and for the very interesting interview. Congratulations!
Thank you very much for your interest in my personel story and your kind compliments. Apreciate it very much! warm regards, Greetje
heel erg leuk om te lezen! voor mij ben je altijd een grote bron van inspiratie geweest, en nog steeds. een verdiend 'voetstuk', dat we nog veel van je mogen zien! :)
Het voelt goed dat ik anderen kan inspireren met mijn fotografie, Theo. Dank je voor je compliment! Ook van jou hoop ik nog veel werk te zien!
Congratulations on being the featured photographer! Lovely to hear all about you and see your impressive images again.
Thank you so much for your interest and nice comment,, Dear Jaqueline!
Ik heb je tot een geweldige fotograaf uit zien groeien. Top! Groet Arjo.
Dank je voor dit groots compliment, Arjo!!
Congratulation to such a great performance. Greeting Herbert
Thank you so much for your interest and your nice comment, Herbert!
what a wonderful and much interesting interview. It is a pleasure to learn more about you and your photography. Thank you dear Grettje and also many thanks to Yvette
I'm very glad with your interest and comment dear Wolfgang. Thank you very much for this fine reaction.
Wonderful work Greetje and congratulations with being the photographer of the week! Thanks for sharing your story with us, it was a great read. Good to finally get to see you in Dordrecht and looking forward to our next meeting. Let me know when you plan to visit Rotterdam again! Have a great week and take care! :-) xx
Hi Edith, It's always chearfull to read your comments. Thank you very much. I look back to a very fine contact with you and think with pleasure to your spontanitie and joyable lauch. Hope to see you soon. Enjoy the sun for the next days! xx
I also enjoyed your company. Hope to see you soon too and enjoy the sunshine :-) xx
Precious work dear Greetje. Congratulations to you and Yvette for this lovely article :)
Thank you very much for your interest and kind comment Carla
Hallo Greetje, Fijn interview en mooi werk. Heb je portfolio goed bekeken en heb veel mooi werk gezien. Goed je te ontmoeten afgelopen zaterdag en zie uit naar meer van je werk. Groet, Andre
Dank je Andre. Dat was geheel wederzijds.! Hopenlijk tot een andere keer. groetjes, Greetje
Proficiat met dit interview Greetje. Een volkomen terechte erkenning voor je sterke werk! En natuurlijk ben ik trots vermeld te worden, maar wat mij betreft heb je echt je eigen pad gevonden. Ik ben benieuwd naar wat er allemaal nog komen gaat!
Dat is nog eens een fijn commentaar. Waardeer dit zeer Jeroen. Dank je.
Van harte gefeliciteerd met dit fijne interview Greetje, goed om je mooie werk nog eens op een rijtje te zien. En de vrouw achter de camera beter te leren kennen.... Laat ons nog meer mooi werk zien Grekenrooi :-)
Hartelijk dank voor je interesse voor mijn interview en je fijne commentaar Luc. Waardeer ik zeer. grts. Greetje
Congratulations for the interview and photographer of the week, Greetje. It has been a pleasure to read and know a little more. Your photos are very inspiring. A greeting.
I'm very pleased to read that my photo's can inspire you. Thank you very much for your interest and your kind comment. Juan.! grts. Greetje
En nu jij dus in de spotlights Greetje: van harte gefeliciteerd! Een prachtig artikel en - natuurlijk niet voor niets de keuze om jou te benaderen - uiteraard is het een genot om je fraaie fotowerk te mogen aanschouwen! Ik volg je redelijk sind je hier je eerste beeld uploadde en ik kan niet anders zeggen dan dat je een onwaarschijnlijke progressie hebt gemaakt sinds die eerste: chapeau, mijn complimenten! Fijn voor mij om te lezen dat ene Huib Limburg ( ik neem aan Limberg ) één van je favoriete fotografen hier is: you let me blush a bit! Laat ons nog veel genieten van je fraaie creaties Greetje: ik heb het gevoel dat we ons geen zorgen hoeven maken wat dat betreft.....! :)
Wat fijn om zo'n hartelijk commentaar van je te ontvangen Huib Limberg!. Sorry voor de slip-of-the-finger. Dit is behoorlijk motiverend om door te gaan op de weg die ik ben ingeslagen. Tevens dank voor al die inspirerende foto's van jouw hand. groetjes, Greetje
hearty congratulations greetje!! so happy to see your interview!! amazing one !
Many thanks for you kind words and interest for this interveiw, Swapril. grts. Greetje
Congratulations to the photographer of the week, Greetje. I read with great interest your informative interview - very good. Greetings. Ute
Thank you so much for your interest and kind comment Ute! grts Greetje.
What can be seen in this series of photos of the subject's detailed architectural and abstract photography glowing cadre that delighted his audience that really is the totality of a work?! Thanks to Greetje van Son to get such a brilliant photos and you Thomas For its selection and arrangement of this dialogue.
Thank you so much for you you kind words Mohammed!
Hello Greetje: Magnificent interview that allows me to know her a little better. I would like to have more extensive knowledge on the subject, to know explain, I can only say that your photos impress me by its delicacy and creativity. I read your interview notice that you love so much their work that does everything possible so that your photos are perfect and get it. I congratulate you and I feel lucky to be in a forum where there is as important as you people. Warmest regards.
Hi Asuncion. I'm glad that you like my pitures. I'm pleased to receive such a warm reaction from your side. Thank you very much! This is wath I like at 1xCom. From over the world we make connection to other fine photographers. Whis you the best!
Gefeliciteerd Greetje met dit interessant interview... en een prachtig overzicht van je uitstekend werk. Groetjes. Gil
Dank je hartelijk voor je fijne comment Gilbert!
Prachtig intervieuw Yvette dank dat je mijn foto vriendin zo mooi op dit podium in het zonnetje hebt gezet.! Greetje ben blij en trots op je .! Groet Henk
Je commentaar doet me goed Henk. Dank je wel!
Thanks a lot Massimo!
Congrats, Greetje with the nice interview and the very nice compilation a your very beautiful work. Theo-SC
Thank you very much for your reaction and kind words Theo!