One Stop Shop for Books, Gear & Gadgets

Hey Folks,
I just wanted to let you know that I’ve now added a link in the menu at the top of the screen to an Amazon ‘Store

All sounds very grand I know but basically what this is, is a ‘one stop shop’ where you can buy all the Latest and Greatest Photography & Photoshop related books direct from Amazon without having to go hunting for them.

Several of the books in the store have been reviewed here on the blog so if you want to have a read before you buy, just choose ‘Book Review’ in the category menu item above.

More will be added over time but for now as well as Books, I’ve included sections on Kindle for those of you who are reading books on the Amazon Kindle or indeed the iPad Kindle App, Lighting where you’ll see some of the kit I use such as the new Lastolite Hotrod Strip Lights for Speedlights plus in time I’ll add sections for software and anything Gadget related.

Feel free to take a look around and if you don’t see something you think should be in there then by all means drop me a note.

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My First Webinar: Q & A’s, Feedback & Lessons Learned

Hi Folks,
I just want to send out a message of thanks to all of you who joined in with my first ‘Live’ Webinar last night. I had a total blast despite the nerves beforehand, oh and spilling a full pint glass of water into my lap just as Erik started the count down…”And your live in 3, 2, 1….splash!” …but hey, we’ll keep that between us right;)

Where technology is concerned there’s always the thought in the back of your mind hoping that there’s no glitches but thankfully everything worked well apart from a little bit of ‘lag’ in the internet connection. Judging from all the feedback that’s been coming in though, that wasn’t too much of an issue and didn’t affect the transmission plus everyone who joined in will also be able to download the full webinar recording in a few days time.

Teaching in this way is a completely different experience to that of teaching in front of a group of people; I was going to say that you don’t hear the laughs at any of your jokes but in my case that’s nothing new:)

Anyway, during the webinar attendees were able to submit questions ‘Live’ and some of those were able to be answered by Erik who kindly took care of the hosting but there’s a few I didn’t get chance to answer because of time constraints so I thought here would be a good place to do just that…

Q: The settings in Topaz are key I think but Glyn did not show these:(So what are his Topaz preset details? 
 A: Topaz Details ROCKS! The only downer is that the preview pane when you’re using it in no way reflects what your settings will produce. Here’s a screen grab of the settings I use for now which produce quite a strong result but as the Topaz Details are applied onto their own layer I just reduce the opacity once back in Photoshop to an amount that I like the look of…

Q: I use Aperture – is that OK?
A: Absolutely. To be honest I use just a fraction of what Lightroom can do as I tend to use it more like an advanced cataloguing utility and the majority of my editing happens in Photoshop.

Q: On the top of the forehead why did you choose not to dodge/burn?
A: Great question. The reason for this is that the ‘hot spot’ on Nigel’s forehead was so bright it contained no detail/pixels to ‘burn down’ so using the Healing Brush in the Blend Mode of ‘Darken’ works great in these kind of circumstances.

Q: When using the Quick Selection Tool, why does everyone select the subject instead of the more even colored background? 
A: Most of the time selecting the subject works just great and I prefer to make a selection where I’m adding as opposed to subtracting…if that makes sense. As you saw last night though doing a mixture of adding and subtracting is generally what’s needed to make a selection, but hey who knows what the next version of Photoshop will enable us to do.

Q: How do Calvin Hollywood, Dragon and your effects differ from each other for bringing out details?  Have you tried the Topaz Adjust 4.  Will you have your numbers for Topaz Details ?
A: Wow 3 questions in 1…that’s just cheating:)Seriously though, Calvin is someone I’ve looked up to and being inspired by for quite some time and I draw a lot from his style. Using the Topaz Details plug in was something he suggested I start using and well, if he suggests it…I’m doing it. With regards to Topaz Adjust I’ve not used it but I’m surge at some point I’ll take a look because I’m always hearing good things about it, oh and re my settings check out the first question:)

Q: I’m wondering what shade of Grey Glyn shoots on. Light, medium, or dark gray? I had to miss the first few minutes of the webinar so my appologies if he already covered it? 
A: The grey seamless I shoot on is just a touch darker than mid grey which works great for most of the compositing work I shoot but to be honest for this one a darker grey would have been better; one is now on order I hasten to add. BTW you can see the set up I used in this earlier blog post [Link]

Q: When shooting for a composite Glyn, do you shoot from a certain perspective i.e just below your subject ?
A: Now that depends on who I’m shooting and what the background is that I using. For example if I’m shooting a 3/4 length shot like this one of Nigel I’ll be shooting from low down to exaggerate the ‘presence and power’ of Nigel…in fact I’ll do this for all the male subjects I shoot. However if I have a background already in mind I’ll look at the angle it was shot at and try to get as near to that angle as possible so that the final composite looks real.

Q: What is the spec of Glyn’s machine. Does he use a Mac Pro?
A: Ok, yep I have a 17″ Macbook Pro which is about 6 months old and now only gets used for tethering and for teaching at workshops. My main work horse is an iMac which I just love but is now coming up to 3 years old so that’s being replaced in the next couple of months.

Q: Please thank Glyn for all the behind the scenes posts on his blog. Great stuff!
A: Not at all, it’s me that should be thanking you for taking the time to look in, read and leave comments; I get a real kick out of doing it.

Q: Do you always use the side strip lights on your subject when you are shooting for a composite?
A: I’ll always have them there but it all depends what I want to the lighting effect to be i.e. if there’s going to be a moon in the final composite and it’s behind and to one side of the subject then I’ll perhaps use just one side light so as to mimic what the light would have been like in ‘real life’.

Q: I’ve a feeling I selected not to get the emails, please can I change my mind and have me added to getting info about future webinars please?
A: Absolutely you can; it’s great to know I won’t be alone during the next one:)

Q: Is Glyn a Professional Photographer (learned or studied) or self-tought?
A: Ok to answer the first question…yes I’m a Pro Photographer and the majority of my work is Commercial, Advertising, CD Artwork for Bands/Musicians etc but I’m looking at developing my Workshop series too where we concentrate on both the Photography and the Photoshop side of things. With regards to how I got to this stage I owe a heck of a lot to a lot of people. I never studied photography and College or University or anything like that, I just went and continue to go on courses and am always looking to learn more. I’m very fortunate to have great friends who are very successful in the industry…such people like Scott Kelby, Matt KloskowskiCalvin Hollywood, Zack Arias, Tim Wallace, and Alan Hess … all of whom are a constant support and inspiration to me and it’s theses folks that I’m constantly learning from. Before I ever picked up a camera I started using Photoshop which  is why it’s a very important part of my style and it was joining the N.A.P.P. [Link] from day 1 that has helped me to get to the stage I’m at now. Don’t get me wrong I am no where near where I want to be but without N.A.P.P. , Kelby Training [Link] and the great friends I have I’d be on completely the wrong road…and that I don’t doubt for one second.

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As for looking to the future and more webinars there’s lots I learned from last night plus some great suggestions coming in too such as having one computer set up as a ‘viewer’ so that I can see for myself the speed everyone is viewing the webinar at and so compensate for any ‘lag’ ; I have Gene McCullagh [Link] to thank for that one which just makes so much sense.

So there you have it…

Again thank you to everyone who signed up and joined in last night and also a huge thank you to Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski who spread the word more than once during The Grid [Link]; guys you left me speechless which is a rarity believe me:)

I’ll be posting more details in the future about upcoming webinars; the next of which is going to be a short (30 minutes or so) on roughly half a dozen quick techniques…and that’s a freebie.

Any questions or comments then please as always feel free to make use of the comments section below but in the mean time,

•     •     •

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  • September 5, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    David Kelly - Congrats on getting that first one out of way mate. The lag caused a few problems for me ‘watching’ what you were doing but your commentary allowed me to track what you were doing in my head whilst waiting for the screen to catch up. Of course the benefit of it being recorded is that I get to watch it again without any such issues ;-)

    Timekeeping with these presentations / demonstrations can be a problem as you saw last night but I think that was because you were so relaxed enjoying yourself to much, messing about with all that dodging & burning ;-)

    Looking forward to the next one :-)



  • September 5, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    A.J. Wood - Glad it was a success. Sorry again I missed it, but look forward to the recording.

  • September 5, 2011 - 9:46 pm

    Steve Fell - Good stuff Glynn, looking forward to the recording and the next one.


  • September 6, 2011 - 10:33 am

    Glyn - @David…Thanks for the feedback and for attending mate; as always I really do appreciate your constant support.

    Thanks, Glyn

  • September 6, 2011 - 10:34 am

    Glyn - @A.J. No worries Buddy; just make sure you have a blast out in Vegas ;)

  • September 6, 2011 - 10:34 am

    Glyn - @Steve…Thanks for that mate

  • September 6, 2011 - 2:47 pm

    Steve Porter - Hi Glyn. I really enjoyed the webinar and have learned some new ways of doing things that will hopefully save time. Topaz is first on the list! I have been applying your grunge/desaturated tips for a while now but that Topaz looks really good. Looking forward to the next one. Hope to see you on a workshop soon.

  • September 10, 2011 - 9:23 pm

    Glyn - @Steve…Thanks so much for the feedback from the Webinar mate, I really do appreciate it. Yeah agreed Topaz Rocks!

Behind the Scenes: The Cinderella Shoot Revealed!!!

Well as promised, following on from a recent post, here’s a run through of how I approached the Cinderella shoot when the pressure was definitely on to photograph some folks off the television in a stately home that was open for business as normal, fulfill a list of ‘must have’ photographs that filled one side of A4 paper and with  just one hour to do it!

Also adding to the mix and making things that much more errrmmm, interesting, was the fact that I was unable to meet with the Promoters and take a look at the location prior to the day of the shoot. So, with all this to consider, there was just one thing on my mind…KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!)

It’s been really interesting and to be honest very encouraging to read some of your thoughts with regards to how you think this series of shots were lit, what equipment I used and where it was placed, so with that being said I guess now it’s time to reveal all; oh and I guess now is also a good time to say that it’s not a composite … sorry:)

50% Photographer/ 50% Retoucher 
One thing I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on this blog is my thought process when approaching a photo shoot. Well, the best way I can put it is that I consider myself 50% Photographer and 50% Retoucher. You see I have to have in my mind exactly what the final picture will look like once it’s been captured in camera and then gone through the editing process; this way I get a clearer idea in my head about what I need, where to place it and what I’ll need to do in Photoshop.

 Spend your time in Photoshop being Creative as opposed to Corrective!

Now it seems that whenever the subject of Photoshop is discussed there are always those people that come out with the stock phrase of ‘I prefer to get it right in camera‘; well, guess do I and so does Calvin Hollywood, so does Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, Tim Wallace, Joe McNally, Bert Stephani, Alan Hess, David E Jackson and so it goes on! What I’m getting at here is that my style of work comes from how I light and shoot my subjects and how I edit; the two go hand in hand and my ‘style’ is very much down to Photography and Photoshop.

I’ll work as hard as I can to get the ‘in camera’ shots as good as is possible so that my time in Photoshop working on those images later is spent being creative as opposed to corrective and fixing things I could should have done correctly at the time!

Deep breath and breathe…1, 2, 3…

Right now I’ve got that out of my system let’s look at this particular shoot…

As I’ve mentioned, time was not on my side, so working quick and working light (no pun intended) was going to be my best option so when it came to lighting kit I used my Elinchrom Ranger Quadra and a medium softbox … and that was it; nothing more, nothing less!

So why the Quadra? Well, quite simple because of it’s portability and fast recycling time and just opting for the one set up meant no messing around swapping this and that; we could just set up and run with it…

The softbox was positioned in such a way that it would give roughly the same shadows had the subjects been lit by the lamp on the staircase, which incidentally was turned off because of the awful colour it was throwing out and also to avoid any lens flare. The light was ‘turned on’ during the editing phase; a technique I’ll share on the blog at some point.

So now we have our subject lit by the Quadra and Softbox, the lamp on the staircase has now been ‘turned on’, and all that was left to do apart from enhancing details and working on the colour, was to add a couple of spotlights onto the paintings on the walls, which again was done during the editing stage. Incidentally, I’ll be showing this faux spotlight technique during my webinar this coming Sunday 4th September [Link] when at the end I’ll be doing 5 minutes or so of ‘Speedy Tips and Techniques’.

If only I’d had more time…
The question is, had I had the luxury of more time for this photo shoot would I have done things differently?, and the answer to that is a resounding ‘No!’.

Clients hire us to produce results and give them what they want regardless of time constraints so ‘If only I’d had more time…‘ just doesn’t cut it.

It may be that you would have positioned some lights onto the paintings but I was approaching this shoot like I always do, and dealing with limited space and time, so thinking of what I can do later in ‘post’ works for me. I love spending time playing editing in Photoshop but it has to be time spent being creative because I don’t get paid for correcting things I should have got right ‘in camera’

So there you have it, a complete B.T.S. (Behind The scenes) of how I approached the recent Cinderella shoot; I just hope I haven’t disappointed any of you by revealing it was all done with just the one light:)

As always, if you have any questions or comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below, but in the mean time have a great weekend and I’ll catch you back here in a few days if not sooner during the Webinar [Link]

ps> Thanks to my Buddy Noel Hannan for helping me out by playing the role of ‘assistant’ on the day

•     •     •

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  • September 2, 2011 - 7:41 pm

    Sebastian - I was hoping that I was right about one light after observing shadows :) Well done Glyn. I can see that we have a similar approach to shooting and working on the final result from the click of the shutter, not from downloading images to HDD.

  • September 2, 2011 - 7:53 pm

    Cathy Kennedt - Thanks for that insight as to how it was all shot, lit, edited etc. Looking forward to reading more blogs. Well done again – those pics are stunning and certainly capture the atmosphere of the story of Cinderella

  • September 2, 2011 - 9:00 pm

    Ciaran Cummins - I knew that was how you did it I just didn’t want to say and spoil the fun. ;) Very insightful and very useful as always. I really thought that Cinders was placed in afterwards as the gaze of the sisters behind seemed to be looking passed her.
    Just a question on her ball gown, it looks really soft is that just the lighting or did you do something in post like a mask to hide a contrast boost or some such thing? The whole scene appears ghostly. Ok enough babble, that was fun and as always great to see how you achieve your shots.

  • September 3, 2011 - 3:24 am

    Kevin Halliburton - Well done Glyn! I really thought you locked off on a tripod, took a series of bracketed shots of the scene, placed everyone and lit them in the scene with one light, and merged the two images together later. Then I found what I thought was an editing error on the right hand of the step sister in the black and white cow print. The way that right hand is positioned right in front of the railing it looked like it was posed to be grabbing the railing and you missed a mask on the fingers. Seeing a couple of other angles it looks like the moldings, and the hard edged shadows on the wall, might be painted on the wall, am I right? Those hard edged wall shadows with the soft edged subject shadows really threw me too. Just goes to show you that even in today’s edit happy world, you really can still trust your eyes and what they are seeing occasionally. You are a stud Glyn!

  • September 3, 2011 - 7:29 am
  • September 3, 2011 - 9:36 am

    Jonathan Thompson - It always amazes me what can be achieved with 1 light. Beautiful images and on such a tight time line, you’re really coming into your own. Wish I could attend the webinar, maybe I’ll be able to tune in, last minuet.
    Catch up soon for the beach & Oxford WWPW

  • September 3, 2011 - 5:43 pm

    Terry Donnelly - Great result, keep it simple rocks.

  • September 4, 2011 - 9:58 am

    DaveT - Thanks for the details of the shoot – insightful as always.

    Whilst I like the composite results you produce, this sort of lighting and post production is far closer to what I would like to achieve in my own shooting style (mainly travel related), so I relate very much to the simplicity of lighting, as I generally only carry one speedlight when traveling, with a trigger for off camera use. I look forward to seeing more on how you developed the image to produce the final shot.


  • September 5, 2011 - 7:49 am

    Roger Griffiths - Superb Glynn, looking forward to find out “how to switch the light on”.

    PS did you use a meter when you set up the Quadra?

  • September 6, 2011 - 10:30 am

    Glyn - Thanks for all the comments re the lighting set up folks…believe me it would have been fun to do a composite for this but time was definitely against me.

  • September 6, 2011 - 10:31 am

    Glyn - @Allen…Funnily enough that’s what I find myself saying each and every time I look at your images ;)

  • September 6, 2011 - 10:31 am

    Glyn - @Jonathan…Yep, there are times when 1 light is the way to go :)

  • September 6, 2011 - 10:32 am

    Glyn - @Terry…Cheers Buddy

  • September 6, 2011 - 10:33 am

    Glyn - @Roger…Thanks mate. I’ll look at doing that tutorial in the near future ;)

  • September 30, 2011 - 5:40 pm

    pete collins - I love all of the titillating background painting! :D

  • September 30, 2011 - 7:19 pm

    Glyn - Must have been an interesting time to be around what with everyone walking around like that :) lol

  • October 22, 2011 - 9:52 am

    Featured in Germany Photography Magazine: Pictures-Magazin » Glyn Dewis Blog - [...] couple of months back I was contacted by the magazine regarding the Cinderella Photo Shoot [Link]which they had seen here on the blog and was then asked if I would be happy for them to do an [...]

  • November 22, 2011 - 10:12 pm

    Christian Carroll - Great post! Sorry, I’m arriving a bit late to your blog here. :)

    I love that you pulled this off with just one light. And the “Never ending lighting rig” post was also super useful. Thank you!

    If you have time at some point in the future I’d love to know how you “turned on” the banister light. I’ve seen David E. Jackson do similar things in his work and always wondered about the technique that was used. I think I have an idea of how it “might” be done, but I’d love to hear your approach. Thanks again!

  • November 23, 2011 - 7:14 pm

    Glyn - Hi Christian.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and for the kind words. Regards the light effect, I’ll look at putting a video tutorial together and posting here in the near future.
    Glyn :)

Update: Oxford World Wide Photo Walk is FULL

Hi All,
I’m really excited to announce that the Oxford, UK leg [Link] of the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk that I’m leading on Saturday 1st October 2011 is now officially FULL !!!

I just want to say thanks to everyone that has signed up and I really can’t wait now for what is going to be a superb day…I  just hope Oxford is ready for us:)

By the way, don’t forget that you can order your Official World Wide Photo Walk T Shirts  by following this [Link]

Right, I’m off to prepare for the invasion walk so I’ll catch you later,

ps> I’ll be posting the BTS of the recent Cinderella Photo Shoot [Link] later today

•     •     •

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  • September 2, 2011 - 12:51 pm

    Tim Pursall - Gutted I couldn’t make it Glyn.

    Have a good un’!

  • September 6, 2011 - 10:29 am

    Glyn - @Tim…Yeah real shame there mate; we’ll just have to try and catch up at some other point.
    All the best to you ;)

Not long now: My first ‘live’ Retouching & Compositing Webinar

Hey Folks,
Just a little reminder that this coming Sunday (4th September 2011) at 8pm (UK) I’ll be running my first ‘Live’ Webinar on retouching and compositing.

There’s still some places left so if you’d like to join me and see how I work through an image from start to finish plus throw some questions my way then click on the ‘Webinar’ [link] at the top of the page for more info and how to sign up…

Right I’m off for my weekly elocution lesson where we’re working on the pronunciation of … ‘oppaaaayyycity’ or it is it ‘opasss-ity’ ?

•     •     •

Keep up with Glyn ‘Day to Day’ on Twitter
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