TipSquirrel Workshop: Photography without the Tripod Police!

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I’m really excited to announce that I’ll be one of the instructors at the very first TipSquirrel Photography Workshop which is to be on Saturday 13th August 2011 at the incredible Peterborough Cathedral.

Along with Photographer and Photoshop Trainer Gavin Hoey and the elusive TipSquirrel himself, I’ll be taking attendees around the Cathedral with an unprecedented ‘Access All Areas’ pass to take photographs of the Cathedral and it’s surroundings, Portraits in locations that you just wouldn’t normally have access to and also some HDR without having to worry about the Tripod Police ‘zip lining’ down from the roof tops.

Full details of the day long workshop can be found on the TipSquirrel.com website at this link.

See you there for a great day of Photography, Photoshop and some laughs along the way,
Glyn

*Note: The workshop is limited to 20 attendees, so to steal a phrase … “Book early to avoid disappointment”:)

New Photography & Photoshop Workshop: Can you help?

Ok so this coming Sunday (27th March) I’m going to be in the studio for a day long ‘tester’ of a new workshop I’m putting together covering both Photography & Photoshop…

I’ll be joined by 8 other photographers, all of varying experience and skill levels who have been invited along to play the part of ‘students’ for the day so they themselves will get hands on with the shooting and editing. Most importantly though they’re there to give brutal, honest feedback (*gulp*) on what we cover: what works, what doesn’t work, what should and shouldn’t be included and so on.

When we ‘go live’ my intention is to have a workshop that’s basically split in two with the first half of the day being spent setting up the lighting and shooting to achieve a specific look and then the second half of the day spent editing the images to get the kind of results you see above covering compositing techniques, portrait retouching and all the kind of stuff that you see me posting here on the blog. What I don’t want is for this to be just another workshop on Photography, which is why I’m going through this ‘tester’ process and also where you can maybe help me out…

Can you help?
I think it’s fair to say for the photographers out there that most if not all of us have been along to a workshop at some point…some good and some maybe not so good; but what was it that made it so? If you were coming along to this new workshop what kind of images and techniques would you really like to get ‘hands on’ with and see being covered from start to finish?

What I really like the idea of is coming along to a workshop knowing exactly what you’re going to be able to achieve by the end of the day. So, if it was up to you and looking over the kind of work I do, what would you want it to be?

We’re all going to have our own thoughts on what the workshop should include and how it should run so with that being said if I could ask you to post your thoughts either in the comments section below, on Facebook, Twitter or email me directly (glyn@glyndewis.com) that would be a massive help, thanks.

Oh, and I’ll be sure to post what we got up to at this Sunday’s ‘tester’ at some point next week,
Enjoy:)

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  • March 25, 2011 - 9:27 am

    daniela - i’m just a beginner but a big fan of your work. i find just about anything you do just outright stunning, so let me just say, no matter what you do, i’m sure it will be worth the money for any of your students. i won’t give you advice on holding a workshop, you’ve got more experience in that field than i do, i’ll just tell you what i like about your tips and teachings on your blog and see if maybe you can take some of that into “real life”.
    what i very much like is your attitude how it’s all exciting and fun! it’s always so much easier to learn something from an enthusiast rather than a mere lecturer.
    your humor is sure fantastic to ease things up (one learns better when one is relaxed rather than tense).
    i appreciate the background info you give – like in your video tutorials you don’t just say “use high pass at 24 radius” you explain why it should be in the range of 24 rather than 48 or 12 or you say you’re doing this and that to achieve this or that effect. it’s easier to follow and remember steps when one knows where they should lead.
    one last thing that i didn’t like about a workshop i once went to was that there was hardly any time to take notes AND try out the stuff and the amount of stuff we were shown was just overwhelming so by the end of the day my head was all dizzy and i didn’t remember much of anything plus i didn’t have any notes to refer to later. so it’d be nice to either have a handout or allow time for notes i believe.
    don’t try to cover to much but rather go into depth with the things you do cover – as you already so wonderfully do on your blog and video posts.
    that’s all i can say. nothing new i’m sure but i still wanted to share.
    i also want to let you know that i’m still super interested in attending one of your workshops some day, so i’m wishing you all the best for this experiment as well as the real thing :)

  • March 25, 2011 - 10:11 am

    Miguel Campos - Hi Glyn.
    You know that I am a big fan of your work, and like it was mentioned above You do explain very well in your tutorials.
    Who ever goes to your workshops will learn a lot, and I know for a fact it will be good value for money.
    Regarding asking opinions about Workshops, well, you are a Professional and not only that, you like what you do.
    I know that this one and others will be a success.

    All the best mate and keep up the good work ;)

    Miguel

  • March 25, 2011 - 10:25 am

    Steve - Glyn, sounds like it will be a great day, lucky people!

    For me I would like to spend time on lighting setup/techniques with minimal kit ie 2 speedlights (no modifiers) & camera. I would’nt want to be overwhelmed.

    Spending more time going through the settings on the camera and speedlights before attempting a shoot so I would understand how changing anything effects the end result.

    Next for me would be workflow best practices, import into LR, adjustments in LR/PS/onOne/Nik. The importance of backups and versions etc. Output (printing, web etc).

    You cover most of what I look for to be honest Glyn here on your blog, but if was to spend a day with you, the above is what I would be quizing you over.

    Cheers
    Steve

  • March 25, 2011 - 12:38 pm

    DaveT - Hi Glyn,

    Here is a summary of some of the things I liked/disliked from various courses/workshops I have attended.

    Positives:
    Positive and friendly approach of the trainer.
    Open to questions, and responsive to participants needs.
    Knowledgeable trainer/leader
    Making sure that the workshop/ course covered what it said it would
    Comfortable environment
    Positive learning environment
    Fun but focused learning experience
    Coming away motivated and feeling that the experience was worth the money

    Negative:
    Trainer/leader looking after their own needs and not that of the participant’s
    Leader/trainer using the workshop to get their own photographs at the expense of the person paying to be there.
    Poor value for money
    Poor facilities
    Not enough equipment to allow proper participation by the student

    Hope this helps
    Dave

  • March 25, 2011 - 1:32 pm

    Michelle Lovegrove - Hi Glyn,

    having followed your work with interest I think the main things I would like to learn from one of your workshops would be:

    Effective lighting using flash for studio or location
    Principles of posing to get the best out of your models
    Efficient Lightroom Workflow
    Post production of portraiture work to minimise artifacts and give a natural but glamour look.

    I think to cover all of that in a day would be more than enough for my brain to cope with in one sitting whilst being invaluable experience that could be utilised in countless situations.

  • March 25, 2011 - 7:03 pm

    Glyn - @Daniela…Thanks so much for taking the time to put together your comment. What you say is really encouraging so I thank you for that…very kind of you! Having fun is definitely a big part of it cos I remember having been on workshops where I was struggling to keep my eyes open for one but wanting to pull my teeth out with the boredom too…lol :)

    The idea of the handouts is definitely something I’ve thought about but more as a .pdf (ebook) as that method is becoming more and more called for…what do you think?

    Thanks again and yeah would be great to see you at one of the workshops in the future; who knows huh :)
    All the best to you,
    Glyn

  • March 25, 2011 - 7:03 pm

    Glyn - @Miquel…Very kind of you to say, so thanks very much for that.

    Best wishes to you,
    Glyn

  • March 25, 2011 - 7:05 pm

    Glyn - @Steve…Thanks for the comment. Hadn’t given much though to showing my importing workflow but I think you’re spot on there, so again thanks for the pointers.

    Cheers,
    Glyn

  • March 25, 2011 - 7:07 pm

    Glyn - @DaveT…Cheers for the positive and negative lists. Totally with you on the 2nd negative point cos that is something I have definitely experienced in the past; well that and turning round to say goodbye to the instructor and seeing he’d already shut the door :)

    Thanks too for the email which I’m just about to head over and read.

    Regards,
    Glyn

  • March 25, 2011 - 7:08 pm

    Glyn - @Michelle…totally with you there on the point about covering just the right amount. I’m thinking that working on 3 set ups and editing those; would be about right…what do you think?

    Glyn

  • March 26, 2011 - 6:19 am

    DaveT - Hi Glyn,

    Regarding Daniela’s point of handouts, and your idea of supplying them in PDF format.

    Yes good idea, particularly if it can be read on an Ipad/phone/touch which has the added benefit of being used as a potential set of field notes.

    This option would also be cost effective for you in terms of output. But, it may be worth having paper option’s available too in case people don’t have access to devices to read from, or prefer something they can file away for future reference.

    Dave

  • March 26, 2011 - 7:02 am

    Dave - Hi Glyn,
    I think workbooks which can be taken away by the student covering the key points/techniques taught are vital as when you see something in the session there is that “aha!” moment where it makes sense seeing it being done, then you go home and a few days later, suddenly it doesn’t seem so clear!

    I think another key thing to get right is the amount of time each student gets to be “hands on”. When I first started out and would go to workshops, we would all watch the tutor all day and then get a few mins to try the lighting setup (usually actually put togethedr by the tutor) and take maybe 2 or 3 frames before having to let the next person have their go. If you are new and nervous, there is a tendancy to rush and just fire off 3 crap frames. You come away with 3 bad pictures and no actual experience of setting up the shot.

    Finally, try not to pack too much in to one workshop. One workshop will not fit all. Pitch too high and newbies wont benefit. Pitch too low and intermediates and above will feel like it wasn’t worth their time and money. Decide what you want to teach (maybe 2 or 3 main topics and a number of “tips” along the way)focus on teaching those well and making sure everyone gets it. Be clear on your promotional blurb as to what can be expected from the course.

    Hope that helps,

    Dave

  • March 26, 2011 - 9:07 am

    Glyn - @DaveT…Yep, totally agree mate. The only thing I’ve found with a paper version is that over time it gets torn and tattered but as you say not everyone will have access to an iPad, iPhone etc… But then I guess, if it’s in pdf they can have it safely in digital format on their computer and then print out if necessary. Best of both worlds?

  • March 26, 2011 - 9:09 am

    Glyn - @Dave…Absolutely mate. Nothing worse on a workshop than, as a student, feeling rushed into taking a few quick shots and stepping aside; been there for sure :)

    It’ll be interesting tomorrow to see what everyone there thinks about ‘how much’ is being covered and if in reality it should either be condensed, made into a 2 day workshop or actually 2 separate workshops. It’s all this info that is so valuable to gain…thanks mate :)

  • March 26, 2011 - 9:53 am

    daniela - sure, pdf handouts would be perfect! people can concentrate on experimenting and when they get home they have the pdfs with all the technical bits for future reference.

  • March 26, 2011 - 8:17 pm

    Glyn - @Daniela…Yeah seems like the best option and for those who prefer a hard copy I guess this is the best of both worlds i.e they have a digital copy plus they can print it out if they wish.

    Thanks again :)

  • March 26, 2011 - 9:41 pm

    Tim Gonzalez - Hi Glyn!

    So you’re studio shooting, right? I think going over you “should” or for that matter why you don’t need to use a Flash meter. I know loads of photographers that do not use them. Though admittedly there is a certain benefit to using a flash meter. Also since someone else mentioned your workflow (Michelle Lovegrove), perhaps ya might want to at least approach the subject of RAW shooting vs jpeg. (Its always a sensitive subject I think). oh and though I know your are doing a photography & post processing workshop. PLEASE remind your students, that getting “IT” right in camera, is not only better but saves you so much time in post processing. Of course that should be obvious, but I’m surprised how many times people will say, “OH I can just fix that in Photoshop” That just slays me when I hear that.

    Take care – Tim

  • March 30, 2011 - 6:24 pm

    Neil Holmes - Hi Glyn,

    Just catching up on reading blogs.

    When you read the comments above different people want different things, If I attended one of your workshops I’d be there because I like your work and I’d like to see you shooting and post producing (I wouldn’t want to be shooting), I’m interested in the things you can only pick up face to face. I’d like to be in a small group (6?) with people of a similar level.

    Hope this helps :) Cheers Neil

  • April 1, 2011 - 10:30 pm

    Glyn - @Tim…Thanks for that. I actually went through a bit of ‘workflow’ having read your comment and it seemed to go down well so thanks for the pointers there.

    Cheers,
    Glyn

  • April 1, 2011 - 10:31 pm

    Glyn - @Neil…Sounds good to me mate, thanks for that. One of the guys that came along did exactly that…turned up for the editing side of things but did squeeze just a little shooting in too.

    Cheers,
    Glyn

  • April 4, 2011 - 1:23 pm

    David Kelly - Hi Glyn – apologies for playing catch-up here on your blog. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I guess my key points in a lighting/PP workshop would be:

    – keeping the class since small. This will facilitate the instructor being able to keep an eye on all the attendees and see if they’re keeping up with things or looking blank ;-). Hopefully it will also give the instructor more time to offer 1:1 support to those who need it.

    – being completely upfront with the course content / objectives / skills required. This should help ensure that everyone who attends knows what they’re going to get out of the course. Hopefully this may also help to get people with similar experience levels on the course.

    – Good course notes being supplied (with electronic versions / pdfs also being supplied). The recipe idea I talked about with you previously I think would really work here for me. With a iPhone compatible pdf file I could look to follow the recipe for say, set up #2, when I try to recreate it and apply in the real world, a fortnight on from the workshop.

    – friendly, supportive tutor (think you’ll do fine on that count :0)) who’s prepared to spend time with everyone on the course not just a chosen few who seem to become teacher’s pet during the course of the day (been on one of those courses before)

    – back up theory talking with practical demonstration / application. So for instance let’s say when talking about for example the rapid fall off of light on a subject, you show image(s) which demonstrate the meaning of this. This is particularly useful when taking the untouched image captured to the retouched composite image that the tutor has in mind from the outset.

    – the tutor conveys their thought process in their approach to a scene / subject, what they’re trying to achieve with certain modifiers, why one modifier is better than another (& again demonstrating the difference).

    – enough equipment / projects for all attendees to be working something simultaneously, as opposed to have to wait and form an orderly queue would be good.

    – active feedback to individuals throughout the day

    – regular breaks to discuss / recap progress so far. this will allow attendees to ask Q’s on what they’ve encountered so far during practical sessions as well as helping the tutor understand how people are retaining the info presented so far and any issues encountered

    – in learning about artificial lighting, for me it would be really beneficial to learn more about getting the most out of speedlites when you don’t have access to studio quality lighting.

    Not sure how different this is from what you did at the first tester but I guess I’ll find out when we talk later this week :-)

    Regards,

    David

  • April 5, 2011 - 6:03 am

    Glyn - @David…Thanks for the input here mate; lots to think about and definitely alot in there that I’ll work on. Cheers :)

  • May 28, 2013 - 9:57 am

Photographers: Do you Scrapbook?

Before I decided to resist the temptation to buy invest in an iPad and when I was putting together ideas for upcoming photo shoots, one thing I always did was keep scrapbooks of images torn out of magazines and newspapers. The pages would be full of random images that had grabbed my attention and had been stuck in place with glue and from time to time I’d look through them for inspiration.

Now this worked well for a time but did have it’s draw backs. You see before a shoot I always like to meet up with a client at least a couple of times for a coffee and talk to through the photo shoot to get more of an understanding for what it is exactly that they’re looking for; the concept, the feel etc… I’ll task them before we meet up again to start collecting images that grab their attention and that also give off the same feel that they’re after. I’ll ask them tear pictures out of magazines and newspapers (with permission of course) and/or email over images that they’ve seen on the web.

Anyway, now that I have an iPad this whole process has improved no end, with the help of a fantastic little application called Moodboard

Moodboard is the iPad equivalent of a Scrapbook so now rather than discretely tearing out pages from magazines in waiting rooms I’ll simply take a photo with my iPhone, send it over to my iPad and start building up collections. Of course with the iPad having a built in camera taking photos of pictures in magazines and newspaper and adding them into Moodboard will be even easier.

Images that clients see on the web and that they email over I’ll add into the iPad too and then with images that I have also found, will start building up an overall feel of what it is we’ll be looking to achieve.

Moodboard is really easy to use and what I really like is the ability to make different boards/collections for different shoots, edit pictures, customise the background and so on… Oh and another cool feature is that you can email these boards over to your client to get instant feedback that what you’re thinking of is on the right track rather than having to wait until the next time you meet up.

Below you can see an example on the left of a board I made up for the recent promo shoot with band, Spriggan Mist with the image on the right being one from the shoot itself. The images in this ‘moodboard’ were made up of ones that the band members themselves had seen and emailed over to me and ones that I too had found.

This simple process takes alot of the guess work out of a shoot and can save heaps of time figuring out what you’re going to do. Of course if I didn’t have an iPad I’d still be using the traditional scrapbook method but it’s just that with this little ‘app’ it’s become alot more streamlined and user friendly.

So what do you do to help figure out what you’re going to work towards on a specific photo shoot? Do you use scrapbooks? Maybe you’ve found another gem of an ‘app’ that really works for you?

Feel free to make use of the comments section below to share any methods you use and maybe even recommend some applications for use on the iPad; just don’t recommend too many as I’m a bit of an ‘App Addict’:)

Moodboard is available in the App Store [Link] and is currently priced at £5.99, however there is a FREE, Lite version but obviously that comes with a few less features.

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  • March 23, 2011 - 10:14 am

    Scot Baston - I am trying to resist getting an iPad and this article is not making it any easy :P

    Really like this write up and can see how it would help my workflow.. so far I have been using dropbox folders but this is much more elegant

    Scot

  • March 23, 2011 - 10:31 am

    Keith Hammond - Looks a great app but Mrs H does not want it on her iPad

    @ Scott : resistance is futile and you know it, Glyn caved in very quickly, lets face it we all love a good gadget don’t we :-)

  • March 23, 2011 - 12:48 pm

    Tim Skipper - I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this. I use my phone, but the same idea. It is such a huge help to create a visual reference you and the client can talk about.

  • March 23, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    DaveT - Oh Heck! Just another useful little device to tempt me into getting that Ipad I have been resisting ;-)

    Dave

  • March 24, 2011 - 1:15 am

    Paul Pratt - This tool is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been dumping them into Evernote up until now. Now, all I need is an iPad!

    If I get in trouble from the wife Dewis I’ll send her your way!

    Cheers

    Paul

  • March 24, 2011 - 8:30 am

    Glyn - @Scot…It’s Apps like this that have totally sold me onn why I got an iPad; so darned useful. Go on…you know you want to :)

  • March 24, 2011 - 8:31 am

    Glyn - @Keith…Absolutely we do however I do feel I was bullied into it :)

  • March 24, 2011 - 8:32 am

    Glyn - @Tim…Yeah totally agree mate and saves luggingg round the scrap books huh :)

    Hope all is well with you,
    Glyn

  • March 24, 2011 - 8:32 am

    Glyn - @DaveT…The Force is strong and resistence is futile :)

  • March 24, 2011 - 8:35 am

    Glyn - @Paul…Hey now that’s wimping out; take it like a man…or better still get one and say you won it in a competition :)

  • March 24, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    Dermot - Hi Glyn, Thanks for posting the BTS!

    I’m wondering how you went about mixing the quadra with the speedlights?

    Where you firing all flashes on manual? Did you trigger the quadra in slave mode or have you the quadra set to wait for the TTL signals before flashing (I believe you can do this)?

    Tnx

    Dermot

  • March 25, 2011 - 7:48 am

    Glyn - @Dermot…Thanks for commenting mate. Regarding the lights, all were in Manual and fired using Pocket Wizards; Speedlights with the new Flext TT5’s, Quadra with a PW Transceiver II and the Mini TT1 on camera.

    Looking at it now, I could well have done what you say about having the Quadra in Slave Mode but to be honest didn’t even think of that at the time; will do next though :)

    Cheers,
    Glyn

  • April 1, 2011 - 10:22 am

    Mark Beaumont - Just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I’m absolutely loving it. It’s been a massive help on two shoots so far, a great way of showing the client my ideas.
    Thanks Glyn

  • April 1, 2011 - 10:32 pm

    Glyn - @Mark…That’s great to hear mate, thanks for letting me know :)

  • April 2, 2011 - 2:08 am

    Matthew Roach - That’s a neat little app.

    I use LittleSnapper on my Mac, it’s essentially a screen shot capturing app on steroids. You can also drag & drop any other images onto it saving them into its library. There are a few little niggles I have with the functionality but overall it’s a good bit of kit.

  • April 2, 2011 - 6:59 pm

    Glyn - @Matthew…Cheers for the recommendation mate; I’ll take a look at that too :)

  • April 4, 2011 - 1:25 pm

    David Kelly - Looks like a really useful app.
    (Oh no, answer reason for getting an iPad – will this list ever end ;-))

  • April 5, 2011 - 6:03 am

    Glyn - @David…Do it…you know you want to :)

  • March 8, 2012 - 5:26 am

    How to Help your Model to Model » Glyn Dewis Blog - [...] So it’s giving a theme to the photo shoot that I’m talking about; something that helps both yourself and your model to focus on what it is exactly that you’re looking to achieve. I find it also goes a long way in helping your model to ‘get into’ the shoot and relax because they’re not so self conscious because ultimately they’re not being themselves…does that make sense? Of course getting your model to play the part of a character or someone else isn’t always possible for every photo shoot you do so this is just another tool in the bag to call on as and when. I also find Moodboards a massive help when it comes to getting everyone to focus in on exactly what we’re looking to achieve and I’ve posted about how I do that in an earlier post [Link] [...]

  • June 15, 2012 - 7:16 am

    How I’m using Pinterest as part of my workflow » Glyn Dewis - [...] Last year I wrote a post about how I use Moodboards [Link] and to be more specific the Moodboard App on my iPad [Link]. In brief when I’m working with a [...]

Photo Shoot & Technique: Spriggan Mist

Ok so as promised, here’s some images and a walk through from the recent promo photo shoot with band, Spriggan Mist

Now the first and most important thing we had to sort out was the location for the shoot. Spriggan Mist are a Folk Rock Band with a Pagan influence so from the start we knew we’d be shooting out on location, but we needed somewhere ‘mystical’ so the question was…where?

We eventually settled for a location that was a little off the beaten track but perfect for the whole feel of what we wanted; Ankerwycke Yew Tree…an ancient Yew tree close to the ruins of St Mary’s Priory, the site of a Benedictine Nunnery built in the 12th Century and said to be the location where King Henry VIII met Anne Boleyn in the 1530’s … Perfect:)

On the day of the shoot things didn’t start off too promising with an early downpour of rain but thankfully by the time we’d all arranged to meet, the rain had turned to bright sunshine. In the photographs below you can see by the one on the left despite being under the canopy of the Yew Tree how bright the day turned out to be…

On the day of the shoot my good friend Noel Hannan came along to help out; and what a great help he was too. You can just about make him out in the screen grab below where he’s working through his repertoire of ‘catalogue poses’ when we were testing the light positions:)

Lighting Set Up:
Now, rather than subject you to another one of my ‘artistic’ lighting diagrams, here’s a BTS (Behind The Scenes) photograph taken by Noel showing exactly what lights were used and where.

For the two Nikon SB800 Speedlights indicated in the centre of the photograph, one was positioned on the branch to give the burst of light you can see in some of the images and another was placed on the ground inside the tree itself to give a little kick of light rather than leaving a ‘black hole’.

Below is a ‘portait’ orientated version of the group shot where you can see the burst of light from the Nikon Speedlight on the branch. I actually did a variety of shots of the same scene; some with the burst of light and some without so as to give the band a little more choice when it comes to using the images in their promotional material.
I quite like the feel of the Black & White versions of the group shots, so again to give the band that much more choice they were provided with both. Incidentally, all the Black & White’s were done using Nik Silver Efex Pro which is my only ‘go to’ place for conversions…absolutely love it! I’ve yet to upgrade to the latest version but judging by some of the feedback I’ve read online, it’s a must!

I wanted to make use of smoke in some of the shots so as to give the impression of low lying mist but not having hired a generator and smoke machine I opted for a cheaper ‘smoke in a can’ product. Now I’ll be honest and say I thought that having no breeze around would have meant the smoke in a can would have worked sufficiently well but this was definitely a case of ‘you get what you pay for’.

No matter how long a burst we gave the cannister, the smoke disappeared almost immediately giving no time at all to include it in a shot let alone ‘fan it’ to get the desired coverage.

So long story short, the cannister was put where it belonged (back in the kit bag) and I carried on shooting knowing that I would be adding in the mist during the editing stage. So, that being said…here’s a really simple and quick technique for adding some mist / smoke into your images…

Step 1: Photograph some Clouds
Find yourself, or better still, take a photograph of a cloudy sky and then desaturate it. In the example below I’ve done this using Camera Raw; no special reason for this other than my shot needed a little more contrast adding and seeing as it was there, a little clarity too…

Step 2: Position your Sky/Cloud Layer in Photoshop
Now that you’ve got your desaturated sky/cloud image the next thing to do is to bring it into Photoshop and put it on the layer ‘above’ the photograph that you want to add the smoke/mist to.

Once in Photoshop simply drag and resize the sky/cloud layer to the area where you want the final smoke/mist to be. In my example I only wanted the mist to be on the ground so I just dragged the layer to the bottom part of the photograph…

Step 3: Screen Blend Mode and Layer Mask
For the final part of the technique simply change the blend mode of your sky/cloud layer to ‘Screen’ and add a white layer mask by clicking on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel.

Then, with a soft edged, black brush simply paint away the top part of the sky/cloud layer so that the hard line disappears and the layer blends in seamlessly. As the smoke/mist is on it’s own layer, you can then lower it’s opacity until you get the look you’re after. In my example I found an opacity of 70% worked quite well…

Editing in Photoshop
Below you can see an example of a ‘Before‘ (Out of Camera) image and an ‘After‘ (Final edited) image, where apart from reducing the hard shadow on the floor and on the woman in red, the editing consisted mainly of working on the colour/tone, enhancing details, adding contrast to skin, darkening the edges and of course adding in the smoke/mist…

Lastly, during the editing phase I also added in an extra light source onto the tree using a ‘spotlight’ technique so as to bring out a little more detail and prevent it from appearing too dark; something which didn’t look necessary during the shoot but did once able to see the images on the big screen.

As always if you have any questions / comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below but in the mean time,
Enjoy:)

And Finally…
Congratulations to Terry Donnelly who has won the signed copy of RC Concepcion’s best selling book ‘Get Your Photography on the Web‘ for his breakdown of the lighting set up for the group shot posted in last weeks competition…
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  • March 21, 2011 - 11:16 am

    Scot Baston - Sounds like it was not the easiest shoot to pull off but I’m loving the results.

    Good to see the lighting BTS shot, I’m interested finding out more about working with both speedlights and studio lights

  • March 21, 2011 - 11:41 am

    Melissia Griffith - As usual, a very interesting and helpful tutorial. Thanks so much!

  • March 21, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    Glyn - @Scot…There definitely were a few ‘challenges’ but then that’s always the case with location shoots as I’m sure you know well enough. Having Noel along was a massive help so we just took our time and worked through whilst band tucked into a picnic behind us :)

    Cheers

  • March 21, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    Glyn - @Melissia…Thanks so much for that; great to hear it’s helpful.

    Regards, Glyn

  • March 21, 2011 - 2:00 pm

    Noel - Great shots Glyn, I really like the treatment you did to them afterwards; it makes then jump out. And another great walk through…
    Noel

  • March 21, 2011 - 2:52 pm

    Glyn - @Noel…Cheers for that mate; couldn’t have done it without you :)

  • March 22, 2011 - 7:52 am

    DaveT - Hi Glyn,

    The BTS pullback shot showing the lighting setup is excellent and it really helps in developing my understanding of how you rig the lights. And, after my stab at trying to work out how you set them up (last post), I clearly need to do more on that front ;-).

    I love the B&W version of the shot- it’s got lovely deep rich blacks and locks impactive. It’s also got me wondering about Silver Effex Pro 2 – so I am going to look at that.

    BTW when I was at Focus I picked up some information from Ilford Lab Direct http://www.ilfordlab.com who do digital printing of B&W images onto photographic paper. The samples I saw really looked good.

    Thanks for another informative post
    Dave

  • March 22, 2011 - 10:14 am

    Glyn - @DaveT…Yeah I think these BTS shots like Noel has taken work alot better than subjecting everyone to my drawings…lol :)

    Thanks for your comments re the photos mate and yeah Nik Silver Efex Pro is definitely worth looking at. BIG advantage is that in the conversions you see hardly any ‘banding’ if at all, whereas some methods it can really show up.

    Cheers, Glyn

    ps> Thanks for the ‘heads up’ re the printing; I’ll have to look more into that.

  • March 22, 2011 - 10:00 pm

    Steve - Thanks for the insight Glyn, the BTS shots are really helpful and a great technique for the mist. Cheers Steve

    Nik SEP 2 is well worth the upgrade!

  • March 23, 2011 - 9:44 am

    Glyn - @Steve…You’re welcome mate and thanks for the recommendation re upgrading to SEP 2; I guess it was only a matter of time until ‘Buy Now’ was pressed :)

    Cheers

  • March 23, 2011 - 9:21 pm

    Terry Donnelly - Superb Glyn, not many people go to the trouble you do to show the BTS, people really appreciate the effort you make.

    And btw so excited over the book, it looks amazing! Thanks!

  • March 24, 2011 - 8:33 am

    Glyn - @Terry…Thanks for that mate, I really appreciate it.

    Glyn

    ps> Book will be with you early next week :)

  • April 4, 2011 - 1:33 pm

    David Kelly - Great BTS posting Glyn – really big thanks for taking the time on this one.

  • April 5, 2011 - 6:04 am

    Glyn - @David…You’re welcome mate; thanks for looking in :)

Photographers: Deconstruct this Photo and Win!!!

Ok so the image you see below is from a recent promo shoot with a Band by the name of “Spriggan Mist” and today I was going to write a ‘walk through’ giving you all the behind the scenes information covering location scouting, lighting & post production…

Now, I’m still going to do the ‘walk through’ post but before I do I want to give you the opportunity to win what is undoubtedly (if you’re a photographer) the book to have right now, and that’s the new book by Rafael ‘RC’ Concepcion of the N.A.P.P. (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) and Kelby Training, titled ‘Get Your Photography on the Web‘ [Link]

This book is selling like hot cakes; in fact within the first couple of days of being released Amazon sold out…it’s that good!

Thanks to RC and Dave Clayton of NAPP Member UK, I have one signed copy by RC to give away to anyone, anywhere.

How to Win
To win this signed copy all you have to do is to write in the comment section below or on Facebook what you think the lighting set up was in the shot above (the number of lights used, position/s, and modifiers) and from the closest ones I’ll randomly pick one lucky winner:)

You’ve got from now until next Monday (21st March) at 11am GMT when I’ll be picking the winner and will be posting up the complete ‘walk through’.

So go on give it a go and remember … “You’ve gotta be in it, to win it”
Good luck:)

Keep up with Glyn ‘Day to Day’ on Twitter
Get more ‘Behind the Scenes’ by becoming a ‘Fan on Facebook’

  • March 18, 2011 - 5:38 am

    Lee Ramsden - Looks like an awesome book and so thought id give it a go but no doubt will be a mile out.

    ok i have 2 suggestions,

    1 – i think this shot looks very much like a composite and the lighting looks different on each. Id say a softbox on the front large guy on the left and a second light on the right to lighten the shadows.
    On the woman in red stood up i think its the same but the other way round.
    On the couple to the rear id guess with just one softbox more frontal.

    2 – is if all shot together, id have a guess with 2 softbox’s. One to the large guys left. Picking up his side and the couple to the rear, and one to the stood up females right side?

    Cool image and look forward to the write up as usual Glyn :0)

  • March 18, 2011 - 7:19 am

    Dean Robertson - Big fella at the front:- largish light source (softbox) camera left higher up,
    Lady in red standing:- softbox camera right, rim light from stripbox rear camera left and possibly another rear camera right
    Man in suit standing at back:- same key light source camera right but a little nearer camera axis
    Seated lady – key light camera left

    All composited into forest scene. misty/cloudy layer added on top and then vignette the whole thing.

    Deano

  • March 19, 2011 - 5:42 pm

    Glyn - @Lee…Cheers for dropping in and giving it a go mate; I’ll keep you posted on Monday :)

  • March 19, 2011 - 5:43 pm

    Glyn - @Dean…Same to you Buddy, thanks for stopping by and putting your suggestions forward; I’ll keep you posted ;)

  • March 19, 2011 - 7:11 pm

    Pedro Vasconcellos - ok, I shall give it a try…

    I’d say 2 strobes, one behind the front guy (maybe on a branch), pointing upwards to the tree, that is also giving hair light to the blonde woman on the right.

    And the other one on camera left, with a difusor, pointed towards the frame on a diagonal vector.

    thanks!

  • March 20, 2011 - 6:11 pm

    DaveT - Hi Glyn,

    Okay here goes!

    I think all the portrait images were shot as individual images in the studio against a plain backdrop and later added to the background image.

    Lady on log- sat on a chair or stool,then later placed on the log.
    Lighting = 3 lights as follows. Beauty dish above front, on same axis as camera, Key light high 45 degree angle to left of camera, fill light same angle but to right of subject.

    Man in black = 2 lights, as follows. Beauty dish above aimed downwards face on position to subject, same axis as camera. Additional strip light 45 degree angle to right .

    Lady in red = 3 lights. Key light to camera right, 45degree angle and high, additional rim light behind to provide highlight in the hair, fill light camera left 45 degree behind a flat, and at a reduced power to the key light.

    Man in kilt – 2 lights. Key light 45 degree angle camera left, and high. Additional light camera right at 30 degree angle to camera position and a strip light as opposed to a box.

    Background shot of tree and log , daylight shot, with light at mid day. Then reduced exposure in PS and tinted. Blacks enhanced and vignette added.

    People ‘dropped’ in later and shadows from original images used/ partially masked, and additional shadows created in PS.

    Probably way off – but worth a go!
    Dave

  • March 21, 2011 - 1:56 am

    Terry Donnelly - Glyn this is a tough one.

    I think all people were shot in a single frame on location and not as a composite.

    Big Guy:
    Light source cam left not to high. Because he appears evenly lit with soft light head to foot I’d say large light source, softbox or octabox. Looks like he has a bit of fill to his let side, so maybe a reflector bouncing fill light back into his face.

    Lady standing:
    Appears to have a harder light source on her than the big guy. Light source high camera right, possible beauty dish. She does have light on her right side as well, this could be from one of the other key light sources lighting one of the other people causing additional fill.

    Lady sitting and man.
    Have same type of soft light on them as big guy, so large softbox or octabox on them cam left. The mans right hand is in shadow whereas his left hand is bright, so the lady appears to be putting a shadow on his right hand which indicates a light source camera left.

    Light from softbox lighting big guy providing secondary fill for the other three people.

    They all have good separation and are backlit by a single light source positioned some distance behind the big guy under the tree, and there is light spill hitting the underneath of the branches from that light. Possible bare bulb or wide angle reflector used.

    As ever I’m probably a million miles away but look forward to seeing the setup as its not an easy one to dissect.

  • March 21, 2011 - 10:56 am

    Glyn - Thanks everyone for sending in your thoughts on the lighting; interesting how some of you thought it was a ‘composition’ :)