The Fighter: Photo Shoot followed by Photoshop

Ok so the reason for this post is two fold really; firstly to show what went into making the image you see below and secondly but more importantly to show that every image starts ‘in camera’. Incidentally, this image  is a composite of one that I took at the very end of a recent shoot for a Fitness/Personal Training client once I’d captured all the ‘must have’ shots. Taking shots at the end of a shoot for personal/portfolio work is something I do almost all of the time and something that my clients always seem happy to take part in as it invariably gives them images they would never normally have had…

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a huge fan of editing and creating composite images in Photoshop but none of that is possible without first working hard behind the camera to get ‘the shot’. The old adage of ‘Garbage in, Garbage out’ still rings true despite the incredible advances that have been made in Photoshop over the past few years. You see Photoshop is an incredible tool, but that is all it is…a tool and when all is said and done, the majority of enhancements have served to make what has always been possible, that much easier to achieve. For example, the Refine Edge Command in Photoshop CS5 is incredible for making selections, but we’ve always been able to make selections with all the other methods available to us…Channels, Pen Tool etc…

I’m sure we’ve all heard comments such as “Yeah but that’s all been done in Photoshop” on more than one occasion and that’s just the sign of the times. There can’t be a person on the planet that hasn’t heard of Photoshop; heck I’ve even heard it being mentioned in TV dramas but the fact that people have heard about it, doesn’t mean they understand it. There has never been nor will there ever be a ‘Turn this piece of c$&p into a Masterpiece Filter’ and for that reason there’s no escaping it…it all starts ‘in camera’ and making the best possible image at the point of capture; it’s at this point we can then bring Photoshop into the mix.

Anyway, having said all that let’s get back to how the ‘Fighter’ image was made. Below is an iPhone photo showing the set up used which consisted of 2 strip lights and one beauty dish…

Here’s the RAW image exactly as it was when imported into my MacBook Pro at time of capture i.e. no editing applied. The time was taken during the shoot to set the lighting so that highlights and shadows fell exactly as I wanted so as to really show off Ricky’s physique to the fullest and subsequently look right in the final composite image.

*Note: The white walls of the studio have been turned to a mid(ish) grey ‘in camera’ by the distance Ricky and the lighting were from them.

Once I was happy with the ‘in camera’ image it was then a case of working in Photoshop to create the final composite. To give you an idea of the work that went into the final image here’s a screen grab showing all the layers…

Below you can see the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ comparison which clearly shows that on Ricky himself the editing has only enhanced what was already present in the original RAW image. The background that has been added in was originally a shot of a plain grey brick wall that I have added a Union Jack flag onto in Photoshop and painted away portions of it to give the weathered/grunge look…

In another post I’ll give you a run through of how other photos from shoot were made such as the ones you can see in the Lightroom screen capture below.

In the mean time though I’d love to ‘hear’ your thoughts on the whole ‘in camera’ issue and the role that you see Photoshop plays in today’s Photography. It’s a topic of conversation that will always be around and will generate serious debate. Personally I think Photoshop is a vital part in today’s Photography however as I’ve already eluded to it isn’t a cure for poor photography. First and foremost we are photographers and that’s what we need to show our clients and I think we owe it to ourselves to be the best we can be and that starts ‘in camera’.

If you have any comments, questions or general feelings about anything you’ve read or seen in this post then as always please feel free to make use of the comments section below, but in the mean time,

*One more thing…if you’d like to see a series of videos showing the editing process for this ‘Fighter’ image then again just ‘shout me out’ in the comments section and I’ll look at putting something together.

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  • February 2, 2011 - 5:22 am

    Allen Ross Thomas - Valuable instruction as is customary, Glyn. Thank you.

    To me photoshop is in fact the darkroom of modern times. I appreciate it when photographers such as yourself light and capture the image optimizing it for pre planned post production (which you often do).

    I get annoyed when poor photographs are attempted to be salvaged by running them through the “Action O’ The Month” club.

    Loving the look of that Profoto lighting as well!


  • February 2, 2011 - 5:32 am

    Pedro Vasconcellos - Video please =)

    I think male models are underused, this photoshoot is wicked! This was a “photoillustration” for a client right? Than photoshop is more than ok…

    Just in news photography and newspapers in general that PS is kind of taboo…

    Awesome Work Glyn

  • February 2, 2011 - 5:56 am

    DaveT - Yes please to the video.

    And I couldn’t agree with you more about getting it right in camera. Coming as I do from a slide user background, it’s something that I try to achieve every time.

    What amazes me about the general public’s conception of Photoshop is that they think anyone can achieve great results with this programme. The point is – they can’t. It is a complicated application that requires knowledge and skill to use effectively and that is why at the very top end of the game (fashion mags and advertising) Photoshop experts are highly valued.

    The analagy is like playing piano. With a few bits of practice anycone can play chopsticks, but is takes year of practice and dedication to become proficient enough to play a concert piece.


  • February 2, 2011 - 10:11 am

    Dave - Your timimg with this was perfect Glyn – I have a shoot booked for next week with a MMA fighter as part of my degree work and this is almost exactly the look I was going for. I really love your tutorials and I tend to watch the video once then again making notes. Having your diagram/workflow listed is really helpful and if combined with a video it would be so much easier to learn. I found your website through looking at Calvin Hollywoods work and between the two of you I have learnt so much, so quickly.


  • February 2, 2011 - 10:11 am

    David Kelly - Great work again Glyn, you certainly seem to carving a recognisable ‘Glyn Dewis’ look / style in the work that I’ve seen on the blog over the past several months. Like Pedro & DaveT say, it would be great to see a tutorial video created for this image. The work on this image seems to be quite extensive, looking at those layers! :-)

    In regards to getting it right in camera & Photoshop, having been brought up with film I’m a true believer in getting it right at point of capture (or at least as best you can). If nothing else it makes the PP work much easier ;-) In my film days, the less time I could spend in the darkroom working on a print the better, particularly as unlike modern day digital work, dodging/burning was real hard work & consistency in duplicate was hard to achieve (well for me anyway! :-))

    As Allen says PS/LR are the modern day darkrooms but with such great tools, caution should always exercised. Just because they make life easier compared to the old film methods, doesn’t mean photographers should be more lazier in their attitudes in capturing a photograph. PS is a great onestop shop tool for many things but it’s never going to turn a dog into a fox, so to speak.

  • February 2, 2011 - 12:24 pm

    claudio.von.grubens - Hi glyn,

    great shots – no guess! i agree with you, that ps i just a tool and tools are made for assistance! i have been in photography and design for 3 years now and i learned a lot, due to i didn’t know anything ;)
    Getting a good photo out of the camera is very important because of mood and feelings – you can add a moody sky(like one of your latest blogs) but it wouldn’t help anything if the person you shot hasn’t got the same feelings in his face…

    the negative point i’ve learned is that i trust no ad pciture on a billboard or in a magazine because i know what is possible and what even i can do with a few sliders in LR3…

    as i always say there is a positive point in every negative and therefore i see more the beauty inside people i meet on the street or wherever else -> this is very positive for myself ;) So photography helps to improve my character…

    thx for sharing

  • February 2, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    It’s Linktastic Wednesday! » BrandonJFX - [...] > Speaking of blogs…. My friend (and previous guest poster) Glyn Dewis, posted a fantastic blog post over at his site about a recent shoot he did. However, part of that post was a great paragraph or so about using photoshop as a tool…. So make sure you check that out, right here. [...]

  • February 2, 2011 - 2:53 pm

    Rick Wenner - I could not agree with you more about capturing the best image you can in camera before even considering bringing it into Lightroom/Photoshop. I am a firm believer in that you should know what you want out of the final images before you even pick up the camera. Set your lights, camera settings, and all other details first. Then, after the best photo is created in camera, then make your adjustments in LR/PS and make that image even better. I really like this photo Glyn, in fact, I like the before and the after images almost equally.

  • February 2, 2011 - 6:14 pm

    Glyn - Thanks everyone for the kind words; it’s really appreciated.
    The whole topic of getting it right ‘in camera’ is certainly one that people feel strongly about and rightfully so. Photoshop clearly has its place in today’s photography; in some styles more than others but I guess the bottom line is that regardless of what style somebody has, how they edit their images and how much/how little they use photoshop there’s no getting away from it…it all has to start with a darned good image coming out of the camera.

    Thanks for dropping in and commenting,
    Glyn :)

  • February 2, 2011 - 8:04 pm

    » Links der Woche #35 - Kategraphy - [...] auch bei Glyn Dewis gibt es was zu lernen. Er zeigt sein Lichtsetup und den Ebenenaufbau seiner [...]

  • February 2, 2011 - 9:22 pm

    Mark King - Please put together a video! I LOVE your work and the honesty of how you got there!! AMAZING! Also where did you get the stone wall background or any of the background textures that you use?? Love them!! Keep up the great work my friend!

  • February 3, 2011 - 10:53 pm

    Alistair McNaughton - Hey Glyn, just discovered your blog – really enjoying the content. THis year’s resolution to get up to speed with PShop.(and get in right in the camera of course!)

  • February 4, 2011 - 2:04 am

    heather - Glyn, amazing post. Videos are always helpful when learning new photography ideas. I have enjoyed each and every video you have posted. Thanks for your time and energy you have invested in this blog. Awesome!

  • February 4, 2011 - 12:38 pm

    Ian - Thank you for sharing your workflow. It is always interesting to hear how other photographers, particularly those you respect, process there images. Like you I feel post production is an essential part of photography, it always has been really. It should be used responsibly though, just like any powerful tool (I’m looking at you Liquefy).

    Out of curiosity how long would you say you spent in post on this image roughly?

    p.s. I realise no liquefy was used here, Ricky hardly needs it!

  • February 5, 2011 - 3:16 pm

    Glyn - @Mark…No worries mate; I’ll put together a few videos showing some of the techniques in the very near future. Thanks for looking in and for the really kind words; very good of you to say! Cheers

  • February 7, 2011 - 9:24 pm

    Glyn - @Alistair…Great to know you’re looking in mate; thanks :)

  • February 7, 2011 - 9:24 pm

    Glyn - @Heather…It’s an absolute pleasure. I get a real kick out of putting this together and knowing that in some way it might be helping. Thanks for the kind words :)

  • February 7, 2011 - 9:26 pm

    Glyn - @Ian…Thanks for commenting mate. Re the boxer image I guess in total i spent around an hour and a half on it; down to me keep coming back and tweeking this and that :)

  • February 12, 2011 - 2:33 pm

    Wee Joe - Glyn, I would just like to say thanks for sharing your workflow and yes please to the videos too! I think new techniques are easier to learn if you see them rather than read about them.

    Am really enjoying the blog!

    Take it easy

    Wee Joe :o)

  • February 13, 2011 - 8:10 am

    Glyn - @Wee Joe…Thanks for looking in and for the kind words mate. I’ll be putting a few new videos over the coming weeks and will be posting them on the blog as soon as they’re done.


  • August 5, 2012 - 5:20 am

    José Parcerisa - Hi Glyn, I new here in your blog, I can see you receive a lot of post congratulation you for your work, and all of them are wright, you are a really artist and your work is amazing. I appreciate very much that you share it and help us to improve our skills. Thank you very much. Have you any video about this technique ?
    Thanks in advance and thank you again.
    Your friend José.

Adobe Community Professional 2011

On Friday of last week I received the news that I had been awarded the title of Adobe Community Professional for 2011.

It’s an absolute honour to be placed amongst this incredibly talented group of professionals and a position I certainly don’t take for granted having first been nominated back in 2009 by Adobe Expert, Trainer, founder of ‘Media Cats‘ (a Digital Media Training Company based in Dallas, Texas) and great friend A.J Wood; a gesture that left me speechless (quite an achievement in itself) by submitting the following to ‘the powers that be’ …

“When I think of an Adobe Community Expert, I think of a group of professionals coming together to share their experiences & talents. I also think about the type of person who has the knack for relating to other people, and generally loves sharing what they know without all the pomp & circumstance. I think of Glyn.

Glyn Dewis is a gifted individual who has taken his love of photography & Adobe products and turned it into a new career. We first met at Photoshop World a few years ago and he was quite the character, excited to be at PSW, taking in all the classes, just soaking up all the information. But Glyn is not the type of person to sit idly by.

In the years that have past he has continued to excel in his craft of photography & Photoshop work. He has quite a bit to share regarding Lightroom, and publishes video commentary on his blog. A person who understands the importance of community, he has led many photowalk outings, including Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk held this past July 2009. Glyn is constantly looking to improve himself & his work, and I admire his dedication & ambitions.

I highly recommend Glyn Dewis for the Adobe Community Experts program not only for his current expertise, but the potential & experience he will share with all of us and his community.”

Anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that I’m not overly keen on the use of the word ‘passionate’ in a ‘work’ environment. If I’m brutally honest I think it’s overused and really should be taken ‘as read’ if you’re a professional and providing a quality product and service however I’m going to have to relent here; momentarily at least…

Sharing knowledge in the form of tutorial walk throughs, videos and workshops is something I am really passionate about and get alot of satisfaction from on a personal level, so to be recognised by a World Class Organisation/Company for doing so feels good…real good…so a HUGE thank you goes out to Adobe!

Anyway, time to crack on…lots more tutorials, behind the scenes, videos and details on the upcoming Photography & Photoshop Workshop coming up so in the mean time,

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  • January 31, 2011 - 11:26 am

    Dave Clayton - Totally well deserved !

  • January 31, 2011 - 11:45 am

    Sagar - I am following your blog from last 2 months and I am really happy for you and Glyn you really deserve it….


  • January 31, 2011 - 12:02 pm

    Tweets that mention Adobe Community Professional 2011 » Glyn Dewis Blog -- - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by neilholmesphoto, Photoshop Nut. Photoshop Nut said: Adobe Community Professional 2011 (Via @GlynDewis) [...]

  • January 31, 2011 - 2:23 pm

    Francis Peacocke - Glyn,
    What can I say apart from well done and very well deserved.

  • January 31, 2011 - 4:55 pm

    Russell Pritchard - Well Done Glyn,
    you really deserve it.!

  • January 31, 2011 - 6:17 pm

    Tim Skipper - Glyn congratulations. That is excellent.

  • January 31, 2011 - 7:24 pm

    Heather - Oh congratulations! You truly deserve this. Thanks for all the tutorials – I look forward to learning from the masta.

  • February 1, 2011 - 6:44 am

    Glyn - @Dave…Cheers Buddy

  • February 1, 2011 - 6:45 am

    Glyn - @Sagar…That is really kind of you to say; thanks, and thanks too for checking in on the blog…I really appreciate it :)

  • February 1, 2011 - 6:46 am

    Glyn - @Francis…Very kind, thanks :)

  • February 1, 2011 - 6:48 am

    Glyn - @Russell…Cheers for that mate :)

  • February 1, 2011 - 6:48 am

    Glyn - @Tim…Thanks my friend; was a real nice surprise I must admit :)
    Hope all is well with you.

  • February 1, 2011 - 6:50 am

    Glyn - @Heather…Thanks and you’re welcome:) Putting together some more videos and tutorials as we speak so hopefully they too will be useful.

    Thanks for dropping in and commenting :)

  • February 1, 2011 - 10:13 am

    Keith - well deserved Glyn, you should be up there amongst those other names we know of.
    it was your shareing and spreading the word that attracted me to your site, keep it up mate.
    do you get a badge….. :-)

  • February 1, 2011 - 1:58 pm

    David Kelly - Glyn, a well deserved mark of recognition. Congrats again.

  • February 1, 2011 - 8:47 pm

    Glyn - @Keith…Thanks for that mate and yes a badge…I hope so :) lol

  • February 1, 2011 - 8:49 pm

    Glyn - @David…Cheers Buddy

  • February 1, 2011 - 10:06 pm

    Dom - Well done Glyn,

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more worthy, more dedicated or more knowledgeable chap than yourself.

    Keep up the astoundingly good work and more reward for your dedication will surely come your way :-)


  • February 2, 2011 - 4:44 am

    Glyn - @Dom…Mate, thanks so much for the kind words; that’s really good of you to say!

  • February 2, 2011 - 5:27 am

    DaveT - Glyn,

    Your generosity in sharing your knowledge and techniques is outstanding – the award is richly deserved.


  • February 12, 2011 - 2:40 pm

    Wee Joe - Congratulations Glyn, well deserved mate!

    Wee Joe

  • February 13, 2011 - 8:11 am

    Glyn - @Wee Joe…Thanks mate; very kind

Lovin’ the new Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 & Flex TT5 for Nikon

Just thought I’d post up a couple of images from one of my first shoots a few days ago using the new Pocket Wizard Mini and Flex for Nikon…

After a few more photo shoots using them I’m going to be putting together a review here on the blog but for those of you interested, first impressions are that they’re good…real good!

99% of the time I shoot in Manual so one thing I’m looking forward to putting through it’s paces is the Hyper Sync / High Speed Sync shooting with off camera flash at speeds pushing 1/8000sec. Of course this is going to mean shooting in Aperture Priority Mode so a little adjusting is going to be called for but hey, it’ll be fun I’m sure.

I’ll look to post the review next week once I’ve a few more shoots ‘under my belt’ with these new units but in the mean time if any of you have questions about them or any experiences using the Canon System, Good or Bad I’d love to ‘hear’ them so feel free to make use of the comments section below.

Enjoy and have a great weekend:)

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  • January 28, 2011 - 8:03 am

    Paul Hodgson - Looking good already Glyn and looking forward to your thoughts about these new triggers. And do they play with existing PW triggers?

  • January 28, 2011 - 8:34 am

    Dave - I’ve been on the fence with these for a little while, I’m particularly interested in how well the i-ttl works with them. I love the Nikon CLS but find the whole line of sight thing to be a real pain. I look forward to hearing your opinions!

  • January 28, 2011 - 1:53 pm

    Tim Skipper - Glyn,

    Hope they do. I bought the set for Canon not long after the release and they have been flakey, sometimes they fire sometimes they don’t. However the mini works great with the Pocket Wizard II. It also allows you to mount an on camera flash that can be used a fill when on location.

  • January 28, 2011 - 8:13 pm

    Glyn - @Paul…Cheers mate, I should have it online this coming week. Oh and re working with existing PW’s, they sure do :)

  • January 28, 2011 - 8:14 pm

    Glyn - @Dave…Yeah working in TTL etc is going to be interesting seeing as Im always in Manual but I’m actually looking forward to testing the units out more. Build quality is superb!

  • January 28, 2011 - 8:15 pm

    Glyn - @Tim…Yeah the Mini is great I agree. Much better having that on there than taking my eye out with a PWII aerial :)

  • January 29, 2011 - 3:40 pm

    Andrew Hart - Hi Glyn, cool shots, i’m loving the background blur, low ambient exposure and nice ‘loop lighting’ on your model.
    I just got myself a Canon G12 for the fact it syncs upto 1/1000th without going to HSS mode (ie; full power flash)so am looking forward to attempting something similar. I have yet to try it out other than in my flat (where 1/1000th sync is not really necessary!)as too cold outside at the moment for my girlfriend (my go-to model!).
    What kinds of shutter speeds were you managing with the above shots?

  • January 29, 2011 - 9:07 pm

    Justin Zhang Photography - Glyn: Just wondering how consistence you can get when you using hyper sync? Lets say, if you shoot 10 identical frames with same power and f-stop. How many same results do you have? I replace my Plus 2s by the TT5s when they first released (Canon version) but had the issue since, the lighting results tended to go more consistence either when a high power was set (at lease 1/2) or aperture priority was applied. This limits me to shoot faster or cant have a full control of the camera, since I can barely have any consistency over sync speed at all. Has this been improved to Nikon?

  • January 30, 2011 - 12:08 pm

    Tim Wallace - Good post mate, looking forward to a full Dewis review….

  • January 31, 2011 - 2:30 pm

    Glyn Dewis Up and Running Fast | PocketWizard Blog | Radio Triggers for Photographers - [...] got his hands on the new PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 units for Nikon cameras. He posted a blog story about his experience, including two beautifully-subtly lit images taken outside at dusk or [...]

  • January 31, 2011 - 3:01 pm

    Jeff Manes - Great first impression! I’m considering giving the Pocket Wizards a try in the near future. The high speed sync is my main concern with the new units, so I’ll be keeping an eye on your updates.

  • February 1, 2011 - 6:41 am

    Glyn - @Andrew…Hi mate, thanks for dropping in. Must say these new additions from PW are real good on many levels and not just the HSS. The ability to control power of the flash when in manual from camera by using the Nikon SU800 as opposed to aperture is superb, and so quick too.

    To be honest, I’m not 100% sure of the shutter speeds on these shots (out and about at the moment) but this week I’ll be shooting with them pushing up to the 1/8000sec range to see what that gives.


  • February 1, 2011 - 6:42 am

    Glyn - @Justin…Really interesting point you have there mate. To be honest I’ve not noticed anything just yet but I’ll certainly look at this during this weeks shoots and will report back in the review on exactly that.


  • February 1, 2011 - 6:43 am

    Glyn - @Tim…Cheers mate; first impressions are real good :)

  • February 1, 2011 - 6:47 am

    Glyn - @Jeff…Thanks for stopping by and commenting mate. I’ll be shooting more with the units this week so hopefully the review I post up will be useful. First impressions of these new units are good though I must say.

  • February 1, 2011 - 1:56 pm

    David Kelly - Nice taster for the full review Glyn. Looking forward to seeing the report from the more thorough road testing you’ll be doing ;-)

  • February 1, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    Glyn - @David…The review will be next week now mate as this week is turning out to be quite busy. I’ve set aside a personal shoot for sunday when I’ll test them a little more :)

  • February 2, 2011 - 5:39 am

    DaveT - Glyn, I think you will have a lot of fun with the creative possibilities that these devices can offer. One great advantage of them is that you no longer have to have line of sight between the trigger and the flash itself. And to top it off you can alter the flash compensation from an on camera position without having to alter the flash gun itself.

    I haven’t had chance yet to be too creative with my mini and flex setup as I am still getting to grips with standard lighting – but at least i am starting to think of more possibilities.

    I haven’t got one myself, but I have seen the ACR3 (think that’s the right name) controller in action. It allows you to alter flash ratio between a couple of flashguns from the camera position. A very useful feature.

    Look forward to seeing more of your end results with this kit.


  • February 6, 2011 - 2:40 pm

    reggie - i cant believe PW refered to your pics on thier website as “subtly lit”

  • February 7, 2011 - 9:30 pm

    Glyn - @Reggie…lol :)

  • May 21, 2011 - 6:50 pm

    Tony Rodriguez - It is possible to fire a Flex 5 from a PW MultiMax?
    I can do it Flex to MultiMax, but I need it the other way around.
    Thank you!!

Are you a Photographer suffering from Sausage Finger Syndrome?

Ok so here’s the thing…I’ve lost count how many times whilst I’ve been shooting in Manual Mode using Flash either on location or in the studio when by accident I’ve inadvertently knocked the dial on the back of my camera adjusting the shutter speed from its maximum sync speed of 1/250sec up to 1/320sec resulting in a black strip/band appearing on a portion of the photo.

In the scheme of things I guess it’s no big deal as it’s pretty obvious what’s happened but the reason I shoot in Manual is for the consistency of exposure from shot to shot.

So just incase I’m not the only Photographer with what is commonly known in the medical world as ‘Sausage Finger Syndrome‘ (only kidding) here’s a camera tip to put an end to your woes…

*Note: Being a Nikon Shooter this particular tip is relevant to Nikon cameras (in my case the D3) but I’m going to make a wild statement and say that this facility is likely possible in your camera too; just look up ‘Shutter Speed Lock’ or similar in your manual or on the ‘inter web’ and see if it is and how to do it.

Step 1: Press down the ‘L’ Button

Step 2: Whilst pressing down the ‘L’ button, rotate the Main Command Dial until an ‘L’ symbol appears in the viewfinder and the top control panel.

The Shutter Speed will now be locked at whatever you originally set it to and you can see this by the now visible ‘L‘ symbol…

To unlock the shutter speed, simply go through the same process of pressing the ‘L‘ button and at the same time rotating the main command dial until the ‘L‘ icon disappears from the displays.

In addition, here’s what’s written ‘word for word’ in the camera manual…

The ‘L’ button can be used to lock shutter speed at the value selected in Shutter Priority, Auto or Manual exposure mode, or to lock aperture at the value selected in Aperture Priority, Auto and Manual exposure modes. Lock is not available in programmed auto.

So there you have it…a fast, painless, injection free cure for Sausage Finger Syndrome.

Oh, one more thing…if you do happen to know how this can be done in other cameras or brands of camera then as always please feel free to make use of the comments section below.


* UPDATE: My buddy Brian Worley aka Mr Canon has written a great follow up post showing how this can be done on certain models of Canon DSLR’s. You can check it out here [Link]

•    •    •

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  • January 26, 2011 - 8:19 am

    Dean Robertson - Glyn

    Thats interesting, I’m a Sony man and there’s no equivalent functionaility on the bodies I carry and I have made this mistake plenty of times :-(.

    One thing it’s worth learning is how far the black band comes into the frame at speeds just above sync and also what side it comes from. Sometimes when you need a little bit more shutter speed you can actually go beyone sync and use the black band as a compositional element if you turn the camera so the black is coming from a side where you might want to burn down the image a bit. An example might be the road on your picture of the motor bike.

    Great blog and great work!



  • January 26, 2011 - 8:31 am

    Glyn - Hi Dean, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    The band/stripe always appears from the bottom of the sensor when in landscape orientation on my D3 and a trick I learned from David Ziser was to turn the camera upside down so that it can be used to darken down the sky in a photo; works a treat :)

    Thanks for the kind words,
    Glyn :)

  • January 26, 2011 - 9:30 am

    David Monteith-Hodge - I did not know about this. Shows how much I pay attention. I do this often enough. I use the D700 and found out where the commands are on the menu. Sweet! Thanks muchly for the info :) Love the blog by the way.

  • January 26, 2011 - 10:10 am

    Brian Worley - Glyn this is a good point, and yes there are some options for Canon shooters too. I often find that with EOS-1D series cameras switching the dials round so that the rear dial is the shutter speed and the front one is the aperture works since there is a lock switch on the rear control dial disabling it’s effect on the shutter speed.

  • January 26, 2011 - 10:39 am

    Sue - On the D40 it seems to be the AE-L/AF-L button which you have to keep pressed to stop exposure settings changing but it also depends what you have set-up in the AE-L/AF-L menu as to what that button does.

    One of those functions I think you have to sit down and think about how you want it to play before you go out and shoot.

  • January 26, 2011 - 12:03 pm

    Paul Hodgson - Hi Glyn, interesting report. Curious though, can’t you engage the high speed sync? I’m sure that would cure the black stripe issue although the flash power would drop significantly. Having typed that though, I’m off to check how manual flash settings appear as well as ttl.

  • January 26, 2011 - 1:38 pm

    Glyn - Hi David,

    Glad to hear the blog post has helped out; I was forever doing this so thankfully now that isn’t the case :)

    Thanks for the kind words about the blog mate; I really appreciate it.


  • January 26, 2011 - 1:40 pm

    Glyn - Sue, thanks for commenting. If you do find out exactly how to do it on the D40 I’d love to hear; thanks.

    Hope all is well with you :)

  • January 26, 2011 - 1:42 pm

    Glyn - @Brian…Thanks for commenting mate; I was actually hoping you’d do so seeing as you are officially the font of all knowledge when it comes to all things Canon :)

    Cheers Buddy

  • January 26, 2011 - 1:48 pm

    Glyn - @Paul…Hi mate, thanks for dropping by. Interesting what you say about High Speed sync but unfortunately this is only possible when shooting using TTL and the Nikon CLS. I tend to use wireless triggers ie Pocket Wizards to trigger flash as they aren’t dependent on ‘line of sight’.

    However that being said, this past week I’ve been using the new Pocket Wizard Flex and Mini for Nikon which allows TTL to be sent wireless and not infra red. This opens up a lot of possibilities not least the ability to sync with studio Strobes/big flash at 1/500sec and to sync with speed lights up to speeds of 1/8000sec.

    Exciting stuff which potentially changes things alot and I’ll be putting together a post on here reviewing them.

    Thanks again mate; I really appreciate you stopping by.

    All the best,

  • January 26, 2011 - 2:14 pm

    David Zinyama - Great you have posted this, I’m a Canon user and this actually happened to me yesterday a couple of times. Infact it does happen to me everytime I shoot and I wonder how did I turn the dial. Great post once again.

  • January 26, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    Baron Cooper - On the Nikon D300 you can’t lock the function but they did locate a special spot for the sync speed just past the Bulb Function on the command dial. You set the sync speed via the menu. That way if you are at the sync speed and turn the command dial it will go to bulb or something much slower that the sync speed, giving you a clue that something has changed.

  • January 26, 2011 - 3:39 pm

    Callum Winton - D700 is in the menu rather than a button on the 3 series bodies.

    Menu option F8 … one to add to your “My Menu” :)


  • January 26, 2011 - 5:36 pm

    Are you a Photographer suffering from Sausage Finger Syndrome? | p4pictures - [...] friend and fellow photographer Glyn Dewis put a post up on his blog with the same title as this one. It’s a good post and Glyn gets the message across with a [...]

  • January 26, 2011 - 6:13 pm

    Steve Fell - Great stuff Glyn, really helpful.

  • January 26, 2011 - 9:44 pm

    Matthew Roach - HA!!

    I was at an group experimental lighting shoot on the weekend and was discussing this very issue with another shooter there. I have a D300 & have previously used the menu option “e1″ to set the flash sync speed at my chosen speed. This prevents the shutter speed going higher than the speed set in the menu. BUT, only when using the onboard flash (or as a CLS trigger)… I’ve not tried it out when shooting with poverty wizards but I figure it probably wouldn’t work without a Nikon brand toy on the hotshoe. Come to think of it I should probably try it out with the SU800 but I never have thought to do so.

    Other than the suggestion made by Baron Cooper above (which is a good one and I’d never heard of it before) another solution for D300 users is here;

  • January 26, 2011 - 9:59 pm

    Mike - Such a great tip. Its so simple but a feature I never think to use on my camera. And I’m as guilty of changing shutter speeds (or more often apetures) during a studio shoot.

Photoshop Technique: Making a Moody Sky even Moodier

I recently posted a photograph I’d taken of a guy riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle and went on to explain that on the day of the shoot there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky; in fact no lighting or cranking up of shutter speed to Mach 3 would have revealed even the slightest trace of a cloud.

I went on to explain that for this particular shot the original brief was to create an image with a moody/dark feel so as to match what the rider was wearing which ultimately meant I was going to have to resort to adding in a sky during the post production stage in Photoshop.

Anyway it was this ‘adding in’ the sky that I thought I would have been asked about i.e. “How did you do it?” but no…the majority of responses asked how I made the sky look so dark and ‘aggressive’ for want of a better word. So, I thought the ‘how’ would make an ideal short tutorial to start the week off; a technique incidentally that takes no more than 60 seconds!

The ‘How’ to making a Moody Sky even Moodier

Step 1: Create a Contrasty Black and White Conversion
It’s fair to say that for all of my Black and White conversions I use a plug in by Nik Software called ‘Silver Efex Pro’, however this technique will work with whatever method you use…

Step 2: Blend Mode
Change the Blend Mode of the Black & White layer to Luminosity to reveal the colour in the original image below but to keep the tone/contrast of the black and white conversion…

At this stage the effect has been applied to the whole of your image, so in order to restrict it to just the sky all we need to do is to add a layer mask and then paint over it with a brush to either reveal or conceal certain parts. My general workflow is to add a black layer mask by holding down the ALT/OPTION key on the keyboard and at the same time clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layer Panel. This hides all of the effect and then using a white brush paint over the sky to reveal the effect but only in that area.

And that’s all there is to it.

This technique is one I use on 99% of my images that include ‘sky’. Occasionally I may apply a little dodging and burning to the sky too if I really want to increase the effect in certain areas but generally this particular technique suffices. The two images below show the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ so that you can see the quite dramatic effect this very quick and simple technique creates.

*Note…The ‘After’ image has also had a little burning applied to the road surface which is how it looked at the final stage.

One last thing….

As this particular photo had a ‘sky’ added into it during the post production stage I thought I’d share this video that I recorded a short while back showing a similar technique to that which I used to do it…


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  • January 24, 2011 - 3:01 pm

    Francis Peacocke - Glyn, Excellent as always. Lucid, straightforward ( well I’ll have to have a go before I say yes!) study.
    Again a big thanks for your generosity in sharing techniques.

  • January 24, 2011 - 7:20 pm

    Heather - Glyn, for so long I have wanted to know how to do this. Thank you for laying it out so clearly that i can understand. It is so fun to learn new ideas. I appreciate you sharing your talents with the rest of us. Well done!

  • January 24, 2011 - 7:37 pm

    Glyn - @Francis…Thanks for the kind words; it’s great to ‘hear’ that you get something out of the blog :)

  • January 24, 2011 - 7:37 pm

    Glyn - @Heather…Very kind of you to say and it’s great to know that it’s useful…thanks :)

  • January 27, 2011 - 4:40 pm

    Gio - Just use a (masked) adjustment layer – using a b&w copy layer is a c1995 technique!

  • February 2, 2011 - 12:06 pm

    claudio.von.grubens - hi glyn

    nice and easy – that’s the way i like it!


  • February 24, 2011 - 5:50 pm

    Cat - Extraordinarily helpful blog! Thank you for sharing these great tips and making it so easy to follow

  • February 24, 2011 - 6:28 pm

    Glyn - @Cat…Thanks for that and thanks too for dropping by and commenting :)