Photoshop Technique: Compositing with Blend Modes

I thought I’d start the week off by posting a recent Photoshop tutorial that I put together for last week where I go through a technique for combining images to create ‘composites’.

With the enhanced Refine Edge function in the latest release of Adobe Photoshop CS5, making selections has never been easier. However making a selection is one thing but dropping that selection into another image and making it look realistic is another. This is where blend modes can come into play as you’ll see in the following video where I take an image that I shot in a studio against a white backdrop and swap that backdrop for one ‘more fitting’ to the look and feel I was after but still managing to include fine details such as hair; and what’s more, it’s all done extremely quickly.


It’s always great to ‘hear’ your thoughts / comments so as always please feel free to use the comments section below.

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July 19, 2010 - 6:34 pm

Glyn - @Kelley…The great thing about this tip Kelley is that you don’t need to have CS5; just make use of the blend modes in whatever version of Photoshop you have installed and you’re rocking :)


July 19, 2010 - 6:32 pm

Glyn - @David…Good to hear from you mate and yeah all is well this end.

Glad to hear you liked the tip and yeah you gotta love those blend modes :)


July 19, 2010 - 5:50 pm

kelley - Fantastic post. A great reason to move into CS5

Thanks, kelley

July 19, 2010 - 9:12 am

David Kelly - Hi Glyn,

Hope you’re keeping well.

Nice tip here – I was very interested in how you got that textured layer as a background when you initially posted those images of Danny. Glad to see just how straightforward & easy it was :-)
I always find it enlightening to see how much can be achieved by layers blend modes. As much as Photoshop keeps adding new features with each new release e.g. Content Aware Fill, it’s amazing to think that a feature that was available right back in version 3 (I think) of Photoshop is still so powerful.



NEWSFLASH: A.J. Wood ‘The Protector’

If like me you’re someone who regularly uses Facebook and uploads photographs into albums this is definitely something you’re going to want to take a look at. In short it’s a Facebook connect application being beta tested by Walmart that will allow them to print off any of your images from out of your Facebook Albums.

However there’s no need to panic as my buddy A.J. Wood who from now on will be known as ‘The Protector‘ has it covered:)
To quote from his blog:

Thanks to Walter Van Dusen who brought to my attention Walmart is beta testing a new Facebook Connect application. This application allows access to your photo albums for printing. Many photographers have been using Facebook photo tagging as a way to generate word-of-mouth referrals from clients. I would assume a lot of folks have their album security set to “Friends of Friends”. Anyone who is listed with Friends access to your Facebook album will be able to print it via the Walmart application.

Before you decide to delete all your FB albums, it is possible for you to make a quick security settings change. Simply go to the Walmart Photo application and block it. Once blocked your albums will no longer show when someone uses Facebook Connect with Walmart Photo. The application ID on Facebook is 181585006811.

Here’s a quick video tutorial to show you how to block the app:

You can check out more of A.J. and his work here on his company website, Media Cats, his blog and his YouTube Page.

Any thoughts / comments, then as always please feel free to post them in the comments section below,

July 19, 2010 - 6:34 pm

Glyn - @Kelley…You’re welcome :)

July 19, 2010 - 5:53 pm

kelley - Done and done. Thanks for passing this on, it was easy as pie.

Thanks again, Kelley

July 18, 2010 - 5:09 pm

Glyn - @Frank…Gotta hand it to A.J…no sooner does he hear about this he puts out a video tutorial so that we’re all protected; top man :)


July 18, 2010 - 4:07 pm

Francisco DelValle - Great post, thanks Glyn.

July 18, 2010 - 10:27 am

Glyn - @Gene…He sure does Gene; a great guy :)

July 17, 2010 - 8:25 pm

Gene McCullagh - A.J. always keeps us informed and safe from Internet ill-doers!

Photoshop Friday (#photoshopfriday) + Odds n’ Sods

With Friday now upon us and the weekend just around the corner, I’ve got a few things I want to leave you with:

First of all this weeks #photoshopfriday is a Photoshop tutorial by my good friend A.J. Wood over at Media Cats. In this tutorial A.J. demonstrates how you can use the Content Aware function to realistically stretch or squash an image which is extremely useful for photographers and designers alike when it comes to making an image fit a certain dimension. I had been planning on recording a tutorial for this technique myself but when I saw that A.J. had done exactly that, I thought I’d leave you in his very capable hands:

Other Stuff

1. Carrying on with the tutorial theme, for all you Lightroom users out there Matt Kloskowski recently wrote a post about the difference between the Exposure and Brightness sliders on his Lightroom Killer Tips Blog. It makes for quite an interesting read and you can check it out by clicking here.

2. With the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk kicking off next Saturday 24th July, Dave Cross of the N.A.P.P. wrote an excellent post on his blog giving some useful advice for those of us taking part covering all manner of hints and tips from how to keep safe, what kit to consider taking along and so on. You can check it out by clicking here.

3. For all you iPhone users out there Scott Kelby has just released his very own App which is basically a pocket sized, go anywhere version of one of his most recent books ‘Photo Recipes Live: Behind the Scenes‘.

The book/DVD combo (now also available as an App) is pretty much like a live seminar in a box. It brings you along with Scott as he takes you through a live photo shoot on location at a New York loft studio. Scott walks you through the necessary steps to pull off a successful model shoot without breaking the bank plus lots more. If you’re interested in seeing more ‘behind the scenes’ of photo shoots then I’d certainly recommend you give this a look by clicking here.

Ok so that’s all for now so have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week,

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July 19, 2010 - 6:35 pm

Glyn - @Kelley…It certainly is; and A.J. is definitely the guy to show them :)

July 19, 2010 - 6:03 pm

kelley - AJ’s tutorial was awesome! Thanks for posing that. Its so wonderful to learn new tricks.

A Photography Love Fest!!!

With just over one week to go until this year’s World Wide Photo Walk on Saturday 24th July 2010 there’s still time to register for your chance to win some fantastic prizes ranging from Books to Photographic Equipment.

At the time of writing this post there are a few spaces available for the walk that I’m leading in Windsor, UK but if last year is anything to go by then spaces will get limited nearer to the big day. For those of you joining me in Windsor I’ll be sending out an email shortly with a few bits of information for you and also asking for numbers of those who may be wanting to stay around afterwards for something to eat and drink and also join in with the short ‘Lighting Workshop‘ I’ll be running.

Also just to let you know there’s still time to put in an order for one of the Official World Wide Photo Walk T-Shirts from Café Press (approx 3 days delivery time) where 100% of the profit goes to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya helping to provide vital food and shelter.

So whether you’re joining Mrs D and myself in Windsor or taking part in a Photo Walk elsewhere around the world, have a great time.

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July 19, 2010 - 9:18 pm

Glyn - @Neal…Now Im no betting man, but I’m thinking it’ll be the D700 with the 85mm f/1.8 … if I’m right you can get the first pint in Brown’s :)

July 19, 2010 - 9:16 pm

Glyn - @Neal…Sure mate, no problem. Just go to the Worldwide Photo Walk home page and check out the link from thee:

Glyn :)

July 19, 2010 - 7:15 pm

neal - Can you put up the link for the T-shirts mate please??

July 19, 2010 - 7:14 pm

neal - Hmmmmm now all I have to do is choose, the D700 with the 85mm, or the D80 with the 50mm 1.4??????????????????????

Decisions eh? :-)

July 18, 2010 - 10:28 am

Glyn - @Keith…Great to hear you got hold of a T Shirt Keith and yeah same here…really looking forward to Saturday too.

See you soon,
Glyn :)

July 17, 2010 - 10:40 pm

Keith Hammond - arrived back from Mallorca today to find my WWPW T shirt was delivered whilst i was away and i’m glad i ordered the XL :-)
Looking forward to meeting some new people on Saturday

July 15, 2010 - 12:47 am

Glyn - @David…No worries mate, you’ve alot to be getting on with by the sound of it.

Cheers for the Windsor tips; I’m sure they’ll be included at some point during the walk.
Glyn :)

ps> Enjoy Joe McNally’s Seminar

July 15, 2010 - 12:46 am

Glyn - @Rick…Tell me about it…lol :)

July 14, 2010 - 10:38 pm

David Kelly - Evening Glyn,

I’m gutted that I can’t get meeting you and the gang on the 24th but I’ll be running around like a mad man on then, trying to sort out things for my stepdaughters 18th birthday party that evening. However I can’t complain too much as I’m lucky enough to be going to see Joe McNally the day before in Islington :-)

….Mind you I am going to miss out on that mini Workshop of yours :-( – any news on a proper go live launch date as yet?

I hope you all have a great day – there’s certainly a lot of photo opportunities there in Peascod street and the surrounding area. The Eton area, just over the bridge near where you shot part of your video is a nice spot too. (Sorry used to live in Windsor)

@Rick Just make sure you & Mrs Wenner bring the nice weather over with you :-) I’m sure Glyn, Noel, myself and maybe a few others, will all chip in for any surplus baggage charge required for it, if needed ;-)

July 14, 2010 - 9:03 pm

Rick Wenner - I’ve decided to fly out to Windsor for the “Glyn Dewis Photo Walking In The Rain Cause This Is What Happens In The UK”. See ya soon! ;)

Monthly Guest Photographer: Allen Ross Thomas…Coming Soon!!!

I’m really excited to tell you that this month’s Guest Photographer is Atlanta, USA based Music Photographer Allen Ross Thomas.

Now those of you who follow Zack Arias’ blog may well recognise the name ‘artisxposure’ as one of the photographer’s who were fortunate enough to have their work critiqued and raved about by Zack last year; and rightfully so as you’ll see in his Guest Post.

Allen’s blog is one that I check religiously, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that each and every time I’m stunned to silence by the quality of his work; even more so when I think about the incredibly challenging environment he works in, pushing both him and his camera to the limit to get ‘the shot’.

I was fortunate enough to meet up and chat with Allen over a beer when I was over in Atlanta last November and we’ve kept in touch ever since, so when I asked him to be a Guest Photographer on the blog and he agreed I was made up!

In his Guest Post, Allen gives you an insight into how he started out, what kit he uses and how he nails those exposures in some of the most challenging lighting environments, how to get into Concert / Music Photography and so much more…

If you’re not ‘following’ Allen and his work yet, I guarantee you will be after his post as he’s one of the most humble, genuine guys I’ve ever met and who also happens to be one heck of a photographer,


Before Allen’s Guest Post ‘Goes Live’ you can find out more on his website

July 14, 2010 - 7:46 pm

Glyn - @David…David, I just know Allen’s post is going to be so helpful for alot of people out there as each time I go over the transcript of the recorded Skype Chat I hear another ‘gem’ of a tip. What with the information and the images he’s sent over to be included in the post I’m really looking forward to sharing this one.

Re the extra hours in the day, believe me I’m working on it. I keep trying to convince Mr Kelby he should write a book on time management because I swear he has more hours per day than we do; atleast it seems like it with the amount he manages to get done :)


July 14, 2010 - 9:29 am

David Kelly - Hi Glyn,

This is an area of photography that I really appreciate & admire. Capturing the essence of another artist performing in tricky light situations that you have no control over is never easy! So getting cracking shots like the image above of Alice Cooper is ace.

I haven’t dabbled in this field since I was in my late teens / early twenties in Belfast (where there’s a great local music scene) so I’m really looking forward to reading Allen’s guest slot and will certainly be adding his blog to my list of regulars.

Now do you think you could get a guest slot from a time management expert who can give me the few extra hours blog reading time I need each day, with this every growing list of mine? ;-)

Take care,


July 13, 2010 - 4:18 am

Allen Ross Thomas - You are far too kind Glyn, but I thank you much and look forward to reading what I said ;-).


July 12, 2010 - 11:36 pm

Glyn - @Rick…Allen shares so much in his post about how to get the best shot in the most challenging of locations and with limited time too. He’s such a nice guy and like I said I’m made up that he agreed to appear as a Guest here on the blog.

So how did your music shoot go?

July 12, 2010 - 4:46 pm

Rick Wenner - Definitely looking forward to Allen’s post. I saw his critique on Zack’s blog and have been a fan ever since. I can really appreciate the quality of his work too, especially after my first concert photography gig this past weekend.

July 12, 2010 - 4:15 pm

Glyn - @Neal…Really excited about Allen’s Guest Post mate. I’m really grateful to him for this and the fact that he sent over a great selection of images for the post too; some amazing stuff mate! :)

July 12, 2010 - 4:06 pm

Neal - Amazing shot, the lighting is superb.