How to Personalise your iPad

With Christmas Day now behind us and the start of a New Year just a few short days away, I thought I’d take a break from having a break and post this short tutorial to show how you can personalise your iPad…

Personalising your iPad so that you can have your own individual graphic as the Home Screen background is incredibly easy to do and takes just a couple of minutes using Photoshop…

Creating your own background
The screen on the iPad measures 1024px x 768px so you wouldn’t be wrong to think that all you need to do is create a document with those exact dimensions. However, as we know the iPad screen is able to rotate so to allow for this all we need to do is to create a new document in Photoshop measuring 1024px x 1024px as shown below (note that the Resolution is 132 ppi):

In my case once I had the right sized blank document open I then placed onto it my own graphic which just happens to be the exact same background and logo that appears across my website, this blog and all other branded material:

The only important thing to remember here if you’re placing a logo into this background is that it needs to be placed centrally so that it displays correctly in both Portrait and Landscape orientation:

Setting your new graphic as the Home Screen couldn’t be easier. Once you’ve saved this document/graphic and then synced your iPad so that it appears in your Photo Albums, all you need to do is to go to SETTINGS…BRIGHTNESS & WALLPAPER

As an added extra I also made up a graphic for the ‘Lock Screen’ which was identical all except for the text identifying who the iPad belongs to and some contact information:

There are some Apps you can get such as SecureLock that  allow you to simply select an image from your Photo Albums and then add in the text. Now this App does a great job and very quickly however there were a few things I didn’t like about it which is why I’ve gone about doing this myself in Photoshop. With SecureLock I found if I used an image from within my Photo Albums it would come up too big on the screen so quite a large portion of it would be missing and also the text fitted perfectly in ‘Portrait’ orientation, but not all of it showed up if the iPad was held in ‘Landscape’ orientation.

Right, that’s all for now so I’m going to make a move and set at reducing the Turkey Mountain that still remains,

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  • December 27, 2010 - 4:17 pm

    Mike Patterson - Fav’d this for I eventually get mine ;-)

  • December 27, 2010 - 4:33 pm

    Glyn - Mike, hands down this is the best piece of kit I’ve bought, sorry I mean ‘invested in’ for quite a while. You’ll love it when you get it; showing photos to perspective clients etc is a dream! :)

  • December 27, 2010 - 4:37 pm

    Rajesh J Taylor - Very neat and bespoke Glyn!

  • December 27, 2010 - 4:59 pm

    Glyn - Thanks mate :)

  • December 27, 2010 - 6:42 pm

    Steve Fell - Excellent as usual Glyn. What app do you use on the iPad to present your photos?

  • December 27, 2010 - 7:20 pm

    Paul Pratt - Great stuff Glyn.

    Just as an FYI, in case you weren’t aware….you can add a fifth app to the dock on the iPad. I see you just have the four, that’s where Twitter lives on mine.



  • December 27, 2010 - 8:08 pm

    Lee Ramsden - What a simple but very effective idea!
    im personally waiting for the iPad 2 which should be with us in the near future, :0)
    but will certainly do this.

    Really like the lock screen idea, will be doing a similar for my iPhone.
    Cheers Glyn

  • December 27, 2010 - 9:19 pm

    A.J. Wood - Glyn –

    Am I to understand you have your hands on a fine tablet my friend? Santa was good this year eh? You’ll want to setup Dropbox & PlainText straight away. Also, get Flipboard–it will change the way you read online content.

    Hope all is groovy my friend.

    - A.J.

  • December 27, 2010 - 9:28 pm

    Glyn - @Steve…Thanks mate. At the moment for showing photos I’m using the built in Photos App which is fine but limiting. I’ve been recommended ‘Portfolio’ for iPad which I’m going to download next and give a whirl.


  • December 27, 2010 - 10:34 pm

    Glyn - @Paul…Thanks for that mate; just got to decide which App to put in there now…lol :)

    Hope all is well with you and yours,

  • December 27, 2010 - 10:36 pm

    Glyn - @Lee…Yeah my intention was to wait until the 2nd Gen but the force was strong and I could resist no longer :)

    Re the iPhone, I tried it on mine and the dimensions work a treat.
    Thanks for dropping by,
    All the best to you,

  • December 27, 2010 - 10:39 pm

    Glyn - @A.J. … Truth be told mate I treated myself before Christmas; I was doing so well resisting but it finally got the better of me :)
    Must admit though, now I’ve got it I can’t believe I managed to hold off as long as I did; absolutely love it!

    Cheers for the App recommendations too.
    Yeah all good here. I trust you had a great Christmas with the family.

    Rest assured Anne and myself will be raising a glass to you on the 31st as we see in the New Year.
    All the very best to you my friend,
    Glyn & Anne

  • January 25, 2011 - 3:36 pm

    iPad Personalisierungsvorlage - [...] Ergänzung zu dem guten Blog Artikel von Glyn Dewis “How to Personalise your iPad” habe ich mal eine PSD mit Hilfslinien erzeugt. Dort könnt ihr direkt mit der Bearbeitung [...]

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

  • December 23, 2010 - 8:11 pm

    Dave Clayton - Happy Christmas to you and yours mate, it’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you this year, here’s to a superb 2011 including a top day at Wembley for TT ;0)

  • December 23, 2010 - 8:23 pm

    Glyn - @Dave…The same to you mate. 2010 has been an amazing year for a whole host of reason both business and personal. I’ve made some incredible friends this year that I really do look forward to spending more time with and getting to know better over the coming year and beyond and I wholeheartedly include you amongst them mate!

    You’re a good man!
    Best wishes to you and the family,
    Glyn & Anne (Morris & Posey) :)

    ps> TT is gonna be amazing; must sort the ticket £££ out!!!

  • December 23, 2010 - 10:01 pm

    David Kelly - Happy Christmas to you, Anne, Morris & Posey.

    Glad to hear it’s been a good year for you. If the output on this blog is any kind of indicator of your year, it’s clearly been a measurable success IMHO. I only started visiting here sometime in February and I can see how much your enterprise has expanded and gained momentum since then. I genuinely wish you continued success in your venture in 2011 and the coming years. You’ve certainly helped me learn a few tricks so I’ve got to thank you for your time & efforts in sharing all this info – much appreciated.

    Looking forward to more insights on your blog in the New Year (as well as the next curry :-))


  • December 23, 2010 - 10:28 pm

    Keith Hammond - Dear Anne, Glyn it was so good to meet you both and get to know you a this year and i gotta say you are both really lovely people. I hope we can spend some more time with you next year before your move.
    I know the move is going to be the dream come true and it couldn’t happen to two nicer people.
    I’m raising my glass to you both and wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a brilliant New Year.
    Sending you our Love
    Keith, Lyn, Nicola & Daniel

  • December 24, 2010 - 12:32 am

    Tim Skipper - Glyn,

    Merry Christmas

  • December 24, 2010 - 2:20 pm

    Rick Wenner - Just wanted to stop by to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas. It’s been great getting to know you this year and getting a chance to meet in London. Looking forward to doing it again in 2011! All the best to the Dewis family!


  • December 26, 2010 - 4:08 pm

    Glyn - @David Kelly…Thank you so much for the kind words David. It’s certainly been a successful year on many parts with certain goals being achieved. Still plenty of work to do but yeah this is a good stepping stone for sure :)

    Thank you for looking in back in February…I really do appreciate it and from it I really do appreciate our friendship; benefits I never saw coming I have to admit.
    Here’s to the future and I’ll be raising a glass to you on the 31st/1st.


  • December 26, 2010 - 4:10 pm

    Glyn - @Keith…There have been many goals achieved during 2010 and much progress has been made but if I’m completely honest, one of the biggest positives to come out of the year has to be the new friends that Anne and I have made. It’s been great getting to know you these past few months and I know I speak for both of us when I say that I look forward to getting to know you all better and of course…you’ll have to come to Dorset for a visit :)

    Raising a glass to you & yours my friend,
    Glyn & Anne

  • December 26, 2010 - 4:11 pm

    Glyn - @Tim…Same to you my friend; have a great one :)

  • December 26, 2010 - 4:12 pm

    Glyn - @Rick…Thanks fot that mate…you beat me to it :) Merry Christmas to you and Michelle. It’s been a fantastic year all round not least for finally getting to meet up with some great friends in yourselves. Really looking forward to 2011 when we’ll be on your turf.

    All the very best to you and yours,

Photo Shoot: Karate Kid

Well with just 2 more sleeps before the Big Day and I take a few days break I thought I’d post up a couple of photos from a recent photo shoot with a real life ‘Karate Kid’. Well, when I say kid she’s actually 19 years of age so I hope…I mean really hope she doesn’t take offence, what with her being a Black Belt and all that:)

In a few days, once all the overindulging has passed I’ll be posting up a walk through of the photo shoot covering the lighting set ups and a couple of the editing techniques too …

There are more ‘keepers’ from the photo shoot that I’m yet to finish working on so I’ll be sure to post some of them up along with a brief background about the subject of the shoot Kheira Degaichia; a 19 year old Black Belt, Instructor and English Champion from West London.

In the mean time if you have any questions / comments then feel free to make use of the comments section below and if there’s any specific to the lighting techniques , and / or editing I’ll make sure I also cover them in the follow on post.

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  • December 23, 2010 - 10:12 am

    Claudio von grubens - Hey glyn,

    I didn’t expect them to be like they are but they are different from the previous. They are clean and more focused on the person while the other had been more on the mood and tradition(in my opinion)! It is like telling a story from the senior of the ancient days to the modern art and style! really astonishing!

    have a nice holiday!

  • December 23, 2010 - 11:28 am

    DaveT - Nice images Glyn. I look forward to seeing the follow up posts.

    Have a great festive season, and take some personal time to recharge :-)


  • December 23, 2010 - 1:18 pm

    Tim Pursall - Hi Glyn

    Thanks for some great inspiration this year for a rookie who just wants to learn!

    Have a great Christmas. Look forward to stalking your blog in 2011!


  • December 23, 2010 - 1:46 pm

    Tim Skipper - Glyn

    Just in case she gets mad about the “kid” reference, start practicing your crane kick

  • December 23, 2010 - 8:18 pm

    Glyn - @Claudio…Thanks so much for the kind words Claudio; very kind of you…glad you like them.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours,
    Glyn :)

  • December 23, 2010 - 8:19 pm

    Glyn - @DaveT…Thanks mate; I’ll have the walk through out in a few days, or should I say after the ‘overindulging’ has ceased :)

    Glyn :)

  • December 23, 2010 - 8:20 pm

    Glyn - @Tim…Thank you mate for the support and the comments; I really do appreciate every one!

    Have a great Christmas,
    Glyn :)

  • December 23, 2010 - 8:20 pm

    Glyn - @Tim…Crane Kick??? Now that sounds painful :)

Photoshop Technique: Super Fast Compositing

Hi All.
To start the week off I’ve got a couple of things to share with you that complete the run of Samurai posts …

Short Bio:
First of all I thought it would be good to give you a little bit of a background behind Mike and the whole Samurai connection, so Mike has very kindly sent over this short bio’:

Michael Jay is the only non-Japanese person to hold a samurai rank since William Adams, the first Englishman in Japan who, in 1600, became an adviser to Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

As a British Airways pilot and Group Commander in the Soma Horse Association, Michael was featured in a prestigious BBC ‘The World About Us’ programme about Soma Noma Oi, a three day celebration of skill in samurai horsemanship, and is a master swordsman of Japan’s premier and most ancient classical combat school, the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. Both Noma Oi and Katori Shinto Ryu are classified by the Japanese government as ‘Intangible Cultural Treasures of Japan’.

Photoshop Technique:
To finish off this particular run of ‘editing’ posts I’ve recorded a video to show you how one of the Samurai Composites was put together in Photoshop. This video covers how I took the original studio shot of Mike which was taken on grey seamless and then placed him into a new location, complete with all the shadows that were cast from the studio lights.

Word of warning though…this technique really is ‘Super Fast’ so whatever you do, don’t blink, sneeze or look away from the screen for a split second:)

So there you have it, a super fast technique for creating composite images and the great thing being, you don’t need to be running Photoshop CS5 to do it!

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,

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  • December 20, 2010 - 9:27 am

    DaveT - Quick, easy, and practical – what more could you ask for.

    Glyn, I’m assuming this works well because the grey backdrop used in the portrait is a similar colour to background image. Would this work with backgrounds of a different colour?

    Fascinating background information about Michael.


  • December 20, 2010 - 1:22 pm

    Tim Skipper - Glyn,

    I’m going to have to try that. Also thanks for the samurai’s bio. I was thinking “he doesn’t look like a samurai”,” but now that makes sense.

  • December 20, 2010 - 9:52 pm

    Keith Hammond - can’t believe how quick and simple that was, i was thinking the same as Dave T about different colour backgrounds.
    very interesting bio from Michael, he must have dedicated a hell of a lot of time to that

  • December 20, 2010 - 10:01 pm

    Modos de fusión de capas en Photoshop | Enrique Rodriguez Vallejo - [...] ejemplo este vídeo, en el que Glyn Dewis deja muy a las claras la facilidad para montar imágenes con unos pocos clics, usando los [...]

  • December 21, 2010 - 6:11 am

    Glyn - @DaveT & Keith…This tutorial works well on a plain background but so long as the location image is lighter than the main parts (ie most of subject) then it will work just fine. Coloured bgd’s will create a colour cast in the final composite though which is why monochrome works so well.

    Hope that helps.
    Cheers, Glyn :)

  • December 21, 2010 - 7:03 am

    DaveT - Thanks Glyn – Dave

  • December 22, 2010 - 2:24 pm

    Rick Wenner - Great tip, thanks for sharing Glyn. Been thinking about messing around with composites lately so this is a big help.

  • December 23, 2010 - 5:57 am

    Glyn - @DaveT…No worries mate :)

  • December 23, 2010 - 5:58 am

    Glyn - @Rick…You’re welcome mate; glad you like it :)

Photoshop Technique: Dodging and Burning

Following on from the recent Samurai Posts I thought I’d cover some of the Post Production techniques I used in Photoshop to get the final overall look.

The first technique I’ll cover involves how I worked on Mike’s skin in the 3/4 length composite. Time wise I guess I worked on his skin for about 45 minutes to an hour to finally get to the point where I was happy with the final look; but that’s not because the techniques are difficult but more a case of actually knowing when to stop.

So what did I do?
Technique 1:
The first stage called for some dodging and burning. Prior to CS5 one of the problems with using the built in dodge and burn tools, in particular the burn tool, was that it would not only darken an area but also over saturate the colours. Now in CS5 this issue has been addressed with the addition of a ‘Protect Tones’ check box which does a pretty good job:

However I do still feel that saturation is affected more than I’d like, so my workaround is to perform all dodging and burning on their own 50% grey layers. All I do is create 2 new layers, fill them with 50% grey and then rename one layer ‘Dodge’ and the other ‘Burn’. The blend mode of the dodge layer is changed to soft light and the blend mode of the burn layer is changed to overlay.

Then using the dodge and burn tools, both generally set at around 10% opacity, I’ll then work on each layer independently changing between the Shadows, Midtones and Highlights depending on what part of the skin I’m working on i.e. under the chin and nose the ‘Range’ was set to Shadows. Sometimes I’ll lower the opacity to 5% but the general way of working is that I’ll increase the effect by applying it over and over in certain areas. If the effect appears too strong I can then just lower that layers opacity.

This initial ‘Dodge and Burn’ stage is not something that I’ll rush. I’ll frequently walk away from an image having done some dodging and burning and then return to it to see if it needs any more doing to it. This works better for me rather than just sitting down for an extended period of time staring at the same picture; walking away and then returning helps me to see what I’ve done with ‘new eyes’ if that makes sense. That being said, dodging and burning is all about personal taste so my advice would be to just ‘play’ with this and see what works for you.

Technique 2:
Having manually dodged and burned the image, I then used a technique that I recorded a video tutorial for a short while back, and called the ‘Hollywood Abs Technique’, in dedication to Photoshop Wizard Calvin Hollywood. This particular technique does a superb job of enhancing the dodging and burning from the first stage and adds that little extra bit of magic to the final look.

Admittedly in the video you may find it a little difficult to see the results it achieves but believe me it does work and is a killer of a technique that I use on almost 100% of my images.

Before & After
In the images below you can see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ showing the difference that the dodging and burning made to Mike’s face in the final edited picture:

Next week I’ll be posting another editing technique from this Samurai Shoot showing how to quickly combine images to create realistic looking composites, but in the mean time if you have any questions or comments at all about the techniques in this post then as always feel free to make use of the comments section below.

Right, a weekend of last minute Christmas Shopping beckons, so have a good one and I’ll catch up with you in a couple of days.

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  • December 18, 2010 - 7:22 am

    DaveT - Glyn,

    Another excellent tip. Your experience of Photoshop shines through in the way that you are able to offer these great workarounds. I’ve just upgraded to CS5 and loaded it the other day, so I look forward to having a go with this tip in the coming week.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge


  • December 19, 2010 - 9:31 am

    Glyn - @DaveT…Great to hear you’ve updated to CS5…you’ll love it! :)

  • December 19, 2010 - 11:07 am

    evrimc - Hey Glyn great post. I am wondering about where can you find stock photos for background?

  • December 19, 2010 - 11:46 am

    Glyn - Hi Mate. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. With regards to the stock photos for backgrounds, I use istockphoto at this address:

    Hope that helps,
    Glyn :)

  • December 20, 2010 - 9:28 am

    Claudio von grubens - Hi glyn,

    that’s a cool tip – especially as i never use the burn/dodge tool! i’m really lookin forward to more tips that kind a way!


  • December 21, 2010 - 5:56 am

    Glyn - @Claudio…Great to hear you like the tutorial; thanks for commenting :)

  • February 4, 2011 - 11:38 am

    There’s no escape…It all starts ‘in camera’ » Glyn Dewis Blog - [...] In an earlier post I included a complete walk through of this technique plus another for ‘super fast’ dodging and burning and you can find them both here [Link] [...]

  • February 23, 2011 - 7:05 am

    Rishi - Your generosity in doling out all of this great info is overwhelming. Thanks a ton!