D Class Automotive: Commercial Photo Shoot + Walk-Through

A recent Commercial Photo Shoot saw me working with ‘D Class Automotive‘ who are specialists in Automotive Interiors and Upholstery, based in Surrey, UK.

The reason for the shoot was to create a portfolio of images showing the kind of cars they work on, samples of their interiors and images of them actually at work which will be used on their soon to be launched new and revamped company website.

D Class‘ new company site is being designed by Bezant Design [Link] who were an absolute pleasure to work for;  I’ll show you more of them and their work once the new site goes live but anyway, onto the shoot…

As is always the case a few weeks prior to the shoot I’d gone along and met the Team and managed to have a good look around the location to get an idea of what images I’d be working on and most importantly what the working environment was going to be. The first thing I couldn’t help but notice was how darned busy it was; their phone literally didn’t stop ringing all the time I was there, so it obvious this was going to be one of those shoots where flexibility was the name of the game.

Not only that, but despite being a generous sized workshop, space was quite limited so when it came to kit and what lighting to use, I opted to use my ever faithful Nikon Speedlights along with a couple of different sized Lastolite EzyBoxes [Link] and Honl Speed Grids [Link] because of their portability and there being no need to trail wires around an already busy floor space…

Anyone who’s photographed cars or car parts or come to think of it anything shiny, knows it’s not a fast process…the slightest change in angle of the light source and the camera makes a world of difference. Now I would normally include a lighting diagram in this case to show you how I shot some of the car details and interiors but to be honest each car turned out to be a different set up,  and showing that I’d used a softbox or two would be pointless as in no way would it represent the angles used; however, I can cover a little on the portrait shots…

All of the portraits apart from the team photo taken at the end of the day were shot in the workshop to show what the guys do ‘hands on’ and quite typically the workshop itself had overhead strip lighting and was packed full of machinery. With regards to the lighting, I ended up going for a 2 light set up literally ‘sandwiching’ the subjects between the softboxes which were great for fitting into the tight areas, and again because of them being battery operated and there being no need for cables, the inconvenience to the guys who still had to keep working to a point, was minimal…

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


•     •     •

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  • July 20, 2011 - 8:56 pm

    Francis Peacocke - Glyn,
    Great story and lovely commission ( I love cars) Where on earth did you get the idea for the combination of full CTO and cloudy white balance?
    As always a post well worth reading.

  • July 20, 2011 - 9:40 pm

    Terry Donnelly - Absolute brilliance!!!

    Fantastic shots Glyn, and achieved using just a pair of speedlights!

    I rate your photography so much and really enjoy these posts.

    Would have loved to have seen at least one car set up, as I shot a few cars a few months ago and can appreciate just what a great job you did here, the reflections and glints are a real nightmare to cope with.

  • July 21, 2011 - 10:27 am

    DaveT - HI Glyn,

    I just love these behind the scenes posts. It’s a great eyeopener of what is involved in this type of thing, and the way you approached the shoot is fascinating. When I have seen this sort of thing before (involving cars) they have tended to be very large scale operations with loads of personnel and equipment. This just shows what can be done with minimal equipment, a practical approach knowledge and skill.

    I also like the post production look – the vintage effect really suits the theme.

    Glyn, when shooting the cars, and to avoid the reflections, did you only use the Lastolite Ezyboxes? My initial thought, till reading your post, was that to achieve it one had to shoot through some sort of scrim – as per the Hot Shoe Diaries.

    Thanks for a great post

  • July 21, 2011 - 5:23 pm

    Glyn - Hi Francis.
    By the sound of it you’d have loved the cars here…some really stunning old cars! Re the CTO and WB…nothing ventured nothing gained…rules are there to be broken…lol :)

    Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to comment,
    Cheers, Glyn

  • July 21, 2011 - 5:24 pm

    Glyn - Terry…thanks so much for the kind words both on here and on Facebook…I really do appreciate it :)

    ps> Reflections being a nightmare…you’re not wrong there :) lol

  • July 21, 2011 - 5:30 pm

    Glyn - DaveT…Thanks for the comment and the kind words; really good to hear you like the results.
    With regards to the lighting, yeah Ezyboxes were on their own for 99% of the shots. On some I placed material to cover 75% of the front of the softbox to minimise the amount of light coming out and to give a ‘strip’ of light as opposed a ‘square’ if that makes sense. There were a couple of shots on the Lagonda where I had Michael Bezant hold a large 1 Stop Tri Grip Diffuser ontop of my head as I crouched down to the front of the car so that the Ezybox had to go through that too which obviously softened the light that much more.

    Thanks again,
    Regards, Glyn

  • July 21, 2011 - 9:46 pm

    Keith Hammond - interesting post Glyn and good to see you out of your “comfort zone” as you are normally the people portrait guy, which you do so well, so how did you feel working with big products ?
    as you said very challenging shooting cars with all the reflective surfaces and different panel shapes etc, not easy but get it right and you can get stunning results as per Tim Wallace

  • September 6, 2011 - 1:52 pm

    Jonathan Thompson - Hi Glyn. Would have loved to have been on this shoot. Did you use Speedlights or continuous light through the Ezybox’s, seems like it would be supper hard to sculpt the light over shiny surfaces with strobe only. Looking at finding some nice cars to shoot for lighting practice myself.

  • September 10, 2011 - 9:22 pm

    Glyn - Hi Mate. Re the lighting used, yep just speed lights and using a combination of the Ezybox, Brolly, and Large Lastolite Tri Grip Diffuser ;)

Book Review: “iPad 2: Fully Loaded” by Alan Hess (@shotlivephoto)

When the iPad first came out I resisted for what seemed like a lifetime, intent on holding off until the 2nd Generation was released. Well, needless to say with ‘encouragement‘ from friends and colleagues, resistance was futile and I eventually caved in and purchased an iPad 32Gb with WiFi and 3G.

If I’m honest, at first I was a little disappointed because you see I was expecting a WOW moment but didn’t really get it. Sure, the screen was amazing for viewing photographs on but everything else seemed pretty much like, well…using a big iPhone really, however…

Alan Hess’ first book on the iPad, “iPad: Fully Loaded” was a complete eye opener on what the iPad was capable of and how it could be used to it’s fullest. The first book I’ve read from cover to cover in one sitting, in no time at all I was installing Apps (most of them FREE) that Alan recommended, converting my DVD’s to watch on the iPad and so much more; now I was getting the WOW moment I’d expected!

So as you can imagine, when I heard that Alan had written a follow up book coinciding with the release of the iPad 2, it was a no brainer that a copy would be taking it’s place on my bookshelf…well, my iBook Library anyway:)

The “iPad 2: Fully Loaded” is a book that kind of carries on from where the first book finished off. As you’d expect, the first couple of chapters or so cover the basics such as setting up your iPad, email, surfing the web and so on but then after that there’s so much more to discover…


  • Chapter 1: Operating System and File Types
  • Chapter 2: iTunes
  • Chapter 3: Photography
  • Chapter 4: Video


  • Chapter 5: Electronic Reader
  • Chapter 6: Movies, Television and Music
  • Chapter 7: Magazines and News
This new book by Alan Hess is packed to the rafters with 288 pages of recommended Apps (again, most of which are FREE), hints, tips and techniques to help you get the most out of your iPad. You see the iPad is one of those gadgets that at first you’ll maybe think ‘Why would I need one?’ and that’s only natural, but it’s not until you actually get your hands on one and really start to put it to work for you that you realise how darned useful they actually are.
  • Chapter 8: E-mail
  • Chapter 9: The Web
  • Chapter 10: Social Media
  • Chapter 11: Web Browsing
  • Chapter 12: Office Apps
  • Chapter 13: Notes and Lists
  • Chapter 14: Remote Desktop

Like I said in my first review [Link], in the previous book there was one section in particular that had it only contained that information I would have brought the book anyway, and that section was Movies. Well in this new book Alan’s done it again by covering Remote Desktop; let me explain…

Imagine being able to view your computer screen as it is on your iPad, and not only that being able to open programs, access your hard drive/s and so on…basically remotely control your computer…pretty cool huh? Well, that’s exactly what you can do and Alan covers this in great detail but more to the point shows how incredibly easy it is to do. I use this function alot for all kinds of things such as accessing files when I’m not in front of my computer to on occasion sorting something out for my wife on her computer, again when I’m not actually there!


  • Chapter 15: Travel
  • Chapter 16: Hobbies
  • Chapter 17: Sports
  • Chapter 18: Education
IMPORTANT: One real important thing to note about this new book is that despite the title ‘”iPad 2: Fully Loaded” it isn’t specifically for the iPad 2. Sure there are sections in there covering what you can do with the iPad 2’s built in camera and video but that’s where it ends..absolutely everything else is also relevant to the iPad 1.

To put it bluntly…”If you have an iPad and you seriously want to get the most out of it and see exactly how useful and how much fun they can be, then get this book!” In fact, I’ll go one further and say “Get both books!”… iPad: Fully Loaded [Link] and iPad 2: Fully Loaded [Link] because both have sections you’re just not going to want to miss out on!

Highly Recommended!

•     •     •


For your chance to win a free copy of this ‘must have’ book for iPad owners all you have to do is paste all the following line in red as a status update on Twitter:

 Get the most out of your iPad  with “iPad 2: Fully Loaded” by Alan Hess (@shotlivephoto) http://bit.ly/pVtvbT #ipadbookcompetition

(Closing date is Saturday 23rd July 2011, and the winner will be randomly picked from all the ‘Tweets’ on Sunday 24th July … Good luck!)

•     •     •

iPad 2: Fully Loaded (Alan Hess)
ISBN-10: 1118093194
ISBN-13: 978-1118093191
Currently priced at £14.44 with Amazon UK

  • July 18, 2011 - 8:18 am

    DaveT - Heck, and I thought it was just me who had been holding back form getting an Ipad.

    Having read a few reviews recently where a photographer was using one in Morrocco, getting internet via a locally purchased sim card, using GPS and via an App scouting sunrise and sunset times for specific locations for his landscape work – I began to see the potential for much wider use. Now this book sounds as though it will give me even more reason to take the plunge.

    But then I read the rumours about Ipad3 being just around the corner (September?) with the potential of eye retina display and some other useful updates. Mmmh – what to do?

    Shame about the twitter draw – I’m not on it :-(


  • July 24, 2011 - 10:34 am

    We have a Winner!!! iPad 2: Fully Loaded » Glyn Dewis Blog - [...] a great response to the iPad 2: Fully Loaded Book Competition [Link] I’m really pleased to announce that we have a [...]

  • July 24, 2011 - 9:21 pm

    joanne - I am trying to decide if I should buy an apple laptop or an iPad. I will be using it to
    give powerpoint presentations to educators. Is it possible to do this with an iPad?
    Are there proper cables to attach to a projector? Can I just email my powerpoint to myself and then open it on the iPad to present in a large classroom setting to 100 people? Can I show downloaded videos on the projector using the iPad. Are you able to prepare powerpoints on the iPad?? I welcome your advice.

  • September 20, 2011 - 5:01 am

    Gat A Free Copy Of iPad: A Magical and Revolutionary Guide - Various Ideas On Many Subjects - Dude17111.com - [...] people.Kids and Sugar = Violent Grown AdultsOfficial Nintendo Wii U Gameplay Trailer (E3) (Wii 2)Book Review: “iPad 2: Fully Loaded” by Alan Hess ( var analyticsFileTypes = ['']; var analyticsEventTracking = 'enabled'; var _gaq = _gaq || []; [...]

Photography & Photoshop Workshop: 1 week to go…

Just under 1 week to go until the next of my Photography & Photoshop Workshops held at the superb Gareth Davies Studio, Wokingham [Link]…

For further details visit the Workshop Page [Link] or drop me an email to glyn@glyndewis.com

See you there:)

•     •     •

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  • July 18, 2011 - 3:29 am

    heather - Oh, how I wish I could be there. Good luck, it will be awesome.

Curry Club: Photo Shoot Walk-Through & Editing

Carrying on from Wednesday’s post about the 1st #curryclub studio day I thought I’d follow up with a run through of some of the lighting set ups used and editing in both Lightroom and Photoshop…

Set Up 1:
The first set up was one that I use during my workshop [Link] … a 3 light set up made of of 2 strip lights (2 x Profoto 1000’s) to the side and slightly behind the subject and a Beauty Dish to the front and above. I tend to favour using the honeycomb grid with the Beauty Dish because of the added direction and softness it gives to the light plus the ‘drop’ off is so much more subtle.

When I’m setting up this kind of lighting I’ll always go about it the same way…

First of all I’ll turn on the strip boxes and using the modelling lights will check to see that the light is hitting the model in the right areas. Once positioned correctly I’ll stick some Gaffer Tape to the floor right next to the model/subjects’s feet so they know exactly where to stand and then it’s just a case of how much light I want hitting them; generally I want the light from the strip boxes to be brighter than the light that’s going to be coming out of the Beauty Dish (1 – 2 stops difference is usually the ball park figure I’m aiming for).

Below is the Before (Out of Camera) image of one of our models for the day Elan, along with the After (Final edit) and to give you an idea this took around 15-20 minutes of editing time in Photoshop using the following steps:

  • White Balance check in Lightroom
  • Triple RAW Conversion
  • Enhance Eyes
  • General Clean Up (Dust Spots, Blemishes etc…)
  • Skin Contrast using a Luminosity Mask
  • Dodging & Burning
  • Dodging & Burning (Cheat Technique)
  • Add Skin Texture
  • Increase Contrast using Unsharp Mask Filter
  • Cut Out & Add in new background

For the picture of Loula, the lighting set up was exactly the same as that above but following the initial edit, it then took on a completely different direction…

  • White Balance check in Lightroom
  • Triple RAW Conversion
  • General Clean Up (Dust Spots, Blemishes etc…)
  • Enhance Eyes
  • Skin Contrast using a Luminosity Mask
  • Smooth Skin (more than normal) using High Pass Filter
  • Skin Tone/Colouring using 3 x Colour Balance Adjustment Layers
  • Add in new background including light in top left
  • Add fake smoke/mist
Once at this stage it was then a case of experimenting by adding a few texture layers and playing around with Blend Modes, finally finishing off by adding a Colour Balance Adjustment Layer for the overall tone/colour…

Set Up 2:
Real simple this one…

One large softbox positioned to the front of Elan but roughly in the 2 o’clock position if we take his nose as being at 12 o’clock … does that make sense? As you can see from the lighting diagram I did have another large softbox positioned behind Elan to add just a little bit of separation for the shots when I went for a much darker background.

With regards to editing time we’re talking just a couple minutes on each of the images in this series, with most of that time being spent in Lightroom…

  • White Balance Check
  • Double RAW Conversion
  • Tidy Up (Dust Spots etc…)
  • Skin Contrast using Luminosity Mask
  • Increase overall contrast using Unsharp Mask Filter
  • Desaturation layer
  • Sharpening

Set Up 3:
The 3rd and final set up made us of just the one light which in this case was a Profoto 1000 and Medium Octa…

Again editing was quick and simple with the following steps…

  • White Balance Check
  • Double RAW Conversion
  • Tidy Up (Dust Spots etc…)
  • Skin Contrast using Luminosity Mask
  • Skin Softening using High Pass Filter (Far right image only)
  • Increase overall contrast using Unsharp Mask Filter
  • Desaturation layer
  • Sharpening
For the picture of Elan and Rhianne together on the far right, the background was originally grey as in the full length shot but I found this quite distracting so opted to burn it down to black …

So there you have it…3 simple lighting set ups and a run through of the editing involved. As always if you have any questions/comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below. Also if there’s any particular part of the editing you’d like covered, then again just shout it out in the comments section; if it’s not a technique that I’ve got on my YouTube Page [Link] I’ll look at recording a video run through of it in the near future.

Right, must dash so have a great weekend and I’ll catch you back here in a few days when I’ll be kicking off with a review and a competition for your chance to win an incredible new book by Alan Hess [Link].


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  • July 15, 2011 - 12:28 pm

    Konfral - I’m devastated to see the hand-drawn, organic lighting diagrams, replaced by some soulless app-generated ones ;-)

  • July 15, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    Glyn - lol…I’ll make a point of dropping in the occasional ‘hand drawn’ one just for you at some point ;)

  • July 15, 2011 - 10:10 pm

    Jim_T - Cheers Glyn! Quick question.. what is this double and triple RAW conversion of which you speak? Is it worth doing when your camera can only produce a jpeg? Thanks for your tutorials!

  • July 17, 2011 - 10:38 am

    Glyn - Hi Jim. Yeah the double and triple RAW conversions are great for getting details and can be done with a jpeg; have you downloaded and installed Russell Brown’s script for CS5 to enable you to take an layer back into Camera RAW at all? If not, let me know and I’ll post the link.


  • July 17, 2011 - 3:54 pm

    ANTONIO BIGGIO - Hello Glyn, i’ve the Russel’s script, but i also use to edit my photo with the smart objet from lightroom to Ps. I’m interesting to know what is your tecnique for merge the different exposure: you use the brush, gradient or luminosity mask?.

    Thank you


  • July 18, 2011 - 8:05 am

    DaveT - As usual, comprehensive, informative, and packed full of tips – thank you Glyn.

    As for future techniques, I’d really like to see you cover more on the ‘cutting out’ feature combined with refine edges feature of CS5 – I’m struggling with it and must be doing something wrong. Your cut out has worked really well around Elan’s hair.

  • July 26, 2011 - 5:08 pm

    Cary - Please post more information on the double and triple RAW conversions. I’m going to go in search of Russell Brown’s script.

Inaugural Photo Shoot: The Curry Club (#curryclub)

What started out as a good excuse to get a group of friends together for a curry and a catch up has quickly developed into what is now affectionately called ‘The Curry Club‘ (#curryclub) and last Saturday was the first of what is to become a regular event with us all in the studio for the day…

So what is the Curry Club?
Just a group of like minded friends looking for an excuse for a regular get together, a catch up and of course a curry and give or take the odd month this we’ve made a point of doing on a regular basis.

Combining studio time and a curry was Noel’s (top right) idea, so seeing as that was the case he lead from the front and organised the first ‘Studio Day’ which carried with it the theme of ‘Film’ … but more on that later:)

Noel did a cracking job of organising the day with military precision which included the models and a delicious buffet lunch prpeared by his lovely wife Catherine. Three models came along for us to shoot: Elan & Rhianne both young Actors going through drama school and Loula Red who is very new to modelling. All came along at their own expense on a T.F.P. (Time for Prints) basis and were great fun to shoot, which was exactly what the day was all about…having fun:)

Anyway, here’s a few of my shots from the time spent in the studio …

Later in the week I’ll put a post together to show all the lighting set ups that I used for each shot along with a run through of some of the editing in both Lightroom and Photoshop to finish the images off…

Couldn’t resist the opportunity to take some ‘character’ shots of Elan…the ‘Man of a Thousand Expressions‘ and a total blast to have infront of the camera:)

It was great having Loula along for the day with her look being a complete contrast to Elan & Rhianne which gave the opportunity to make pictures with a completely different feel…

B.T.S. (Behind The Scenes)
From Left to Right we have Dave Clayton (@NAPPMEMBER_UK) photographing Elan, Brian Worley (@p4pictures) photographing Rhianne and then there’s Noel (@Noel_Hannan) photographing Lou and David Kelly (@Norn_Ironman) photographing Elan…

The theme of the day was ‘Film’
So, getting back to the theme of the day…

Originally Noel, as I’ve mentioned, said that the theme of the day was ‘film’ (hence the group portraits at the top) and this could be interpreted however you chose BUT a short while before the studio day he sent out an an email with the following Rules ‘Instructions’ …

Anyway, Rules are Rules:)

And of course, being the #curryclub the day wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to a local curry house…

All in all a fab day with lots of laughs, lots of ‘shooting’ and topped off with a delicious curry. HUGE thanks to our models for the day…Elan, Rhianne and Loula…Noel for setting it all up and to his lovely wife Catherine for the food, and of course Gareth for the use of the studio [Link].

Can’t wait for the next one now but the question is though…who’s gonna be hosting it? Guys? Guys?

The Curry Club (From Left to Right)
Dave Clayton (@NAPPMEMBER_UK), Gareth Davies [Link], Brian Worley (@p4pictures), Me, Noel Hannan (@Noel_Hannan) and David Kelly (@norn_ironman)

Not forgetting those members who couldn’t make it this time …
Keith Hammond (@keithhammond), Scot Baston (@scotbaston), Tim Wallace [Link], John Ogden and Alan Brusky (@fireleafdesign)

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  • July 15, 2011 - 6:49 pm

    Keith Hammond - looks like i missed a right good day, who owns the gimp ball prop then :-) i want to see film results as well, i’ll be at the next one for sure(weddings permitting)

  • July 15, 2011 - 6:52 pm

    Glyn - Hey Keith, if I tell you it’s Gareth’s do you promise not to tell anyone else ;)
    Yeah will be great to see you at the next one mate; no date fixed just yet but I’m sure soon enough there’ll be an email going out to everyone :)