If it wasn’t for the N.A.P.P….

There’s no question that without having been introduced to the N.A.P.P. (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) very shortly after discovering Photoshop I wouldn’t be a Photographer today, so to learn that one of my images from last week was picked as one of their “Editor’s Choice” was a real nice surprise…

Talking of the N.A.P.P if the idea of being taught by ‘the’ best in the world of Photography & Photoshop appeals to you then I’d suggest if you haven’t already then you go check them out [Link]; especially seeing as Scott Kelby‘s the President and names such as Joe McNally, Vincent Versace, Matt Kloskowski, Jeremy Cowart, Eddie Tapp and Jay Maisel to name but a few are amongst the list of Instructor’s.

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Photo Shoot Technique & Editing ‘Love Fest’

With the weekend upon us I thought I’d just give you an idea of what I’ll be posting on the blog next week…
First off next week (most likely Monday) I’m going to be posting a complete walk through of the photo shoot for the image above. I’ll cover everything from the location scouting through to the ‘out of camera’ image and then onto the editing in Photoshop. Normally I’d record a video to show the editing side of things but seeing as there’s quite a few steps and new techniques I’ll do a written walk through with ‘screen captures’ of each stage so you can see them explained in detail.
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Also next week I’ll be posting a walk through of the photo shoot with Harry Cambridge; Singer, Entertainer, Luther Vandross Impressionist and as if that wasn’t enough, a Firefighter too:
So there you have it, next week it’s a ‘Photo Shoot Technique and Editing Love Fest’
Have a great weekend and I’ll catch up with you in a few days.

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Join me in London at the DANalogue Photo Walk

Hey Guys, I know this is very last minute but my Buddy Dan Davies has organised a Photo Walk with a difference tomorrow (Saturday 27th November) up in Ole London Town.

So why’s it different???
Well there’ll be no relying on looking at that big beautiful screen on the back of your fancy DSLR as it’s going to be covered in Gaffa Tape and you’re limited to a maximum of 36 shots for starters.

Anyway, head on over to Dan’s website [Link] to read more of what’s in store and if you’re free tomorrow (Saturday 27th November) for a couple of hours for a bit of fun, a bit of photography and a bit of networking. I’ve invited along too so I’ll be there too and if you fancy popping along just one word of warning…wrap up warm and be prepared for any weather; like I said I’m going to be there:)

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  • November 28, 2010 - 4:41 pm

    Callum winton - Hi Glyn
    Sorry you couldn’t make it. Dan spoke highly of you, but then he is tall :)

    Here’s my account of the day with some pics too :)

    Catcha later bud, hope the meeting went well

  • November 29, 2010 - 8:00 am

    Glyn - Callum, yeah sorry about that mate…it just wasn’t the best day to get into London with all the train cancellations etc… and having to be at a meeting at 5pm.

    Cheers for the link, I’ll go check out the photos now :)

    Glad you had a good afternoon mate,
    See you soon,

Luther and some Lightroom Lovin’

Ok so at the time of writing this post it’s getting kind of late so I’ll keep it brief so that I can get as much beauty sleep as I possibly can…(need):)

First off, the photograph above is one taken this week in the studio with Singer, Entertainer and Luther Vandross Impressionist Harry Cambridge. It just so happens that Harry is a very good friend of my good buddy and assistant Neal Hibbert, and the shoot was arranged in order to put together some new promotional material for him.

As is always the case, we had a total blast and at times during the shoot were treated to our own personal concert as Harry belted out some incredible vocals. Shot using a couple of set ups, I’ll be sure to cover them in detail including the editing in a later post.

This past few days there have been some great posts published across some of the blogs that I read on a regular basis so I thought I’d list a few of them here for you to take a look through, if you haven’t seen them already:

A.J. Wood
My buddy A.J. has a post on his blog titled “Lightroom vs Adobe Bridge”. This is an update to a post originally written for the TipSquirrel website and is as the title says…a great comparison between the two pieces of software; definitely worth a read [Link]

Terry White:
Great video put together by Adobe Guru Terry White showing the advantages of using ‘Virtual Copies’ in Lightroom 3:

Incidentally Terry has two websites that I’d highly recommend adding to your reading list:

  • Terry White’s Tech Blog [Link]
  • Best App Site (For the iPhone & iPad users) [Link]

Lightroom Secrets
Interesting read over on the Lightroom Secrets blog about Keywords and Exporting Images [Link]

Lightroom Killer Tips
Lastly, Matt Kloskowki over at the Lightroom Killer Tips blog has a great post titled “The Easiest Way to Share Lightroom Catalogs with Different Computers”; the post title speak for itself, is short and to the point…definitely worth a read [Link]

Talking of Matt Kloskowki and Lightroom Killer Tips, if you are a Lightroom user then this site is well worth adding to your reading schedule too. A wealth of learning the site is updated on a regular basis with hints, tips, videos and free presets:

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Right, I’m off to study the back of my eyelids so I’ll catch you later.

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  • November 24, 2010 - 7:47 am

    Chanel Fusco - Yet again Glyn great blog and fab picture! Well done..! His eyes look amazing and I love his jacket!

  • November 24, 2010 - 9:32 am

    Glyn - Thanks Chanel :) Harry was such good fun to photograph and to hear him singing too was an added treat.

    Lots of images to sort through and edit including some in his Fireman’s Uniform so I’ll be sure to post them online in a few days.

    Hope all is well,
    Speak soon,
    Glyn :)

  • November 24, 2010 - 12:07 pm

    Neil Holmes - I love that portrait Glyn, the best compliment I can give you is I wish I”d taken it myself! Did you use one of your masking techniques to ‘spot blue’ the background? Cheers Neil

  • November 24, 2010 - 11:24 pm

    Glyn - @Neil…Thanks for that mate; really good of you to say so :)
    Oh and that’s a big ‘Yes’ re the background.


  • November 25, 2010 - 8:37 pm

    Keith Hammond - Glyn I am so looking forward to the full Harry post, I remember him on the TV prog and what a great voice so I’m sure you had a blast shooting him and I bet you have some great pics to show us, Lyn and Nic are looking forward to the uniform pics, don’t know why ?

  • November 26, 2010 - 7:36 pm

    Glyn - @Keith…i’m guessing it will be posted on Wednesday (fingers crossed). Next week is a ‘Photo Shoot Technique and Editing Love Fest’ as I’ll be posting a couple online with ‘walk throughs’ :)


Photo Shoot & Technique: Female Model Head Shots

To start the week off I thought I’d share with you some images from a recent studio shoot with ‘first time’ model Claire Gladman:

As well as a selection of some of the images from the shoot I’ve also included a ‘walk through’ giving you a breakdown of the lighting used and then finishing off by going through some of the editing involved to take the ‘out of camera’ images through to their final ‘print ready’ state.

As this was Claire’s first time in front of the camera we decided to concentrate solely on ‘head shots’ with a view to progressing towards full length shots at a later stage.

Standing in front of the camera and modelling for the first time can understandably be quite a daunting experience. When working with a ‘first time’ model as a rule I’ll always start with a ‘head shot’ session, then once the subject becomes more relaxed into the whole process and the confidence builds we’ll move onto full length shots.

Lighting Set Up
To emphasise Claire’s strong eyes and great bone structure I opted to use the Profoto Beauty Dish fitted with the honeycomb grid and positioned above and to the front of Claire on a boom. In addition to that a medium sized soft box was positioned below and to the front of Claire angled up slightly to create the classic ‘Clamshell’ lighting set up.

For the majority of the shoot the set up was as shown in the diagram below but only using using the one softbox to the rear for rim light and no white seamless used this time…just the white walls of the studio as we were only working on ‘head shots’:

Editing in Lightroom & Photoshop
As is always the case when in the studio I was shooting tethered directly into Lightroom 3. When importing the photos directly from the camera Lighroom was applying a preset that reduced the red channel by 25%. Nikon’s do tend to run a little hot in the ‘Red’ Channel and I’ve found that a reduction of around 25% is about all that’s needed to give a more accurate interpretation of what I’m seeing.

To take the images from their ‘out of camera’ state to being fully edited, print ready versions there were a number of editing stages I went through and I guess on average roughly half an hour was spent on each. The majority of the editing was done in Photoshop using Lightroom to only check White Balance and exposure.

Apart from a few extra tweeks like lengthening Claire’ neck slightly the editing was pretty much the same throughout and you can find all of the techniques I used in my Beauty Retouch Series 1 – 5 either here on the blog or by visiting my YouTube Page [Link]

I pretty much follow the same workflow stages in Photoshop when I’m editing a portrait and the running order is something like this:

  • Remove Dust Spots
  • Working on Eyes
  • Remove Blemishes
  • Tidy up hair
  • Body Sculpting
  • Soften Skin
  • Add Skin Contrast
  • Dodging and Burning
  • Hair Highlights/Lowlights
  • Adding Details

By this stage the images are generally complete and it’s then that I may go on to add a few more little enhancements like the fake spotlight and coloured background, Black and White conversions etc…

Talking of Dust spots: Shooting at f/8 – f/11 showed up quite a few dust spots on my D3′s sensor so first job was to remove them. There’s a technique I picked up from Scott Kelby that is an absolute killer for doing this and I’m going to be posting a tutorial showing it in the very near future.

Last Friday I posted a video tutorial called ‘Colouring the Background‘ and this is the technique I used to add the spotlight behind Claire as well as the blue colouring. The Black & White conversions were done using the only Plug In I use these days…Nik Silver Efex Pro. The default settings are generally spot on but for Claire’s photographs I added a little more Contrast and Structure…not much, only about 10-15% on each.

As always any feedback or questions/comments are always welcome so please feel free to make use of the comments section below.

In the mean time,

BIG thanks to first time model Claire who I’m really looking forward to working with again in the near future.
Oxygen Hair & Beauty Salon, Beaconsfield and in particular stylist ‘Daisy’ for doing a ‘fab’ job with Claire’s hair especially with such short notice.
Make Up Artist Syn

… and of course my Buddy, Assistant & All Round Good Guy Neal Hibbert for helping out with the shoot

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  • November 22, 2010 - 6:12 am

    Claudio von grubens - Hi Glyn,

    pretty great shots! it seams that you one of the few Europeans who have the modern American and light photo style. I’m in photography now for about 3 years and starting with scott kelby and the rest of the ps guys I also got into some European photographer because of their blogs. what I can say from now is that there is a difference between the continents because in europe the photographs are some kind of heavy and romantic where the us shots are more light and clear. I really can’t figure out why but for me it is…

    Anyway really great shots mate! thx for your setup tips!

  • November 22, 2010 - 1:33 pm

    Glyn - Hi Claudio, thanks for stopping by and commenting.
    Yeah I tend to agree with you about the difference between photography in the US and Europe. I’m very much drawn to the US way of doings, always have been so to read that you feel my style is kind of like that is very pleasing indeed :)

    To be honest there’s only a couple or so photographers in the UK that I look to for inspiration and that’s people like Tim Wallace of Ambient Life (http://www.ambientlife.co.uk) and Drew Gardner (http://www.drewgardner.co.uk) … both incredible photographers but with completely different areas of expertise and speciality.

    It is as you say very hard to explain the difference between the US and Europe but there is definitely a difference and the US is without doubt where I’m drawn to.

    Thanks again for dropping by and for your kind words; I really do appreciate it.

    All the best to you,

  • November 22, 2010 - 2:13 pm

    Denis - Hi, Glyn.

    I translated for myself your article into Russian and posted on my blog.
    Links to the original saved. Thanks for interesting lessons.

    Best wishes.

  • November 22, 2010 - 2:15 pm

    Glyn - Hey Denis.
    That’s great, thank so much for doing that and for the kind words.

    All the very best to you,

  • November 22, 2010 - 2:37 pm

    Rick Wenner - Great job here Glyn. Claire is a stunning model and I’m sure you two will create more beautiful photos in the future. I’m really loving the second color photo. She’s got some killer eyes!

  • November 22, 2010 - 3:51 pm

    Tim Skipper - Glynn

    Images look great. I think you would like shooting in what I call a light box. Its a modified version of what Kelby uses for solid white backgrounds.

    Soft box behind model with beauty dish and reflector in front. I just added a reflector to each side of the model (hope they like small spaces) it gives a real nice light.

  • November 22, 2010 - 10:29 pm

    Tim Wallace - Great post as ever mate, your lighting is spot on and really highlights what can be achieved. Also thanks very much for the kind words regarding my own work.

  • November 24, 2010 - 6:07 am

    Glyn - @Rick…Thanks buddy. Considering Claire was nervous she did a great job and yeah cant wait to work with her again :)

  • November 24, 2010 - 6:09 am

    Glyn - @Tim…Funny you should mention that but that’s exactly the set up I used at a Beauty Salon shoot a while back which I have on YouTube. Used it just after seeing Scott Kelby do it and yeah I agree, works a treat :)

    Cheers Mate.

  • November 24, 2010 - 6:09 am

    Glyn - @Tim…Thanks for the kind words mate and re your work…what else is there to say??? :)