PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL: How to Fake Compositing Grass #53

Hi Folks

Today being Wednesday I’ve a new episode of my weekly podcast / show for you.

In this episode (#53) which is mainly aimed at those of you who create composite images I show you 3 tips, tricks, techniques that I would use when adding a person/animal/object into a scene where these is grass.

The techniques involve the use of brushes and layer masks and although I covered compositing into grass in an earlier video [Link], in this one I take it a few steps further in order to add to the realism.

Hope you ‘Like’ it and of course feel free to share with others.


CLICK HERE• to Subscribe for FREE to my YouTube Channel

INDIAN ELEPHANTS: Behind the Scenes Sneak Peek

Hi Everyone

As promised, today I thought I’d give you a look at some of what went into the making of one of my new pictures INDIAN ELEPHANT: Drink Little One

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m currently working on an animals project where I’m photographing animals that are in captivity (Wildlife Parks, Zoos etc) and then using Photoshop to put them back out into their natural habitat out in the wild.

I’m a big believer in the power of giving yourself personal projects and out of all the ones I’ve done to date this one has gripped me more than any. I guess it’s because it brings together several loves in my life i.e. Animals, Photoshop and Photography … the PERFECT combination for me:)

I literally am finding myself hungry to create these pictures and I’m constantly looking forward with excitement to what I have planned and for the first time ever (as strange as this might sound) have an emotional attachment to the pictures and the animals in them.



I photographed the Indian Elephants whilst at Whipsnade Wildlife Park, UK…

I spent quite a bit of time by their paddock so that I could photograph them all in a wide range of poses and positions which would give me lots of options for future pictures and as they were to be used in composites I was shooting around f/8.0 – f/11.0 so as every part of them was in focus.

The ground they were added onto was made from a number of different pictures…

The yellow / dry field was used for the green grass and then the muddy field was used to give a trodden / muddy surround to the water hole which was just a puddle that I saw when driving near to where I live. Proof again that it’s always good to have your camera with you because I came past the very same puddle the next day and it had completely dried out.

In this video you can see how I blended the puddle into the field…

The distant hills, trees and also the sky came from making use of the pictures below…

When photographing the elements that go into making the scene I’ll always photograph them using the same aperture as I did when photographing the animals. Then I’ll focus on an area of the ground that is roughly the same distance that the animals had been from me and then I take the photographs and the reason I do this is so that the depth of field on the background looks much more realistic / natural.


One thing I like to spend time on is adding in all the details. It’s these bits that I want to hold the attention of whoever is looking at the picture and invariably it’s when they notice one thing they then spend longer trying to see what else they can spot. It’s adding in these details that I get such a kick out of but that also reinforces one thing that I always talk about at seminars / workshops i.e. It’s the small things that make the BIG difference in your retouching.

In this picture you’ll see that I added in the water ripples, water coming from both Elephants’ mouths and birds circling and so if you missed it, in this video I show how I actually made and added the ripples in the water where the Baby Elephant had dipped his trunk in to have a drink…

I’ve had quite a few questions since starting this new animals project asking if I’ll be making any of the pictures into full length tutorial and available in my web store…

The answer is a most definite yes because there’s so many new techniques, tips and thought processes that go into I really do think they’ll be a great learning resource. As for time scales with that I can’t be exact just yet purely because of other things that I’m working on; priority being writing my very first book that is being published by Peachpit and will be available worldwide before Christmas.

It won’t be that long though until I do make one available but I’m also writing content from these pictures to add into the book which I’ll post more details about very soon:)

Finally I just want to say a HUGE Thank You to each and everyone of you that have Liked and Commented over on my 500px page.

It’s so good to see that you’re liking the results of this project that means so much to me!

*To see the larger / better screen quality version of INDIAN ELEPHANT: DRINK LITTLE ONE simply CLICK HERE

Right that’s all from me for today so as always if you do have any questions / comments then please feel free to email me or make use of the comments section below.

In the mean time though, have a good one and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow for Episode 53 of my Weekly Photoshop, Photography and Lightroom Podcast [Link]


  • June 24, 2014 - 11:47 am

    Aaron Karnovski - What I love most about this, is the fact that none of the photographs on their own stood out as anything special. I’m sure virtually anyone looking through this collection of images would be totally unimpressed and even some would be asking “why did you photograph that??”.

    What you have done here, Glyn, is nothing short of creative genius and attests to how artistic vision trumps what we observe with the naked eye. The importance of a concept and seeing the final image in your mind, before even raising the camera to your face is one of the most undervalued elements by most photographers. They rely solely on what they witness and shoot in the hopes that something magical is going to appear on their LCD screen.

    That is the biggest thing people should take away from “Drink Little One”. Have a concept or creative idea – even if it’s a rough one. Then set about achieving it. As you clearly demonstrated here, the likelihood of getting this shot in one is pretty low. Instead, look for the key ingredients and combine them individually.

    Not only is this a fantastic photograph but a great example of the creative process in action and a valuable tutorial in so many ways.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Best wishes,


INDIAN ELEPHANT – Drink Little One

Hey Folks

I hope you had a great weekend.

What did you get up to? Did you manage to get out and shoot for a project you’re working on?

This past couple of days I’ve been writing more content for the book (I’ll let you know more about that in a future post) plus I’ve been doing some more work on my Animals Project.

I gotta say out of all the projects I’ve ever given myself, this one I’m enjoying more than ever. I guess it’s because it brings together a few loves in my life: Animals, Photography and Photoshop…the perfect combination for me. I honestly do find myself excited to get up, get out and get on making more pictures for this series which will result in an exhibition and coffee table style book.

So on that note today I wanted to share the latest picture in this series that I’ve just finished which is made from around 12 separate images; the elephants themselves originally photographed at Whipsnade Safari Park here in the UK; I hope you like it:)

If you head on over to my 500px portfolio page [Link] you can see a larger version of this picture where you’ll notice all the extras details like the water ripples, water spilling out of the adult and babies’ mouths and so on…

Tomorrow I’ll post a run through showing a brief look at what went into making this picture.

Have a good one,

  • June 23, 2014 - 12:37 pm

    Vernon Nash - Glyn, thanks for posting your animal series pictures and the really helpful tutorials behind them. Looking forward to more and intrigued about ‘the book’.


Hey Everyone

How’s it going?

I’m currently up in Manchester presenting at the Digital Photography: The State of the Art Event hosted by RedEye – The Photography Network [Link]; a great day with a great bunch of people and presenting in company with Martin Evening.

For today’s blog post though I just wanted to let you know about a recent interview.

A few weeks back I was visited by Photographer Stephen Cotterell who runs a podcast called Photography 121.

We spent roughly 1.5 hours talking through all kinds of things from how I started, why I teach, projects, thought process, inspiration and so much more. Stephen has the kind of personality that means you can’t help but warm to him; within minutes it honestly felt like we’d known each other for years and as a consequence I found myself talking about things I’ve never discussed before…


You can check out the Podcast Episode by visiting Stephen Web Site HERE

Make sure to subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes too and listen back through some of the previous episodes with other Photographers; in particular episode 51 where Stephen spoke with my Buddy Brian Worley aka Mr Canon:)

Right that’s all from today so HUGE thanks to Stephen for inviting me onto his Podcast; it was an absolute pleasure and yet again this wonderful world of Photography has introduced me to a new friend!

Have a great weekend and I’ll catch you back here in a few days.


  • June 20, 2014 - 9:20 pm

    maureen robinson - I attended the Redeye event today and want to say how good your input was. I have picked up many tips to improve my Photoshop. Thank you for such and informative event.

  • June 21, 2014 - 3:24 pm

    Glyn - Maureen…Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting; great to hear you enjoyed the day :)

Plug Ins and Adobe Photoshop CC (2014)

Hey Folks,

If’ you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber then I’m sure you’ll be aware that yesterday saw some BIG announcements and releases yesterday with over 1000 updates.

Obviously the ones I, and I’m guessing yourselves if you’re reading this blog, have the most interest in are those that were added / enhanced in the likes of Adobe Photoshop CC … which is now known as Adobe Photoshop CC (2014)

Anyway the purpose of this post isn’t to go through all of the updates as there’s lots of places you can do that already: [Link] and Terry White’s Tech Blog [Link] to name a couple. The purpose of this post however is just to briefly mention about plug ins…

Ok so if you were using plug ins with Photoshop CC before you updated you may find now that you have done so you can no longer see them and in fact if you navigate to where the plug ins are stored within the file structure you’ll not see them there either HOWEVER there is a simple fix without having to re-install them…


  • STEP 1: Navigate to the Photoshop CC folder in APPLICATIONS
  • STEP 2: Double Click to Open the PLUG-INS Folder to reveal all those installed and simply highlight them all and EDIT – COPY (Right Click + Copy)
  • STEP 3: Navigate to the Photoshop CC 2014 folder in APPLICATIONS
  • STEP 4: Double Click to Open the PLUG-INS Folder and then EDIT – PASTE (Right Click + Paste)
  • STEP 5: Close and Re-Open Photoshop CC 2014

•    •    •

So there you go just a quick Public Service Announcement to hopefully address any issues you may have with locating / installing plug ins since the update.


NOTE: I work on a Mac and The Plug Ins I have installed and use regularly at the moment are the Nik Collection by Google and the entire Topaz suite of Plug Ins and going through the process above has worked without any issues; I can’t however speak for other 3rd Party Plug Ins but if you do find that they have no issues they feel free to share which ones in the comments section below.

If however there are any issues you can still use Photoshop 14.2 as CC 2014 is a new install. Having the 2 versions at the moment I think is a good thing as before there have been times when new updates / installs have caused temporary clashes with plug ins; this way we have the best of both worlds.

  • June 19, 2014 - 6:01 am

    Brian Worley - Thanks Glyn, great helpful advice

    I’m not a big plug-in user but this will make things a little simpler when the CC update becomes live for me. So far creative cloud doesn’t think that there are any updates available to me – must be the slow internet round here :-)

  • June 19, 2014 - 6:14 am

    Phil - Thanks for the tip about plugins but how do I update the recent changes to photoshop cc?
    Cheers phil

  • June 19, 2014 - 7:05 am

    DaveT - So helpful Glyn – thanks :-).

  • June 19, 2014 - 9:25 am

    Robert L - Excellent …worked perfectly … Thank you

  • June 19, 2014 - 12:57 pm

    Mark Lynham - Thanks for this Glyn as it was what i was worried about and it has worked a treat! :-) and thank you for all the help and tutorials you give on your Youtube channel, top bloke!

  • June 19, 2014 - 2:02 pm

    Mark Coons - Thanks Glyn!!

  • June 19, 2014 - 4:06 pm

    Steve Healy - Worked for me on Windows 7. Many thanks. My problem is I can’t open Lightroom. I have contacted NAPP and Adobe for advice.

  • June 19, 2014 - 4:13 pm

    Adobe Updates CC (2014) | - […] Check out Glyn Dewis blog about moving over your plugins […]

  • June 19, 2014 - 6:11 pm

    Julianne - The Adobe FAQs for 2014 specifically say not to copy the plug-in from an older version of CC. It says they must be reinstalled. Have you tested this copy and paste on Windows?

  • June 19, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    Julianne - Sorry, I just saw Steve Healy’s comment that it worked for him on Windows 7.

  • June 19, 2014 - 6:31 pm

    Eliot - Glyn, if it does work, you will be my hero of the hour !

    Glyn, YOU ROCK !!!!

  • June 19, 2014 - 10:03 pm

    Aaron - Great tip!!! Never would have imagined it would be this simple!


  • June 20, 2014 - 6:48 am

    J.R. Maddox - Thank you Glyn…. I was actually just going to give this a look but you beat me to it…

    Just noticed as I copied it over… That there was 1.2 gb being copied…. Sure seems like a lot of space being used. I wonder why Adobe just doesn’t be done with the multiple versions.. I know for me I don’t have a lot of space to have multiple versions on my hard drive…
    Jumping off soap box now… =)

  • June 20, 2014 - 2:15 pm

    Greg Agee - I was afraid your solution was going to be too easy. It never seemed to work properly using this technique with previous PSD versions, but I copied them over, ran through all my filters and plug-ins and BAM, they all worked perfectly! Topaz, Red Giant, Mister Retro. Very exciting stuff!!!

  • June 20, 2014 - 5:35 pm

    Tim - What a huge fail this update is from a customer standpoint. The whole point of subscribing to CC is to make updating the software an easy process. There are reports all over Adobe’s blog and forum about plugins and settings not migrating over. among other issues.
    I don’t understand why there should be two versions of CC now (2014) and also why they chose to name them by the year. That naming convention always fails, as Microsoft found out. Why does there even need to be versions if this is an always-updatable subscription service? This whole CC product line is ridiculous. I have unsubscribed.

  • June 20, 2014 - 7:52 pm

    Vernon Nash - As a slight tweak to Glyn’s migration process I had installed my plug-ins in folders outside of the plug-ins folders, created shortcuts to those other folders and put the shortcuts in the plug-ins folder. The plug-ins all worked ok with Photoshop CC.

    I have just copied those shortcuts across to Photoshop cc 2014 plug-ins folder and tried a few out (Topaz, Noise Ninja etc.) and they seem to be working fine.

    Saves on hard drive bloat.

  • June 20, 2014 - 11:36 pm

    groovy - Thanks for tip. It worked for others but not for NIK Collection. Any suggestion :-)


  • June 20, 2014 - 11:48 pm

    groovy - error message

    Faulting module path: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2014\Plug-ins\Google\Selective Tool\SelectivePalette.8li

  • June 21, 2014 - 7:26 am

    John Arnold - From the Adobe site, it says
    “DO NOT:
    Do not manually drag plug-ins from a previous version of Photoshop’s plug-ins folder to a newer version of Photoshop’s ‘Plug-Ins’ folder

    If you encounter unexplained problems or crashes in Photoshop, use the following documents to determine if plug-ins are the problem:”

    So, not sure what to do here?

  • June 21, 2014 - 8:23 am

    Karen - Thank you so much, it seems to work fine after your instructions.

  • June 21, 2014 - 9:07 am

    Richard Wilson - Thanks Glyn,I have a bunch of Topaz filters and hope this has saved me a bunch of work. It was after doing this I found and read the warning from which advises a re-install of plugins.

    Didn’t fancy all that work so did a check to see if any problems. I opened an image which has 4 plugin filters applied. Turned filters off and on in various combinations as a test. Appears to be working well, no issues so fingers crossed.

  • June 21, 2014 - 3:23 pm

    Glyn - It’s your choice John but for me and lots of others it’s worked flawlessly.
    Adobe are right to advise against it as they would not want to advise something that may not work and may cause conflicts however the great thing is that CC 2014 is as new install so folks still have CC meaning any issues you can uninstall 2014 and just re install. Having both on your system for now I think is a really smart move.

    Hope that helps

  • June 22, 2014 - 5:21 pm

    todd - This method doesn’t work with Onone plugins. You need to reinstall those. If the copy paste method doesn’t work on your other plugins try right clicking on the plugin an select “create shortcut” and copy the shortcut and paste that into CC (2014)

  • June 22, 2014 - 5:23 pm

    Updates to LR (5.5) and CS6 / CC - Page 2 - […] CC2014 and it seems to work flawlessly. A very nice step-by-step "how-to" is available here. Reply   Reply With […]

  • June 22, 2014 - 9:02 pm

    Marc Boucher - less than 30 second for DW with all the new features :(

  • June 22, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    June Damanti - Thanks so much for this…

  • June 22, 2014 - 11:11 pm

    Graham - I have Photoshop CS5, CC and CC(2014)installed on my win 8 computer.
    I had to reinstall all my Topaz filters to get them to show in PS-CC. Then I performed Glyn’s method above to get them to show in PS-CC(2014.
    All work great with Topaz and I have not noticed any problems. I will wait until I am sure all is OK before uninstalling the older versions of PS.

  • June 23, 2014 - 12:18 am

    William Beem - Tried this on my laptop first. Can’t call it a success. Although Photoshop CC 2014 shows the plugins in the menu, they’re all disabled with the exception of on item in the Nik Collection. Can’t use them at all.

  • June 23, 2014 - 3:34 am

    Patrick P. - Hi Glyn,
    copied NIK and Topaz filters from CC to CC2014 on win7 and it worked flawlessly.

    Thanks ;)

  • June 23, 2014 - 2:36 pm

    Lars van de Goor - Thanks, that saved me a lot of worries

  • June 23, 2014 - 8:34 pm

    FoodShooterMIke - Ahhhh great Glyn, you made my day, sooooo easy and so WHY Didn´t I come up with this myself, I have been using PS since PS4 (not cs4) :)

    Thanks mate


  • June 23, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    Michael Pachis - For OnOne plugins there is one more step that has to be done. After you copy the plugins to your plugins folder go to the main application folder for Photoshop CC and copy the three files that begin “ON” and copy those to the main application folder of Photoshop CC (2014)and you will have your OnOne plugins back without a reinstall.

  • June 24, 2014 - 12:57 am

    Sean Holder - …Michael, I use PS CC and just did the upgrade, I have version 7.5 of OnOne installed but I do not see the additional files you are referring too. I wonder it that only applies to the latest version of OnOne. I will know in a few minutes when I copy the plugins over to PS CC2014.

  • June 24, 2014 - 3:18 am

    Jeff Van Syckle - Can’t seem to get this to work for Filter Forge 4. But then again, installing it in the usual way doesn’t seem to work either. Hmm. (Mac OSX)

  • June 24, 2014 - 4:00 am

    Michael Pachis - Sean – I have OnOne 8.5 so they very well maybe different.

  • June 24, 2014 - 8:12 am

    BJorn H Stuedal - Thanks Glyn! Saved my day.

  • June 24, 2014 - 11:44 pm

    ulrich tutsch - Thank you for the timely update. It works fine.

  • June 25, 2014 - 8:30 pm

    Push comes to shove – CC 2014 software issues | laura mclean photography - […] want to reinstall? See here for alternative method: Plug Ins and Adobe Photoshop CC (2014) (great blog post from Glyn […]

  • June 27, 2014 - 1:49 am

    Andrew - Hi Glyn, is there anyway to get panels made in Adobe Configurator 4 to show up, the copy and paste method doesn’t seem to work for these panels.

  • June 27, 2014 - 2:22 pm

    Monique - Great tip, thank you! It worked for all the plug-ins: the Topaz collection, Nik collection, onOne collection and Alien software.

  • June 28, 2014 - 10:39 pm

    Alfox - thanks very much, its work so fine

  • June 30, 2014 - 5:01 am

    Gary - Glyn, this was great. Solved my problem muy pronto!

  • June 30, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    egon - change step 2 and make an alias ( needs less space)

  • June 30, 2014 - 6:47 pm

    Glyn - egon…ONLY if you intend to keep both CC and CC 2014; not if you’re going to remove CC as most will ;)

  • July 3, 2014 - 6:15 pm

    Greg - Worked great and also worked for Anthropics Portrait Professional


  • July 6, 2014 - 6:36 pm

    Dave - Glyn – I don’t know why Adobe doesn’t just import plug-ins like they did in prior versions, but CC 2014 had to be different. Thank you very much for taking the time to write a very informative article that helped me import all of my Google NIK plug-ins!

  • July 14, 2014 - 5:42 am

    Camille - Thank you! Yet again valuable time taken from my working day by Adobe…maybe I should start billing them my time? :\

  • July 21, 2014 - 3:19 pm

    Dick - Glyn
    Thanks for the info. A GREAT help.

  • July 29, 2014 - 6:33 pm

    Colleen - THANK YOU! Just installed PS CC 2014 and discovered, to my horror, my plug-ins were gone. This was a great, simple and FAST solution!

  • July 29, 2014 - 11:44 pm

    Glyn - Glad it helped ;)