Bodybuilding, Photography and Photoshop

Last Sunday, for reasons I can’t explain, I woke up with the urge to have a sort out…

After a few months of neglect the garage had become a little disorganised, my book shelf was bursting at the seams and drawers in the office were getting like the ‘bits n bobs’ drawer that everyone has in their kitchen.

Anyway, after a full day of sorting through boxes, several trips to the recycling depot and charity shops and finally putting everything into order, all was calm again. Actually on a serious note, it’s incredible how good it feels to do this once in a while…almost therapeutic:)

One of the boxes in the garage had all sorts of stuff in there from random cables to brochures I’d kept but also buried at the bottom were a number of loose CD’s. I’d not idea what was on them so loaded them in and was beaming from ear to ear to discover they were photographs I thought I’d lost when a hard drive had failed on me a few years back.

The photographs were ones I’d had taken the day after my last Bodybuilding Competition around 6 and a bit years ago…


These photographs were taken by a friend of mine who, at the time, had a small home studio in his loft space and were taken as a favour for a keep sake so that in years to come I could look back on them.

Seeing them made me think all sorts…

Bodybuilding for me felt like something I was meant to do. Getting up at 5am to do an hour of cardio, then work for the day and then go to the gym to train with weights, although gruelling, was effortless. It was something I just did because I knew that if I didn’t commit myself to it 100% then I wouldn’t get the physique I wanted. I knew that success if you like, was down to me and no one else and as I wasn’t going to be handed a physique then I had to work at it.

It may sound corny but this is how I’ve always viewed my Photography and Photoshop. Not picking my camera up each day or not doing something in Photoshop that would help me to progress, feels like it did when I couldn’t get to the gym. I find myself getting restless, chomping at the bit so will always find something to do. Thankfully it’s not often these days that I find myself going a day without having something to work on, and even if I did then I’d work on a personal project, and that’s something I’ve mentioned about before.


I guess if anything though, what I’m trying to explain here, but going about it a very long way, is that when you find something that you truly love doing and something that feels like you were meant to do it, then working hard comes easy.

When I first started in this Photography and Photoshop industry, I didn’t have a clue what it was I wanted to specialise in. I knew, because I’d been told so many times, that I had to specialise, but finding or knowing what was another thing. Like most people I guess, I tried everything and very soon I discovered what I didn’t like to do, which left me with a clearer idea of what I did/do like to do…and guess what…it involves physiques and sport. Sure I do a lot of other kinds of work but ultimately it’s working with physiques, sport, people who have drive and determination that fascinates me and are the areas I really love working in and feel natural to do so.

On a related note, a friend of mine Keith Hammond up until the past couple of years was a successful and well respected Wedding Photographer. Week in week out Keith would be photographing weddings and he was great at it as his images showed. Now I say ‘up until the past couple of years’ because Keith all of sudden announced he wasn’t doing weddings anymore but was going to go into photographing music/bands. I’ll admit that at first I thought he was making a mistake because I thought he loved photographing weddings but when I asked him about it, he told me that he’d always had liked music and felt drawn to it; it felt like it was something he was meant to do.

Well, long story short, Keith is now photographing well known bands publicity work for new albums, photographing concerts and gigs, loving his photography and couldn’t be happier!

Anyway I’ve no idea where all this came from but I just thought I’d share it with you.

Oh and re the Bodybuilding, I’m often asked if I miss it. In truth…absolutely! But…watch this space:)

Catch you later,

Compositing: It’s about Lighting NOT Photoshop

Hi Folks

Today I just wanted to mention about something I saw posted the other day.

Last week the folks over at Buzzfeed posted an article showing some green/blue screen video stills and their final movie output. This kind of thing I find totally fascinating seeing how the movie industry goes about creating the most amazing scenes and effects; the best thing of all being that even what you’d expect to be included during the filming is very often composted in afterwards.

Anyway, whilst it’s great looking at the difference between the real footage and the final movie, the thing that I always notice is the lighting.

What I mean by this is the lighting on the actors/characters never between the before / after. The lighting created during the original photo shoot is THE most important element when it comes to creating a composite and this is something I always stress in my teaching.

Perspective, shadows and colour can all be altered to add to the realism of a composite. Ok perspective less so because again that is a very important part of compositing however the highlights and shadows are vital; get these right during the shoot and the composting will be so much easier and so much better!

There’s no doubt in my mind that despite all the incredible advancements with Photoshop and 3rd party plug ins, one part of the equation will ALWAYS be there…and that’s the Photography!

Check out the pictures below to see what I mean…

300: Rise of an Empire


The Avengers

X-Men: Days of Future Past

CLICK HERE to see the interactive versions of these images and more over on BuzzFeed

Have a great week and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.


Behind the Lens with Joel Grimes (@joelgrimesphoto)

Hey Everyone

Not sure if you would have seen this already but earlier this week, Joel Grimes posted the first episode of his new weekly YouTube video blog called Behind the Lens.

In this opening episode Joel touches on how he regularly will spend time looking through the work of other photographers and make a note of what he likes; a process he does on a regular basis to help inspire and give a focus for the direction he wants to head in with his own work.

Joel talks about the importance of getting out and shooting again and again to create a body of work and how doing so will help to develop your own unique style.

One of the most important points Joel makes, and this is something every single one of us at some point need to get to grips with, is that not everyone will like what you do…but that’s ok. There’s certain things you’re drawn to and certain things that other folks are drawn to and sure enough…sometimes they just don’t match up.

Enjoy the video,
Make sure you subscribe to Joel’s YouTube Channel [Link],
Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here in a few days.


  • November 28, 2014 - 6:31 am

    Anthony Crothers - What a great video and fantastic advice, thanks for sharing.

    I’ve only recently discovered your site via you tube, I really appreciate all the effort you put in, keep up the good work,

    Best regards,


  • November 30, 2014 - 4:35 am

    DaveT - Thanks for the heads up on this Glyn – I’ll add it to my bookmarks.

  • December 5, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    Alex Saunders - Great video and advice.

Photoshop Tutorials and Short Courses from Dave Cross

Hi Everyone

Today I want to point you to a new website set up by my friend Dave Cross.

A Photoshop Educator since 1990, Dave was one of the first people I learned from when I started out using Photoshop, as he was also one of the original Photoshop Guys at the N.A.P.P. (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) now KelbyOne.

The original champion of using Smart Objects and working non destructively, Dave’s knowledge of Photoshop is seemingly endless and by that I mean not just his application but how he manages dig deep inside and find solutions and workarounds.

This week Dave has launched a brand new area to his website with both short tutorials and full courses covering a wide range of techniques and essential skills to help develop a deeper understanding of Photoshop…


The great thing about the courses that Dave has recorded (and is constantly adding to) is how he doesn’t just show you what something does, for example Adjustment Layers, he goes into the how and why. Dave pushes it further to show how you can do things you likely wouldn’t have thought of, and this is very typical of Dave’s teaching style in that he manages to not just teach, but educate …and there is a difference.

CLICK HERE to check out the growing number of courses and tutorials available over on

Highly Recommended!

  • December 1, 2014 - 4:36 pm

    Dave Cross - Thanks Mate!!

Kick Boxing Coach Portraits: Train Like a Pro

Hi Folks

Today I thought I’d share some portraits from a recent photo shoot working on promotional material for the Train Like a Pro – White Collar Boxing Events

Over the coming weeks/months I’ll share more from behind the scenes and promotional work for these events which attract celebrities from the worlds of TV and Sport (Andy Collins, Phil Tufnell, Vernon Kay, Colin McMillan, Joe Pasquale…)

In the mean time though here’s portraits of two of the coaches, Mike and Nathan…


For those of you interested in lighting set ups, the same was used here as with the earlier portraits of Kick Boxer Steven ‘Pocket Rocket’ Cook, and if you missed the post showing that, you can check out out here [LINK]

As always if you have any questions / comments then feel free to email me direct to or leave a comment in the section below.

Also, check out the larger / better screen quality versions of these portraits over in my 500px portfolio by clicking HERE.

Ok that’s all from me so have a great Tuesday and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.