Oxfordshire Home Guard Photo Shoot: Behind the Scenes

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: September 26, 2016

Category: Photography

This past few days I’ve been sharing some pictures from a recent photo shoot with the Oxfordshire Home Guard.

Captain: Oxfordshire Home Guard - Glyn Dewis Photography

The photo shoot and some of the resulting pictures are to be featured in a chapter in my new book Photograph Like a Thief where I go through everything from start to finish including:

  • Inspiration
  • Gear (Big and Small Flash alternative)
  • Set Up
  • The Photo Shoot
  • Post Production

Today though I thought I’d give you a look Behind the Scenes in advance…

Kit Used
The Photo Shoot was held in a local Village Hall where the Home Guard members regularly hold their meetings and in fact was actually on a night they were having a meeting so I arrange to get there a little earlier to set up.

The set up was kept nice and simple using just one light source for a number of reasons but mainly because I wanted to keep the lighting fairly simple and also didn’t want to impose too much on the meeting. You see this was the first photo shoot I’ve had with this group and we plan to do a lot more but for this first photo shoot I wanted to leave them with a good impression in that I didn’t cause too much disruption, didn’t want to take up too much of their time but despite this still produce results they’d love. I strongly believe that first impressions count so that working with them again would be welcomed with open arms…does that make sense?

So with regards to kit used:

  • Canon 5D MKIII
  • Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II
  • 3 Legged Things ‘Winston’ Tripod
  • Tether Tools Cables + Jerk Stopper (to prevent cable being pulled out and damaging socket in camera)
  • Elinchrom ELC 1000 Head
  • Elinchrom Rotalux 135cm Octa
  • Grey Seamless Paper Background

Lighting Set Up
Here you can see some images showing you how the kit was set up for this shoot:

Glyn Dewis Home Guard Photo Shoot Behind the Scenes

As for the positioning of the Octa I’ve mentioned before about Cross Lighting and how the light is positioned to the side and front of the subject and above you can also see how I’ve angled it down so as to prevent any strange shadows being cast from the light hitting the nose side on.

The pictures below gives you a better idea of actually how far in front the the Octa was positioned and also how it was turned slightly away from the subjects so that the feathered edge of the light was used:

Glyn Dewis Home Guard Photo Shoot Behind the Scenes

Shooting Tethered
Shooting tethered is a MUST and something I will ALWAYS do unless shooting outside and the weather just isn’t suitable. Seeing your images come on a big screen as you shoot allows you to see so much more and to see stuff that you’d likely miss if you were only looking at the pictures on the back of your camera (regardless of how good the screens are). I prefer to have my laptop resting on top of my Peli Case keeping it as low to the ground as possible as opposed to having it on a stand…too many times either myself or others have knocked it before and reactions akin to Peter Parker thankfully saved my MacBook Pro crashing to the floor 🙂

Glyn Dewis Home Guard Photo Shoot BTS

Out of Camera
Below you can see an example of an Out of Camera shot showing the grey seamless background. The texture and overall look to the background is added in Photoshop and Camera RAW but I’ve also now put an order in for some canvas textured backgrounds from a company called Gravity Backgrounds which ultimately means…fewer retouching steps 🙂

Home Guard Behind the Scenes

Oxfordshire Home Guard - Glyn Dewis Photography

So there’s a sneak peek Behind the Scenes showing you how my recent Home Guard series of portraits were photographed / lit and like I mentioned, in my new book I’ll also be taking you through the Post Production / Retouching Step by Step. I may even record a short video for YouTube showing one part of the retouch but to be honest with the book deadline looming the next 3 weeks I’m going to be busy at the keyboard.

Can’t wait to work with these folks again continuing this project with outdoor and location shoots to be planned and with access to all manner of period vehicles and memorabilia the possibilities are endless.

In the mean time here’s some other results from this first photo shoot with BIGGER  results available over on my 500px portfolio page HERE and I’ll share more later this week.

Roger: Oxfordshire Home Guard - Glyn Dewis Photography

SARGE: Oxfordshire Home Guard - Glyn Dewis Photography

Oxfordshire Home Guard - Glyn Dewis Photography

Peter: Oxfordshire Home Guard - Glyn Dewis Photography

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  1. Mike Pinn

    Great set of shots Glyn, love the finished look.

  2. Gene Malymeik

    Really love the series you’ve done. Very simple background, lights and props. Love the processing effect and hope you do a blog or a tutorial on how you achieved the effect. BUT more importantly I love you taking these portraits and honoring the brave men and women who scarfed so much for all of future generations. Well done Glyn. Thank you.

    • Glyn Dewis

      Thanks Gene. Re the processing I’m including a full chapter in my new book covering this photo shoot and all the retouching steps but may record a little video for YouTube beforehand.

      Thanks for looking in.

  3. Peter Rooney

    Top job again Glyn, brilliant work. Reminiscent of the Regina Pagles series. I’m about to be doing a similar style series using fairytale characters for my MPA qualifications next year, may I ask your camera settings?

  4. Charles Farrah


  5. Paula Mallia

    Awesome work! Would you also be putting a tip sheet in regarding the photoshop work you did on these Glyn?

  6. Els Vercauteren

    OMG… This is awesome…
    I really like this…
    I did some re-enactments last year here in Belgium in B&W but this is also awesome!
    If you ever come to Belgium to give a workshop, please let me know! 🙂


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