My First Webinar: Q & A’s, Feedback & Lessons Learned

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: September 5, 2011

Category: General

Hi Folks,
I just want to send out a message of thanks to all of you who joined in with my first ‘Live’ Webinar last night. I had a total blast despite the nerves beforehand, oh and spilling a full pint glass of water into my lap just as Erik started the count down…”And your live in 3, 2, 1….splash!” …but hey, we’ll keep that between us right 😉

Where technology is concerned there’s always the thought in the back of your mind hoping that there’s no glitches but thankfully everything worked well apart from a little bit of ‘lag’ in the internet connection. Judging from all the feedback that’s been coming in though, that wasn’t too much of an issue and didn’t affect the transmission plus everyone who joined in will also be able to download the full webinar recording in a few days time.

Teaching in this way is a completely different experience to that of teaching in front of a group of people; I was going to say that you don’t hear the laughs at any of your jokes but in my case that’s nothing new 🙂

Anyway, during the webinar attendees were able to submit questions ‘Live’ and some of those were able to be answered by Erik who kindly took care of the hosting but there’s a few I didn’t get chance to answer because of time constraints so I thought here would be a good place to do just that…

Q: The settings in Topaz are key I think but Glyn did not show these 🙁 So what are his Topaz preset details? 
 A: Topaz Details ROCKS! The only downer is that the preview pane when you’re using it in no way reflects what your settings will produce. Here’s a screen grab of the settings I use for now which produce quite a strong result but as the Topaz Details are applied onto their own layer I just reduce the opacity once back in Photoshop to an amount that I like the look of…

Q: I use Aperture – is that OK?
A: Absolutely. To be honest I use just a fraction of what Lightroom can do as I tend to use it more like an advanced cataloguing utility and the majority of my editing happens in Photoshop.

Q: On the top of the forehead why did you choose not to dodge/burn?
A: Great question. The reason for this is that the ‘hot spot’ on Nigel’s forehead was so bright it contained no detail/pixels to ‘burn down’ so using the Healing Brush in the Blend Mode of ‘Darken’ works great in these kind of circumstances.

Q: When using the Quick Selection Tool, why does everyone select the subject instead of the more even colored background? 
A: Most of the time selecting the subject works just great and I prefer to make a selection where I’m adding as opposed to subtracting…if that makes sense. As you saw last night though doing a mixture of adding and subtracting is generally what’s needed to make a selection, but hey who knows what the next version of Photoshop will enable us to do.

Q: How do Calvin Hollywood, Dragon and your effects differ from each other for bringing out details?  Have you tried the Topaz Adjust 4.  Will you have your numbers for Topaz Details ?
A: Wow 3 questions in 1…that’s just cheating 🙂 Seriously though, Calvin is someone I’ve looked up to and being inspired by for quite some time and I draw a lot from his style. Using the Topaz Details plug in was something he suggested I start using and well, if he suggests it…I’m doing it. With regards to Topaz Adjust I’ve not used it but I’m surge at some point I’ll take a look because I’m always hearing good things about it, oh and re my settings check out the first question 🙂

Q: I’m wondering what shade of Grey Glyn shoots on. Light, medium, or dark gray? I had to miss the first few minutes of the webinar so my appologies if he already covered it? 
A: The grey seamless I shoot on is just a touch darker than mid grey which works great for most of the compositing work I shoot but to be honest for this one a darker grey would have been better; one is now on order I hasten to add. BTW you can see the set up I used in this earlier blog post [Link]

Q: When shooting for a composite Glyn, do you shoot from a certain perspective i.e just below your subject ?
A: Now that depends on who I’m shooting and what the background is that I using. For example if I’m shooting a 3/4 length shot like this one of Nigel I’ll be shooting from low down to exaggerate the ‘presence and power’ of Nigel…in fact I’ll do this for all the male subjects I shoot. However if I have a background already in mind I’ll look at the angle it was shot at and try to get as near to that angle as possible so that the final composite looks real.

Q: What is the spec of Glyn’s machine. Does he use a Mac Pro?
A: Ok, yep I have a 17″ Macbook Pro which is about 6 months old and now only gets used for tethering and for teaching at workshops. My main work horse is an iMac which I just love but is now coming up to 3 years old so that’s being replaced in the next couple of months.

Q: Please thank Glyn for all the behind the scenes posts on his blog. Great stuff!
A: Not at all, it’s me that should be thanking you for taking the time to look in, read and leave comments; I get a real kick out of doing it.

Q: Do you always use the side strip lights on your subject when you are shooting for a composite?
A: I’ll always have them there but it all depends what I want to the lighting effect to be i.e. if there’s going to be a moon in the final composite and it’s behind and to one side of the subject then I’ll perhaps use just one side light so as to mimic what the light would have been like in ‘real life’.

Q: I’ve a feeling I selected not to get the emails, please can I change my mind and have me added to getting info about future webinars please?
A: Absolutely you can; it’s great to know I won’t be alone during the next one 🙂

Q: Is Glyn a Professional Photographer (learned or studied) or self-tought?
A: Ok to answer the first question…yes I’m a Pro Photographer and the majority of my work is Commercial, Advertising, CD Artwork for Bands/Musicians etc but I’m looking at developing my Workshop series too where we concentrate on both the Photography and the Photoshop side of things. With regards to how I got to this stage I owe a heck of a lot to a lot of people. I never studied photography and College or University or anything like that, I just went and continue to go on courses and am always looking to learn more. I’m very fortunate to have great friends who are very successful in the industry…such people like Scott Kelby, Matt KloskowskiCalvin Hollywood, Zack Arias, Tim Wallace, and Alan Hess … all of whom are a constant support and inspiration to me and it’s theses folks that I’m constantly learning from. Before I ever picked up a camera I started using Photoshop which  is why it’s a very important part of my style and it was joining the N.A.P.P. [Link] from day 1 that has helped me to get to the stage I’m at now. Don’t get me wrong I am no where near where I want to be but without N.A.P.P. , Kelby Training [Link] and the great friends I have I’d be on completely the wrong road…and that I don’t doubt for one second.

•     •     •

As for looking to the future and more webinars there’s lots I learned from last night plus some great suggestions coming in too such as having one computer set up as a ‘viewer’ so that I can see for myself the speed everyone is viewing the webinar at and so compensate for any ‘lag’ ; I have Gene McCullagh [Link] to thank for that one which just makes so much sense.

So there you have it…

Again thank you to everyone who signed up and joined in last night and also a huge thank you to Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski who spread the word more than once during The Grid [Link]; guys you left me speechless which is a rarity believe me 🙂

I’ll be posting more details in the future about upcoming webinars; the next of which is going to be a short (30 minutes or so) on roughly half a dozen quick techniques…and that’s a freebie.

Any questions or comments then please as always feel free to make use of the comments section below but in the mean time,
Enjoy 🙂

•     •     •

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  1. David Kelly

    Congrats on getting that first one out of way mate. The lag caused a few problems for me ‘watching’ what you were doing but your commentary allowed me to track what you were doing in my head whilst waiting for the screen to catch up. Of course the benefit of it being recorded is that I get to watch it again without any such issues 😉

    Timekeeping with these presentations / demonstrations can be a problem as you saw last night but I think that was because you were so relaxed enjoying yourself to much, messing about with all that dodging & burning 😉

    Looking forward to the next one 🙂



    • Glyn

      @David…Thanks for the feedback and for attending mate; as always I really do appreciate your constant support.

      Thanks, Glyn

  2. A.J. Wood

    Glad it was a success. Sorry again I missed it, but look forward to the recording.

    • Glyn

      @A.J. No worries Buddy; just make sure you have a blast out in Vegas 😉

  3. Steve Fell

    Good stuff Glynn, looking forward to the recording and the next one.


    • Glyn

      @Steve…Thanks for that mate

  4. Steve Porter

    Hi Glyn. I really enjoyed the webinar and have learned some new ways of doing things that will hopefully save time. Topaz is first on the list! I have been applying your grunge/desaturated tips for a while now but that Topaz looks really good. Looking forward to the next one. Hope to see you on a workshop soon.

    • Glyn

      @Steve…Thanks so much for the feedback from the Webinar mate, I really do appreciate it. Yeah agreed Topaz Rocks!


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