Photo Shoot & Technique: Meet my Buddy Richard aka Zim

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: May 9, 2011

Category: General

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be ~ Douglas Pagels (Author)

I feel incredibly blessed to have the friends that I do…people with whom I can share the good times and the bad, people I can spend time with and always end up laughing and people I can call on (and they me) no matter when and for no matter what.

One such person is Richard Vaughan aka Zim who I’ve known for 9 years now but who sadly for me and many others will soon be leaving the UK for good, to return home to Harare, Zimbabwe…

Zim is one of life’s good people; always fun to spend time with and someone I could (and have) spend hours chatting about his life back in Zimbabwe and experiences working as a Guide and Ranger.

When he gets back home he’ll be doing quite a bit of work in Hwange [Link]; a 10,000 square mile Game Park home to over 30,000 elephants where he’ll be working mainly on a voluntary basis with a good friend of Paul De Montille [Link], another Professional Guide, involved in de-snaring of all types of animals as well as Lion and Rhino, tracking and research work plus anti poaching activities.

As if that wasn’t enough he’ll also be freelancing as a Professional Walking Guide working in various camps around the country with one of his favourites being Rhino Safari Camp [link]

Someone who clearly believes that ‘Life is for Living’ in 9 years I cannot recall Zim ever being in anything but a good mood or saying anything negative about others.

I’m gonna really miss the Big Guy that’s for sure, but one things guaranteed, and that’s that I WILL be visiting him on his home turf, oh and I’ll be sure to hire out some rather large lenses too for some once in a lifetime shooting opportunities 🙂

Photo Shoot & Technique 1:
As my new workshop has launched and the dates have been published I popped over to the studio to run through a couple of setups and seeing as I was there I gave Zim a call to see if he was free to pop round. I’ve been meaning to photograph him for a while now and we’d originally planned to be ‘on location’ but seeing as the weather turned and I was in the studio anyway, what better opportunity to get started.

The first set up is one I’ll be utilising during the workshop for the compositing and that is where I make use of 3 lights: 2 x Profoto 1000’s in strip boxes to give rim light to the subject and another Profoto 1000 in an Octabox to the front…

Before/After
Here you can see the Before (Out of Camera) image and the After (Edited) image after the following steps in Photoshop:

  • Brighten/Sharpen Eyes
  • Add Contrast to Skin using RGB Channel
  • Dodging & Burning 1
  • Double RAW Conversion on clothing
  • Dodging & Burning 2 (High Speed Technique)
  • Enhance Details / Add Texture
  • Add Background
  • Vignette

Photo Shoot & Technique 2:
This particular set up isn’t one I’ll necessarily be using during the workshop but I did it just to get this ‘character’ portrait ‘keep sake’ of Zim.

Just the one light, which in this case was the Octabox, positioned at the 2 o’clock position to Zim (taking that the direction his nose was pointing as the 12 o’clock position) and shot against the matt black studio wall…

Before/After
Here again you can see the Before (Out of Camera) image and the After (Edited) image after the following steps in Photoshop:

  • Brighten/Sharpen Eyes
  • Add Contrast to Skin using RGB Channel
  • Dodging & Burning 1
  • Double RAW Conversion on clothing
  • Dodging & Burning 2 (High Speed Technique)
  • B&W Conversion
  • Blur Vignette

If you’d like to learn the techniques in this post and many more ‘hands on’ then why not join me at my new workshop ‘From Concept to Print‘; full details and pricing/tickets can be found here [Link] … it promises to be a day packed full of Photography and Photoshop!!!

As always if you have any questions or comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below but in the mean time here’s a few photographs that Zim himself emailed over to show you what his ‘Office’ will be like 🙂

Enjoy…

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8 Comments

  1. DaveT

    Gkyn, thanks for the illustration of the lighting set up and the talk through – very useful. Actually I like the colour rendition of Photo Technique 2 more than the B&W version (different tastes) because the brown tones in the clothing and skin plus the and lighting blend together.

    I’m sure Zim will be pleased with the results – he sounds a good guy to be around.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @DaveT…You’re welcome mate and yeah I’m torn between the colour and B&W version too.

      Reply
  2. SC

    Good post Glyn – seen you a few times on Scott Kelby’s blog and have started following yours. Your style of work is right up my street, love the dramatic moody lighting. Thanks for sharing the details of the lighting setup, very useful. The results are quality.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @SC…Thanks so much for the kind words; very good of you to stop by and comment.

      Cheers, Glyn

      Reply
  3. Tim Skipper

    Great post and excellent pictures as always. Zimbabwe will be a great place to get some cool pics.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Tim…Cheers Tim and yeah how cool would it be photographing out there…gotta be done!

      Reply
  4. David Kelly

    Hi Glyn. Thanks for the set up guide. That octabox gives a really nice soft light – looking forward to the seeing it in action at the workshop.

    Good luck & best wishes to Zim and whilst I’ve got a fair view of trees and greenery from my office, I think his office vista beats mine by country (or should that be Game Park?) mile! 🙂

    Regards,

    David

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @David…Thanks again for dropping by and for the house warming pressie…incredibly kind of you. Also…thanks for standing infront of the lens…sure it wasn’t planned but didn’t want to scare you away…lol 🙂

      Reply

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