Where there’s a will, there’s Photoshop

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: August 30, 2010

Category: Videos

Last week I posted the ‘Run for Alfie’ picture here on the blog along with an overview as to what the picture was for and why it simply had to be done.

Now, if you’ve read the story of little Alfie you’ll understand why it was so important to me that we created something that was kind of impactive and had the desired effect of making people who saw it, stop and want to know more; however the shoot itself proved quite a challenge…

The day of the Shoot
A few days prior to the shoot all was in order; a suitable location had been sourced, everyone involved knew where and when to meet, I knew the shot we were going to be working on and perfect weather conditions were forecast; needless to say I was pretty darned excited 🙂

But come the morning of the shoot, the 4 solid weeks of glorious weather we’d been having decided to take a turn for the worst as we woke to torrential rain, high winds and a grey featureless sky…gutted!

The Shoot
Those who know me will be aware that photographing in bad weather is something I’ve become accustomed to; however today was different as it wasn’t just me, an assistant and a couple of models I had to consider. Today I’d be photographing children as well as adults and because of the weather this changed things alot.

As we started shooting the weather just seemed to be getting worse by the minute and if I’m honest, I was beginning to think we weren’t going to get the shot. But the thing is I had to get the shot because there just weren’t any other days coming up when everyone would be available at the same time plus the photo had to be in circulation asap to start making people aware of the upcoming event ‘Run for Alfie’

With the rain pouring down on us I took as many shots as I reasonably could; kit and V.A.L’s (Voice activated Light Stands) braving the elements but a few minutes into it we just had to call it a day and go with what we’d managed to take. Don’t ask me why though but at the end I did my usual of ‘Just a couple more shots and we’re done’ and took a couple of very quick portrait shots…one of the guys who would be running, and one of Alfie and his parents; this decision turned out to be a life saver…

Lighting Set Up
Lighting diagrams I had in my head all went down the drain (literally) thanks to the weather, which meant I had to work real quick which in turn meant keeping it simple and it doesn’t get much simpler than one Nikon SB800 Speedlight and a shoot-thru umbrella:

Where there’s a will, there’s Photoshop
Once we’d packed everything up and said our goodbye’s I just didn’t feel 100% about how things had worked out. I found myself feeling annoyed and quite angry about the whole situation. I’m usually someone who goes round very positive about things and life in general; I’m definitely a glass is half full kind of guy but today I was struggling. All I kept thinking was ‘why today?’. We’d had 4 weeks of fantastic weather and then wallop! … on the day we’re working on a photograph that is to be used to raise money in order to make the life of one very sick little boy a little easier, the weather turns on us. It just didn’t seem fair!

Still, fair or not there had to be a photograph and this leads me on to what I said earlier about taking the two quick portrait shots at the end and how they turned out to be a life saver. Check out the video below to see what I mean:

So it was the last two very quick portrait shots that saved the day; two shots I could have very easily not taken so a BIG lesson was learned:

Keep going regardless of circumstance and just when you think you’ve finished…take a couple more shots for good measure!

* * *

Next week I’ll be posting up a series of videos I’ve recorded along with walk-throughs going through the editing process step by step but in the meantime,
Enjoy 🙂

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  1. Dan Davies

    And you did all of that in 4 mins 53 seconds? Boy you’re good!

    Nice recovery Glyn, goes to show that determination, knowledge and creativity can outwit the worst of the British Weather.

    • Glyn

      Dan, it’s just down to the amount of practice I get from shooting in bad weather…lol

      On a serious note though, it’s times like this that Photoshop is an absolute ‘God Send’ because without it we’d have been snookered!

      Thanks for commenting mate; hope all is well.

      Cheers, Glyn 🙂

  2. David Kelly


    Glad that you got the shot(s) that saved the day. I don’t what image you had envisaged for the ‘good’ weather but I’m sure all must be very pleased with the resultant shot you got given the conditions presented on the day & some PS magic.

    Looks like a really good tutorial there from what I pick up at x2 speed.

    BTW Who had the pleasure(?) of being the wet VAL on this occasion?



    • Glyn

      Hi David. Thanks for commenting. Funnily enough the shot I was wanting was actually what we ended up with after the Photoshop treatment; only difference is that I intended to do it in one shot.

      The VAL was a mate of mine; at least he was before it poured down…lol


    • Glyn

      @Tim…Cheers for that 🙂

  3. DaveT


    WOW is the word I will use, this is the work of a true professional.

    I read a lot about getting it right in camera, and avoid having to post process, but sometimes you need to be able to create something out of different elements.

    What comes across loud and clear is that you not only had the artistic vision at the time of shooting, you had the technical expertise to ‘make’ a fantastic image.

    Thanks for the post

    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Thanks so much for that mate; very kind of you to say that 🙂

  4. Kevin Mullins

    Thanks for sharing all this Glyn – great final result, and of course, a great cause too.

    • Glyn

      @Kevin…You’re welcome mate and thanks for the kind words 🙂

  5. Noel

    Hey Glyn,
    great shots, great layout and dare I say it the lighting is spot on! Whatever you did in post … fantastic shot.
    thanks for sharing

    • Glyn

      @Noel…Cheers Buddy 🙂

  6. Lee Ramsden

    Amazing Photoshop work as always Glyn, and for such a good cause.

    Can I ask to get the dramatic contrast and darkening are you darkening with curves and using different layer styles?

    Cheers awesome as always, and I hope your hair dresser from another post gets through, those images are stunning and to then be allowed more creativity will look fantastic. :0)

    • Glyn

      @Lee…Thanks for the kind words mate 🙂
      Re the contrast, in this series it was a simple curves adjustment and using a preset on Medium Contrast. Normally I would then change the blend mode to Luminosity to prevent the colour saturation the contrast causes but as I was then doing a B&W conversion I didn’t bother in this case. I’ve got a series of videos (3) breaking down and doing a walk through of this edit. I was going to post them this week but that will most likely be next now as this week is looking pretty busy now.

      Yeah fingers crossed for Phil cos I really want to push this project; if ever there was a chance to go a little wild, this would be it 🙂


  7. Lee Ramsden

    Excellent look forward to the postings ;0)

    Do you no longer post as podcasts? i have you subscribed and so can view when not online which i like, but is this just another medium to add to everything else to keep you busy? twitter, blogs, facebook, websites, you will need to hire some admin staff :0)

    • Glyn

      Hi Lee.
      Re the podcasts yeah I’m still doing them however it’s on the ‘To-Do’ list to reload all the current ones plus new ones as I believe they wont play on mobile devices in their current format.
      All part of the never ending ‘to do’ list … wouldn’t have it any other way though 🙂

      Cheers for dropping by Buddy.



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