I have a great appreciation for creatives. I know so many amazing photographers it’s not even funny. I know even more amazing designers who have taught me more than I ever thought I could learn. It’s a rare thing when great photographers are also incredible designers and Glyn Dewis is both – and more because he’s also an inspiring instructor.
Great photographers and great designers know the secret to realizing their vision is to see the final image in your mind and then use the tools at your disposal to fulfill that vision. Cameras and software are tools but having vision is something you need to find within. What Glyn has created with his first book, appropriately titled: “the Photoshop Workbook”, is an instruction manual to using one of the most important tools that can help you start thinking about your final images in a whole new way.
Who is Glyn Dewis?
Glyn Dewis is an awesome person. I’ve seen him teach in person and I’ve also had the great fortune of getting to spend some time with him after the classes were concluded. If you’re not familiar with Glyn’s work you can see what makes his images special at his 500px page here.
One look at his work and you instantly realize his shots don’t come out of the camera looking like his final images. He has an idea before he ever picks a camera up and he then works to make that idea a reality. It starts at the shoot when he chooses his subject and how he’ll be setting up his lighting. It continues with his time working with the image his camera captured in software like Photoshop and Lightroom. Sometimes he uses compositing and sometimes his deft use of filters, layers and masks help him create something special.
the Photoshop Workbook
In his book, the Photoshop Workbook, Glyn shares a number of his favorite techniques that have been used to create some of his most memorable images. Having a solid understanding of where an image starts and where it concludes can give anyone new to Photoshop an idea of what is possible. The Photoshop Workbook takes a number of his most famous images from start to finish right before the readers eyes.
Getting to know the techniques is an important step in being truly creative. By knowing what a technique will do for you it will open your mind about the possibilities for making your pictures into something unique.
Over the years I’ve learned to do a lot in Photoshop. What a lot of people don’t know about full-time designers (who work for a big design company) is that we don’t always get to use our personal computer to do our jobs. We’re using company computers with whatever software is installed. They’re often connected to company networks where the work of designers can be completely protected.
Why do I bring this up? Because plugins, for all their power and ease of use, are not available to a lot of professional designers and retouchers. We need to know how to use Photoshop because it’s the industry standard and it can do almost anything we could ever want (just not as quickly as a filter might let you do it).
Another problem with using plugins is that you’re often a passenger along for the creative ride. You launch the plugin and cycle through different possibilities as you ask yourself: “do I like this”. It’s completely different than knowing what you want the finished image to look like and applying the techniques necessary. This mindset is why I’m such a strong believer in people like Glyn and every great instructor/author I’ve been fortunate to learn from over the years.
Don’t get me wrong – I have and use plenty of plugins. I don’t use them the way most people do. They’re a tool in my creative kit that help me achieve what I want, not a crutch when I don’t know where I want to take my image.
Secrets of the Pros
Glyn’s book shares the professionals secrets to creating stunning images with Photoshop (and from time to time it also shares tips for using one of the most popular plugins). If your goal is a job in the creative industry then knowing what’s in the pages of Glyn’s book is a great place to start.
I give Glyn’s book my highest recommendation. He’s always been one of my favorite people in the creative industry and the knowledge and personality I’ve come to respect is there in every image and on every page. This book belongs on the bookshelf of everyone who enjoys creating something special beyond what can be captured with a camera and some lights.
You can support my blog by using the sponsor links below