Glyn Dewis Shares How to Turn a BAD Picture into a GREAT Picture Using Post Production

It has happened to all of us a million times: After wrapping up a creative photo shoot and go through some of the images in post, we typically find a few photos in there that are "meh" at best and you most likely pass over or discard. Well, photographer and retoucher Glyn Dewis once again shares an awesome Photoshop / Lightroom tutorial on how he turned one of his throwaway photos into a killer shot. Check out the final image and information below.

According to Glyn's original post:

"This week I take you through the entire retouch of a picture from out of camera to the finished print ready version BUT focusing on how to turn a BAD picture into a GREAT picture.

The original starting image was a test shot taken at the very start of a photo shoot and actually a file I’d completely disregarded and thought of as a throw away HOWEVER seeing as I keep all the files from every shoot, from time to time I’ll revisit these throw away images to see if something can actually be done to make it portfolio worthy…

The technology we have at our finger tips these days with incredible sensors in our cameras and constant updates and improvements to Lightroom and Photoshop is definitely allowing us to push things that much further than we ever could; to the point where we can (at times) literally make something from nothing.

That being said, you can’t and never will beat getting the best possible file in camera but it’s a a lot of fun playing that’s for sure."


There's a reason why we feature Glyn so much on here. He gives solid and straightforward retouching tips that helps shooters on all levels.

Make sure to check out his blog:

Douglas Sonders's picture

Commercial Photographer (mainly Phase One medium format digital) and filmmaker based out of NYC. Started a site called to spread stories about well-behaved and positive pitbulls. Love cars, 80s movies, dogs, and adventure. Free time is spent traveling, sleeping, adventuring, or working on my baby, a 1969 Mustang Mach 1.

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I assume y'all know the title is link/flamebait. I'll just sit back and watch the fireworks.

I agree, this has to be a joke.

From the thumbnail, I thought the guy in the picture was looking at a phone.

he was :P

I'm glad Glyn pointed out Paper Textures Pro as a quick and dirty method for background textures. Anyone recommend other software/plugins that have a similar purpose?

Does anyone else find heavy use of the 'shadows' slider really unappealing? The second I saw this picture I thought that's what he had done. I still appreciate the outcome, considering what he started with.

Good skills on the computer. Would they be as well in-camera?

where is the great picture ? :p

#1) It's not that great, it's "great compared to the bad one".

#2) Can't you guys just put a side-by-side comparison of the Bad Vs. "Great" picture, so that we can analyze it more properly and not have to watch a 33-minute video to know if it's worth it or not?

Seriously, fstoppers, you need to edit your articles better and send them back to the posters. The ONLY reason I complain is because I L.O.V.E. the good articles at fstoppers but it's becoming very hard to filter out. I bought equipment from your affiliate links and will not hesitate to do it again as long as you keep the great stuff great.

As for the writer, you're definitely an advanced, successful photographer and I am only a newbie, that I admire a lot, and I hope you take my small comment as a positive thing. ;D

I can definitely relate. Too many times, the software tech has saved my tush! Good job on this one!!