'The Power of Personal Projects' 14 July 2020   

On 14th July, Glyn Dewis joined us on Zoom! to give his presentation on The Power of Personal Projects.
Glyn told us he started as a Photoshop retoucher in TV before moving on to take his own photos. Early advice he received as a photographer was a) if you don’t know what to photograph, then photograph everything and b) set yourself photographic projects.
Having a love of wildlife, Glyn began taking photos of animals, mostly in zoos and wildlife parks. He would then use his knowledge of Photoshop to recreate the images to show the animals in a different context, for example his images of elephants at water holes. An encounter at Monkey World with an ape that had experienced a particularly hard life led Glyn to appreciate the power of facial expressions, as seen in his image of the ape.
After seeing the film Dad’s Army, he contacted the Oxfordshire Re-enactment Group and, with their help and enthusiasm, started learning how to photograph people in uniform. Using these contacts, he contributed images to a book for a church group showing individuals with photos of themselves as young children in wartime.
This experience led Glyn to decide that he wanted to take images of British veterans of the Second World War in their homes as a full time project. So he started what became his 39-45 Portraits Project and his images can be seen on his website. 
Glyn talked us through his encounters and the stories behind the people in his photographs. The Horsa glider pilot who landed in at Pegasus Bridge in Normandy on D-Day; the 90 year old lady who, at 18, had been a radio operator in Normandy with SOE; the 99 year old who had become the youngest spitfire pilot during the Battle of Britain; to name just a few.
Glyn also talked about how he sets his subjects at ease in front of the camera, uses a remote release and silent shutter with a steady light so that the subject is not always aware of photos being taken. This was particularly useful, he said, when photographing a veteran who still suffered from PTSD after a shell landed at his feet before exploding. He also presented a short video to show how to set up lights to create a Rembrandt effect.
During the second part of his presentation, Glyn talked us through a number of Photoshop techniques, including how to create and use Look-up Tables, how to use sharpening selectively, and how to select and replace a sky. Glyn kindly provide links to his websites, Facebook and YouTube channels for his galleries and tutorial sessions which have since been made available to DCC members in a recent email.
In thanking Glyn for a wonderful presentation, Frank paid tribute to Glyn’s obvious passion for his project and the people and stories behind his images. Comments were heard on Zoom! such as “fantastic evening” and “inspirational” as everyone chimed in with their thanks to Glyn. DF