Build a Better Glamour Image

Hi all,

I have been super busy revising my online course at the Bryan Peterson School of Photography ( called “Photoshop Layers Fundamentals: Selections, Masks, and Adjustments” – now that I have a short break, I’d like to share some images from one of my workshops on Classic Glamour Photography at Paul’s Photo in Torrance. We had an especially good workshop with a wonderful model, Heather Lynn Mayer – we had a blast! I want to share with you the post process I went through with this most recent workshop and introduce a technique for creating custom backdrops in Photoshop using custom brushes.

Lets start with this base file right out of ACR/Lightroom…



Here is the original image capture with basic Lightroom enhancements

I did the usual Lightroom enhancements plus a little post crop vignetting and graduated filter application to darken edges and enhance the existing lighting vignette. Next up some Channel Mixer B+W with a 60-40 blend of red to green channels…


Here a fairly straightforward B+W conversion using the Channel Mixer in Photoshop

I was going for a 40’s glamour look in the style of George Hurrell. I used a gridspot on a Norman flash as a key light from the upper right with another gridspot raking across her torso from the lower left… After some basic retouching to smooth out the skin, I added some more shape using the blue channel, masked into her face…

deviantART is a great resource for custom brushes of all kinds- here are a few of my favorites:

Hair Brushes: Nagel Series 12 Brushes

Nagel Series 36 Brushes

Download Nagel Hair Brushes


Old Paper Brushes

Download File

            ABR, 2.0 MB


Foliage Brushes

Download File

            ABR, 2.4 MB


Grunge Brushes

Download File

            ZIP, 3.2 MB


Abstract Brush Set

Download File

            ABR, 420 KB


Lightning Brushes

Download File

            ZIP, 844 KB



Download File

            ABR, 4.6 MB


Brushes have to be installed and activated inside Photoshop to be made available for use! You can load them from the brush menu- they can be stored anywhere but usually you would place them in the Presets folder inside the application folder – here is a link to an article explaining how to do that: – & Adobe’s official directions

Bobbi Lane and I will be doing a workshop in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Center for Photography on “Hollywood Lighting in the Hurrell Style,” May 13th & 14th, 2017,  where I will be covering retouching techniques like this one, as well as many others. If you are in the LA area, and would like a more personal lesson in Glamour lighting and retouching retouching – register for our workshop here.


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