Photograph Like a Thief

Using Imitation and Inspiration to Create Great Images

, , , , , , , , , ,
No photographer works in a vacuum. Photographers, like all artists, stand on the shoulders of those who came before them, and they are informed and influenced by those working around them. If you are striving to find your own style, one of the most powerful exercises you can practice is...
Read More

  • Print and eBook Bundle: $54.99
  • Print Book: $44.95
  • eBook: $35.99



Glyn Dewis


408 pages


8 x 10in


Soft Cover





  •  1. Introduction
  •  2. Photograph Like a Thief
  •  3. Reverse Engineering
  •  4. My Commonly Used Techniques
  •  5. Annie Leibovitz Inspired
  •  6. Internet Inspired
  •  7. Joey Lawrence Inspired
  •  8. World War II Inspired
  •  9. Action Movie Inspired
  • 10. Nick Brandt Inspired
  • 11. Movie Poster Inspired
  • 12. Book Cover Inspired
  • 13. Movie Poster Inspired
  • 14. Group Shot: K.I.S.S. Inspired

1 review for Photograph Like a Thief

  1. Glyn Dewis’ Photograph Like a Thief is a book, in author Dewis’ words, about photographic reverse engineering. The book begins by explaining the process of reverse engineering an image- primarily, how to look at an image and discern how the lighting, which is at the heart of an image, was utilized. He most obvious way to do this is to look into the eyes for catch-lights, reflections that can reveal not only light placement but even the types of modifiers used. For lights that fall behind the eyes’ reflective angle you then look to highlights of kicker lights, hair lights and background lights.

    Of course, the weak point here is that postproduction can strip the clues away- catch-lights can be added or removed, effects can be brushed into place, and hard shadows can be softened. But Dewis addresses these issues as well, as Photograph like a Thief delves into postproduction as well.

    The book’s photography section is primarily analytical, the Photoshop techniques section explanatory. But the fun starts as Dewis uses tutorials to recreate both the shooting and the Photoshop postproduction to provide a hands-on experience in replicating images. The goal, as Dewis states, is not to create photographers who will blindly copy the efforts of others; rather, to develop an eye for analysis and then shooting/Photoshop skills that empower unique and creative photography using the skills of the masters. Those masters, whose works are reverse engineered, include Annie Liebovitz, Joey Lawrence and Nick Brandt as well masterwork in genres like movie posters. Dewis provides a link to the files that he has created for each of the ten projects in the book, allowing a Classroom in a Book-type experience as you acquire or perfect you lighting and Photoshop skills.

    This book is academically interesting but also challenging in a hands-on way. It’s a great way to uncover the skills of pros and will leave you not only with knowledge but a new way of viewing work and then unleashing your newly acquired potential.

Add a review