Welcome

I am Rod Wynne-Powell, and this is my way to pass on snippets either of a technical nature, or related to what I am currently doing or hope to be doing in the near future.

A third-person description follows:

Professional photographer, Lightroom and Photoshop Workflow trainer, Consultant, digital image retoucher, author, and tech-editor for Martin Evening's many 'Photoshop for Photographers' books.

For over twenty years, Rod has had a client list of large and small companies, which reads like the ‘who’s who’ of the imaging, advertising and software industries. He has a background in Commercial/Industrial Photography, was Sales Manager for a leading London-based colour laboratory and has trained many digital photographers on a one-to-one basis, in the UK and Europe.

Still a pre-release tester for Adobe in the US, for Photoshop, he is also very much involved in the taking of a wide range of photographs, as can be seen in the galleries.

See his broad range of training and creative services, available NOW. Take advantage of them and ensure an unfair advantage over your competitors…



Thursday, 19 October 2017

Brogborough Lake Sees Some Sun and Wind

Over the last few weeks a new feature has been seen within the Brogborough Windsurfing community — the introduction of a new feature — the Hydrofoil. Sam Barnes, who with his wife runs the Windsurfing Club on the Lake, took his delivery of one after a long, much delayed wait.
He has been gaining experience and understanding of the handling and is impressed with how it performs, especially in the mildest of winds; once up, he can stay aloft for the length of the lake, even if the wind drops, meaning less effort and thus more enjoyment. He sees this as a boost for the numbers attending over the year, since the time that can be spent on the lake sailing rather than waiting for stronger windy weather, essential with conventional windsurfing boards.
Not content with the delays involved in waiting for commercial hydrofoils to appear in the UK, one experienced windsurfer and confident engineer, trawled the Internet for ideas on the specifications necessary to build his own, and took the initiative to build his own, and on this last weekend brought his creation along, and despite much negativity from his peers actually lifted off from the surface. Yes, he found out that reading reports and experiences of others, does not negate the research experience of others’ long hours of trial and error, but though he has a long way to go before his device competes equally with the more established players in the field, André has produced a working model! I have photographs that prove this!
Sam feels that André will ultimately consider the purchase of a commercial product, I am less certain, I believe André’s passion and determination to succeed may well win through, and I really wish him success. Perhaps André may see something from my images that combined with what he feels when on the board allows him to understand just how his Hydrofoil is performing, or underperforming, I certainly hope so.  The gallery of images from the day also has some shots of other sailors’ sequences, and a glimpse of a buzzard that for a brief moment took an interest in those below, I wished s/he had come closer, so that I might have got some better shots, but was not too disappointed with those I managed at that distance.
I am sorry it has taken so long for this gallery to reach the blog, but it is down to my over-enthusiastic shutter-finger. I hope somebody finds it worth the wait.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Brogborough – André's Own Design Takes Off!

Now I do have some short sequences of André’s HomeBrew Hydrofoil and whilst I put together other shots taken on Sunday, here is just one occasion, in the hope that André or others might see what needs to happen next. I only spotted a few times when the board was level, which would seem to be the first issue to be tackled, and also in comparison to Sam Barnes on the commercial foil, the wake seemed to be more like the result of vortices where from Sam’s, it seemed more like simple frothing, but I am only making an observation, certainly not a comment based on any expertise at all in the matter!
I offer this single group to those who can glean something meaningful from the shots, whilst I gather a gallery together from the numerous other images I took from the day (and that could well be a while yet!)
Warning! They are not an exciting group of images, but they may offer clues as to what is happening at this stage and may point towards ways to improve how the hydrofoil performs. This group of shots just happened to be the longest sequence I captured; the truly level board shots were of very short duration.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Late Lake Arrival – Yet See Homemade Hydrofoil

By the time I reached Brogborough, the wind was dropping and most of the sailors had already left the water, but I first spotted Richard McKeating going out and recorded him practising various manouevres, but before I put any shots I took of these up I need to learn from Richard what is actually happening. In the meantime I learned of some interesting news about another windsurfer, André who has built his own hydrofoil, and he was also out on the lake, trying to understand its behaviour as it is very much still in the development stage, but despite some naysayers it does work, though needs further refinement.

I have no images of it in action, but during André’s chats with Richard and Sam afterwards I captured some shots of the device, and was most impressed with how much thought and effort has gone into its development and construction, and I listened intently to the discussions taking place around it. Hence this small gallery. I shall be watching this with interest in the coming months, and wish André every success in his endeavours.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Stockwood Discovery Centre, Garden Visit, and Exhibition

I have been searching for a photographer’s darkcloth, as a means of using the review screen on a dSLR in bright sunlight when trying to capture a movie of a windsurfer, since using the external monitor via HDMI does not react fast enough (perhaps I should rephrase that a bit – the monitor I have does not react fast enough!) For me to follow the action, I need a good handle on what I am looking at on the screen, so that I can pan accurately.
On this morning I visited the studios of Kevin Calvert where Steve White had kindly located a small piece of black cloth which would serve the purpose well, and he was happy to let me have it, hence as I was close enough to Luton, I detoured to Luton and the Stockwood Discovery gardens. Knowing this might be a possible chance to take a few end of season shots of autumn leaves and the odd few late flowers, I had the camera with me.
I was using the 5D MkIII and the 24-70mm with the macro facility and I took a few shots in the open garden areas, before spotting that the greenhouse was open, and checked it was not about to be locked, perhaps it was not the best idea, since while inside, the rain started. Undaunted, I tried to use the opportunity of capturing leaves and flowers with glistening droplets of water on them. In this at least, I was lucky that the rain dwindled to a light spotting rather than the downpour that had preceded; but I was still very wet and had to keep shielding the lens as I moved around.
I soon completed a meaningful number of shots and headed for the exit, where I learned that the Garden Photographers’ exhibition was on in the gallery,
so I took myself off in that direction, where with no visitors I grabbed a few shots of the display and then put the camera away to look at the images on show; my absolute favourite was the embracing poppies, followed by some wonderfully atmospheric landscapes, a beautifully lit man chopping pears, a humourous full-on portrait of a wild hamster. I may well visit again if time allows, but I can definitely recommend it, but as often before, was saddened that in the time I was there, there were no other visitors.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Marsworth – Low Water

I had not paid a visit to Marsworth in some time, and not visited or chatted to Tringford Lake’s Bailiff, so despite not knowing the likely weather conditions decided to put together a few provisions to eat and drink, making myself a flask of hot coffee, a Scotch Egg and some packets of crisps; the latter such that I had something to share with others should the need arise.
On arrival, I assembled the tripod, camera and lens, choosing the lightest combination for the tripod and head, in case the weather forced me to beat a hasty retreat, and the leaden skies certainly made that a very possible chance, but having left with only a minimal drizzle, I was still optimistic of a dull, but dry morning. Although there were signs of vehicles, after a brief visit to the landing stage, there was no anglers to be seen.
What was apparent was that the water levels of the lakes was very low; less than I had seen for sometime; the stream and pond at the entry to Marsworth Lake had obviously been dry for many days. At the far end of that lake the wind had caused considerable damage to trees and the scene that greeted me at my destination was almost unrecognisable due to  numerous large fallen branches; what had once been an expanse water, was now reduced to a barren riverbed, exposing lots of discarded plastic bottles and empty cans, evidence of careless humans amidst the natural weather damage, the habitat I had expected for wildlife was gone. I hope that the opportunity to clear the area of human detritus and much of the clutter of branches is taken soon, before the rains come making it much harder.

I felt that my chances of finding much to photograph were slim, and so it turned out – I only got a single, much obscured shot of a lone kingfisher, a foraging grey wagtail, and a fleeting grey squirrel, all in very low light levels. I came away with a really strong desire to somehow gather a group of us to spend a day having a massive clearout and hacking session to improve this particular stretch of bankside for the wildlife and our chances of photographing their return to this area with a better environment.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Brogborough – Windsurfing Hydrofoil

The wind has been up of late, and today the sun came along too — there was a chance that despite being a weekday, there could be windsurfing activity on the lake, even though last weekend had seen action on the South Coast. I rang Sam to enquire of the chances he might take to the water with his Hydrofoil board, and he reckoned that if a sailor were to come there was a possibility.
We agreed that he would let me know if one turned up. I got the call, but somewhat later, as my phone was charging downstairs, and I was upstairs, only coming down when I had finished some work. It was fortunate that I then spotted a missed call, so grabbed cameras and was off!
Someone was on their way, and Sam changed into his wetsuit, and I readied my gear, and it was not long before I was taking a few shots; I had hoped to do some movies with the idea of creating some animated GIFs from there, but with sun almost directly in my eyes, and no dark cloth or shield, that proved a non-starter, so I opted for stills using the 150-600mm Sigma. I had grown up using a Sinar and a dark cloth over my head, and had never before considered using one with dSLR, but today, it would have been invaluable!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Buzzing Ivy by Moretaine Manor

I knew there was only a slim chance of windsurfing activity at Brogborough as there had been a big event over the weekend on the South Coast, so I put minimal camera gear onto my bike, so that the journey might at least serve as exercise, and any way I could check out signs of insect activity lakeside, then choose a different location thereafter. On arrival there was no action, so spotting that some of the windsurfing wetsuits had blown from the line, I did my bit and rehung them on the line to give them a chance to dry. Before cycling back, I cycled past the club area and headed to Lidlington, where a single pink rose swayed in the breeze with an ichneumon wasp resting on it, there were also a few what I took to be red wild roses, and a short distance away a tree laden with crab apples.

I took a few shots here, one of which was a giant concrete Lego Brick; an increasingly frequent sight in this neck of the woods due to the nefarious parking of itinerant travellers’ vehicles who seem to delight in wrecking any available green space that they can find before the authorities can muster the paperwork to evict them. I then returned to take a wander close by Moretaine Manor, which is now a hotel.

At the entrance is a large ivy bush, and it was alive to the silent activity of late pollinators, so my journey was undoubtedly not wasted. I put the Canon 7D and 100mm Macro to use capturing them and was there for a reasonable time before cycling back to create another gallery of images. The majority of the pollinators appeared to prefer the shade to the sunlit side of the bush, which meant having to operate at 1000 to 1600 ISO making it difficult to freeze them when in flight, and I am certain that if I were not there with a camera they’d have been in the warmth of the sunny side! I am convinced that all wildlife is fully aware of photographers’ kit, as when I take a long lens to a kingfisher spot, they perch close by me knowing that I cannot focus so close, or they sit on a branch at a reasonable distance from me, but shielded by a thicket of intervening branches and leaves.

But my trip did provide both exercise and some images, so it was an hour well-spent, and provided me with some card imagery as well as fresh air, now I need a piece of kit called Printer Potty ordered from the Internet to arrive so that I can put my printer back together, as it is taking up valuable space in the kitchen, stripped right back to its chassis! For anyone facing an overflowing ink reservoir on their printer, I cannot recommend the man selling this item, enough; he is absolutely charming, exceedingly helpful, and the product receives excellent reviews.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Marston Moretaine - Two Seasons?

It was as I took the path between the gardens to reach my Lock-Up, that I spotted a large spider weaving its Web across from one of the fences to the garage roof; He was bright enough (and considerate to even six-foot plus humans!) to weave it high enough to avoid any normal height humans from destroying his work. I noticed also fresh blossom of both blue and white flowers, more commonly to be expected around in Spring, and only a short walk further a wide expanse of hedge with the totally expected colours of red and gold. And there another equally large spider who literally as I watched left across a gap to start his; they seemed of the same species, and despite my referring to him as male, I have no clue as to the sex of either!
Not unnaturally, after having collected a tool from the lock-up, I broke off to grab my camera and record what I had seen, the afternoon was bright with feather-like clouds formed by the effect of crosswinds blowing across contrails between large Cumulus clouds, and although the sun was occasionally occluded by these clouds, overall the light was bright and really brought out the very definite reds of early autumn in the leaves in hedgerow, so I spent an enjoyable time capturing the work of the spiders, the white and blue blossom hanging over the back of one of the gardens seemed at odds with the season, both colours were mainly very fresh, and such a contrast to the red covering of the hedge.
It was amongst the blossom that I heard the buzzing of a bee, and when I spotted it alight of the white flowers, I caught sight of the most hirsute of bees, it was as if s/he was wearing a fur coat! Upon even closer inspection later in post-processing that at one of my chosen angles it looked to be wearing spectacles!

 Look closely at the picture that heads this piece

It was wonderful to be able to catch these shots at that very early autumn stage when in amongst the abundant red leaves were t be found young yellow and green fresh leaves to add extra depth to the range of colours, I hope those viewing the gallery will gain as much pleasure from the beauty I captured as I did witnessing them.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Chearsley Classic Car Show

There had been a possibility of a visit from the Battle of Britain Flight Lancaster, but on arrival and experienced the overcast skies and a forecast of rain, there seemed little chance, and so it proved, though a different option seemed to arise: that of a visit from the renowned DC3 aircraft, the Dakota, but that did not materialise either. The forecast rain did make an appearance though!
I went along with my younger daughter’s family and provided the transport and spotted the Fire Engine at the top of the field and hoped therefore to take another panorama, but I made a fatal error that meant that did not happen, but I did at least capture some of the atmosphere presented by the cars on show. I enjoyed the music from the tent and managed a few quick shots towards the end of the event, and took a few interesting details of the BMW hybrid i8 and spoke to its owner who lives a stone’s throw away. I also spotted the diminutive Corgi folding bike that derived from the military original, the Welbike (from the name of Welwyn; where they were developed for clandestine use during World War II) – I had seen one of these when a youngster in Putney, owned by a neighbour.
The rising speed of the wind put paid to the popular air-filled slide that the children enjoyed sliding down – the windspeed exceeded the safe limit for its deployment. Overall, the event was enjoyable and well attended, and the rain had not spoiled our enjoyment.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Goodwood Revival – Friday Visit

Martin Evening had received two tickets to the Goodwood Revival Meeting and I was joining him as his guest and doing the driving. The plan had been for me to drive to his home near Ashridge for five-forty-five, but rain-sodden roads, Friday morning traffic and my leaving slightly late meant I was later than planned. The trip down was uneventful and typical of a Friday morning, and as we travelled down the A3 nearer to our destination, it was obvious from the vehicle types in the traffic that many were heading for the same destination.

On arrival our first port of call was the Old Control Tower as Lord March’s guests, where we enjoyed a welcome cup of tea. Several of the staff there in the caravan and upstairs had been there last year, and some even remembered us; all were very welcoming. We had both been wearing hats as part of our costumes, but having taken them off when we entered and not been hat-wearers by nature, we both managed to leave without them! This only became apparent when it started to rain and we realised our slip-up.

We strolled among the throngs and by now we both had our cameras out, and Martin was keen to capture some of the exotic characters being portrayed as dancers, policemen, itinerant musicians, army, navy and airmen of British and American services. This year’s theme being Italian, meant Fiat 500s were in abundance, as were Italian beers and wines.
Martin tends to go for requesting his subjects to pose for him, whereas I prefer to be more discreet, as I feel it captures the subject’s imagination in acting their selected roles; so each to his own. I also have a greater affinity with the vehicles, having had thirty years as a motor racing marshal, so the challenge of capturing the cars on circuit was part of my aim. This meant we were not joined at the hip, and spent some of the time independently, then returning to the Control Tower for refreshments and chatting. On one of our return visits to the Old Control Tower, we met up with Lord March, who told us of a London exhibition of his work he was attending on Tuesday, and invited us to join him at the Private Viewing.

We had lunch downstairs later, and also took a walk to St. Mary’s corner, stopping off at various points to capture some of the cars in action, before taking a charabanc back to to main area. Whilst Martin took a wider walk around, I spent some time shooting cars at the Chicane, and was absolutely stunned by car 37 that looked like Al Capone’s and somewhat fragile, but deceived dramatically, as beyond all odds, it sped through the Chicane with seemingly no use of opposite lock - I am certain it was fastest in its category.

I met up with Simon Diffey after his session in car 22, but never found the other car he was driving in another class. Martin suggested we consider leaving before the end once I realised I was not going to be able to capture the second of Simon’s drives, and it proved to be fortuitous as just as we arrived back at the car, the heavens opened! The end of yet another splendid day at Goodwood despite the less than ideal weather.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Brogborough Sunday — Hydrofoil Windsurfer


I took a stab more in hope than expectation on Friday, but it was not to be! I had hoped to see Sam Barnes fly at Brogborough with the new Hydrofoil Windsurfer from Neil Pryde. On the Sunday morning just after nine o’clock I was in time to watch Sam take to the water. I still had a few more minutes wait before being rewarded by the success of much pumping and seeing the broad board lift from the shackles of the water and become airborne.
The somewhat fitful wind meant it seemed a poor return for the effort expended in its achievement, but I nevertheless was appreciative and happy that I had witnessed the event and eagerly awaited what I was sure to come. After a few more minimal leaps came a more sustained flight, which drew spontaneous applause from the small group of people gathered at the foreshore to witness this new innovation to the world of windsurfing in Britain.
I think I can say that we all shared with Sam in the exultation of seeing his success. As we continued to watch, and in the case of four of us with cameras to capture the growing confidence and expertise displayed by his pioneering spirit in impatiently waiting for this new device to arrive. Sam had waited quite a time for the Hydrofoil to arrive, and when it came the forecast was for a severe lack of wind frustratingly, but it did mean the elation today was really obvious and after a far longer flight, gave rise to a delighted whoop of joy heard from the centre of the lake!

I left the gathering before the end of play, and having packed up the car I spotted a refreshed Sam go out once again and almost immediately took to the air in one of the longest flights I had witnessed, courtesy of a stronger wind and Sam’s short rest for recuperation, but it was going to take some time to sort through the images I already had without burdening myself with yet more.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Brogborough Becalmed, But Full of Life…

Brogborough Lake is alive with insect and plant life, so on a warm afternoon with barely a zephyr to ripple the waters of the lake, there seems little chance of a windsurfer, which is disappointing for Sam Barnes who eagerly awaits the second chance to take to the water with his Hydrofoil Windsurfer. In case that might be the case, I chose to be around should the wind appear, though I was  there to capture whatever I could of the ‘little beasties’ and the leaves and flowers that formed their habitat.

There were a few dragonflies, and there were bees, damselflies and hoverflies, a golden Shield bug, and one or two insects for whom I had no name, or were species I had not seen before, so armed with the 100mm and 1.4 Converter on the EOS7D MkII and the 24-70mm with Macro on the EOS5D MkIII, I set about recording what I found. I spotted others, but failed to be quick enough to capture them, but nevertheless, it was still a very worthwhile haul for a gallery of eighty images, so not a waste.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Aylesbury Concert Band – Proms in the Park

I always enjoy the Aylesbury Concert Band’s playing and this Sunday was no exception, the weather was exceedingly hot and with no hint of rain, nor sadly on this occasion, not a whisper of wind, absolutely ideal weather for taking the sky in a hot air balloon, as the chances of travelling too far were somewhat limited, and above the Park in Aylesbury one slowly passed overhead, but their timing was poor if they wished to listen to the playing, as they came over too early!
My daughter plays Baritone Saxophone with the band, and she must have  carefully ensured her placing was such that she was obscured from my lens no matter what viewpoint I might choose. So except when not playing, she was to all intents not there!
The local council have other photographers covering the event, and I joined them as it meant that our gear was eminently safe as there was always one of us nearby, giving each of us the freedom to wander without a constant nagging about the safety of our kit.
We were there for the rehearsal as well as the concert proper which is always useful to capture some of the other activities and watch some of the energetic youngsters doing cartwheels and handstands and generally keeping their parents occupied reining them in when they strayed too far. The event is very much family-oriented and even during the rehearsal the public were listening to the concert band and a smaller jazz ensemble nearby, which judging from a loud bang later, we sensed was terminal for their operations, as thereafter they began packing up!
The atmosphere was relaxed and the music was definitely appreciated even during the rehearsal, the Mayor mingled with the crowd and obviously enjoys leading from the front, in that he was even to be spotted with a plastic sack and litter-picker in the hope others would follow his example. His patriotic credentials displayed in the task he set himself of taping the Union Flag to the front of the main stage, he did not confine himself to being part of a civic entourage; he seemed at ease wandering around the crowd and mingling, but wearing his regalia of office around his neck sporting a cream suit, and a pair of very natty brown shoes which I felt should be featured in the gallery of images of the day – had the forecast been for inclement weather, I doubt very much that they would have been his footwear of choice!
I hope that the gallery of images from the day is an enjoyable review of the event and especially of the Band’s Players who provided such evocative music ending with patriotic fervour from the voices of the record crowd, led by guest singers Alison Langer and Lawrence Thackery who had earlier announced from the stage that they were soon to be married which was appreciated by the audience who were finally treated to a firework display.

Monday, 28 August 2017

View of the Record Crowd at Aylesbury Park Prom

Whilst I continue to process the gallery of images of the Aylesbury Concert Band at this Annual Event, I thought I would whet the appetite of those who view this blog with a picture of the Audience at the Event.
The day was exceedingly hot with barely a whisper of breeze and only high fair weather clouds, and the Band faced straight into the sun and many of the players found it hard to see the Band Leader whilst he conducted. I even had difficulty seeing past the haze created by the smoke machine which drifted across on the right of audience from my standpoint on the Stage. I was also pointing my camera straight into the sun with the crowd backlit in the main – excuses over here is a Zoomify view of the panorama stitched from the twelve handheld images I took from the stage.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Three Painted Ladies in the Garden

Visiting pollinators this season have been few and far between, and certainly never in abundance, though a month back bees did visit my Buddliea, but of late there have been precious few of either bees or butterflies, but as warmth came earlier today, I was pleased to welcome a couple of bees a trio of Cabbage Whites definitely full of the Joys of Spring, rarely alighting on the blooms of the buddliea, despite flitting in and out of its foliage, and more colourfully at least three, Painted Ladies.
Because I had made a visit yesterday to a Birthday Party Pizza Celebration to mark the birthdays of my elder daughter and my ex-wife over in Cambridge, this Friday was not to be spent with my younger daughter, so it was a washing day, and a first attempt at making crumble to add to the rhubarb I had stewed the day before yesterday. It seemed very much like an end of season festival recently, as also the house-moving present of a plum tree from my two daughters had finally finished providing me with its fruit. I had personal evidence of its generosity in the form of precisely forty stones from those I had consumed. I am hoping there is a chance that they may germinate and go on to provide more fruit in the next year.
In between these activities out came the camera to record what may well the last of the season’s butterfly visits, and I chose the 24-70mm lens with its macro facility attached to the 5D MkIII, and the shutter set to silent. It seems to have been a good choice judging from the results.