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 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, as well as Sales for a leading London-based colour laboratory and has trained many on a one-to-one basis, in the UK and Europe.

Still a pre-release tester for Adobe in the US, for Lightroom and 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, 22 September 2016

A Spur of the Moment Visit to Gadebridge Park

A Product Designer friend was very kindly coming to collect me after I had taken my car to have a Webasto sunroof fitted, and whereas I had set off for an early arrival in Hemel Hempstead, I had expressed to Peter Carr that it was entirely sensible for him to leave after the end of the morning rush to minimise his loss of time, and I would find something to do once I had handed over the car.

Dave Sweetingham who runs Executive Autocare who had fitted a sunroof to my last car, and done an excellent job, when asked what places there might be offering photographic opportunities suggested I made my way to Gadebridge Park. I was very grateful to take his advice and found the gardens were being tended by no less than three gardeners upon my arrival, and the display was very well managed, and each of them greeted me warmly.

There were only a handful of visitors, but all acknowledged my presence, bar one gentlemen who was entirely engrossed, in the smaller Charter Garden, obviously happy with his own company in the warm early morning sunshine with its long shadows, I found the lighting very pleasing even before reaching the gardens themselves with the line of trees casting there striped shadows diagonally across the circular beds that lined the road to the entrance gate, which was the remains of the Charter Tower.

I strolled quietly around capturing the essence of the place, until the call came on my mobile to say Peter was arriving with my return trip, thus ending a brief interlude which provided me with a couple of gallery pages of the formal gardens, very satisfactorily filling the time. I can warmly recommend them as a place in which to relax and enjoy the colour and serenity.

I now look forward to collecting my car with its new sunroof, and taking some shots of the completed job, so Dave can show the quality of his handiwork to other potential clients, especially as this particular Mark 3 version is the first in the country, especially designed for the very curved roofs of cars such as the Jaguar XF or my more humble Insignia!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

A brief Afternoon Visit to the Forest Centre

I felt sweating in front of a computer screen on one of the hottest and certainly muggiest afternoons in a long while was not the most productive way, nor the most comfortable, so a short trip in an air-conditioned car then sweating whilst trying to hand hold the 100-400mm lens steady on the 5D MkIII was preferable; the aim being to try to capture dragonflies in flight.

Foolishly I thought using a tripod was a good idea, but it really wasn’t and soon though I did use it on occasion as a monopod, it simply became a burden to carry with me! As I entered the steps to the reeds I spotted a tiny lizard, but I just watched it as it soon found a way to elude me, certainly well before I could have readied a camera! I carried on down to where I soon spotted a few dragonflies flitting and briefly hovering above shallow pools among the reeds. It took me fully a sweaty twenty minutes without ever reaching the point where I could press the shutter release, and during that period a couple from Windsor paid a short visit, which gave me a spotter, for the lady was able to point out a small red dragonfly stationary on a reed, so I got my first shot of the day, but I had my sights set on the larger species that were brightly coloured green and blue and hopefully hovering in flight long enough for me to focus and capture.

I persevered for some time and the couple continued further into the Reserve and later returned and in passing wish me success. Later another photographer came along and she mentioned there was a large family of rats below the bird feeder, so I decided to take a diversion from dragonflies and went along and took a few shots as the youngsters came out in the open for a while before being spooked and returning to cover. I then returned to my original spot as did the photographer and occasionally in the lulls between dragonfly visits we chatted, and on mentioning I enjoyed shooting kingfishers she told me her boyfriend chose the colours of a kingfisher for his canoe – I did wonder whether that platform might be successful in attracting our feathered friends, but I think not.

Eventually as the sun dipped further, I decided I might move to d of the lake in front of the play area, and this proved marginally better and I did manage a couple of passably sharp shots of one in flight, but got some interesting compositions of one in the reeds, static. Then as I took a winding route back to the car I spotted another that alighted on a blackberry cluster and later still some bees among the flowers, so my journey was not wasted, so there was to be a gallery in the end, and it meant the perspiration had been worth enduring.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Goodwood Revival Meeting 2016, with Martin Evening

Friday involved a very early start for me; in darkness and drizzle, as I had first to pick up my generous host for the day, whose guest ticket I was using to visit the Revival Meeting. This leg of the journey was scheduled to be an hour, to arrive at six o'clock at Ashridge Forest, but fortunately I made good time. With Martin Evening aboard, we set off for the M25. It did however remind me that although many might also be heading for the Goodwood Revival Meeting, for most it was just the end of another week's work, and if they were hoping to leave work early at the end of the day, then an early start was 'de rigeur'. Once we met the M25, this was very much in evidence, I did not help the situation, for I took a wrong roundabout exit which involved a trip down the wrong road and back to take the correct one which meant we hit the trail of cars further back than was necessary, delaying our arrival even more!

Since Martin wanted a comfort break, he set off, while I gathered my kit together, and looked around for markers for when we returned to the car later. We agreed to meet up at the Old Control Tower as this was to be our base for the day. I was already very warm despite my attire being a summer-weight suit, and so far there was very little refreshing wind.

Some of those staffing the entrance to the Control Tower were vaguely familiar from a previous visit, and brightly welcoming, and soon Martin and I were relaxing upstairs discussing our plans for the day.  One idea I had was to go to a part of the track I had not visited since a chance visit a year before Stirling Moss had had his near fatal accident. I had been taken by a neighbour from that time, rally driver, Peter Morley in his modified Triumph Herald, PM3. 

We headed anti-clockwise around the outside of the circuit in the general direction of St. Mary's. We stopped at several good vantage points on the way for a chance to take shots of the cars as they headed towards what would be our turnaround point, where we could return a short distance back to one of the bus stops. We chatted whilst the first two stopped without offloading any occupants and alighted the third for our trip back to the marshalling assembly area.

The subjects of our photographs were very different; Martin's were characters in extravagant outfits mainly groups of entertainers, in informal posed groups, where mine were snatched moments, both of us were capturing some of the practices going on on-track, but in Martin's case, this was a lower priority, he was far more interested in the people, and these were more evident close by the centre of activities in and around the Start/Finish line and the Pits complex, so after our walk to St.Mary’s and the Tractor return trip we split up for a while, but that did not mean that I failed to capture some of the entertainment provided by groups of Acapella singers such as the Doo Wop Mommas.

I also met some interesting engineers at the Richmond Enclosure by the Chicane, and at lunch a husband and wife publicity team from the Horse-Racing fraternity at the Lunch in the Old Control Tower, where I also briefly encountered Rowan Atkinson in Revival attire and white racing overalls. Later Charlie Settrington, Lord March’s son came to to the Tower similarly attired having had a spell in the A35.

We had an enjoyable day and set off for a journey back involving the unavoidable Friday M25 Crawl, but at least for us it was not the weekly fixture. The end of yet another enjoyable day at Goodwood and later spell in front of the computer sifting through the day’s images, but that was not to be for at least another twenty-four hours!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Woburn Park Late Summer Afternoon

Just carrying the 100-400mm Canon zoom and without a tripod I made my way from the Car Park opposite the Church into the woods via the gate by the Cattle Grids. I had taken a few shots of leaves but soon caught sight of several dragonflies, but they were particularly flighty, so it was a while before I managed  to get some shots, but at quite a distance making handholding somewhat hit or miss, but I did get a few static shots and a single one in flight and despite waiting around for a short spell, that was it.

I did however manage to capture a few small butterfly shots of Speckled Wood, it was the only species I spotted, which I found surprising. I did find a few examples of interesting lighting on leaves and serendipitous shapes formed by grass, and moved into the small lake by the entrance to get a few shots of single deer, the only different image was when I saw an Albino deer running with a fallow deer. Having taken a few shots by the lake, I returned through the woods, taking a few shots on the walk back to the car. I spotted a pair of butterflies which I took to be mating as one pinned the other beneath it in the grass and then it seemed to release the other, then linger awhile before flying off on its own.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Three Species of Butterfly Grace my Buddliea

On the second day of more frequent butterfly visitation, there are now three varieties flocking to the rapidly fading Buddliea in the back garden – there is a fourth, but it is the Cabbage White and it it is very elusive; rarely stopping anywhere for more than a nanosecond, and fortunately definitely less attractive than the three more colourful – the Painted Lady, Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral, that were present this morning around breakfast time.

Nothing more to say than the wind meant I had to work harder and waste more shots! But they were very welcome visitors, I did make another discovery, the two plums which I had since forgotten, were no more, one had dropped and both had largely been consumed, which was sad, I should have picked them both when I first spotted them!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Aylesbury Proms in the Park 2016

For last few years Aylesbury Town Council put on a Concert in the Park, close by the Swimming Pool and Gym complex, and it proves to be a very successful event that provides funds for Charity and a great family day out. Rarely could it have had such good weather for the event, and this was also reflected in the numbers attending the Concert by the Aylesbury Concert Band on the Bank Holiday Sunday.

I arrived with my daughter’s baritone saxophone in time for the start of the rehearsal and families and individuals were already settling down for the afternoon of music. I dropped off the sax and my daughter and parked the car up the road before returning to get out my cameras. Very early on I spotted the Soprano, Alexandra Lowe warming up solo out at the back of the marquee, so I asked whether she minded my capturing those moments to which I got an affirmative so I took a few shots and looked forward to the ones for real later.

As the rehearsal got under way, I looked around at the gathering audience and spotted some characters I had seen at earlier concerts, and the Council’s official photographer whom I remember, Russ Naylor came over to greet me and we chatted – he had been covering the whole holiday’s events, not just the concert. The Band ran through their programme and Alexandra joined James Liu on the stage for their pieces, and although I got shots of both performing at this point, I would be able to kid no one these shots were part of the concert, especially since Alexandra would be swapping spectacles for contact lenses and a very striking red dress for the main event. I also spotted a trumpet player around the back, also practising solo.

Carl Quaif opened the main event, introducing the Conductor Robert Wicks and part of the theme was a salute to our Rio Athletes and although clouds began to amass at this time, we were spared. During the rehearsal and the first part of the concert the audience kept swelling in numbers and I took the occasional shots to illustrate the progression as well as incidentals. There was only one incident that marred the proceedings as one recalcitrant male was escorted away.
I did my best to get shots of the musicians as they played, but without a cherry-picker to gain height the shots tend to look cluttered by the music stands, the banners and the individual mikes for the different sections, and also I do not like to disturb the concentration of the performers by being too close.

As the Finale approached and the daylight dwindled, I would keep increasing the ISO speed, though sometimes only after spotting that the sharpness of the shots was deteriorating! It is also hard to get steady shots when one’s feet are tapping to the rhythm of the music which I also came to hear and in some instances sing along to, when the the music was loud enough to provide cover. It was good to end with the solo singers looking upward to the fireworks and being lit from the front of the stage.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

My Garden Insect Pollinators

Today was the day when those taking O-Level GCSEs get their results, and I was hoping to hear how my twin grandchildren had fared, and fortunately I did not have to wait too long and was both relieved and thrilled to learn just how well both had performed – I knew it was well-deserved as they had both worked extremely hard and now they can take things to the next stage with confidence and I wish them well. Catherine their mother should feel justly proud of their achievements considering she is also a hard-working teacher herself.

It was very hot and humid today and so when lunchtime came and I spotted a couple of Tortoiseshell butterflies at long last visiting my Buddliea, I knew I just had to grab the camera and take some shots since up till yesterday I had seen only a lone Cabbage White and the flowers are nearly all over now. It was a welcome sight, and they do make excellent images for birthday cards.

At one stage when looking to see whether any butterflies had gone to the very low branches resting on the grass, I spotted some colour close to the fence and thought at first it was a kiddy's toy, but on closer examination I was amazed – when I moved here, my two daughters had bought me a house-welcoming present of a plum tree, and despite being only a year in the ground it had produced two very healthy looking plums one with a large glob of sap coming from its skin. I who can kill the healthiest and sturdiest of plants had been given fruit on my plum tree in the first year! I shall check later to see whether they are actually ripe enough to eat, I immediately texted both daughters with the good news and a quick photo as evidence. One plum for two excellent results for my granddaughters.

I then grabbed a few more shots; enough for a small gallery and got back to the Sauna that is my office.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Warm Sunday Afternoon – a Full Brogborough Lake

I had some prints to deliver to a couple of the windsurfers at the Club, but I took along my camera in case I was tempted by any action on the lake. I was.
It would seem as if I am a glutton for punishment when it concerns post processing, especially since I have taken to trying to capture sequences of windsurfing action such a gybing and jumping. I spent the first quarter of an hour watching and chatting, getting a feel for who was on the water and the likelihood of exciting action. As a few more arrived, went to the boot of the car and took out my camera – the Canon 7D MKII and the 15-600mm lens and put it on the Gitzo tripod with the gimbal head and then moved to the foreshore to see what transpired.

Later I grabbed a spare battery and card, and headed away from the launch area, over a small fence and into the woods, following the earlier cycle race track through the hawthorn bushes and brambles to reach two spots where I could see the windsurfers and have a reasonable angle of sunlight on them as they came in my direction. Initially I went beyond the point I had been to on previous occasions, but it turned out to be too far round, and where the sailors gybed was hidden by both trees and the headland. I stayed just a few minutes before moving back into the woods and then finding a path to the cliff edge that was nearer to the launch area.

By the end of the afternoon, I knew I had given myself a lot of images to sift through, balance,  re-align horizons and crop! Other work and life get in the way, and it is now Tuesday evening and I am writing this with that work now behind me – just!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

A Brief Brogborough Lake Look in

I may not be able to visit the Lake on Sunday, so decided to nip along to deliver a print to Sam Barnes for one of the windsurfers, but took along the camera – just in case…

It began to spit with rain as I got out of the car, so I handed the package to Sam and walked to the lake edge to see what activity there was, the wind was even more sporadic than the last time I came, with some quite strong gusts, then it would die completely and the rain looked settled but light, so I just chatted, and during that time, the rain stopped and the wind began to pick up so I went to the car and got out the camera, when I returned to the foreshore a couple were just about to set off in a canoe.

The sun even broke through the clouds occasionally so I stayed and took a few shots every so often and had a few brief chats with a few of the windsurfers, but when the activity thinned, I went inside, had a cup of tea, showed a few prints that I had with me, and showed a few some of the afternoon's shots on the back of the camera and gave out a business card with the blog details for one who had asked, and chatted to Sam for a while before leaving; by the time I got outside everyone had disappeared!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Stockwood Discovery Centre – A Floral Abundance for Bees

Due to plan changes I decided a visit to the Discovery Centre at Stockwood in Luton would be worth a visit; and so it proved. I was able to move in close on bees going about their business of pollinating. I was watching one bee in particular, and I was convinced by what I saw that he was becoming intoxicated, because he came out from within the flower head really dozily, and landed on a nearby leaf where he would wander somewhat and also try to clear some of the pollen from the top of its head, then return to the same flower for more of the same!

Elsewhere the Echinops were a favoured flower of the bees, and again the bees would seem to stay longer on the same flower, likewise the giant thistle heads, giving me half a chance to capture the bees in flight.

These gardens hold a wide variety of species in a limitless range of colours, that are laid out in a manner that invites the visitor to wander, and the peace of this place is only shattered when the numerous aircraft fly low into Luton Airport, as this is the busiest UK holiday flight period. When each has passed, the sounds of chattering children reasserts itself, and if you are close to the flowers, the hum of insects takes over again.

I also got a chance to visit the greenhouses, and when I came back out I was dripping and grateful to feel the warm dry breeze waft across my shirt, but no pain, no gain, and I had been able to get shots of grapes and a ripening lemon and also an abandoned nest with a single egg. Outside a white butterfly was also less flittery and would land briefly several times leaving me just about enough to time to capture a shot. Luton should be justly proud of this wonderful free amenity and it is always worth a visit.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Thurlow Nunn Milton Keynes, Welcome Quality Architecture

I recently bought a secondhand car from Thurlow Nunn, Milton Keynes, and am pleased with my purchase and the service I received, but more than anything else it was the architecture of their Showroom that appealed to my senses as a photographer, and whilst collecting a replaced key for the vehicle, decided it was worth asking the management there if I might take some photos. David Hyde their Sales Manager was happy to oblige.

So I went back and collected my camera gear and returned to see what I could record to allow others to see what had appealed to me, I also needed to test the latest version of CamRanger, so brought along my iPad and set it up at Reception so that the receptionist could get an idea of what I was shooting (and anyone else who might be concerned) it performed flawlessly as I moved around both at ground level and up on the balcony where some of the new cars are displayed.

By the time I had finished I was bathed in perspiration, because at one stage I moved one of the very heavy display stands that gives the specifications of the vehicle  it is alongside, and yes, I put it carefully back where it had been! I took some shots that were duplicated and some that were intended to be brackets for an HDR, but they failed, so forty usable shots from sixty shot might have seemed a poor success rate, but I was keen to get as good verticals as possible, and in some instances my exposure was off, so forty makes a nice 8x5 grid in the gallery.

It is a handsome and flexible workspace as I had witnessed at the promotional day where I succumbed to the buying of my car, and I hope I have captured this in the shots taken this afternoon, and I can but hope that something may come my way to warrant the effort I have put in. Thurlow Nunn hopefully will at least point to the gallery when suggesting  what a visitor to the showroom would be seeing on arrival.