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…



Sunday, 30 August 2009

A Trip to Norfolk

My desk was reasonably clear, America was not yet up, and the weather did not seem too inclement. There was a chance that the overcast might clear, so I phoned a friend to find out whether I might be welcome if I visited them.

Hearing I'd be very welcome, and that their weather might actually be improving, I gathered together my camera gear, filled up with petrol and was on my way. The clouds stayed with me till I was nearly there, when the sun came out.

Darrell was erecting a tower to prepare for some painting, and Jane welcomed me and opened their gate. I was offered a cup of tea, and having erected the tower, Darrell took a break and we sat around chatting, before I was taken on the 'Grand Tour'. I took the camera from the car, and was soon taking shots of butterflies in their front garden, and as we walked and talked there were squashes, raspberries, rose hips and beans that came to my screen.

Jane was particularly striking in her pink top and straw hat, and since she did not like my taking portraits, I chose to capture her as a figure in the landscape, for which she was admirable! I got treated to a long walk in the nearby copse and a further cup of tea, before the sun went down, a chill came on and it was time to set off back home. It had been a wonderfully relaxing time in a beautiful setting, but all too short; I just hope Darrell gets all his work done!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Walled Garden Lens Check!

I have been toying with the dilemma of which lens to get to cover what I consider to be the mid-range, and have finally plumped for the 24-105mm Canon f/4 lens.

I was aware of some of its shortcomings, having spoken to a few of my my professional colleagues. It does suffer from barrel distortion, but the amount is such that I can consider relying on the correction controls in Photoshop to take care of this in the most needy cases.

Today's visit to Luton Hoo's walled garden was therefore as much a lens testing day as one where I recorded the volunteers' activities and the flora. I used no other lens the entire time I was there, and was very pleasantly surprised by how close I could focus.

I felt the lens very much proved itself, I hope therefore others can enjoy the shots I captured.

Sunday, 23 August 2009


I wanted to find out whether I could gain a benefit from using a tripod and Acratech head in gimbal mode to shoot windsurfers in action, so I made a trip to Brogborough Lake and set things up.

It certainly took the weight which was a major benefit over shooting handheld with a long and heavy lens, but I think the Wimberley is likely to be a better bet, as with the Acratech, the friction is still too great. At the time I did not have the funds for the Wimberley, but I think that I am going to have to dig deep and get one to get the most out of my longer lenses.

I did however get some reasonable shots and was able to consider lesser shutter speeds due to the extra steadiness.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Adam Woolfitt Launches New Food Book

Adam Woolfitt, a well-known photographer, past Chairman of the Association of Photographers, and writer of numerous articles in the photographic press, has a new book out early next year, on the links between the food we eat and their countryside origins in Devon.

To help publicise the book he has built a website exclusively devoted to promoting 'The Devon Food Book' with several examples of his excellent photography.

I have added a link beneath my list of galleries, but to go direct, just click here!

Carol Trewin and Adam Woolfitt have already collaborated on two earlier books, 'Gourmet Cornwall' (published by Alison Hodge, April 2005) and 'Cornish Fishing and Seafood' (Alison Hodge, September 2006). Both books won the Gourmand World Cook Book Award for Best Local Cook Book in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

All can be ordered on-line from Flagon Press at:
www.james-crowden.co.uk

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Luton Hoo Walled Garden – High Summer


For a change, I managed to get up to the garden much earlier, which meant I was able to capture more of what was happening this Wednesday, the artists were sprinkled in every part of the garden and outside the wall to record the buildings and flowers in the bright sunlight.

I found a small group were taking a break in the cool of a walkway by a gate leading to the big house, now, the hotel – what they had not spotted, was that at the very end, silhouetted against a slightly lighter area, was a muntjac grazing quietly.

The volunteers were busy tying up the climbing plants, moving pumpkins away from the grass walks, and weeding, whilst the artists were sketching, drawing and painting, and occasionally moving to a new position.

A farm vehicle is being lovingly restored in one of the outbuildings, and it is definitely in the tradition of family heirlooms – by the time it is completed it will undoubtedly resemble the original, but like the knife that has had two new handles and three new blades!

Unlike the beehive itself, there was a general hive of activity all around the garden, with conversation drifting in the breeze.

It was indeed a very colourful scene, and I hope I have managed to capture it to advantage.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Mechelen Cricket Club Visit Bamville and Win


Peter Carr, a member of Bamville Cricket Club told me his team were playing at home on Sunday, so I asked whether he'd mind my coming along to take pictures at the event; he said I'd be welcome.

Sadly I arrived a little late, and the game had started, because I had been busy catching up on work after a busy week, mostly spent away from my email, which had amassed a mountain. The morning mist had lifted and the sun was out in strength.

I had my 150-500mm lens on one body and 70-200mm on another and the long lens was on my tripod to to check out how effective the Acrotech head was - it proved to be useful, if somewhat restrictive. At the end of the day I went back to handholding to give myself more freedom.

I have whittled down the gallery of shots from some 500+ shots taken to 180 that give some idea of the afternoon's play, with its interludes for finding lost balls, removing dog poo and supplying orange juice, with breaks in the game when I captured some of the moments of relaxation.

Sad to relate the visitors won, but it was taken in good spirit, it's a shame I missed an excellent catch, and at least three clean bowled players; I must get out of the habit of 'chimping' so often!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Aircraft Movements & Preparation for Shooting Interior Panoramas

On days when the sun is in and out of clouds, and the brightness changes from Gloom to Brilliance it is difficult enough for me to capture consistent lighting and colour balance, but even more difficult for the photographer with whom I am working. He is trying to capture the interior scene throughout 360 degrees, for panoramas.

Space was tight out on the pan, so once we had papered over the windows whilst within the hangar, Harrods Aviation personnel were preparing to move one similar jet into the hangar, so that ours could be towed outside in its place.

This involves the incredibly manouevrable and powerful Ferrari-red electric tug which moves close to the nosewheel, then clamps to it and winches it aboard a small platform and so lifts it off the deck for the tug to takeover the steering. Two marshals then watch the wings as the aircraft is carefully swung out from its parking slot and into the hangar. It is then unhitched, and our newly prepared executive jet is taken out into the intermittent sunlight for the day's shoot.

As this is the sixth aircraft to have the photographic treatment, things run smoothly and three more 360˚ panoramas have been shot by London photographer Ben Rice for his client; several of which have taken place at the hangar of Harrods Aviation at Luton Airport.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Planing Manor Road

Planing is the process where the top few layers of a road are cut off to allow for a new Tarmacadam surface to be laid together with a top dressing layer.

I was too late on their first day to capture this aspect of the work, so I decided to remedy that today and so this is a smaller gallery that contains shots of this process and many more detail shots that show the level of control these men have over their machines.

It was gratifying to learn that several of the men had taken the trouble to visit the blog to see just what photographs I had taken, and their response was favourable.

I hope everyone enjoys these last few shots.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Manor Road Resurfacing

Manor Road suffered badly from the snow and frost earlier this year, and a fortnight ago the village of Caddington were notified that there would be road closures to carry out major resurfacing work. From my point of view I saw this as a minor inconvenience and a great opportunity to take a series of photographs as the work was under way.

And so it proved. Naturally I could not cover the entire operation, but I have tried to capture enough of the mechanics of what went on to tell a story of the men and machines involved. I found them an interesting crowd, and during the course of conversation learnt of one man who even had his sons working alongside, so some of these shots represent pictures in his family album!

I sought the men's approval for the shots I took, and was accepted willingly, which made my task of creating an accurate report of the proceedings that much more easy, and enjoyable. The one operation I have been unable to capture so far is the initial 'planing' – the removal of the original top surface.

I am hoping that I may be able to take shots of that procedure tomorrow, my last free moment. Also, one of the men has promised he will let me know when they next carry out that operation at night, so I can get some more dramatic shots. That was an act of generosity that showed an understanding of what I was looking for, and showed that they appreciated what I was doing, for which I am grateful.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Aspects of Photoshop – A Talk for the DNA


Courtesy of Mark and Kathy Wilkinson, the Secret Garden Café in St. Albans became the venue for me to give a talk on Photoshop on Wednesday the 29th. Very aware that I had no idea how well Photoshop was known amongst the audience, nor the way in which it was used, I had prepared a series of files that would help me illustrate the versatility and power of the program.

After a preliminary talk on the new position of Photoshop for designers and photographers, I put up on screen the list of items I had prepared, and asked the audience for some guidance, before committing to giving any demonstration. This gave me a clue, and I did my best to provide some continuity between the examples I showed. I also suggested that I'd happily answer questions along the way.

I was glad that I had, because when I drew things to a close and called for questions I was deafened by the silence. This is always dismaying, and I am sure it is due to reluctance, but if no one breaks the ice…

I got two very kind emails after the event, and console myself that several people did take my card, so hopefully it went well. Mark made us all very welcome, and I must say a very great thank you to him for all he and his team did to make it all possible.

One photographer did tell me she had been photographing panoramas in Hitchin Market around the same time I was taking photos just few hundred yards away at the British Schools Museum.