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…

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Thursday, 17 June 2010

Butterfly World

It was a small group visiting the Stockwood Discovery Centre Luton from Essex that said I should visit Butterfly World at Chiswell Green, near St. Albans. They had said: "You must see the wild flowers!" I turned into the drive from a country lane and was gobsmacked! Before you have even arrived at the entrance to the complex, the drive is lined not with grassy banks, but banks of every colour of wild flower – reds, pinks, purples, blue, green, yellow and orange – all set against the clearest of blue skies and high cumulus clouds. Since there was not a lot of traffic, I put on the hazards, and spent at least five minutes just taking shots of what was there!

The complex is still young and not yet finished, but it was welcoming, well-organised and the architecture stunning. It seemed quiet and people free at first as I looked out at the giant beehives that are the loos, the alfresco restaurant area, the garden centre with its arched roof, the gardens with giant plant pots and a trowel. Before I left the entrance area, I had taken a few closeups of a caterpillar one of the staff had been tending in a small container of I believe willow leaves.

I headed for the Tropical Butterfly house, and all changed – I was prepared for the heat and humidity; I was totally unprepared for the hubbub! The greenhouse was full to capacity with screaming and shouting schoolchildren amidst fluttering dozens of butterflies. I assume butterflies are deaf, or have a high tolerance for noise! I concentrated on trying to capture the main attraction, and if possible butterflies in flight – in the end I caught just one mid-flight! After a while as I moved up the greenhouse, I noted that a few more patient youngsters were standing still in the hope of a butterfly settling on their hands or heads, one boy in particular had several settle for a short time on his hat, and a girl, maybe his sister insistent I capture the event, but every time I turned to capture a shot, the insect took off; to his dismay. I tried at least three times and felt really sorry that he was unlucky, finally I managed, and showed him the closeup on the back of the camera. He was amongst a small band of hopefuls that did stay in one spot and was quiet.

I stayed awhile with sweat dripping off me, trying to get shots of some of the larger specimens, but they were less inclined to remain in flight. When I finally came out, the cool fresh air was a delight and after turning around to capture the drying breeze all around, I strolled around the various garden, some of which were complete, many still under construction or simply not yet fully grown. I wandered through terracotta tunnels and on the other side of an upturned giant pot came across a similarly scaled box of matches. The walls were adorned with embedded dinky toys and other artefacts of a consumerist society, such as a headless Action Man, but also there was an old book with an open spread beneath a bank of wild flowers and the clear sky.

There is much to see here, and it deserves success, but the best of the wild flower display will not last long – I am glad I came when I did, and I will return as there is just so much to see, and photograph.

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