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 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…



Sunday, 28 March 2010

Paul Elliott at Hammer & Tongs, Bulbourne Lock

In the early afternoon I spent some time walking around a few areas of College Lake Nature Reserve, an old chalk quarry close to Bulbourne that is preparing to open in an extended fashion for the May Bank Holiday, but most of the wildlife stayed away, or knew I was coming! I did however take a few photographs, so that later I can see the changes. I can see that they will undoubtedly cater well for school groups to learn about woodland life and crafts, wildlife and how chalk came about and why it was mined.

I then wandered down the newly opened path to Bulbourne Lock, where I first paid a visit to the ex-Canal Warden and her husband on their boat, and then walked into the works of the artist blacksmith, Paul Elliott and engaged him in conversation, asking him whether he objected to my taking photos in his workshop and gallery. He was entirely happy with this and he talked to me about the piece he was working on for a charity auction on behalf of the Heroes. He was putting the finishing touches to the patina, before lacquering it to protect it.

I also recorded some of the heavy tools he had there that seemed from a bygone age. It certainly proved how well they were engineered, since all seemed to be still in regular use! Here is a real craftsman as well as an artist with some beautiful work, and outside are other examples of his work, just randomly scattered around. I can definitely recommend a visit to take a look around, especially since there is life a plenty here with Bulbourne Lock, narrowboats, a pub, the towpath and College Lake all close by, just park up at the lake and walk down.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Sunshine and Fun

Sunshine and warmth brings out happiness in children, and brings the children outside. The birds chirp in the trees tantalisingly just beyond the ideal distance for whichever lens you bring to bear – I am convinced that all wildlife now can judge exactly which lens a photographer is pointing at them, and they will come no closer than where you can just get a half-decent shot of them!
The sunshine catches nuances of light and and shade for mere moments, either through a gap between bushes or reflections from windows. I wasted no time in searching out such occurrences as well as signs of our late Spring.
I have two gallery pages of what I saw as I waited to pay a visit to Wimpole Farm. I hope they give someone else the pleasure I got from taking the images.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Citroen Racer Restored

The opportunity arose for me to take some shots of the newly restored 1924 Citroen B12 Sports Racing Car, and so I grabbed the opportunity in the hope I might also get a chance to drive her.

The weather was warm changeable, but bright, so after watching and providing some minimal assistance to Alex checking valve clearances, plugs and magneto, it was time to start her – she fired up second swing, and the exhaust sound was crisp and even. So it was all aboard for the milk run – a trip through the lanes to Burnham Village for two pints! Alex felt he was providing a service to the community in bring smiles to the faces of all who heard and saw us!

I cannot say it was the most comfortable of rides as it definitely was not, but exhilarating it was, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. On our return I was rewarded with a short drive to bring the car from the front of the house to the barn, worth every second! Alex took the camera from me to get a shot of me behind the wheel – note my more mundane transport in the background.

Friday, 19 March 2010

DNA Freeway Meeting at Hatfield

Richard Logan, MD of Softpress and his team were invited to show their powerful Website creation tool, Freeway, to members of the Design Network Association and students of the University of Hertfordshire, at Hatfield Campus.
Andy Coomar and Mike Benjamin introduced the team of Joe Billings, Product Manager, Tim Plumb, Creative Director, and Web Designer Paul Dunning to DNA members and students from the University. We were shown how comprehensive the program was and how simple it would be to create Standards-compliant websites without the need to dirty our hands with obtuse coding. A thank you to Louise Burns for allowing us to use the University facilities.
I just took a few quick shots as a record of the event, and as I left I took two handheld shots of the Art & Design atrium to stitch together later so that the unlit signage could be seen in the final image.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A Few I missed

In my haste I missed out my favourite image of the day, and shots of a door which they located on the estate of exactly the right dimensions to fit the Mushroom shed where this restoration is taking place. The door has a fascinating story to tell.
I spotted the feast the woodworm had enjoyed, but had not noticed some details that show evidence of cattle rubbing against the door, and a nibbled entrance made either by rats or mice! To help make up the number, I have added another shot of Keith painting up the springs with Hammerite to protect them from rust, and the handle for the cart.
But my favourite was the beautiful curves of the support, carefully carved to reduce weight yet be strong where needed.

1st Visit to Walled Garden in 2010

The forecasters predicted sunshine, but they forgot to tell the clouds over Luton – as I started putting the cameras into the car, it was spitting with rain! Arriving at the Garden, it was immediately noticeable that changes were afoot, there was a much larger and far more permanent-looking marquee and that half of the Octagon had been further fenced off to make this area more exclusive, with lights placed to light the wall after dark.
The cold weather had noticeably had its effect on the plants; the snowdrops and crocuses were still out and no sign of flowers on the daffodils. Much of the brambles outside the wall were gone, and there were now areas of aluminium walkways.
The volunteers were repotting seedlings, digging, edging, erecting posts, burning, clearing weeds and mending fences.
The cart which last year was still having its woodwork restored was now undercoated and being painted, Keith is doing an excellent job and the restoration has so far taken a year. Dave was restoring the door their work area, which had been the mushroom shed.
By the Portakabin the car park was being resurfaced and levelled. Visitors in the coming year, who have visited before will certainly notice the changes.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

A Quick Visit to Stockwood Park

Spring has yet to come, but it has not prevented the efforts of those behind the scenes from preparing Stockwood Discovery Centre for visitors. Even though the sun was somewhat shy, it did not prevent families from bringing their children to play amongst the various attractions, such as clambering a giant Spider’s Web. The beds were all extremely tidy and had been weeded, and with lots of fresh bark chippings laid. A few snowdrops, pansies and primrose or primula were to be seen, together with beautifully trimmed low hedges in elaborate scrolls.

When the warm sun comes, I am certain this effort will be crowned with an abundance of colour to reward all those who have toiled over the last few cold, grey weeks.

I cannot recommend a visit to this centre enough; it is a true gem, and all who work here should be very proud of their achievement.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Another Visit to the Reservoirs

I managed to get up earlier than the last time I visited Tring Reservoirs, and I found some small ivy covered branch cuttings to allow me to sit down on the bank by the reed beds. I wanted to have a low viewpoint so the birds would not feel too intimidated.

This time I brought some bread to entice my models! There were still areas of ice slush, and this certainly hindered some of the birds' travel around the channels in the reed beds. The bitingly cold wind was in my face, and because I chose my position from a lighting direction, this meant whenever I threw bread, it did not travel far! The current flow took the bread even nearer to me, and this meant the ducks and moorhens were very wary of approaching the food!

I had learned that I could satisfactorily operate at ISO 1000 and thereby keep my shutterspeed to 1/800th and upwards, from a careful look at the last series of shots in relation to noise.

The wind soon got up, and I had to take a break back at the car to warm my hands. After that I then moved to another reservoir and paid a visit to Bill the Baker, who was very welcoming, even to the extent of giving me some coffee and biscuits, which were extremely welcome. His place was out of the wind, and after our chat I went back to the first reservoir and met up with my son-in-law, Tim at one of the hides, from where we both managed to get some shots of a grebe and a very chirpy robin just above us. Unlike my last visit there was an abundance of birds into late morning and early afternoon.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Chilly Morning at the Reservoirs

I readjusted my body clock again to ensure I could be up early enough to catch the projected sunny morning. I had a speedy breakfast and set off for Marsworth with a couple of long lenses and a bag of others should the need arise.

The first thing I noticed having parked the car and wandered through the kissing gate was just how much clearing of undergrowth had taken place since my last visit. I was fortunate that an old lady was feeding some of the coots and ducks by the reedbeds, because as I approached some birds took flight, giving me the opportunity to capture some on the wing.

The sun backlighting the reeds was appealing, but what surprised me was just how much ice was still floating on the surface. I spent a while wandering some of the paths before moving to one of the other reservoirs, where two swans made a beeline for me from across the lake, but I had to disappoint them, because I had no food with me and having followed me for quite a while, the larger of the two began hissing at me presumably out of annoyance for not having anything to offer!

I was finding that the wildlife was disappearing and was about to head off when a man from a nearby house hailed me, this was Bill the baker, who had retired to live in a nearby cottage some twenty years ago. He had a lot to tell me of the local wildlife and we chatted for some time, before I let him get on with his gardening and I came back to get on with some work. I did break off for a while to get a few quick shots of a Red Kite.

I called in on the newly opened, but not yet complete College Lake, by Bulbourne, and this site looks very appealing when it is finally completed - a fie expanse of water, reclaimed presumably from an earlier chalk quarry.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Business Breakfast at Putteridgebury

I had to readjust my biological clock to prepare for the 5.45am alarm call to allow me to go to my first Business Breakfast at the Putteridgebury Campus of the University of Bedfordshire. The last time I had a business breakfast was when I met up with bankers from The World Bank to photograph a several million pound cheque-signing, and that was aeons ago.

Considering how sunny yesterday was, I was amazed that there was still snow around, yet at least the snowdrops were showing and the moles had been mining with gusto. I got the impression that a magpie had been burrowing into it. Whilst outside, Nigel Huddleston, a local parliamentary candidate, came up to chat – I had last seen him when he led the protest march against the proposed Bushwood development.

What a change in weather from yesterday when the sun had been out all day, but I did want to at least have a record, so did take a look around the old house, before going in for the meeting. At first because I was early, there were only a few people around and those unlike me, all wearing suits and ties. I glanced at a few badges and was once again not too surprised to read the names of Banks! However, as the room filled, I began to see obvious business men, which gave me the opportunity to network (the primary purpose of the visit). I got to speak to Wes Randle, who had taken over as head of the Innovation hub. I did idly wonder how many present saw the connection between the University logo and the flowers at the window.

I listened intently to the speakers, but was forced to interrupt one speaker, Laura Church to express my desire for the construction of a flyover to improve the link between Capability Green and the Junction 10 of the M1, and avoid interaction with traffic to Luton from the A6. These two streams need not meet at the present roundabout, unless serving Luton. I firmly believe that it is a project Luton cannot afford not to build.

May I extend my thanks to all, including the Canteen staff who provided very good food, that made the event a success.