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…



Thursday, 23 September 2010

Food Tourism Networking Event

Putteridge Bury Campus of the University of Bedfordshire put on a networking event to which I was invited, and since I had been doing a food retouching job only last week, I felt perhaps it was ordained! John Sentinella offered to pick me up in his Jaguar which was a difficult offer to refuse, but the journey turned out to be far longer than we had expected due to a motorway incident further up the M1 resulting in all our local roads being brought to a standstill – a trip that should have been barely fifteen minutes was closer to an hour!

We had a few moments to chat before going in to listen to the three speakers and then returned to eating, drinking and more networking in very congenial surroundings. In the very dim interior of the lecture theatre I took a few quick shots at 3200 ISO and later brought this down to a mere 2500 ISO – what freedom! No flash, yet the ability to capture the ambiance with comparative ease without bringing attention to myself.

This was hardly my field, but I did manage to talk to a few people with whom there were possibilities for future business opportunities – who knows?

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Marston Vale Forest

I needed to check out different subject matter for my 300mm prime lens, so I took myself off to Marston Moretaine and what was the Millennium Park, now Marston Vale Forest. Part of the area borders on a lake formerly a claypit and it is a wonderful wilderness for bird and insect life. I entered the Nature trail via the wooden boardwalk above reed beds, and soon found several dragonflies zooming around and landing on the wooden railings.

What I really wanted though was to capture these flying, not static and foolishly thought that patience could prevail by focussing on one that had landed and then to capture it at the moment of takeoff! What a forlorn hope, I got very used to erasing blank images because my reactions were way too slow to press the shutter in time. So I made my way to the water’s edge and tried my luck following them once they came into view, but standing and trying to keep track of them was equally fruitless. I moved to another spot and waited; again there were only fleeting visits.

I walked on and then found a spot of grass fronted by reeds and finally put down a groundsheet and sat and waited, this was far more productive, an I soon recognised a pattern emerging as to where they flew, and where they hovered, and got my first two shots, one was chopped half off, but the other was average – but I had done it! Now to repeat the exercise.

I stayed there for more than half-an-hour and got a few more opportunities and a bit of ‘chimping’ showed I was getting better shots, and I tried upping the shutter speed to ensure sharpness. Eventually I felt I had succeeded in my aim, and had earned a cup of tea.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Goodwood Revival Meeting 2010

Once again I received tickets to visit the annual Revival Meeting at Goodwood, and this time Toby Savage joined me for the visit on the Saturday. His outfit, all white topped with a pith helmet was of considerable interest throughout our day!

The weather according to the forecasters was for a ten percent chance of a shower and that the day would start bright with cloud cover increasing from around midday and slowly clouding over completely in the afternoon. It turned out far better than that and was very warm indeed with some exciting racing.

This meeting was a great opportunity to give the Canon 7D and 300mm prime lens a chance to shine. it succeeded beyond my expectations, the shutter was very responsive both initially and in the subsequent burst, so fast that it was hard to consistently only fire a single frame, and the sharpness of the 300mm f/4 was impressive.

It was difficult to accurately segment the shots into neat compartments so I have simply divided it into four sets to keep things in manageable chunks.

Toby and I had two surprising meetings, one was when during a friendly chat with two men on the bank before Madgwick corner, we found we were talking to an Art Director who had used Charles Settrington when he was a photographer – Charles  is the owner of Goodwood, now Lord March. I come to be invited to Goodwood due to my connections with Lord March from those days.

A short while later I made a remark about the quality of the artwork above a crepes vehicle, and then we sat down to eat a burger and chips. Two men joined us at our table and it only turns out that one was the designer of that very artwork and owner of the vehicle, which it turned out Toby knew from the vehicle's earlier life as an ice cream van, and both men were owners of several of the concession vehicles and both were Leicester men like Toby! What a small world!

Once again I gave Lightroom a chance to help me out with the near darkness of the 'Earl's Court Motor Show' – at 2500 ISO!

Whilst waiting to extricate ourselves from the car park we were further treated to another air display by a pair of Spitfires, and it worked – it did lessen our frustration at not moving!
Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
Set 4

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Halton House Heritage Day

Sunday morning saw me driving towards Aylesbury to take a look at Halton House, once built for and owned by one of the Rothschild Banking family, which at the beginning of the twentieth century was given to the RAF and became an Officers’ Mess for RAF Halton, a training station for Boy Entrants.

They were holding a Heritage Day and opening to the general public, I found the architecture fascinating, and extremely challenging with countless people milling around all equally interested in taking photographs. I was really pleased to be able to correct converging verticals from the raw files in Lightroom and to handle the low light levels with comparative ease. How liberating to be able to switch from as low as 100 ISO to 1600 ISO and do all the shooting handheld and without any additional electronic flash. I was so amused by one painting that despite it being dimly lit I took a shot, the painter, Turner has captured the surreal scene with great humour.

Jaguar enthusiasts brought along a series of exquisite specimens which gleamed in the bright sun on the lawn in front of the house, and joined by a baby Austin. The whole show was run by young serviceman and women who were charming, cheerful and helpful.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Luton Hoo – Artist’s Day 2010

I arrived in dull weather, and it even drizzled with rain, but it did not deter me or several others, but certainly as the weather improved, more people arrived. I soon came across on artist called Martin who was covering over a sketch of Amy Whitehouse in preparation for his canvas to take on his work capturing the Mackenzie Moncur Greenhouse. I later returned to see the work taking shape. It was at this time that I took a shot of a wood pigeon unperturbedly sitting on its nest above Martin!

The flowers and vegetables were nearing season’s end, but still there buds to be seen. I noted that the pollinators on some flowers were wasps, and on the beans I caught sight of a hornet! The marrows and squashes were in abundance and sadly several had been gnawed, I suspect, by rabbits. One installation which got a lot of interest was a suitcase of memorabilia with speeches of the World War II era drifting across the garden.

I very nearly missed the Artist Steve Parkes working away in the Dairy which had become an Art Gallery for the weekend. I was very pleased to see the Apple Cart had been completed and assembled – it looked superb. One artist who stood out, or should I say ‘kneeled’ was working on some excellent large pictures of the ladies on the Produce stall - I was most impressed with how with a few deft strokes she had captured one person whom I immediately recognised, even though she was not present at the time.

‘The Conservatory’ was preparing for a Wedding, and with its manicured lawn in the other half of the Walled Garden, looked splendid in the sunshine. The grapes hanging in bunches in the end greenhouse looked very tempting, but I resisted.

Luton Hoo, Walled Garden, Pumpkins, squashes, Artists, ‘The Conservatory’, Apple cart,Steve Parkes,Martin,Mackenzie Moncur greenhouse

Junction 10a of the M1 Motorway

Some means must be found to ensure that this roundabout is replaced by the latest the opening of the London Olympics, because after this point in time there is no major leverage that can be exerted over central government for their part in the funding for the construction.

Luton, and the surrounding area need full access both to the town, and to the M1, as well as good access between Harpenden and Luton. So every positive action must be taken to circumnavigate all the bureaucratic hurdles placed in the path of the means to make both the Airport Way be a single entity from the M1 junction 10 to the fork that serves the Airport and the route to Hitchin, and for there to be a free-flowing route in both directions for Harpenden and Luton Town Centre.

I visited the small display in the Luton Arndale Mall to speak to members of the Luton Council and Contractors, and the resulting conversations were deeply depressing – I got the general feeling that everything had to go at the pace it has always gone in the past. I did not get the feeling there was any sense of urgency.

We need Dynamism here, this is absolutely critical – it is far better to have tried and failed than never tried at all. Luton has this one great opportunity to be the saviour of London at its hosting of the 2012 Olympics, Luton could be the staging post for the visitors, and thereby secure the future for all the embryonic businesses as well as many existing businesses located or locating in the university town of Luton, Capability Green, the Airport, the businesses springing up where Vauxhall used to be.

We need a Freddie Laker or Richard Branson to say here is a Group/Consortium/What you will that is making the bold decision to get this ball rolling for a 2012 opening, that causes absolutely minimal local disruption and links Luton directly to the rest of the world.

Where there is a Will there is a Way. Luton will never again get a better chance.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Stockwood – Season's Final Floral Fanfare

The morning looked favourable lightwise, and I knew that the end of the floral season was fast approaching, so I cleared as much off my desk and gathered my camera gear and set off for Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton.

I have noticed in the past that if I go out on a whim like this it often prompts phone calls from clients to give me work, and this was just such an occasion – I had been taking photos for no more than ten minutes, when a call came in from a photographer wanting me to quote on some retouching on some food shots he was shooting. He was happy for me to finish shooting before looking at some shots he would be sending me.

It was surprisingly warm and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of colour still around, although some areas were full of very similar colours. I took a fast wander through several different gardens and one of the greenhouses, and I have managed to find some sixty images to remember what is likely to be the final flourish of this season’s colour.

I think the quote looks like being accepted, so two very different retouching jobs this week is quite encouraging as retouching has been thin for a while. There has been more diagnostic, consultancy and training work of late.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Aylesbury Proms in the Park

Aylesbury Concert Band may have lost 'Community' from their name, but the show proved the Community spirit was not lost, there was a very good turnout to hear and watch them play a varied content of music.

Certainly I was very much part of a small family community with my son-in-law's family along to hear my younger daughter playing saxophone in the band. Seeing her was somewhat less easy, as her music stand and music prevented a good view. I do feel that when the stage is raised, the band need to be tiered so that everyone is seen better.

The sound quality was excellent, the lighting was excellent for viewing, but borderline for taking photos unaided, and I nearly gave up, but I am pleased I persevered – thank goodness for the Canon 5D MkII and its ability to record at ISO 2000! Tim, whose birthday it was, handed each of us a piece of cake in the interval.

I am sure from the crowd response we were not the only ones to have thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Bledlow Ridge

Travelling via Halton and Wendover, I paid a quick visit to Bledlow Ridge, fascinated as much by the name as anything else. I was close to Stokenchurch which I had heard was where Red Kite had been re-introduced a few years back, but I was caught out by being unable to find somewhere to park the car, when a pair were gliding low above me, and by the time I had managed to tuck my car in, they had soared into free air well out of my range, but I have included a single shot as an aide-memoire.

Nearby was West Wycombe House with its Mausoleum and Caves, infamous for its wild parties and debauchery in times of yore – Lord Dashwood and friends such as Benjamin Franklin held legendary parties for the Hellfire Club members in the caves below the Mausoleum. I did try climbing to the Mausoleum through a field, but the last stretch was too treacherous for my smooth-soled shoes and my long lens. The views were spectacular but in the direction of the sun, so difficult to capture at that time of the afternoon.

Saturday Afternoon with Tringford Fishermen

Saturday afternoons can be relaxing and rewarding. The robin returned, a tree caught a fly and was later retrieved by the unusual use of a claw hammer and branch, the herons were caught in flight and Phil caught some trout. Bob very kindly rowed me out to the bottom of the lake, an area which is rarely fished with any degree of success. I noted that the herons are now taking to higher vantage points in the trees, and spending less time on the partly submerged branches at the water’s edge.

Bledlow Ridge

Travelling via Halton and Wendover, I paid a quick visit to Bledlow Ridge, fascinated as much by the name as anything else. I was close to Stokenchurch which I had heard was where Red Kite had been re-introduced a few years back, but I was caught out by being unable to find somewhere to park the car, when a pair were gliding low above me, and by the time I had managed to tuck my car in, they had soared into free air well out of my range, but I have included a single shot as an aide-memoire.

Nearby was West Wycombe House with its Mausoleum and Caves, infamous for its wild parties and debauchery in times of yore – Lord Dashwood and friends such as Benjamin Franklin held legendary parties for the Hellfire Club members in the caves below the Mausoleum. I did try climbing to the Mausoleum through a field, but the last stretch was too treacherous for my smooth-soled shoes and my long lens. The views were spectacular but in the direction of the sun, so difficult to capture at that time of the afternoon.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Up the Downs – Dunstable

This write up is well out of kilter, because it is what happened last Thursday morning. I visited a local precision engineering workshop at Icknield Way Farm, SRB-Griturn. It was on the way back that I decided that I might take a quick look up a steep path to the top of the Dunstable Downs. It had rained a day or two back which made the going tricky, and although I was taking it easy, I lost my grip and went down very hard, giving the camera and lens a very hard knock as well as my upper leg on one of the wooden steps.

I checked the camera and lens and fortunately all seemed well, what I did not learn till much later was that the jolt dislodged some specks onto the sensor, which is one reason for why it has taken me much longer to process the files for three galleries of images. I now have to find the time to give the sensor a very good clean!

The weather was not ideal for landscapes, so I was taking the hike as much for the exercise and interest as for taking photographs. It was whilst I was focusing on a small blue butterfly that I got the fright of my life – a greyhound came bounding at me at high speed, and I jumped out of my skin – to guffaws of laughter from the dog’s owner! What a specimen that dog was. I believe Harry the owner called him Marley, and the smaller dog was Meg. I think it should have been called ‘Greased Lightning’ because it was a hell of a mover! That was a nice way to get some unexpected shots. Harry told me that only two years ago the dog was at death’s door, well I have to say that is far from the case now; he is a wonderful specimen.

I took even more care going downhill and back to the car, and later in the day made off in the car for Hampshire and my sailing trip from Bosham to the Isle of Wight.

Bailey’s Hard, Beaulieu

On the way back from sailing down at Bosham, I called in on Gloria and Richard Holmes at their converted brick factory; the first time in a long while sadly. They have a lilac bush that is a focal attraction for a wide range of birds. I managed to see, blue tits, great tits, nuthatch and a robin.

The hard was once a boatbuilding site like the much more famous neighbour – Bucklers’s Hard, and is now a very peaceful backwater, home to a canoe training centre with a small jetty and a bench with just a few moorings in the Beaulieu River.

It was a very nice way to catch up with Gloria and Richard before heading for the M25 and home.