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…



Friday, 27 January 2012

Jarvis Foresters in Cold January Sunshine


When the bathrooms and kitchens are more finished I will use a wider angle lens, but for the moment, the details of the unfinished work is more important than the overall view, so the less wide the shot is, the larger it appears within the galleries. The electricians and carpenters were hard at it, connecting up and testing the electrical wiring, and hanging doors in the corridors.

The garden areas are now being planted, hopefully allowing them to bed in; I just hope the frost does not kill them all! Most of the last roof structures are now weathertight, these are the garages. Outside the site, work has been carried out in the service road parallel to the High Street; it is largely complete but protected by brightly coloured plastic guardrails, so access along the service road is somewhat restricted till these are fully restored. It was good to see that some effort was being made to clean the wheels of vehicles leaving the development site.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Second 2012 Visit to Foresters

It was a crisp and bright winter’s day and for a change there was not the biting wind that we have had recently, so it did not seem so cold, and as I entered the site there was much more of the intended Retail part of the development to be seen as the scaffolding was now removed completely, and this was an area that I had not covered on my last visit.

There was a lot of outside work being carried out, removing some of the now redundant pipework in one area, and round the back the garden area was being rotivated and receiving topsoil. One of the electricians spotted my capturing his work in the retail section and told me that the main board area was now far advanced, so I shot that and I spotted that doors were now being hung on the storage areas in the basement, and also the water pipework now had meters fitted.

I had no time to visit much of the interiors this visit, except the drywalling was going on in the future retail section, so this will take priority on my next visit.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Launch of Lightroom 4 Public Beta

What does this new version hold in store? Does it make it the ‘must have’ upgrade?

This is simply a taster, so take care to only use it for copies of your files, but the answer down the line when the full product is launched is a resounding ‘Yes!’

Adobe put out their Public betas to get a wide range of input to ensure that the finished program really impresses. It almost certainly will have some bugs, some restrictions, and some features will not be present; after all, they still need some ‘Wow!’s when the real thing arrives.

What features stand out? Well, there are two new modules Book and Map – Book in this release will be confined to producing books through Blurb, and PDF – If other creators of books and their clients show interest, Adobe will extend this feature, but this current limitation will remain for the full release of Lightroom 4.0. Map will take GPS co-ordinates from any available EXIF data to place images on a Google map, and the user can place images on the map after the event where no EXIF data was available directly from the camera.

This Public Beta will not be able to upgrade current catalogs, nor will it upgrade the ‘Process Version’ it will use ‘PV 2012’. The full release will allow both, but be advised there is a fundamental change to how data is interpreted and controlled in this version, so conversions may well show different renderings than intended, so mass automatic conversion is not recommended.

Users will need to note the changes made to the controls in the Develop module. Exposure in particular has a very different way of handling from earlier versions, but the new controls undoubtedly give the user far more control than before, but it will be unfamiliar initially. The most notable improvement you will find is that previously burnt-out highlights could easily end very abruptly, looking really nasty. Adobe engineers have made a far more gentle ‘rolloff’ that makes for example, very much better cloud treatment in bright sunlight.

Taking this Public Beta for a spin, learning how to handle the new Develop controls, understanding the benefits from the latest Process Version, playing with Maps and Book, will make the later transition much more fluid, and I highly recommend anyone considering upgrading later, to first play with copies of images and fully understand the implications and niceties, before embarking on a full transition. For those users working in a studio with their camera tethered, the addition of a Layout Overlay may be of special interest, as this could be for a particular crop required, or to allow areas to be kept clear for other features in a design layout.

Adobe and its team of worldwide unpaid volunteers on the prerelease team have worked hard on your behalf to make this a very worthy upgrade. Many of these will be putting out videos and whole treatises on how to use the new features, and in the UK, I recommend strongly to look out for Victoria Bampton, the Lightroom Queen as she really does know this program inside and out. Others to look out for are John Beardsworth, Sean McCormack, Richard Earney, Ian Lyons, Lee Jay Fingersh, Jeffrey Friedl, Martin Evening, and Brian Stoppee.

These are the links to the public beta pages:

and other links you could follow are listed below – Cmd/Ctl click them to open in a new tab:

QR Code – The Bridge from Print to Web

It is very easy to be persuaded to create a website to promote a product or service, but far less emphasis is placed upon how to drive potential clients to the site once created and up and running. One of the main feature that is sold is how important it is to ensure that search engines find the site, and display links on the very first page; preferably at the top. Whilst that has undoubted value, it is very far from being the only point to bear in mind. That point loses some value when it is the same advice given to every other potential client of website builders. You can’t all be top of the page using the same search terms and keywords.
Also, this blanket approach fails to mention that to retain your position relies on the site being updated regularly, with visitors therefore returning frequently, either to purchase or keep informed. The robots employed to scour the Web become easily bored when a site remains stubbornly the same, but will be enticed, even entranced by a site that is always displaying fresh content.

However, the premise that is the backbone of the above thinking is that all the clients are Web-savvy or are themselves always doing their buying online, as opposed to visiting bricks and mortar shops, or are being informed via the printed word in magazines, newsletters and word of mouth.
Well, there is another way. Yes, it relies on modern technology, but at a very simplistic level once you are aware. Smartphones are becoming more prevalent and whereas this was once very exclusively the province of the young, it has rapidly been taken up by the parents of this same young. Today’s youth is very savvy and curious, and a technology that has pervaded supermarkets – barcodes have been refined into a class known as QR CodesQuick Reference/Recognition. You may have seen them already without realising their significance; they look like small square crossword puzzles.

Whether the smartphone is an Android phone, a Windows phone or an iPhone, there are several QR Generator and Reader programs (Apps) which are free, so try downloading one of the readers to a smartphone, and point its camera at a code you find.
You may be surprised at how quick a good reader app will transfer your smartphone to a website/Video/PDF on the Web.

Let me now describe the technology in slightly more detail, but only as far as using it goes – I will start with the creation process. You open the QR Code Generator App, and it will ask you to supply a link, (a URL to use its technical description), then it will likely ask you for the size you wish to generate, and it then produces an image which you can then save in one of a small selection of file formats – for simplicity, just try JPEG. Once saved, print it out, and having set up the reader on your smartphone to immediately scan and read a URL, you point the camera at the code – you may not even have time to view it on screen before you find yourself looking at the website address that you entered when creating the code.

I found one of the simplest Generators to be SmartyTags and the Reader: Qrafter ; both are free.

What the QR code does is provide a bridge from the Printed world to the Digital world. So, if you are a high street shop selling a range of baby clothes, and you have a small window, but a large range of clothes, a QR Code that invites the passer-by to point their smartphone at the code you could well then find they can see a full range and prices and may now be tempted inside so your personal charm/sales experience can now be brought to bear, where before, they may well have walked on by.
If you are Housing Developer and your site is hidden by high wooden hoardings, a QR code could lead to your website where they can see the finished complex, and if necessary be asked to fill in details to receive a glossy brochure. The way you go about the next stages are limited only by your imagination, just remember that the QR code can point to a dynamic part of your site, so that subsequent visits show the latest news, yet the code itself need not change.
Try this one for size:

Saturday, 7 January 2012

1st 2012 Stockwood Discovery Centre Visit

Already the afternoon was drawing towards its end, the light and the clouds enticed me nevertheless to pay a visit to the Stockwood Discovery Centre despite my knowing there would be little to see, unless some squirrels were out moving nuts around.

I was wrong, the light made the difference, certainly there were few flowers to be seen, but leaves can still hold a fascination as can the play of light on trees and rooftops, I certainly there were never going to be a stream of images, but I did not come away from the visit empty-handed, and it was pleasantly mild now that the wind of the last few days had died down.

There were times when the sun shone strongly for a while, and on more than one occasion that was when children came into view, and this was one time when they were not welcome as the moments were fleeting, as I was concentrating on the scene, and I had no desire to court controversy by including them in the shots without permission; this meant in some instances my missing that particular shot and waiting patiently for a cloud to pass, and then the sky was less colourful than it had been.

Nevertheless, I was not entirely disappointed with what I found – the phrase that kept recurring whilst I was there was ‘remains of the day’.

Friday, 6 January 2012

First 2012 Visit to Foresters

After several days of wind and rain, today dawned bright and calm, but fairly cold. I over-dressed with this in mind, but found myself mainly inside where there were now industrial heaters everywhere to allow plastering and painting to take place, so I was as hot as if it had been summer when I had far less on!

Everyone was welcoming and it was ‘Happy New Years’ all around, and whilst at the garages that lie immediately behind the high street shops, I met someone who reminded me that I had been at the site since the very first brick was laid, and another who said I must have taken a couple of hundred shots since I had been coming to the site! More like thousands, but I was not counting.

Several more kitchens and bathrooms were going in, lifts were being installed and coving being cut to size and fitted. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their work and smiling, and I put this down largely to the sunshine. Someone came up and said he had passed on my good wishes to Sean Mooney, and said he would probably welcome a call, so I feel another ‘Happy New Year’ coming on.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Bank Holiday Monday at Marsworth

Learning that the weather on the New Year Bank Holiday was due to be bright, I prepared the night before by getting to bed somewhat earlier than is my wont – if I expected to sleep longer as a result, I was to be disillusioned, as I awoke long before the alarm! It was still very dark, but to get some idea of how long before I need to rise, I ventured to switch on the bedside light to learn it was three-thirty, so I closed my eyes tighter and woke finally to the alarm for six.

Only a white van with fishermen was parked upon my arrival at Marsworth reservoir, I nodded to them as I trudged past with my camera and tripod and headed through the woods and past the stream and the reed beds, and took a look at Startops from the hide. Both these reservoirs were still very low, although Tringford was a tad higher, but overall all three were the lowest I have seen for several years.

I setup just short of where the fork in the path was, because the gulls were constantly flying over this corner, which gave me a chance to stay in one place to endeavour to catch them in flight and taking off from the water with the 150-400mm Sigma, the sun was yet to rise, so there was little light making even shooting at 1600 ISO challenging – 1/100 sec at f/7.1, if I was lucky, then before the sun rose too high I grabbed some shots of it peeking over the hill with the fence in silhouette.

 A heron arrived and sat initially on a post close to the bank and would occasionally fly a circuit and return or rest on some other posts by the buoys and nets. there were also smaller birds nearby and a chaffinch found some nuts and seeds atop the waste bin affording me a few shots. I stuck around till ten o’clock, with frozen feet and ears from the biting wind, but I was happy I had some shots of interest from my time there.