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…



Saturday, 25 January 2014

Botanical Gardens, Cambridge

Catherine, who is now offering reflexology sessions, was free by the afternoon, so had invited me over to join her for a walk, and had settled on a visit to the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge. The journey over to Babraham was uneventful with generally light traffic, and as I had run slightly late because there were last minute tidyings necessary for a midday house viewing whilst I was away, I gratefully accepted a cup of tea before setting off.

Parking close by the Gardens was easy and we entered by the new gatehouse and it was interesting to note the snowdrops were already out here, and later I even spotted crocuses. As I had three cameras Catherine was able to use one or other and so lessen my burden of carrying all three! And she alternated these with her iPhone. After paying for our tickets, there was a strong scent which apparently was from some form of box, but try as we might we never found the actual bush, but it was certainly a wonderful way to start the visit.

 We took in the glasshouses, where for a while the sun shone milkily and earlier Catherine had found her iPhone battery was low and switched it off, which meant we had lost the alarm to remind us when to return to the car, and we panicked as we had completely lost track of time! Fortunately we found we still had a few minutes to spare, so we headed off to take a look at the new Sainsbury's building before wending our way back to the entry gates to return to Babraham.

Catherine then made toast and we had a late snack lunch before she had to head for home, and I stayed a short while longer with Jonah, before making my way back, but the weather which had till then at least been dry now began tipping it down with lightning and rumbles of thunder, and I set off with hailstones rattling on the windscreen. The roads were now awash with standing water, many times spanning the entire road width, and it continued like this till I cleared Duxford, when although it was still raining it was of a lesser strength, and by the time I entered Luton, it was just a light drizzle.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Stockwood Discovery Centre – Greenhouse Colour

The last time I visited the Discovery Centre, I chose to capture the visitors to the British Wildlife photos on the first day, however I ran out of time to take a good look at the pictures that justly deserved their awards, I therefore chose this visit to make amends and devote time to studying them and reading something of those who had been rewarded.

Once again not only are the standards high, but the younger photographers are up there with the best of them. I highly recommend anyone to visit and look at. what these people have not just seen, but captured.

The sun was out and warm and there were puffy white clouds after the earlier downpour, so I took the opportunity first to catch up with the gardeners and then to take up the suggestion of taking a look at the heliotrope which had defied the odds and was looking splendid in the greenhouse. I had not expected to be there long, but was pleasantly surprised – there was more on offer.

After a while inside I then made my way slowly over to the exhibition and took my tour around, and it was good to hear the soft approving murmurs from other members of the public as I took my time to admire the work and read the details as to where the shots were taken and sometimes what equipment had been used.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

British Wildlife Photographic Awards – Stockwood Discovery Centre

I had spotted just one mention a while back that the exhibition of the award-winning entries to the most recent British Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition was due to open in the exhibition area within the Stockwood Discovery Centre, so  around half-one I arrived to see whether I could capture members of the public grasping the opportunity to view this excellent tableau of images taken by a wide range of talented photographers of all ages, sex and styles. I was a tad disappointed upon arrival to see so few, but it was not long before the numbers grew, and they seemed to peak as the public address counted down to the closure for the day!

I had set up CamRanger once again, this time the iPad was propped up on my camera bag, and I used it for two purposes, the most important being to check on my exposures and composition, and secondly after being granted permission of those in my view, I used the iPad to show those I photographed what I had captured to gain reassurance I was not painting them in a bad light. It was whilst I was taking the first few images that I found myself in conversation with a lady about how high the standard of quality was, and why I was there. A few minutes later a gentleman I knew came round to me, greeting me with the words: "You have just been speaking to my wife!" – it was Ron Taylor, author of the online magazine, Harpendia, who was visiting with much the same idea; that of publicising the event.

We chatted for a while and he asked could he use some of the shots, and would I also take some photos of himself, to which I then duly complied. It was good to see that young families were coming in, and that provided further interest to the shots I was taking, the response from the visitors was genuine approval, and many spent time learning more about the authors of the pictures and the birds and animals depicted.

I just hope that more publicity can be given to ensure that visitor numbers grow as this is a wonderful opportunity to view these outstanding images in bright and well balanced lighting and display conditions, a considerable amount of care has gone into how the area is lit to ensure the very best viewing environment. There is also a large monitor displaying movies, which I noted had attracted a family group watching engrossed.

Because I had set myself a task to take pictures of the exhibition and its visitors, I ran out of time to spend viewing the display myself, so I shall be going again with a different aim, in the coming days.

SWPP – Hotel Metropole – Trade Show

I arrived at Edgeware Road in plenty of time to visit the SWPP Trade Show in London on Friday morning, so I strolled in the hotel’s direction with the idea of using the time to find a Post Office to pick up the forms to renew my passport, but as I crossed the road I spied the familiar bronze statue of the window cleaner. Familiar only because back in the days of film I had caught sight of it and taken some shots of it – it’s a brilliant piece of work in my eyes; he is so obviously a window cleaner complete with ladder looking up at this towering office block, and lifting his cap in awe, and to my ears is saying: “Blimey, Guv!” When I took some shots of yore, some wag had completed the picture by placing a half-smoked fag in his mouth! Obviously in these PC times that is no longer dangling from his lips! It was as I was grabbing a few shots that a photographer stopped to watch me and we got chatting; in the course of which conversation he mentioned he had come from Tring, and it turns out we have a mutual friend in Vanessa Champion who I would later be meeting at the show.

I picked up my Passport forms and headed for the Metropole and the first familiar face that greeted me was that of Ness, who was manning (or should that be womanning?) the Creativity Backgrounds stand on the ground floor. One of the reasons for my visit to the show was to see whether any dealers were likely to offer me a deal on a brand new EOS 5D MkIII, and after a brief visit to the Canon stand learned there were two sellers present, and the timing of my arrival at the Park Cameras stand was absolutely perfect, I arrived as a Canon gentleman was finalising a further reduction with presumably the Sales Manager of Park, so I was the first purchaser to benefit from a great show deal with only five more cameras to go! My day was definitely starting on a high note!

I met up with ‘Image 2’ wife and husband team Patricia and Nick Rayner and spent some time watching a demonstration from a Past President of the AoP, Simon Leach, and much later spoke to colleagues from my earlier days of working with Adobe on their exhibition stands, Peter Lovelock, Andy Johnson, Richard West, David Odouro, Keith Hern and David Mallows. Ness also mentioned I should speak to Richard Curtis of Adobe, suggesting she was sure I would know him, but I was certain we had never met, and it turned out I was right, but I did manage to catch up with him and have a good chat, which might bear fruit, as we got on really well.

Whilst I was photographing Simon Leach and the proceedings on the Creativity Backgrounds stands, a film cameraman with whom I had enjoyed a wonderful skiing holiday in Meribel a good few years back tapped me on the shoulder and had obviously thought I’d not remember him, as he said: “You probably won’t recognise me, I am Richard…” but he was wrong – I recognised him straightway from a skiing trip in Meribel Mottaret – Richard Hill and was delighted he had come up, so he promised he would email me, so there is another pleasure to come from my visit – I look forward to catching up in the next few days.

The event was really enjoyable, enlightening and thoroughly worthwhile, and there was a very positive buzz all around, and I congratulate the SWPP; I feel certain they will be very happy with all their efforts, and I hope the next two days turn out as well the first.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Tring Reservoir Trip

After Several Days of Rain, the morning was true to the forecast – frosty and bright, and this corresponded to my waking after four hours of sleep and finding that try as I might I was unable to get back and sleep a further few hours, so I was obviously destined for this trip to the reservoirs.

I did not leave particularly early, but after gathering my gear, I was out, by half past seven, but there was still the frost to clear from the car windows, so it was mint chocolate square before I arrived and parked the car close by Tringford, and took the path between Marsworth and Startops reservoirs. After passing through the gateI spotted a pair of robins flitting from bush to bush and singing brightly, so turned around and gathered a jar of seeds I had in the car, and this time started laying a few on each fence post that was either in the sun, or about to be. This turned out to be fruitless, so I got shots of one of them in the high branches trilling melodiously instead.

I had hoped that the swans might be as restless as on my last visit, but the only pair in flight took off from Startops and flew diagonally beyond the trees, till the corner before landing once more on Marsworth, all too far away even for 400mm! I never saw them in flight again this time.

I chose to walk along the path towards Bulbourne in the vain hope of catching sight of kingfishers, but that was not to be either, despite patiently waiting some two hours. However whilst there I was visited by a very friendly, though somewhat nervous young Robin who did finally take some seeds from my hand, but he was always far too close for me to get any shots, so it was that as I traced my steps, I was greeted by yet another cheerful robin, this time in the branches at an acceptable distance.

I returned to where the car was parked and crossed the main road to walk along the far side of Tringford, but although there was a young family of cygnets with their parents, there was nothing beyond coots and Canada geese. So I returned to the car and journeyed to Wilstone where the only slightly less common Pochard were, and after a couple of dives they paddled away from the shore, beyond my reach and also into the sun!

It was not the most productive of visits, but it had become warmer, so a welcome change from grey skies and near constant rain.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Bright Sun at Marsworth


After a spell of really dismally grey and blustery days, it was a delight to see blue sky and high clouds and less of a wind, so there was now ay I was going to miss out. Rather than venture in the direction of Hertfordshire, I headed towards Buckinghamshire and the Marsworth Reservoir, taking just the 100-400mm lens on the 5D MkII.

As I walked between the two lakes, I heard the very distinct sound of heavy flapping and over Startops I spotted a lone swan that had just taken off, but it was both too distant, and only glimpsed through branches, but little did I know it then, but it was to be a feature of that afternoon; the swans were definitely restless and spent a good proportion of the time, taking to the air and moving to a different spot. This was noticeably a weekday when those lucky enough to be still off were taking advantage of the sunshine and comparative warmth to exercise their dogs, walk off their Christmas excesses, play with their young families or fish.
I got a call from one of my daughters asking whether I wished to join them with their two over at Towersey and take a walk along the Phoenix way, so I was destined not to be at the reservoir for too long, and the numbers of families out for their constitutionals steadily grew as I returned from the locks towards Bulbourne. On my outward trip I came across a wonderfully vocal robin presumably doing his best to woo a mate, and I am sure he would succeed as his was the most song I have ever heard from a robin, and it was very melodious!

Though I was only there for a short spell, my time was well-rewarded, and it was not long before I was heading towards Thame during which time I received an invitation to London to meet up with my niece and nephew before they both returned to India. Later I was to receive another call, this time to ask whether I was happy to have two different viewings for the house on Saturday; so two nice pieces of news in one afternoon.