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…



Saturday, 27 September 2014

Marsworth and a Grey Wagtail


After an early start and a comprehensive cleaning of the house for a viewing mid morning, I just felt I needed to be outside and taking pictures, it was also warming up, with the sun beginning to show, so though I would have been better being at the reservoir much earlier, I took a chance on my getting some meaningful images nevertheless.

Tringford lake had but one angler afloat on the still water, and the level was much lower than on my last visit. As it was a few days since it had rained the woods where the stream entered Startops were dry underfoot, so I chanced  a quiet approach through the undergrowth in case any herons or egrets were on the dry shore, but all I spooked were some waders and ducks. I returned to the path and headed alongside Marsworth lake and the Grand Union Canal, and settled to wait.

Though in all the hours I was there, I only spotted a lone kingfisher in a flyby, I was visited by a squirrel, a heron overflew atop the trees and either an otter or mink gave me a brief visit, but I was twice graced by a lone Grey Wagtail in beautiful condition, and very twitchy. Naturally, collar doves and wood pigeons were noisily around, and my sleek robin only flew over once to the obvious interest to a plump and dishevelled specimen that inhabits the bush on the far shore. I found this slightly surprising as an earlier visitor visitor to the same spot as myself had poured a good amount of seeds for our regular.

When I finished and retraced my steps to the car, the early evening light on a narrowboat moored in the canal caught my eye, so I grabbed a quick shot of that scene.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Very Speedy Visit to Discovery Centre

I thought that since it was Wednesday and the weather was clement, I would take a quick visit to the gardens in the Stockwood Discovery Centre. As I set off I had no idea just how brief it was likely to be.

I had come to the junction and was about to turn right on to the main road when my mobile phone rang; I hastily pulled into the bus stop lay-by and answered – it was BBC Three Counties Radio.

Sarah Jenkins was at the other end of the line and asked whether I might be able to contribute to a phone-in this very afternoon, on the subject of the morality involved in retouching women in advertisements that would be promoting the idea that all young girls should be size zero stick insects, if they ever hoped to look beautiful and attractive, and she even said someone had commented that retouching should become a criminal offence!

She asked a little bit about me and asked whether I had actually done any retouching of that nature, to which I replied that I had retouched photos of numerous actresses and personalities for other photographers and publishers, but not to specifically alter their bodies to conform to skinny and tall, as opposed to natural. I briefly mentioned a few subjects to establish that I could genuinely respond from my experience and said I would be happy to be contacted by the Roberto Perrone Show at 3pm.

I now had even less time to reach the gardens, take some photos and return to get a gallery of them up on the blog! An irony was that as I had set off initially, the wind was chilly so I dived back in to pick up and put on a sweater. Arriving at the centre, the wind had died and the sun was gaining strength and as I went around, I became quite hot and sticky, but I did mention to two gardeners: Jan and Bridey whom I meet there that I was taking part in the phone in, and let on what the subject was – I am not totally without vanity!

I rushed around hurriedly and as I was leaving one of the two, Bridey was sitting in the shade of an arbour unbeknown to me and I heard a familiar voice say: "I think someone maybe in a bit of a hurry!" I turned around, chuckled and grabbed two more shots before I reached the exit.

Although some shots had variants, I used all but one image and the number precisely completed the grid, so no waste, I felt reasonably pleased with the result and had started on the processing as the phone call came through at three o'clock.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Maybe Only a Few on the Brogborough Lake…


The lack of wind and a weak sun meant that few turned up to do any windsurfing this afternoon, but I needed to check out using the monopod with a larger ball head, and try to improve upon the shots I first took of the windsurfers using this new Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Having used the 5D MkIII and this lens entirely handheld at Goodwood, because even the monopod would have been too much of a burden, here was a chance to see whether a larger ballhead than the standard Manfrotto one would be an improvement. When I found where the windsurfers were going to be, I realised it would be way too distant from the clubhouse shore, so decided to drive to the far side of the lake, park up and trek back through the woods till I could locate a safe way down the foreshore.

I found just such a spot, but I soon realised I was still too far off and had a very restricted view, so I walked even further till I came to a break in the cover. This time I was very much higher and would still have to move from side to side to keep clear of the trees, but I was a lot closer and when the pale sun came out, it was a benefit. I will make a note of this location for the future.

I think I managed a few rather nice shots, so the trip was worthwhile, and the Acrotec head on the Manfrotto monopod proved to be a good combination, and a lot less strain than handholding and way less weight than a tripod.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Goodwood Revival Meeting 2014

(Clicking the header just leads to the Goodwood Trophy Race)
The Full Links List is at the bottom of the text
I was thrilled to be invited once again to the Goodwood Revival Meeting. This time I chose to invite my elder daughter to the join me for the Saturday. We had hoped that both her partner and my younger daughter and son-in-law would be joining us, but they were too late in booking and found that all tickets had sold out due to the popularity of the event.

Catherine and I got ourselves sorted in the Car Park, and headed in, but failed to take adequate notice of where the car was located, which was to prove a problem at the end of the day!

We visited our designated enclosure which has a great vantage point to watch the exit from the Chicane, and settled to watch and photograph the cars as they headed towards us. The first race we watched was for the Goodwood Trophy. Fairly early on, car 27, a light blue Maserati V8RI driven by Josef Otto Rattenmaier started to spin, and I managed to capture  a sequence of shots as he spun through 180 degrees, before completing the full 360 without hitting anything, or being hit!

I gather photographer Jeff Bloxham is known affectionately as the 'Crash Magnet' well I seem to be similarly afflicted, because as I continued watching the Goodwood Trophy Race, Rob Huff driving a light blue Parnell-MG car number 17, found himself in a spin on the exit, close in front of car number 3, an Alfa Romeo Tipo B, driven by Stephan Rattenmaier who was unable to avoid being taken off towards the tyre wall immediately in front of us. The car rode up the wall and overturned, trapping the driver beneath the upturned vehicle; track marshals and a couple of spectators who climbed over the fence, joined forces to attempt to lift the heavy car enough to get the trapped driver out. Fortunately, this was speedily accomplished and the extricated driver walked from the scene, seemingly none the worse for wear. About four or five years back a similar crash occurred in the same spot, but that driver was less fortunate receiving several cuts to his face and head.

Although we did venture elsewhere we returned to this area for several of the races; the Pits were far too crowded to afford us a reasonable viewpoint to take photos. Once again, this year I did visit the Earls Court Motor Show, which Catherine thoroughly enjoyed as she dreamed of owning several of the cars on display within! I always enjoy the challenge of taking photos of the cars and some of their design details in such low light levels and without any flash.


The Aircraft that displayed were the World War Two Spitfires, Hurricane, a Mustang P51, a German fighter, and the two Lancasters; one of which was the one that had taken the long haul flight via Iceland from its base in Canada, and a Canberra and two Hawker Hunter twin-seat trainers.

A friend of longstanding, Simon Diffey, provided added interest in two of the races, driving a Bugatti Type 51 for entrant, Richard Collier in the Goodwood Trophy Race, and his own Formula Ford 20 in the Chichester Cup. It is a shot of him driving the Bugatti that heads this piece.

The galleries are organised by race and incidentals which cover some of the aircraft flight displays.


Click the individual names below for their Gallery Links:

Goodwood Trophy

Chichester Cup
St Mary's Trophy Part 1
Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy
Shelby Cup
Lavant Cup
Whitsun Trophy
Incidentals

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Warm September at Tring Reservoirs

Had the wind been stronger, and Windsurfers been on the water at Brogborough, I would have headed north and tried to improve upon the shots I took on my last visit, but a call to Sam Barnes forewarned me that no one was on the lake, so I went south to Tring reservoirs, in the hope that despite it being afternoon I might catch sight of kingfishers.

I did catch sight of a pair, but they were in Exocet mode; theirs was a non-stop flight, so any chance of capturing them was a non-starter. I did however spend a while at Tringford with the Water Bailiff as he mended anchor ropes and checked for leaks and rotting boards as I concentrated on taking shots of dragonflies in flight as they were in good supply.

Heading past Startops End I cautiously approached a heron, alongside a couple of egrets, but he took off before I was close and spooked both egrets, though I did manage to capture both in flight, later I was to see two robins, one familiar friend a very sleek and well-groomed one, and a slightly chubbier one, also a blue tit and what I think were spotted flycatchers. I was also visited by a squirrel on two occasions, as well as a flock of Canada Geese with two Greylags along for the flight.

So a reasonably satisfactory afternoon's shooting.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tall Ships – Island Gardens

Colin Bowles, a fellow photographer and I met up to travel to London to see what we could capture of the Tall Ships that had arrived at Greenwich from Falmouth, via the Isle of Wight.

We parked in the Westfield Centre so we could use the DLR from Stratford to reach Island Gardens, the last stop before Greenwich, since we felt we would be in the best position to get shots of even the moored craft. In the early part of the morning the one missing ingredient was sunshine. Also we found only four vessels moored up, just across from us, in front of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Upriver from us was moored the vast floating town, the Cruise Ship, Europa, which was soon approached by a Fire tug as it loosed its moorings to depart. We had walked out of the DLR station across the road, passing the entrance to the Foot Tunnel to Greenwich, before finding ourselves a spot by the railings. To give myself a solid platform to support my camera and long lens (once again the Tamron 150-600mm!), I extended the monopod to the ground, and fastened a bungee tightly to these railings, and set the camera in the quick release adapter and adjusted the height to suit my eye-level. I then slung the other body with my standard zoom lens around my neck; I was ready for most situations now.

Colin reminded me of the ball dropping at midday, but in fact it was one o'clock, and we were unsure whether that was Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or British Standard Summer Time (BST) – turns out it was 1pm BST! But we set alarms for each hour from 11.00 BST, and due to our chatting, very nearly missed the crucial correct time! Fortunately, a man nearby who had learned that we intended to capture this event, broke in to remind us of the time, just as it began its slow climb to the top of its pole!

The mist slowly dispersed, but the sun was vary late to arrive, but there was quite a lot of more general activity, including the arrival of the Royal Barge, that had carried the Queen and Prince Philip on the occasion of her Sixtieth Anniversary – there were rowers, but that was for show, as it gently motored against the tide! The public soon began to fill the space at the railings, and we learned that many of the Tall Ships were moored elsewhere, at the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf, though soon they began to arrive between us and Greenwich, though sadly not under full sail, so not as regal as offshore at the Isle of Wight or Falmouth.

We broke off for a snack lunch under the trees in the park, before I gathered my gear and began walking beyond the gardens in an easterly direction, and as we set off the sun finally burned off some of the cloud cover to give us a pale blue sky, and it became warmer.

Along the way we met and chatted to other members of the public and at one stage were hailed with: "Aren't you going to photograph an Eighty-Nine-Year-old Man on his Birthday?" I turned around and fired off a shot as I replied, "Certainly!" Then turned the camera around to show them the shot and handed the trio a card so that they could view it once I had created the gallery – they were thrilled.

A short while later, a bit further along the path, we spotted a female beachcomber, and I soon managed a shot or two as she searched the foreshore, as we came along that part of the beach she had come back up to the path,so we were able to enquire as to what she had found, and I was able to own up to taking photos, with ease as the husband said: "We spotted you earlier, and said I think that chap is photographing my wife!" It was said with such charm, I took the opportunity to show all three of that party just what I had captured. The lady had been collecting portions of bricks and tiles with French names moulded in the fragments, and before we parted finally and headed back to the DLR, we both helped to add to her collection.

We got directions from the husband to Crossharbour and took our return trip to Stratford and home, having had a thoroughly enjoyable day by the river.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Long-lensed Flowers at Stockwood Discovery Centre

I took a chance on the weather and collecting the Tamron 150-600mm and a monopod, set off to see how practical it would be taking photos at the Stockwood Discovery Centre Gardens.

I did find that there were fewer natural scenes to hand, because the flowers there were in a fair profusion and often closely packed, but here and there I was able to isolate one or two, and occasionally groups that hitherto I would have ignored. Now such shots made sense because of the flattening effect of using the lens at the maximum extension of 600mm.

But it was very cumbersome trying to support the lens using the monopod, especially for portrait shots, but it was rewarding as the separation from the background made for a different style of image from those I might take on a macro lens to separate the flower from its background.

I did also bring along the 24-105mm lens to capture some of the other subjects that came my way, especially in the greenhouse.

The conclusions I am drawing from the use of this long zoom lens is that it is very versatile, and will be used far more than I had initially envisaged, and I definitely have no regrets in making the purchase.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Stapleton Hall Road and Mount View

It was a warm and brightish day in North London on both the Saturday and Sunday, Saturday gave me a few flowers in the garden where I was staying, and the Sunday gave me a chance to take a walk up Stapleton Hall Road then along to the end of its continuation, Mount View.

The idea behind taking the long zoom lens on the walk was to capture possibly the London city skyline, but although I did take some shots in that direction, it was shrouded in haze, whereas to the north there were views of Alexander Palace, occasionally to be seen in sunlight, so much of the walk was spent looking at flowers in the gardens that line the long road.

But with a lens of 600mm, the flower shots were different, often giving a wonderfully soft background to isolate the main image, but correspondingly harder to capture than when working with 90 or 100mm macro, and the slightest breeze meant waiting for the flowers to settle, which sometimes meant the sun disappearing!

It was very apparent just how heavy the combination of Canon 5D MkIII, 150-600mm Tamron and a monopod becomes and in the warmth you can certainly work up a sweat! It was however very rewarding.