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, 29 March 2015

Brisk and Blustery Brogborough


Having watched my delayed recordings of the Malaysian Grand Prix, seen the promise of real competition for the Mercedes Team by Ferrari, and the impressive performances of Kimi Raikonen; the Toro Rosso Rookies, Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen and the excellent win by Sebastian Vettel, I felt enervated by the desire to take advantage of the high, but blustery wind that beckoned from beyond my windows. I knew it was a chance, but I reckoned that such a wind would entice the Windsurfers likely to jump to get to the lake.

As I came along the road from Brogborough village I saw no one had ventured onto the lake, and I did wonder whether I had made a mistake. I pulled into the car park, got out of the car and battled against the onshore wind and spotted a lone windsurfer just setting off. This did not seem a promising start! Especially as the few breaks in the cloud cover I had seen on my journey up the M1, had disappeared completely, and the rain had restarted. I watched a while before going to the car and getting the camera and tripod set up, if just one man went out I might yet get some pictures.

I readied my gear, set the ISO to 640 and using Aperture Priority set f/8 to give me a chance to stop the action and a bit of leeway for me to keep the subjects in focus! I took a groundsheet  to sit on and set the tripod at its lowest, but with the legs a little wide to give me some stability, and attempted to get the groundsheet down without it getting blown away, and sat down to set it all up. I did get a few shots off, before the wave of rain headed ominously towards me in a white haze, I hastily packed the tripod back up and headed for the Portakabin and rest area. I had no hands free, so was very grateful when one of the windsurfers generously opened the door for me.

The small group within all gathered at the windows to watch the squally rain lash against the panes, we also watched one of their number assemble his sail outside in his normal clothes get a drenching such that he was going to have to step into wet clothes when he finished surfing! Fortunately after about ten minutes the rain abated, so I went back out.

The sun did appear very occasionally and I was rewarded by one man doing several jumps, so my journey was far from a waste. When I left there was just one back out on the lake, but the cold had penetrated my body and my cough had returned, so packed the car and set off back home.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Stockwood Discovery Centre – Spring in the Greenhouse


Since there was blossom on my fruit trees, I thought I’d take a quick trip to the Stockwood Discovery Centre, as I had also not visited for a while and wanted a word with the Gardeners there. The sun which had greeted me in the early morning had retired before I set off, but as I entered, it re-appeared. As I made my way through in search of the gardeners I had hoped to meet, the beds were all bare, so I began to think I might be out of luck for any photos, so I did not even unpack a camera at this stage.

I enquired of a staff member whether the particular gardener, Jan was in and learned that she was, but neither he nor another gardener knew of her whereabouts, so I thanked them and headed for the greenhouse, where I met up with Bridey, who told me Jan would soon be returning. Now I did get out the camera and started taking a few shots of the Bird of Paradise flower and soon Jan reappeared and I briefly showed her the details of the house I was hoping to buy and move into.

I managed to find a few specimens that caught my eye and for a change it was a pleasant and temperate climate in there. As I took shots I learned about some of the plans for the new season, in particular a wide variety of sunflowers are due, which particularly pleased me as I always find them a happy flower.

Since it was coming to the end of their day, I was bid farewell and asked to lock up when I finished which was not too long after, and after a cull, the gallery of images from the jaunt was forty pictures in the Gallery. As I left the sky blackened, but the sun remained, providing nice light for some blowing grasses against the sky.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Lilley Bottom Lane – Afternoon

Lilley Bottom Lane runs between two ridges with scattered woodland and fields, some with Sheep and Cattle; above Red Kite and Buzzards are often to be seen. It was here I headed on Sunday in the hope that I would be lucky, but having parked up, none were to be seen. Rather than walk up the hill in the field amongst sheep, I chose to walk into the nearer woods on the same side as my car. I was passed by the occasional runner and strollers, as along the road were numerous Lycra-clad cyclists pedalling furiously to raise their temperatures to avoid the effects of the chill wind.

For the first hour since my arrival, I remained in the open in anticipation with my newly-acquired carbon fibre tripod fully assembled and waiting, but little of import occurred, so simply looked around for other images before heading into the woods where I found how life and death of plants were intertwined; it was obvious this hillside wood was a magnet for rain, as witnessed by the moss covering many fallen, twisted tree branches. It was equally obvious that many of the felled trees had subsequently given birth to more young trees, this wood was indeed old, yet very much alive, I also saw evidence of young shoots of bluebell leaves, so it will be interesting to revisit for that display soon. It was a shame that for most of the next hours there was no sign of sun, but as I returned downhill, the sun did arrive.

I hoped this might also herald the arrival of some birds of prey, especially as rabbits came out to play, so I found myself taking shots of metallic birds as they took off from Luton Airport, and I had never been here when the wind favoured them heading this way; normally I saw them with undercarriage extended for landing, so it did make them look more elegant, and I tried to ensure they were against a mixture of blue sky and clouds.

And then a single pair of red kite visited me briefly and then a walker stopped by to chat. From the conversation that ensued it seemed we may have met before at Tring reservoirs. It was a very welcome diversion and since no more birds came my way we eventually walked down the hill together before parting. It turned out that we had indeed met before because the man, David Rudeforth returned home to find my business card from that earlier occasion and he duly emailed me to let me know!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Marsworth Misty Morning – Wildlife


I felt the urge to visit the Tring Reservoirs and with the mornings getting lighter, decided that it would have to be an early start despite the forecast of mist.
As I arrived in my favourite spot, I had to tread carefully as another photographer was already there and the last thing I wanted was to destroy his concentration or disturb the subjects he was photographing, and the bank is steep at that point with little support to be found at the steepest point. I had already extended one leg of the tripod to help me fortunately and I set down by his side with the minimum of fuss as I asked had he had much luck; he replied reluctantly, not a lot.
As I put down the legs and levelled the camera, I introduced myself and learned he was Mike Casey and though the name was new to me, it became clear he was obviously knowledgable and way more experienced than me and we had a mutual friend in Merv, whom I had met in this spot on several occasions over the last two years. We spoke in hushed tones and he spotted kingfishers long before I caught sight of them, and I learned his aim on this occasion was to catch shots of the mink, but though the previous morning he had been lucky, today it was not to be.
We were constantly visited by blue tits, but they invariably were screened by numerous branches and they were far to flitty, but I spotted a single woodpecker and Mike pointed out the Wren feeding in front of use, whilst on the far bank I caught sight of a muntjac briefly, we had several kingfisher flybys and Mike was lucky enough to catch a male with a fish, but I was unlucky on that score, and did manage a couple of shots of the squirrel.
We both stayed till the cold took its toll and departed together, chatting as we walked along the canalside and Mike pointed out where he had taken shots of the mink complete with fish as he came straight towards him along the grass bank then went across the path and back into the reservoir. He also showed me other spots he had seen kingfishers perching and fishing in the past. We parted by our cars after a quick walk along the far side of Tringford lake, and I set off to my daughter’s home.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Sawston Village College – West Road, Cambridge

It's that time of year again when I drive to Sawston and join my daughter and her teenage twins for their School Concert held in the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge. It very far from a chore — it has been an annual trip to enjoy a wonderful evening of varied Music from every level of ability; it always attracts a full house of parents, other relatives and friends and is beautifully organised by staff and volunteers. The standard is high and the discipline is there, but the staff welcome a variety of off the wall less than formal items that the children arrange amongst themselves.

It is a serious occasion and the children respect this and enter into the whole evening with relish, and I am absolutely certain that many on the stage that night will go on to greater things within the world of music, and for those that don't make it a career they will gain a measure of confidence for later life that will stand them in good stead.

I thoroughly enjoy going through the photos after the event and spot nuances I missed live, but I apologise that they are not in strict chronological order because I have managed not to synchronise the time on both camera bodies, so shots taken on the wider angle lens are interspersed with the main long lens shots; if I am to get the gallery of images up on the blog then they will have to remain thus, as I am halfway trough another massive tech-editing job for Martin Evening's next 'Photoshop for Photographers' book. I hope that does not spoil anyone's enjoyment of the pictures contained in the gallery.

In case anyone is interested in the lenses and bodies used, they were the 100-400mm on the EOS 7D MkII and the 24-105mm on the EOS 5D MkIII often at full aperture on either lens, at high ISOs, because I do not use flash on such occasions as this is quite unfair to those performing and spoils the enjoyment of the audience. I also take care not to shoot during quiet passages of music for the same reasons.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Marsworth, a Giottos Tripod and Birds


Saturday had been a wonderful dry and warm day, but I was so far behind that I had to spend all the daylight hours in front of a computer screen, Sunday was not scheduled to be great, but was bright at the start, but I still had work to do, and it was already clouding over as I set off regardless to the Tring Reservoirs.

I now had a carbon fibre tripod and was determined to see whether with a head leveller and the Lensmaster gimbal head, it was light enough to be manhandled a fair distance. Having it all assembled for quick use did not make it particularly easy, but it was manageable, and once settled, it proved its worth; it was very easy to get the legs in safe locations and then levelling meant the gimbal offered an easy and stable way to move the lens.
As I arrived at my destination Terry’s familiar face greeted me, and I settled quietly alongside and enquired as to whether his luck had been in, but sadly he had spent more than an hour already, fruitlessly. It seems it was likely Merv who had been down earlier, and had been luckier. We settled down to a lengthy wait before we caught sight of a kingfisher, but it simply made a flyby. We were surrounded by bluetits attracted by seeds which had been spread nearby, but they were wary of our robin. He spent very little time with us on this occasion. The squirrel was out and about, but often only visible through branches.

Terry gave in and departed generously remarking that his leaving might well be my good luck, and an hour after he left, he was proven correct as the kingfisher arrived and stayed a while, but never went fishing, though he did treat the fish to two jetted excretions, obviously everything is done at speed by kingfishers, also he did not choose the most advantageous branch upon which to land; it was badly shielded by other branches. I would have spent more time there, but the wind and rain arrived, so I changed my mind and left.

I had been glad of the leveller when it was in use, but keeping the camera, leveller and head on the tripod meant it was cumbersome on the return walk, though manageable.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Clophill – Old St. Mary’s Church – Fundraising Photographic Day

Andy Fox, whom I met a few years back whilst out with my camera close by a lake where he was an angler has been heavily involved in voluntary work to conserve the old church and now the fund-raising to add eco lodges to the venue to preserve the work done at the church. The Old St. Mary’s Church lies approximately at the midpoint of the Greensand Ridge Trail and is itself composed of this local sandstone.

Andy it was who asked whether I would like to make my contribution to his pet project by joining a group of hopefully at least six photographers and join a Day photographing a series of raptors that he would be providing as subjects. This was an opportunity not to be missed and I sincerely hoped he would get the required number for the venture to go ahead. I had thoroughly enjoyed a similar day at Old Warden, so it was not a difficult decision; ahead of the day, I was hoping England’s notoriously fickle weather would be kind to us, and although I set off in rain, it had all but stopped by my arrival at Clophill.

I met up with other participants, both at Andy’s house and later at the eco lodges where we assembled ourselves and our assorted camera gear; as one of only two Canon users I was joshed for my choice, but it was all lighthearted banter that I might have meted out were the boot on the other foot – there was certainly no malice, simply a typical way of breaking the ice amongst a small group. After a short talk about the aims of the Trust for the church and the eco lodges site, Andy explained the plans for the day; it was to be static birds in the morning session and hopefully the birds in flight at some time in the afternoon, with a break for refreshments before the afternoon session.

We were introduced to Emily who was looking after and providing our models for the day before setting off for the ruins of the church where, amidst the first signs of Spring; small clumps of snowdrops amongst last season’s autumn leaves, we were to find backdrops for the subjects of our images. I chose to use the 5D MkIII and the Canon 100-400mm for the morning and in the afternoon I used the 7D MkII and Tamron 150-600mm.

Due to earlier commitments I already knew it would be some time before I would be able to do any of the post processing of the files and so it will be nearly a week before these are up in a gallery on my blog. I hope that despite the number of images there is sufficient variety to enjoy the experience of looking at what I shot.

The birds featured are  a tawny owl, a barn owl, an eagle owl and a kestrel.