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 April 2015

Misty Start at Tring Reservoirs


With the imminent potential move from this house to another a few miles further up the M1 and closer to Bedford, from now on my free time will have a very different set of priorities, and having just missed several promising weather days lost to the start of packing my current home into a series of cardboard boxes, I decided that I just had to pay a final visit for a while, to Tring Reservoirs, and to give myself the best of chances I set my alarm for five o’clock, a time that I have on occasion been more familiar to going to bed, rather than getting up!
As is my wont, I awoke to a light wakefulness a few minutes before the alarm, and reached out to check the time through squinting eyes to avoid the glare from the screen of the phone, and there were some seven minutes to go, but I got out from under the duvet with nothing that could be described as alacrity and started my ablutions. At least I had laid out all my clothes the night before and changed the contents of the pockets to a scruffy pair of trousers that still bore the dried whitish soil from the last trip to the banks of the Marsworth reservoir. I took a quick look beyond the curtains and was greeted by a a grey mist that was almost thick enough to call fog as the shops up and across the road were barely visible.

I showered in haste and only downed a bowl of Muesli as I prepared a small flask of coffee and grabbed some crisps and biscuits and all my camera gear and a backpack which contained a second camera with my 24-105mm, and I was out of the door just short of an hour after waking. The mist lifted as I came towards Kensworth and as I drove down Bison Hill after Whipsnade, I was above the mist that shrouded the plain below, but as I drove towards Tring the mist was rising, yet still hung over the lake at Tringford as I parked the car. Billy the Baker’s house on the far bank showed faintly through the veils of mist floating across the intervening water, so I grabbed two quick shots, whilst holding the camera steady with the tripod dangling as a counterweight, before heading across the road to the banked path between the twin lakes of Startops End and Marsworth, heading towards the Grand Union canal. As I came to the fork in the path, I spotted a pair of grebe starting their dance routine, but this was stopped by the flapping of wings from a heron on the bank, deciding I was too close, both had lost the magic of the moment!

When I arrived at my chosen spot, I had to descend the bank quietly so as not to disturb another photographer who was intently concentrating on taking a shot. Either he lives much closer or is an insomniac as I learned he had been there for more than forty minutes, but there had been little activity thus far, and precious little the day previous! We were lucky with herons during our stay as a pair visited and alighted on the tallest branch of the dead tree straddling the water in front of us, but until he departed a couple of hours later we only had flybys by a kingfisher or two, but three quarters of an hour after he left, I did see a pair, but only one landed and on both occasions I was shooting through branches and at a distance which was a shame; the wind rose and I was ill-prepared for the wind-chill it brought and before my limbs froze, I called it a day and took the long walk back.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Stockwood Early Spring 2015


I had learned that Spring had erupted in the warmth of the last few days at the Stockwood Discovery Centre Gardens, so I headed there before my planned trip to handover the last quarter’s accounts to my accountant in Ampthill.
It proved to be a fruitful visit as the blossom on the trees had also awakened the first of the season’s pollinators as well. I also heard some promising news on the house front, so was able to arrange a visit to sign the first of the documents at the Solicitors; the ball is now rolling and now one of my next conversations will be with a Removals company to get a quote.
Back to the days pictures, I was taken aback at how so much has appeared in the last few days as on my last visit I was definitely having to search carefully, such was not the case this afternoon I was spoiled for choice.
I was using the 7D MkII with the 90mm Tamron Macro and one reason was so that I could take advantage of its onboard flash to fill in the shadows occasionally when the sun was casting too harsh a light.
A father, also a Canon shooter, was teaching his young son the intricacies of taking shots of flowers and leaves – I mouthed: “Start them young” to the mother as I passed, and she smiled as she acknowledged my comment. Later I met up with Jan who let me into the greenhouse once again, so I took a few shots there in Sauna conditions despite her opening some of the windows. She asked me to lock up when I had finished, but the lock was so well-concealed I had to text her that I could not find it! Fortunately she came back and located it – there’s nothing like a blind photographer! As we walked back to the Fernery, she took a look on the camera screen at some of what I had taken and seemed happy with what I had captured.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Light Wind at Brogborough


It is all too easy to make poor decisions by making assumptions about weather based upon the weather you are experiencing as opposed to the destination you plan to visit. This morning it seemed there was little wind though it was bright and I headed for Wilstone in search of birds. The wind was quite strong which should have told me not to expect too much, but Being an optimist I soldiered on battling against the wind to circle the lake and headed for the Hide at the far side.
 I saw little of interest on the long walk round and as I entered the hide, a group began to pack up and leave, so there was just myself and a birder with a scope. I decided to stick it for a bit despite there being no activity on the lake beyond mallards, coots and cormorants, and a single Canada Goose on a nest right in front of the hide. 
I left, having not taken a shot in anger, and on the return to the car I was no luckier, but I did learn that there were a pair of Gargeney, but they were way to far away for me, but I was shown the male via a scope. Once back at the car I phoned Sam Barnes at Brogborough and learned they were packed out with windsurfers, so there was no room in the car park, and I’d have to shoot from the farm side, so despite the lateness, I took a chance and headed north.
There was far less wind here than at Wilstone, but there were still a handful of windsurfers out, and I thought it a shame I had not come here straightway! But almost immediately the windsurfers all retired to the shore and the wind died even further and began changing direction. I waited.
I was rewarded by people taking to the water again, and some seemed to make good headway with what little wind there was and so I was pleased to be able to make up for what I had lost earlier. At one stage I decided to change my location, but that was not such a good move as, everyone seemed to take that opportunity to head back to shore, so that marked the end of my shooting for the day.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Out and About in the Country

As is often the case, I have a subject in mind to photograph, but Serendipity dictates what in fact I get to capture. This afternoon I had hoped that I might take advantage of the sun burning off the mist and see red kite taking advantage of any thermals that were created. At the start of my journey I did catch sight of two individual soaring above woodland clumps, but both soon disappeared from view, and in following them found myself travelling between King's Walden and Frogmore.

I spotted a tractor in the distance and thought that might make an interesting subject, as it neared I realised this was a JCB towing a device I had not seen before, after I had taken a few shots and the driver stopped to reset something I asked him what it was and he told me it was a Mole that cut a small diameter tunnel just below the surface to help provide drainage in areas of land prone to becoming waterlogged.
He had finished this particular field and was due to move to another, so I asked whether he minded my continuing to take pictures, he had no problem and suggested I follow him to the new field, which I duly did, and in the second group of shots I now knew what I was looking to describe whereas the first images really showed tractor and tool.
 Arriving at this field I found I could take pictures when he was working close to me, and turn around and take shots of a different tractor towing a different implement in the next field, so I alternated the subjects I shot, before waving farewell to the Mole Driver and set off to pastures new, as I left I was attracted to the lines in the field opposite the gate I was due to leave.
As I headed back towards home I spotted some pheasants that seemed far less wary of me, and managed a few shots before I finished my afternoon shooting session. A very pheasant afternoon all in all!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Marsworth in April Warmth

Arriving later than intended, I found my conscience heading towards me – I was greeted by another photographer who was departing, and he hailed me as a "Latecomer" I had to acknowledge he was entirely correct! We stopped for a brief chat; he felt he should have come down with a wider angle and taken some landscapes as he said the mist was very attractive when he came down, and he had had no luck with his hopes of capturing kingfishers. He can take comfort from my only seeing a single flyby of one. However a heron flew in and even landed where we might normally have been sited!

I got shots of him seeking out fish, and he did catch one, but he was shielded from me at the moment by a tree trunk! He flew to several different perches, but all my images of him were shot through a veil of branches. I caught a mere glimpse of a grebe that had also successfully caught its fish breakfast, but he downed it before I got a chance to get him in my sights.

After staying awhile, I made my way back and spotted another grebe couple, a cormorant and a swan making a brief takeoff and landing; the grebe's advances were cut short by a mallard making a noisy pass at a reluctant drake which promptly hid amongst the reeds. I moved on and was almost deciding to call it a day when I saw yet another pair of grebe on Startops starting on their display, they both paddled in opposing circles before coming together again and I managed to capture at least a part of their ritual, before they decided to go their own way – it never reached the sharing of weeds stage.

That was the end of this particular trip.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Briefest Brogborough Visit!

It was both bright and breezy here at Caddington, so I did not bother to check what the wind might be like at Brogborough. As it transpired there was less breeze here than where I had set off from! As I neared the lake I saw very little activity, and when I arrived there were just the windsurfers out and they were a long way away!

I decided there was only one chance of getting any meaningful pictures and that was from the far side, at Common Farm, I met the owner and her daughter as they were coming along the drive and fortunately she recognised me and told me where I might park.

I got out my camera and tripod and headed for a spot where I could capture the action and after a few quick pictures, decided that as the wind direction had altered, I might be better further round, but sadly by the time I reached there, the wind had died still further and no one was going to be coming my way.
That was it! No more shooting – I headed back to the Clubhouse to say Cheerio to Emma and Sam, bemoaning that I must be the kiss of death to any action on the lake, and bid them both farewell.

The gallery has almost every shot I managed to get in that brief encounter – the shortest spell at the lake ever!

Bedfordshire Youth Concert Band 20th Anniversary


Lizzy studied Music with a Bedfordshire band and at Harlington and was due to play in this Anniversary celebration at a Church in Bedford and we were invited to come along and join in with the occasion.
Diane and Tony kindly picked me up at Caddington, and I was ready despite their ealy arrival, such was the anticipation. My original intention was for me to drive them up to save them the additional petrol, but the offer was refused so with my generosity knowing no bounds I bought all our tickets (at the Concessions rate! – I did say it knew no bounds!) We were among the earliest arrivals despite hitting Bedford’s rush-hour traffic congestion.
We secured seats that hopefully would allow at least an uninterrupted view of Lizzy without being deafened by the enthusiastic playing of so many in such a confined space. We were reliably informed the Trombones were the loudest instruments, but we were at least on the side furthest from them in aisle seats. After the first number a family group caused great mirth when they upped and headed for the the rear of the auditorium, duly acknowledged by Master of Ceremonies and Conductor Kevin Nicholls, saying they had been warned!
All the numbers were both recognisable and enjoyable, and played with passion, precision and enjoyment and were enthusiastically appreciated by the audience, not least by one young boy who had chosen the very front row, his hands and feet proved he was not there under sufferance but pure enjoyment, he seemed to particularly appreciate the solo trumpeters right in front of him!
I did my best to capture as many of the players as was possible from my fixed position in the central aisle – it is always a shame when a Band or Orchestra are not either banked or one’s viewing is not from an elevated position, as many individuals are therefore shielded from view. It is always a challenge from my standpoint to isolate the playing hands and the individual instruments; made even more difficult when trying to keep camera and lens steady when my feet are controlled by the beat of the music, and light is at a premium – I want some movement, but rarely a complete blur!
I can say without any hesitation a great evening was had by all, the music wonderful made all the better by the atmosphere of fun and dedication, as was brought to all of us by Kevin illustrating how everyone had progressed and many had even taken up Music for their careers.
Thank you to one and all, and may some of the newest players continue in the tradition and make music. I hope I may have captured something of the essence of the evening in the gallery of pictures associated with this text, though not in the correct order (Thanks - Eric Morecombe).

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Cold Good Friday – Tring Reservoirs


In the hope of the wind dying back and the possibility of fitful sunshine, I headed for Tring Reservoirs. On my arrival it was still dull and as I walked from the Weir along the path between Startops and Marsworth reservoirs, the wind was very obvious, and I had come layered up but without a coat – bad mistake!

At first there seemed little activity beyond numerous Coots and Mallard, but then I spotted the distinctive flight of wagtails as they looped out from the bank and back again, and then foraging in the grass. I did spot a couple of Grebe that were showing signs of interest in each other, but continuing observation did not suggest they might start their dance ritual. I also spotted some swans that became restless and would take off, and move just a few yards before landing again, leaving one of their number behind in the corner between the reservoirs and the canal on the Marsworth side. He became very aggressive towards a single Greylag Goose, but the behaviour was very odd; his head was lowered as he fast-pedalled towards the goose, but it certainly put the wind up his opponent who amidst a flurry of wings took off and landed a few lengths away, but the swan employed the same behaviour a few more times; I could not work out quite why the Goos was so intimidated.

The Canada Geese like the Swans seemed to spend time flying from one spot to another, but their numbers were far smaller than those I had seen at Wilstone a fortnight or so back. On Startops End a lone Grebe seemed happy on its own and was successful on one dive I was able to capture. It seemed a small prize for a bird of its size, since I had once witnessed a Grebe swallowing two freshwater crawfish within a five minute spell.

I twice closed up the tripod to head home, and each time I spotted something else, such as Swans in flight, that caught my eye, so hastily used the tripod as a monopod to grab the shots! The reason for leaving early was to be ready for the off later to see my daughter Lizzy’s 20th Anniversary of Playing with Bedfordshire Music at a church in Bedford.