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…



Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Marsworth Reservoir – its Abundant Birdlife

It is a complete fallacy that Britain does not have exciting wildlife of its own, and the Tring reservoirs are abundant evidence of this, as I witnessed for myself this afternoon, in glorious crisp sunshine and for the most part edge to edge blue sky. So much so that for most of the time even though I was comparatively motionless, I was very warm! It was only as clouds came across the sun, that the temperature dropped dramatically and made me realise that I had not worn adequate clothing and needed to consider bringing my photography to a close.

I was not able to capture evidence of every different bird species I came across, but to have got shots of a heron, a kingfisher, a Pied wagtail, a Little Grebe, a Crested Grebe pair, and a Robin is a fair testament to the variety found in this neck of the woods. In walking along the path between two of the lakes and the lakes and the Grand Union Canal, I fell into conversation with several people who had seen Bittern, Egret, Water Rail, Pochard and Snipe, but sadly none of those came my way!

I thoroughly enjoyed my few hours spent at the water’s edge, and my only regret was that a pair of Crested Grebe seemed to break off their courtship without completing their routine, and were also too far from the shore. My shots of the heron through a veil of intervening branches more than made up for that, and I count myself lucky I managed to save myself from falling in the water whilst trying to get the shots.



Monday, 22 February 2016

Brogborough Yet Again – Stronger Winds Than Were Forecast

I had hoped that Sunday would bring some wind, and I was not disappointed, but whereas I seemed just a fair amount here at Marston Moretaine, when I reached the lake at Brogborough it was blowing heartily and had attracted the energetic sailors, those that would jump at such an opportunity to give their skills a workout. They would be using their store of energy to generate plenty of body heat, such that they would not feel the chill, and to be fair, it was a warmer wind than of late, but keeping oneself concentrating on what I am tracking through the viewfinder, whilst being constantly battered by the wind, the chill effect soon becomes apparent. I am not compensating with much input of energy, just concentration, so really should have worn more, and this I failed to do.

I have been wanting to shoot from a lower viewpoint to emphasise the height of any jump sequences I might capture, so initially I went as close to the water’s edge as I could, but I then met with another problem and that was that my heaviest and therefore most stable tripod was not allowing me to get my eye to the right height for the camera and every third wave soaked me, so I had to move back to higher, level ground and stand rather than sit. During this transition I therefore missed some of the action.

Once re-sited, I then began to spot which characters were going to provide me with action, and I concentrated on following them trying to anticipate when they might take to the air. I learned later that the conditions that prevailed this day did not provide a great deal of height to the jumps. I also tried to back up the action with shots that covered the entry and exit of the water and therefore telling a fuller story.

Foolishly, I decided to break off and grab a cup of tea when the numbers on the water dropped, but I was not able to continue as before, because I had been unable to warm up sufficiently and so soon curtailed my shooting after a very short time, but I was very happy in the main with what I had captured and I knew the more I took the longer would be my time spent in front of a computer screen, so it was not too difficult a decision to pack up and retire to the warmth of my office! I do long for the joy of the sun along with the wind.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Whipsnade Zoo Visit

I have not visited the zoo at Whipsnade for several years, in fact the last time was when my elder daughter had her Wedding Reception there. However when the opportunity to go with my younger daughter came along, I was delighted to join her and the children despite the dismal weather forecast for the Thursday. Imagine my delight when overnight all that occurred was light drizzle and the morning turned out to be crisply cold but dry, and the few clouds dispersed to provide edge to edge largely blue sky!
I drove towards Aylesbury to meet up with my daughter in surprisingly light traffic, but once we set off in her car there was a long, slow moving queue on the A41, despite it having been described as 'overnight closure' — obviously the Highways Department use a different clock! Upon our arrival we met up with a Swimming class parent and his young daughter spending a short time with them before they headed for lunch then met up again for a while later.
The gallery of images that accompany this narrative are those of the inhabitants of the zoo rather than those of a purely family occasion, and to be blessed with such light was a bonus I had not been expecting, and the added bonus this gave allowed me to take advantage of the only lens and camera body I had decided upon — the full-frame 5D MkIII and 24-105mm lens. I was pleasantly surprised by being able to crop very tightly, yet achieve very acceptable results from considerable distances. So, had the weather been less bright, I would have found the 70-200mm a better bet — I count myself very lucky!
It was a great day out, and the most appealing shots for me, were those of the Flamingoes, followed ironically by the Hippopotami (though the pungency of the atmosphere within is a shock to the system!) and the Penguins. Whipsnade Zoo is a venue I can heartily endorse, and the friendly atmosphere is a compliment to all the staff whose hard work is very evident. The seemingly incessant rain of the last weeks certainly made the Car Park a challenging experience, so we can count our blessings even more for it having held off on that day!

Monday, 15 February 2016

British Wildlife Touring Exhibition – Stockwood Discovery Centre


I arranged to meet up with a fellow photographer, Colin Bowles to take a look at the photographs on display at the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton from this year's awards, but I purposely made a point of arriving earlier so that I might take a few photographs of some of the plants within the gardens or in the long greenhouse, if I could manage to get in touch with one of the gardeners, Jan Tysoe.
She was not too sure I might find anything much of interest at this early stage of the season, though she knew it would not be a lack of trying on my part. I was dressed in layers for the outdoors, and away from the bitter cold inside the greenhouse, I was way over-dressed so hastily shed my coat in order to take a look the length of the interior in search of early signs of the coming season's growth.

It was not extensive, but the signs were there, and I spotted a minuscule snail on a leaf at the far end that was barely half a millimetre wide and at most one long, so had to move very close and up the speed, so that the shutter could cope with my unstable, shaky hands, but there was no way to convey an appreciation of it's scale.

I managed only a few images here before the call came through that Colin had arrived, so I gathered my gear and headed for the exhibition. Colin made an inherently sensible suggestion as to how we might proceed from the outside in, in order not to lose track of those images we had already seen by jumping from the outer walls to the inner display panels and back. It was interesting to note how many of the pictures elicited memories for Colin from his various travels around the world and his encounters with some of the animals or scenes, or how some stirred other memories from the past.

Whilst we were there a member of staff came around with a duster, and her duties must definitely have involved outside work as she was similarly clothed for the great outdoors, as she methodically ensured every one of the pictures were maintained at their best for the visitors.

Once again Colin and I both found the variety kept us interested throughout our visit, it is an exhibition we both recommend to be well worth finding the time to visit as it should be rewarding to all ages and this week is likely to be well-attended by children during their half-term break.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Brrr! Brogborough – Bitter Winds Favour the Brave

I made time to head for the lake at Brogborough in the hope that the wind might tempt the hardier sailors to venture there to make the most of what windsurfers need most – a stiff breeze. On my arrival however the lake was entirely free of humans, and knowing my time was likely to be spent experiencing windchill at its extreme for a long period, I stayed within my car keeping my body at a reasonable temperature and simply watched, waited and enjoyed the music from Classic FM. Travelling only from Marston Moretaine, meant the engine was barely reaching its operating temperature so I did not kill the engine till there was warm air within.

There were soon signs of activity, so then I gathered the tripod and cameras and put everything together, choosing the 7D MkII and the Tamron 150-600mm lens and mounted it atop the Lensmaster Gimbal head and the Novoflex levelling head on the heavy Gitzo tripod, having learned that the lighter tripods were buffeted by the wind meaning that they were not reliably stable platforms from which to shoot, in particular my carbon fibre tripod had to be weighted down for fear of being literally blown away!

I then grabbed the 5D MkIII and the 35mm f/1.4 to get some shots of the preparations as at this point there was even the occasional sunshine between scudding clouds, but fortunately no rain forecast as the ground was already treacherously sodden and slippery.

The presence of a camera has a beneficial effect here, as it does mean that those hardy souls who are honing their gybing and turn skills and their jumping tend to be within shooting range of the photographer, however, as I have learned, several are unaware that they can often come too close and it becomes well nigh impossible to capture unless you also have a shorter focal length lens within easy reach. Fortunately most of the time I have the coverage at both ends of the range when using either the 100-400mm on the full frame 5D MkIII or the 150-600mm on the 7D MkII.

I consider I was really lucky on this occasion as for most of the time there was a reasonable amount of light and plenty of on-water action to keep me on my toes, though when I was on the jetty, the water several times came up through the slats soaking my jeans and giving me soggy socks, perhaps I should have considered wellies and thick socks rather than my hardwearing shoes.

By the end of the day I was very satisfied with what I had captured; several sequences, the downside being the amount of time that I would be at the computer before being able to post a gallery on my blog.