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, 29 March 2017

DigiCluster at Watford Town Hall

Peter Carr and I went from Harpenden to Watford for the evening networking gathering at a new venue, Watford Town Hall, and fortunately the car Park we have used on previous occasions was familiar territory, but the journey’s navigation was provided by Peter as he sat beside me with a GPS app on his new iPhone. Peter seems determined to test my knowledge of the car’s width by choosing a route involving the narrowest of restrictive traffic-calming roads, and I invariably gently nudge the kerb as I pass through –  perhaps he considers this to be the price to pay for doing the navigating for me!

Despite early crowded roads as we left Harpenden, we made fairly reasonable time and were certainly not the latest of arrivals. As we left the car park we met a fellow delegate, who had already done a complete circuit of the building searching for the correct entry, and the door we selected for entry proved to be correct so we all entered and signed in! Obviously yet another navigation test; and we passed.

We were treated to cups of tea or coffee before entry to the hall where we were welcomed by Manny Lewis. From there Syd Nadeem took over to introduce our speakers with a brief synopsis from their LinkedIn Profiles, which later was to gives all a laugh when introducing Howard Hughes with a brief History of his namesake, but the profile was from way before Linked In was even dreamed of! It did mean Chris Farthing was let off lightly, but later in conversation he did own up to a girlfriend named Penny!

The discourses from the Speakers was concerning the recent free WiFi link to Watford Town Centre, and Introduction to G-Cloud, the Internet of Things and the means whereby data could be streamed vast distances very much faster from embedded sensors that had long lives due to much lower consumption or even from being solar-powered. There was also a short Q&A session and some short videos to get the messages across, We were also introduced to much improved methods of procurement with much shorter lead times and fewer restrictions and were invited to consider taking a look at the new means of tendering that was now available.


At the end of this session, we were once again treated to a selection of Pizzas and a range of drinks as we then spoke to the speakers and amongst our fellow colleagues. I hope that the pictures I took give a taste of the evening, though the blog does not proved smells and flavours. I did make an observation, I learned that Josh Bolland’s listening stance is a precursor to launching both his body arms and hands when he is ready to launch int animated speech, so for your added delectation, I give you this ‘tell’:
When you see this stance you know he is listening, and is tightly coiled ready to launch into an answer…


Unscheduled Visit to Stockwood Discovery Centre

On Monday night a crown fell out, so Tuesday I managed to get an appointment to have it restored, this meant that the opportunity arose for me to pay a visit to the Gardens and Greenhouse at the Stockwood Discovery Centre. Since the sun was also out, it made the journey from Dunstable to Luton seem like a very good idea, so in case I was delayed and could not make it back to Marston Moretaine for a scheduled networking evening with Peter Carr as we were going to a DigiCluster event in Watford at the Town Hall in the evening, I made sure I had my ticket and camera ready for the eventuality.

I spotted the blossom on the trees which could be shot against a blue sky, I took those shots before seeking out Jan the gardener for anything new that was sprouting, as it turned out I found a number of subjects of interest before I needed to look for Jan, and in that short time, I was beginning to feel the warmth, so the greenhouse for the present was not a high priority. Most of what I found early on was close to the ground, so the groundsheet was pressed into service to allow me to kneel on the ground.

Jan quickly pointed out several flowers or shoots I should take a look at, and I set to. Later I also took a look in the greenhouse, but surprisingly there was less there than outside in the gardens, and I was there too late to consider travelling back and therefore made tracks for Harpenden and Peter Carr who was finding a 3D design of spoons was frustratingly not going to plan, but eventually it succumbed to Peter’s persistence and the stage he had hoped to reach quite a while beforehand was concluded.

I had not had a lunch and was grateful to accept his offer of toast and honey before we headed into the afternoon traffic and headed for Watford.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Brogborough a Warmer Day on the Lake

Warmer in the sun, but the biting wind soon drove it away, before dying down and causing the windsurfers to come in for a break. I had taken the opportunity before heading for the lake to take advantage of the wind to take to the lawn by the side of the house and cut the grass further back than I had managed earlier in the week when it had been the highest since the end of last year.

When I arrived at the club car park, I took stock of the wind direction and having put the camera together headed back out of the entrance and into the field beyond the brook and found a spot where I would be able to take shots with the sun on my subjects as they came towards me to gybe – it was at a point where I could set the tripod a bit lower down the bank and stand with some support from the bank behind me. Although there were times that I had the lighting helpful where they actually turned I was often looking straight into the sun, which did put the sailors in silhouette!

I did lose some time because unbeknown to me my spirit level had come adrift from the levelling head and dropped into the long grass at some time in the journey from the car park, so after setting up the tripod safely, I then retraced my steps to search it out, from where I last knew it was still attached. I then made my way back to the camera looking to right and left and finally just fifteen yards from where the camera was I finally found it and re-attached  it to begin shooting. I was very relieved, but knew I had to find a way to ensure this never happened again.

Once again I tried to take sequences of the gybes, and was also lucky to capture a few jumps from some of the number, and I have separated one sequence performed by one of the younger members of what I described as ‘bunny hops’ – I believe performed specially for my benefit, I have created a separate gallery of that sequence, so once again there are two galleries from this blog entry.

Since I had been lulled into setting out in the warmth of some sun, when that disappeared and the windsurfers with it, I headed back to the car park, and packed up as I only had the early afternoon to shoot as I had fellow photographer Adam Woolfitt coming over as we were both going to the NEC, Birmingham for The Photography Show early on the Monday with yet another photographer, Andy Fox. The galleries and the write-up are therefore somewhat delayed. The trip to the show was very worthwhile for all three of us, in particular for me as I discussed the spirit level issue with the designer of the product!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Marsworth Afternoon Birds

It was warmer, and here at Marston Moretaine the sun came out briefly, so I thought it might also do so at Marsworth, and despite the lack of leaf cover, I might just get a chance to capture a shot or two of a kingfisher, however, though I did see the sun occasionally and on three occasions I did spot kingfishers in horizontal flight, but I suspect I was too visible and they passed me by or went behind the shrubs on the opposite shore.

As I walked between Startops End and Marsworth lake, bumble bees and midges were in abundance, and then as I came towards the Grand Union Canal I spotted a pair of courting swans – but, fleetingly! There were a small number of anglers but being a Monday only a handful of dog-walkers and one other photographer. As I settled to shooting in the hope of spotting a stationary kingfisher, I was visited by a Grebe, who came reasonably close and every half minute or less he would dive, but although I attempted to catch it as it dived, I was always too slow, but I did discover its ‘tell’ – it would fold its crest flat just a moment before diving, but knowing this I was still too slow! But maybe another time.

I caught sight of a Chaffinch and was lucky enough to get a single shot uncluttered by twigs, and a pair of Coots in a noisy chase, and later the Grebe achieved success and well within my field of vision, and I have created a gallery entirely to cover the event; I was pleased for it and felt equally rewarded by being able to record it.
So, on this occasion there is not one, but two Galleries.

Click Here for the Grebe's Success Gallery

Monday, 13 March 2017

Beancroft Road Floral Bonanza

Spring has definitely arrived in Marston Moretaine and as I walked to the Co-op to collect a roll for my lunch, I asked of two residents whether I might capture the splendour, and met with a favourable response from a man in one and a lady in the other, both were happy to oblige me, and so I returned for the camera, forsaking my lunch for the half-hour so I could do the shots justice before the sun moved, (or disappeared knowing my luck!).

I chose to take the 5D MkIII and the 24-70mm with macro lens and the 200mm f/4; this lens to ensure that with the longer shots I could obtain a soft background, and possibly capture some of the blooms on the trees by the bus stop, before they died. This was where last year I got some good shots of the Starlings and Sparrows, with an even longer telephoto – the Tamron 150-600mm, a whole month later than these shots on similar blossom! I used both the standard range and the macro facility for today’s shots when using the 24-70mm.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Two Intrepid Aberdonian Bikers Head for France

I have known Gordon Burgess (sorry Professor Gordon Burgess!) for many years and I learned from him that his son, Nick was planning to go for The Grand Tour of Europe with friend and fellow biker Chris Lamont. I therefore suggested that he mention to them that they would be most welcome to spend the night at Marston Moretaine before heading for Dover the following day to catch the Ferry – the offer was accepted and they arrived in the dark and I got them to put their bikes in my garden as it is high-walled and would mean they were secure from prying mischievous eyes. They were far later than planned as they had not anticipated that much of their motorway route is down to 50mph in the Midlands and Southern Counties due to almost incessant roadworks.

I made them coffees and we sat and chatted into the early hours after I had cooked a couple of pizzas, and in the morning they took up my offer to shower with relish, and I prepared further cups of coffee and porridge for Chris, and just Frosted Flakes for cereal for Nick.

For the delectation of my younger daughter and her husband, past bikers themselves, I got Nick to write down the details of their machines, and in so doing learned Chris had been riding for short of a year whereas Nick had four and a half years’ experience – Chris’ ride was a 2016 Yamaha MT07 Tracer, and Nick’s was a 2011 Kawasaki ER6F (CBF650).

They could not be described as travelling light and certainly seemed well-equipped for the rigours they will face over the next few months, and I wish them every success, Nick seemed interested in my suggestion that he try to put together a blog so that others can follow their progress, and dare I say it? – their adventure! They very generously left me with a bottle of wine a packet of After Eights and some White Chocolate Magnums – Gratefully received and most appreciated.

Perhaps the gallery of images of them packing gear onto their bikes will serve to whet the appetite of any followers they attract as they set off on their journey – Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Marston Moretaine Crocuses and Daffodils

Tuesday heralded the arrival of sunshine and walking to post a letter I caught sight of crocuses and a couple of daffodils on the triangle of grass by the flower box, and so on my return I grabbed a camera and two lenses to take shots to add to my collection of images for use as greetings cards, where often I create space within the composition to carry the relevant message – seasonally relevant images are always handy, and those composed with space for text is always useful, and this group was no exception, some also lend themselves to squares where any message is carried above or below. The challenge was to keep low and close-up, so lying down was essential since it had rained the night before, and I used two lenses: the 300mm prime and the 24-70mm both with and without using its macro facility.

They were taken before the visit to Peter Carr, but those took precedence purely because in bringing them into Lightroom meant they could be dealt with straightway, and I could return to these later, which is what I have now done. If it helps others with ideas then the gallery will have served a purpose.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Harpenden Visit for Engineering Technical Help

I needed some technical help from Peter Carr, a Product Designer in Harpenden as I was trying to ascertain why my levelling head was not going fully into the base of my gimbal head; I was unsure whether it was down to the levelling head or the gimbal and I knew he had a micrometer so could get to the bottom of which item was the issue – the conclusion we drew was the gimbal head base was domed internally, so the flat end of the male thread was stopping the pair from closing fully. I had come across the problem on Doris Day at Brogborough when the pair were loosening whilst I was shooting. On my next visit to the Lake I solved the problem by cutting myself a cardboard washer, now I knew the reason.

Peter needed to walk his dog, so we both went out and chatted as we took a circular route from his place around the Park at Batford Springs and back. Not unnaturally, I took my camera and just the 24mm f/1.4 with macro, which allowed me to take a few shots and create a single-page gallery, and also explain how useful this recent purchase had been in hopefully resolving which of my two dedicated macro lenses I put up for sale to help in the purchase of the Sigma 150-600mm lens I was considering buying. I think I will be parting with the Tamron 90mm MkII, so should any reader of this blog be interested, do not hesitate to contact me, it is mint condition, but since I have the Canon 100mm and this 24-70mm with macro facility it is an extravagance to keep all of them!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sunny Saturday at Brogborough Lake

After the serious ‘Doris Day’ wind, a light breeze and sunshine brought out more windsurfers onto the water, but it also meant I would not be capturing any jumping as this was a day for the larger sails, it also meant that I tried to record sequences of shots and they were longer which meant that within the gallery, they would often be across a page boundary.

I also took many more shots than appear in the final gallery, which is why it has taken longer for them to arrive on the Web, but I hope those featured feel it was worth the wait.

During the time I was at the water’s edge a pair of Canada Geese decided there was too much activity for their liking so they took to the air, and I was lucky to capture them with a windsurfer beyond which was pleasing. I also spotted some beautiful clouds, so I made that the first image rather than let it be lost in the true timeframe several pages in.

It may have been sunny but standing by the tripod and not moving much meant I was well covered in layers as the wind still had quite a chill, however those with large sails worked so hard they were very much warmer!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A Very Brief Visit to Stockwood

Returning from Marsworth, I needed to warm up and I was close enough to Luton to consider going there via Caddington, so that was the route I took and came across a recent accident on the distinct right hander before the village; the Police and Ambulance were on the scene. My only thought was it was a bend that demanded respect and the offside of the car going in the same direction as myself was damaged badly, so may well have been wide rather than tight to the kerb…

In the village I parked up close to my last home to check on progress and after more than a year, I could see that  it must be close to completion and is now considerably larger than when I last lived there! I picked up some food from the Co-op and headed for the Discovery Centre Gardens, to visit one of the gardeners, but despite my last visit being only a few days, I armed myself with the camera in case. There were far fewer visitors now that the School Half-term Break was over and the weather was deteriorating, and after my meeting I took a few moments taking close-ups of the evidence of new life heralding Spring 2017. Just as I was leaving the Greenhouse, what I can only presume was a Robin shot towards me and disappeared to the far end in a blur as it passed; I was too slow to see where it went despite a quick look around out of piqued curiosity, but it did give me a wry chuckle as I locked up  and headed home in a slight drizzle that became sleet by the time I was back on the M1 northbound.