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, 21 June 2017

Station Road Front Garden Flowers

Marston Moretaine’s Station Road has many front gardens that are displaying a wide variety of floral colours and on a visit to the Co-op and Post Office, it was very noticeable how the bees were taking it easily in the heat, in particular, the bumble bees, they would often stretch out a limb to the next nearmost flower, and then simply stroll across rather than fly, thus expending far less energy and presumably keeping cooler, the lighter honeybees did this less often again this was possibly because conserving energy was less of an issue for these lighter-framed, lissom bees.
I decided that rather than stay indoors and consume litres of liquids to keep cool, well-hydrated to remain compos mentis, it would be better to grab the camera and try to capture these pollinators at work; little did I realise that the the strain of holding the camera steady and trying to follow these hard working fellows would in fact mean I would sweat profusely and find my eyes stinging and have to keep mopping my face to keep my specs clean, I persevered and captured some reasonable images that told these insects’ story and gave me a few more images for card ideas. At the time I had no idea that two of these images would be put to this purpose so soon – I returned home to learn from my ex-wife that a friend of ours had just been admitted to hospital to have a bowel tumour removed, so I created a card hoping that she might bee(image of!) soon well again. How dull life would be without some healthy paronomasia! – A game I frequently play with my younger daughter.
In a very short time I had the makings of yet another gallery of images for the blog and for future card ideas – on this occasion I was using the 5D MkIII and the 24-70mm lens with the handy macro facility, although the combination worked reasonably well, a better choice might just have been the dedicated 100mm macro due its wider aperture and continuous focussing range, where with the 24 to 70mm I was just on the cusp of needing to switch between 70mm and the macro range, it was a marginal difference between them on this occasion.
I then had to return to the furnace that is a house which is well-insulated and, without a murmur of wind made a passable thermos flask, in which to process the images into a gallery.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Brogborough Lake – Abundant Insects

It was seriously hot, and impossible to work inside without air conditioning, or even a fan, so in the afternoon I took myself off to Brogborough Lake, expressly to try to capture Dragonflies, in flight – it was not to be, despite numerous failed attempts as they were out in great numbers, and from my untutored observations, they were mainly seeking mating partners, and few seemed to bother to hover, speed and interaction seemed the order of the day – some would have repeat patterns of flight, but these loops would vary in height, so there was no easy way to synchronise my panning. I settled for spotting those that took a break from flying and settled on reeds or the foreshore.
Two men took to the water with paddles, one of those with a young son aboard for the trip. The water was generally still and very clear and in the narrow channels between discarded bricks and paving stones streams of small fish darted by first in one direction then turn about and back in the other, and despite not using a polariser I was able to capture this activity with comparative ease.
Damselflies also abound here, but I was less interested in them than their larger cousins, and there seemed to be two discrete sizes, the larger being slightly less in number. There were a few butterflies, but they rarely settled for more than half a second, and the few bees that were around also spent very brief spells on any one flower.
I initially used the 100mm Canon Macro on the 7D MkII, but soon swapped to the 300mm with 1.4 Converter, and both were well-suited for what I intended, but I think an earlier visit would prove more fruitful as with the afternoon heat these dragonflies had abundant energy to keep flying, rarely settling for longer than a few seconds. Just before leaving a small breeze came for a minute or so, and I just stopped and let it waft by as I stood with arms stretched to attempt to dry out. One of the nearby preening swans seemingly felt the selfsame urge; one or other had discarded a pristine feather which had two water droplets and was also moved by the small zephyr, so I took a couple of shots in case they might one day be used in a card.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Brogborough Lake – Wind, and Sun!


This combination was a Dream Come True! Wind for the Windsurfing Experts and for the up and coming hopefuls, and Sunshine for the most part to allow me the best chance to capture the skills of the participants. I was not disappointed; the action built slowly, but as the afternoon progressed, a few of their number began to take to the air rather than the water. I was waiting, and slowly I began to see hopeful signs that my wishes might well be granted. I would spot a few tentative jumps, and take note of the sail colours and patterns, and pan in hope that I might be lucky.

I am fully aware that  the demonstration of skills is not there just for my pleasure, but for their own personal training and development, and for those I try to capture them putting their moves together and understand what it is they are practising, I have learned to watch when say a gybe manoeuvre is about to begin, but more often than not this can happen far too close for me to be able to capture the full sail, which is a shame, because the drama is definitely there.

Fortunately my presence behind a camera on a tripod does act like a magnet for some, and I rarely let such moments pass without making avail of the opportunity, even if I am frustrated by a chopped off sail or board, and some such shots never see the light of day; it is all good panning practice. This day kept on giving, and a smile was becoming a permanent fixture on my face, whilst at the time I realised I was going to pay dearly for the coming days stuck in front of a computer, straightening the horizons, doing my best to tame the highlights and so preserve the bubbling foam created by the violent wrench exerted upon the water by the energy of the sailor, whilst retaining detail in the inevitably black wetsuits. I also like to see the faces of those whose skills I am attempting to record.

Slowly, I took note of those who dared to sever their bond with the water’s surface, and as the afternoon progressed I found more of those out their willing to perform, at least partly for my benefit. One young, star performer was definitely playing to the audience/camera for which I was more than happy to play my part by freezing the action for posterity.

I must try harder to contain my urge to capture so much of the action, as this particular gallery has taken way too much time to produce to the standard I am happy to display, but last Saturday was simply too good to miss, and I hope those who view this gallery gain as much pleasure as I did in the capturing and processing. It would be good if some of the images were ordered as A4 prints which would prove rewarding, and allow me to buy more bacon butties and cups of tea from Emma and Sam.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Polling Day Visit to Stockwood Discovery Centre

The Day started with a visit to the Polling Station to cast my vote, then straight on to get food items in Bedford, offload those and head on down to pay a visit to the Stockwood Discovery Centre. The rain which had been a feature in Marston Moretaine and the beginning of the journey to Luton had stopped by my arrival at the Centre, and a charming Chap spotting my camera seemed to be aware of who I was and told me he had just caught sight of a Chiffchaff in the gardens, but it had flown away after being spotted. When I asked about Jan’s whereabouts I learned she had told him I was coming down, so my camera was the giveaway!
I had by that time already spotted subjects worth recording so I continued adding to the tally. It was more than a quarter of an hour later when we met up. And she told me her news, she had handed in her notice and was retiring, she also told me how that news had been greeted; it had come as quite a shock to the management, as she is highly respected for knowledge, and her hard work, and will definitely be missed. I for one will find it less inviting as she has always been very welcoming and extremely helpful in alerting me to what is in bloom and of interest.
The earlier weather had definitely put off visitors as I think I spotted no more than half a dozen people as I wandered around, normally on a weekday there would be mothers pushing buggies or with young toddlers in tow, perhaps the election had also had an effect, and the sounds today were the numerous birds, and in particular on very strident blackbird, and every so often an aircraft taking off from the airport.
The effect of this calm, was that magpies and squirrels had come into the central area, and later as I was leaving I briefly got a shot of each amongst the empty tables outside the café. Jan had alerted me to some features of interest, and so I spent the time in the central area before moving into the greenhouse, and I was very happy with what I managed to capture before dropping into the petrol station to fill up at the economically priced garage just nearby and heading back up the M1 to Marston Moretaine. It was well worth the trip.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Silverstone – Williams F1 Racing 40th Anniversary Celebration

I had not seen photographer Mark Harwood for some time, and a chance occurred to meet up and for both of us go to Silverstone and to catch up while celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the Williams Racing Team.

Mark came up the night before so that we might set off really early, which gave us time to fill in the gaps and our chatting ate well into sleeping time, and sadly he found the birdsong at dawn somewhat distracting, so did not have the best of nights. Our journey over to Silverstone was only marred by late calls or misinformation from the SatNav, but was otherwise without incident and we made good time, and joined a short queue that moved reasonably smoothly, and we found ourselves chatting with several friendly strangers as it progressed to the bag-checking and after that with more banter with both the Specials and Regular Police with what I hoped was only pleasant banter from the regulars when referring to the Specials.

We spent some time in one of the grandstands where we could capture a flavour of the cars being displayed, as well as walking to both ends of the allocated area being used for the event, we also managed to get separated, with Mark wrongly assuming I might have gone back to the car, but a call from him on the mobile brought us back together where I was chatting to one of the many helpful girls there to provide any assistance we might need.

We did then go back to the car to pick up some food and a change of lenses for me. A day like this provides me with handy material for greetings cards so there are occasions in the gallery of images from the day, where the same shot has been composed in different ways to give space for messages, as the galleries I create are effectively my personal Photo Library.

‘The Wave’ building at the end is a panorama stitched automatically within Lightroom from eight individual handheld images. So, no image has ever visited Photoshop in this gallery.