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…



Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Aylesbury Concert Band – Proms in the Park

I always enjoy the Aylesbury Concert Band’s playing and this Sunday was no exception, the weather was exceedingly hot and with no hint of rain, nor sadly on this occasion, not a whisper of wind, absolutely ideal weather for taking the sky in a hot air balloon, as the chances of travelling too far were somewhat limited, and above the Park in Aylesbury one slowly passed overhead, but their timing was poor if they wished to listen to the playing, as they came over too early!
My daughter plays Baritone Saxophone with the band, and she must have  carefully ensured her placing was such that she was obscured from my lens no matter what viewpoint I might choose. So except when not playing, she was to all intents not there!
The local council have other photographers covering the event, and I joined them as it meant that our gear was eminently safe as there was always one of us nearby, giving each of us the freedom to wander without a constant nagging about the safety of our kit.
We were there for the rehearsal as well as the concert proper which is always useful to capture some of the other activities and watch some of the energetic youngsters doing cartwheels and handstands and generally keeping their parents occupied reining them in when they strayed too far. The event is very much family-oriented and even during the rehearsal the public were listening to the concert band and a smaller jazz ensemble nearby, which judging from a loud bang later, we sensed was terminal for their operations, as thereafter they began packing up!
The atmosphere was relaxed and the music was definitely appreciated even during the rehearsal, the Mayor mingled with the crowd and obviously enjoys leading from the front, in that he was even to be spotted with a plastic sack and litter-picker in the hope others would follow his example. His patriotic credentials displayed in the task he set himself of taping the Union Flag to the front of the main stage, he did not confine himself to being part of a civic entourage; he seemed at ease wandering around the crowd and mingling, but wearing his regalia of office around his neck sporting a cream suit, and a pair of very natty brown shoes which I felt should be featured in the gallery of images of the day – had the forecast been for inclement weather, I doubt very much that they would have been his footwear of choice!
I hope that the gallery of images from the day is an enjoyable review of the event and especially of the Band’s Players who provided such evocative music ending with patriotic fervour from the voices of the record crowd, led by guest singers Alison Langer and Lawrence Thackery who had earlier announced from the stage that they were soon to be married which was appreciated by the audience who were finally treated to a firework display.

Monday, 28 August 2017

View of the Record Crowd at Aylesbury Park Prom

Whilst I continue to process the gallery of images of the Aylesbury Concert Band at this Annual Event, I thought I would whet the appetite of those who view this blog with a picture of the Audience at the Event.
The day was exceedingly hot with barely a whisper of breeze and only high fair weather clouds, and the Band faced straight into the sun and many of the players found it hard to see the Band Leader whilst he conducted. I even had difficulty seeing past the haze created by the smoke machine which drifted across on the right of audience from my standpoint on the Stage. I was also pointing my camera straight into the sun with the crowd backlit in the main – excuses over here is a Zoomify view of the panorama stitched from the twelve handheld images I took from the stage.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Three Painted Ladies in the Garden

Visiting pollinators this season have been few and far between, and certainly never in abundance, though a month back bees did visit my Buddliea, but of late there have been precious few of either bees or butterflies, but as warmth came earlier today, I was pleased to welcome a couple of bees a trio of Cabbage Whites definitely full of the Joys of Spring, rarely alighting on the blooms of the buddliea, despite flitting in and out of its foliage, and more colourfully at least three, Painted Ladies.
Because I had made a visit yesterday to a Birthday Party Pizza Celebration to mark the birthdays of my elder daughter and my ex-wife over in Cambridge, this Friday was not to be spent with my younger daughter, so it was a washing day, and a first attempt at making crumble to add to the rhubarb I had stewed the day before yesterday. It seemed very much like an end of season festival recently, as also the house-moving present of a plum tree from my two daughters had finally finished providing me with its fruit. I had personal evidence of its generosity in the form of precisely forty stones from those I had consumed. I am hoping there is a chance that they may germinate and go on to provide more fruit in the next year.
In between these activities out came the camera to record what may well the last of the season’s butterfly visits, and I chose the 24-70mm lens with its macro facility attached to the 5D MkIII, and the shutter set to silent. It seems to have been a good choice judging from the results.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Bamville at Home to Carpenters' Arms Cricketers

Bamville Cricket Club only have use of the ground for playing on a Sunday afternoon, as they share the pitch with the local Golf Club, and the parking of cars is in a former ‘Three Horseshoes Public House Car Park at East Common.
On Sunday two local teams from Carpenters’ Arms and the home team Bamville were playing, and the forecast was for Showers, and on my arrival, I thought perhaps I might be lucky as the sun was shining…
I assembled my camera and lens with little time to spare before the Home team took to the pitch and play began. I was determined to ensure I caught the first over, and in my haste, I forgot two items, my ideal glasses for viewing the back of the camera and a second lens for any more general shots, Peter Carr who was scoring, I thought would be heavily involved in that all afternoon, but shortly came over in my direction, and I asked whether he might at least rescue the lens from my car’s boot, which he kindly did; I managed however to forget to ask for the more vital second item, my other pair of glasses!
The first few shots looked an interesting sequence from which to create an animated GIF, and so after taking the shots on the day, I actually wasted some considerable time trying to do just that before the task of gallery creation, hence the delay in these reaching the blog.
That is getting ahead of myself. I started shooting from outside the clubhouse moving slowly round the boundary widdershins. Occasionally taking some shots using the 24-70mm lens handheld, and here I must apologise as the clocks in the two different camera bodies are not in synch, so some of the shots are not correct chronologically, but I manage to keep forgetting to reset them!
I was happy to have got one shot of airborne bails reasonably early, but sad to miss a a splendid catch. Also, though I did get another bails airborne shot, Some of the fielders seem to possess eyes in the backs of their heads and align themselves between the action and myself, and moving and resetting the heavy tripod often takes too long, and on occasion this afternoon, when I did do so, they moved with perfect synchronicity! And a certain Law came into play here as a clean bowling occurred at the crease completely obscured from my lens.
There was one youngster whose talent really shone through and impressed me despite his diminished stature; he seemed a good all-rounder, had great style and oodles of energy, but looked very disappointed to be out – at that time; not a happy bunny. I have subsequently learned his name is Ashish Padki; if he perseveres, I reckon he will be someone to look out for in Cricketing circles – he reminded me very much of the young Lewis Hamilton.
The rain did not hold off to the end of play and as the first drops fell, I moved ever closer to the clubhouse to protect the camera and lens in changes of over. It was also getting darker which would have forced me to increase speed and suffer more from noise, so I ended watching from the shelter of the clubhouse, later bringing the car over to put the gear back in. Only the second cricket match covered this season, but thoroughly enjoyable still.

Monday, 21 August 2017

A Visit to Luton Town Centre

My reason for the trip to Luton was for an eye test; as my right eye, which for most of my life had been dominant had shown to be suffering the onset of a cataract a year ago, and was beginning to show a further slight degradation. After last year’s update I began keeping two pairs handy at all times, to cater for the different priorities involved in my activities. For driving at night in particular the pair with that most recent prescription was essential, as the halo caused by oncoming bright lights was at its least and the long distance resolution was also at its keenest. The bifocal element was less than ideal for a glance at the dashboard.
However, this same lack of clear focus at shorter distances still, was a more severe handicap when using the review screen on the back of my cameras – it was this aspect that caused me the greatest concern and why on this morning I appeared at the Optician’s with a camera, an iPad and numerous earlier frames with a variety of earlier prescriptions to help me define those different needs to the optometrist Vijay Hirani, who had been so understanding of my eyesight and those requirements over several years.
The pair which had had the best overall balance for both distance and the dashboard was absolutely fine for daylight driving, as in sunlight the margin for distance was more than adequate. It also had the distinct advantage that viewing the images on the back of the camera was spot-on. I had a bright red spectacle case that therefore contained this second pair when driving most of the time, and then came with me when I reverted to using these for general use with the best long distance pair within.
My meeting with Vijay was somewhat protracted, but really helpful and the end result was the joint decision to arrange an appointment with Bedford Hospital for the cataract operation on the right eye which would, for the near future, resolve the balance between the two, with no immediate need for an operation on the left eye.

After a trip around the central Mall, I came outside to the area in front of the courthouse where my eyes took in another example of Luton’s ongoing planning failure – it provides an excellent area for people to congregate with initial good and attractive design, then spoils it with crass lack of thought thereafter – there are abundant and colourful flowers and in a curved area of bricks it has attractive insets, it then obscures three out of four of them with vast and heavy, unsightly bins, with no further thought for aesthetics of the initial design – the Planners need to visit the Opticians en masse, the verdict from this report is – Must Do Better! Also, there is absolutely no excuse for a broken moulded concrete step to be replaced by the laying of a ‘blob’ of tarmac – Come on, Councillors – Get your act together, set an example!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Cross Keys, Pulloxhiil – Classic Vehicle Show

A friend of mine from my earlier villages of Slip End and Caddington told me of his intention to visit a Classic Car event at the Cross Keys, Pulloxhill to display his excellent Jaguar saloon car, and suggested that I might be interested in joining him there, and it seemed a photographic opportunity not to be missed. John told me he would be arriving at around nine o’clock, so that was going to be the time I would aim for, and I was only late by a few minutes.
The Public House is blessed with a handy sized field behind its premises, and has hosted the event over a few recent years, and today local broadcasts and previous visitors ensured that with such excellent weather, the field soon filled up with exhibitors’ splendid classics and visitors own very varied marques, with some vehicles definitely not classified as cars, such as trucks, fire engines and a smattering of bikes and a Massey Ferguson tractor from a bygone age.
I first met up with the aforesaid John (Sentinella) to thank him for mentioning the display, and to catch up with each other’s news, then I took a stroll down the lines of exhibiting cars to get a feel of what was on show, and occasionally stopping to chat to the owners. As the numbers of visitors increased, I made a few more sorties returning some while later and sitting with John where we had a drink and something to eat under the shade provided by umbrellas supported from the arms of canvas folding chairs. Once the field was nearing capacity, I wandered again, before once more returning such that John might get the chance to look around. I had a long chat and saw some excellent photos from the owner of a car used on many occasions to promote a scene from Fawlty Towers.
During this next stint I began to wonder whether I might locate the owner of one of the two Fire Engines and ask whether I might be able to climb on top to get some shots of the cars from a higher viewpoint, but for some time no one was around. When one man returned, I tentatively asked whether this might be possible, to which he surprised me with his response that he had let me do just that at a Luton Hoo show many moons ago, and it would be just fine! I remember the event and the request, but was amazed that someone should remember me so specifically from some nine years previously, so David Rowell, you deserve ‘an Honourable Mention’, and I humbly thank you for offering me the same courtesy once again – thank you; it was most appreciated.
Since returning, I have turned the panorama into a Zoomify item that allows you to zoom around the image and get a good idea of the datail present in the image made from a dozen individual handheld frames.
Later I was to meet another gentleman with whom I chatted for some considerable time, and who pointed out his splendid and rare Nissan 260Z; the conversation was widely varied and most interesting. I am most grateful to John for bringing the event to my notice, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the day; in great company and splendid sunshine.
I hope it comes across in viewing the gallery of images displayed from the link in the main headline to this piece.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Brogborough Lake – Only Occasional Gusts

Having not been to the lake for some time, I decided to go despite the wind being fitful and not overly strong. When I arrived there, there were a surprising number of sailors out on the lake, but after only a short while the wind lost much of its power, and the clouds began to roll in.
However there were some reasonable gusts every so often, so patience was required, it was the opportunity for some of the more skilled to practice general control and gybing, and here the wilful wind took its toll, the sailor would choose to initiate a turn only to find that at that precise moment the wind needed to complete the action, had deserted him! I was watching one person in particular and he was caught off-guard several times and I avoided taking the last moments out of compassion, but finally, I decided just the once to keep my shutter-finger pressing for the dying moments when the sail hit the water; full marks for perseverance though!
Due to the numbers on the water, I also tried hard to take shots of groups as much as individuals for compositional purposes and for the picture that would head the piece on the blog. I did take short series of one sailor with outstretched arm, and later found it to be Mark Maryan, who through his company has helped sort out my pensions situation, I love his sense of humour in choice of company name – Gee7; it has a certain resonance for me, for it was during the time of that summit in London, I was airborne in a Twin Squirrel helicopter taking photos over the city, which can be seen by using the blog’s Search box and entering: ‘Aerial London’ (omitting the inverted commas). It was a wonderful experience that came about because an aerial photographer for whom I was giving Photoshop tuition offered to take me up with him, and he generously gave me a spell controlling the pilot, to get some specific shots I wanted, using: “Nose Up, Nose Down, Nose Right, Nose Left…” and so on, to allow me to compose less randomly. It was a wonderful experience I would love to repeat, though I imagine it is less easier to do with the current situation regarding security.
The shots from this afternoon will likely not be too exciting, but might at least be of personal interest to those participating, as a record of their enjoyment.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Parked at Warden Street to Photograph Aerobatics

I had heard there was a possibility of the Red Arrows paying Old Warden’s Edwardian Pageant a Flying Visit, so I picked a spot at the end of a long cul-de-sac at Warden Street in the hope that I might just be fortunate, but I was unlucky on that count, though I still got shots of biplane aerobatics, large flocks of birds, mainly taking advantage of farmers ploughing their fields. The road I was in was very narrow and where I was parked was local residents turning circle I soon learned, although everyone was very friendly.
I met a charming couple who lived in the last cottage before the gate to a large farm, who were the first to use this spot to turn their car round, and I learned he was a Nikon Man, who forgave me for my own choice of Canon equipment! The lady asked whether I knew when the Red Arrows might arrive, but I was unable to help, I learned from the man that he would be looking out for them whilst mowing the lawn, but a short while later it was his wife whom I spotted with a mower, so I joshed with her that he had meant he would watching his wife mow! A few moments later he came out with another mower, so I asked whether he had been rumbled and had felt guilty so followed suit! It turned out he was mowing the tougher stuff, whilst his wife mowed the more level areas.
Since there was not much human flying machine activity, I brought out my macro and photographed some of the wild flowers, I also spotted a seed being snagged by a spider’s web, and the owner felt his luck was in and retraced his footsteps shortly after when he found it was a false alarm – possibly a bit miffed by being disturbed unnecessarily!
Whilst waiting for a possible arrival of any aircraft, I took opportunities to photograph some of the wildflowers nearby and one horserider returned to her parked car that was present upon my arrival, and visited the stabling beyond the gate I was parked across. When she was ready to leave, I helped and was duly thanked, for guiding her reversing by my car. A little later still another lady rider arrived, entered the stabling and came out leading her young male, brown spotted cream horse, and I opened the heavy gate for her, and grabbed a few shots of him. I later found her on a phone leading him back and hearing comments saying she was “OK…” suggesting she might well have taken a fall, I enquired, and learned the horse had been bitten by a horsefly and ended up kicking her in the stomach and grazing her arm; she was definitely still in considerable pain, so I opened the gate entirely on my own to save her from more strain. She said it was not the horse’s fault, and certainly from the brief shots I took of their return, his equine body language suggested he was concerned.
I did get a few shots of some biplane aerobatics, and a Lysander, a plane type I believe my father flew over to Holland from RAF Tempsford in WWII, though the gallery is more about flora and fauna and an afternoon in the English countryside – fairly relaxing.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A Mentoring Session at Stockwood

Jan Tysoe has been an Important Gardener at the Discovery Centre in Luton for some years, and recently retired. During the time I have been visiting she has helped me by showing me some of the plants she has tended, and often rescued. I made a special visit to the gardens to help her when she came, not to labour, but to take photographs with her newly-acquired digital SLR camera and lens – I was here to return the favour.

Jan texted me to say that she was by the Water Feature, so on arrival, I headed there wending my way through the throngs of families by the cafeteria and the play area. She had a friend with her sitting on the nearby bench, I joined them and hand Jan a small card device I had made specially to get across the idea of Reciprocity; the way to maintain the same Exposure, by balancing the size of the Aperture against the length of Time the shutter was open for any given amount of Brightness in the image. I then explained why she might wish to choose a particular Aperture so as to define the Depth of Field, and use this to make the subject of her photograph stand out from its background.

I had created two strips which could be moved in tandem for any given exposure to display a pairing of Shutter Speed and Apertures and explained why she might choose a wide aperture such as f/2.8 for a narrow depth or f/22 for a wider depth, I only touched lightly upon the limitations of the shutter speed for the freezing of any motion. I gave her the device to work with later. I did however move to some nearby blooms to explain how for any focussed distance the aperture chosen defines a depth that extends slightly further behind than in front of the focussed point. At this juncture I also explained that for this exercise setting Aperture Priority was important and set the camera for around f/8 and to give her a good chance of successes, I left the ISO speed at 1600˚ which was where I found it, but did say in passing that was a tad high for the camera body I had given her a while earlier, a Canon 10D and might result in some noise in the pictures.

I also tried to impress her the importance of framing her picture and using half-pressure on the shutter button to acquire focus from the centre, then place the subject within the frame. To get this message across, I asked her to place the flower first on the right of the frame, then the left and explained how this might be important for composition and possibly later to add some text for say, a greetings card.

After this, we began strolling around the gardens, with my occasionally giving further suggestions as to viewpoint and backgrounds, or when she was intent on a particular picture grabbing a few of my own and sometimes showing how and why I had taken the individual frame.
The time we spent was all too short, but hopefully helpful, and I look forward to her results; meantime here is the small gallery I created at the time.