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.

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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.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Brogborough Flying Insect Bonanza

Having used the Canon 100-400mm lens a few days back to record the flying insects of Brogborough Lake, mainly once they had settled for brief spells of rest and recuperation, I decided to return with something longer, and I decided that it might be beneficial not only to use the Sigma Sports 150-600mm, but to add their 1.4 Converter to gain a greater image size. Since the camera body was the EOS7D MkII, this in itself gave me a greater effective focal length over the full frame 5D MkIII, with also a faster response.
The slight drawback is the autofocus point is fixed at the centre, making it harder to place the subject off-centre, and so on occasion I reverted to manual focussing. Another snag when using autofocus, was how with moving reeds the focus would hunt or simply drift when foreground features came within view between the camera and subject. The bright weather we are experiencing currently gives me the chance to use the Converter and also to keep the ISO speed low with an adequately fast shutter speed.
Trying to find my subject fast with a long lens is difficult, so I experimented with pulling the focal length wider, to find my subject, then zooming in to bring it both larger and into focus, but this often meant that my subject had tired of that location and moved on whilst I was still either trying to find it or regain focus! From my observations the camera took less time and was more accurate, but suffered from losing focus fairly often, so I tended to attempt a compromise whilst manually focussing by adopting a smaller aperture to improve the depth of field to compensate for my lack of accuracy. It is not often in this country that we have this luxury; it is far more likely we are considering upping the ISO to give us a chance of a small aperture alongside a fast shutterspeed!
It allowed me to observe closely what was happening, and I am sure I was witnessing the female dragonflies laying her fertilised eggs beneath the water’s surface. Something else also was that much like crows mob red kite, I was watching the damselflies doing much the same with dragonflies.
I was sitting on a low bank with my tripod legs spread such that the camera was at eye level and really solid and this meant it was really comfortable, but did make it less easy when it came to later wishing to rise; I was also lucky for at the least the early part to be shaded from the heat of the sun under a blue sky with just a few mare’s tails for clouds, by a tall hawthorn bush to my left.
I was pleased with the end results, but it was a shame there was no regular flight path to give me the chance to attempt to preset my focus and have the insects fly into the sharp zone for them to be captured on the wing, but that’s just greed on my part!

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