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…


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Sunday, 20 January 2019

My First Serious Gallery of EOS R Images

         I went up to London on the opening Trade Day of the latest SWPP Photography Show in the Novotel Hotel in London’s Hammersmith and met up with an erstwhile colleague from my days as a photographer for the same proprietor, but whereas I moved on away from being a Photographer and into selling, after a few years he actually bought the company. I went from taking pictures to being a Salesman for a Colour Laboratory where, by the end of the first year became their Sales Manager, for which one of the perks was films and processing. When that company looked like it was going to close, I jumped ship and set up ‘SOLUTIONS photographic’ selling Retouching and other photographic services in the main for that company’s Retouchers who had also broken away and became independent.
          Back to the narrative – my reason for attending the show was to glean further information on the Canon full-frame mirrorless camera; meeting up with Steve Scrase meant that not only was I asking questions of various companies in relation to the camera, but Steve was discussing some of the points I was raising with regarding what I considered failings in this first full-frame Mirrorless Canon body. I had come to the Show really to convince myself that this offering was NOT yet ready for me to contemplate, but the more the various sales people and Steve and I discussed it the more assurance I was offered that it was worth considering. Having also sorted two lenses and an earlier camera body out, ready for a possible sale to help finance a potential purchase, I was beginning to weaken, and the Want Glands were beginning to secrete their potent juices into my system – the figures offered potentially for my kit made the drain on finances lessen…
          To cut out any further reminiscences I bit the bullet and made the purchase, and agreed that I would return the following day with my earlier gear and in the fullness of time will receive somewhere close to the estimated values to offset the cost. The handover was made to the young salesman outside the hotel on the Friday, and although I did some playing around to familiarise myself with the very different handling, it was not till the Sunday with a heavy frost and reasonably bright sunshine that I got to grips with the unfamiliar operation of this body and a couple of my lenses to take a wander through the nearby Marston Forest Centre woods.
          This was not a project that was going to bring back numerous masterpieces of photographic art, this was purely to capture the essence of the park and give me some idea as to how to handle this body with understanding and learn how to get the most from it. I certainly suffered quite a lot of frustration in trying to get it to work as I wanted, but this was not a criticism of the camera, but simply my failing to operate it with familiarity. I knew what I wanted it to do, but found it difficult to work out how to achieve it simply and speedily. I learned one very valuable lesson – I would need more charged batteries due to leaving it on in readiness! I spent more time in manual focus because of the screen blacking out when trying to move the AF point around the screen.
          However, despite the fading battery power limiting my trip (only a walk away from home!) I found myself slowly understanding how to control the beast, and certainly the technical quality of its 60-70MB files was impressive, the gallery of images does not really show the quality that can be achieved, but I noted the potential, I do wonder how I might fare with the Sigma 60-600mm Sports lens when that arrives?

Monday, 14 January 2019

Aylesbury Concert Band New Year Concert – 2 – St. Mary's Church Eaton Bray

    
     Finally, I have processed the shots of the New Year Concert itself, that took place on Saturday, there are fewer images than there were at the Rehearsal, since my movements were naturally constrained, and the view of individual musicians is more often than not limited by whether they are in the front rows. On occasion I can move slightly to get a clear view of some of those Band members in rows behind, but many, especially those in the percussion section, or the large horn section, it is simply not possible to feature them unless I can take pictures of those musicians at the Rehearsal.
     I also look around to note some details of the venue, that catch my eye (to ensure my hands are exercised and I am alert!) My feet have no difficulty in maintaining movement especially in rhythmic masterpieces, such as the Radetzky March, where frankly it is a challenge to keep my feet still!
     The engineering that goes into musical instruments is a source of great admiration, so there will often be close-ups or interesting angles of certain instruments that catch my eye, both static, or in the hands of the musicians. Likewise details I note at the various venues that I cover, such as on this occasion when  I took a shot of one of the figures in a stained glass window that appears in the Rehearsal gallery, and in this one someone changing their reed, but these are not distractions, but observations worth recording, and my galleries are peppered with these items that ensure my eyes are always actively sensitive to my surroundings.
     One item that gave me some frustration was trying to capture a lady’s hands playing her flute with the Band’s logo beyond, it has now been placed in the image header, to remind me of how difficult it was to capture the juxtaposition due to her hand and flute invariably covering the word ‘Aylesbury’ in the end I stood up to ensure I got the shot! My apologies to those in the audience behind me if I momentarily interrupted their view of the Band.
     I hope that my decision to separate the rehearsal from the Concert proper which avoided a delay in getting shots up to the blog, is not a disappointment, but at least, now that the concert pictures are up, it will have been worth the wait, with those who might well not have featured at all, now able to have some time in the limelight.
     From the packed audience, I think my enjoyment was equalled by all those who attended, so thank you to the Band and the Church for a memorable afternoon.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

2019 New Year Concert–St. Mary's Eaton Bray – 1— The Rehearsal

     The Aylesbury Concert Band celebrated their first concert of 2019 at the church of St. Mary’s, Eaton Bray, and as Roadie for my daughter I first drove to Quainton to pick her and the Tenor Sax up, then after a short wait as she collected her outfit and some snacks ‘n’ Sax we set off to Eaton Bray, where we parted, for her to join the Band and set up, and for me to get an idea of just how much light I would have with which to take photos, and also choose which lenses would be suitable. I also had a chat with the Lay Reader, Gordon Gray, who is the de facto head honcho, and asked whether I might be allowed to get up into the Organ Loft to take some high level shots of the Band, because it gives me a chance to have a clear view of every member of the band, and later a good proportion of the audience.
     Gordon very kindly unlocked the door to the narrow spiral staircase that winds its way to the Organ, with its even narrower space, between the back of the organist’s bench seat and the balcony, from where I hoped to get some higher level shots of the event later. I took with me two lenses to check the angle of view with each, the 35mm f/1.4 and the 24-70mm and they seemed a good choice.
     I returned to terra firma, and took a few shots to decide what ISO I would be using and realised to have a decent shot of sharpness, I would be using 3200 or 6400 for the darker shots and 1600 if I was blessed with more light and little movement, or needing only a narrow depth of field! Fortunately, using the EOS 5D MkIII Body I know I can keep control of the noise level, provided I do not have to crop too tightly.
     By the time I had ascertained all this, most of the Band had begun testing how well their instruments were tuned; they perform a rendering of “Cacophany in C” for this purpose as more and more of the company arrive and set up their stands and music sheets, amidst small clusters of those more ready, chatted; and numerous helpers prepared the church itself for the onslaught of the audience and distribute programmes and arrange seating. Having found a suitable seat from which to operate, I was fortunate to have an adjacent seat to place the three most likely lenses within easy reach.
     Because once the concert is in progress, I will be operating from a fixed location, I spend the Rehearsal constantly on the move, so I can capture every member of the Band, so everyone basically is given equal prominence in the subsequent gallery.

     I hope that I have captured the atmosphere of the rehearsal in this gallery, and whilst these images are up on the blog, I will once again put my head down to create a gallery of the Concert proper with slightly less pressure, and since there will inevitably be fewer shots because of my limited view of individual  members of the Band, hopefully it will not be long before those images are prepared. there will be two Conductors for this Concert, Rob Wicks and Chris Doyle.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Reconnaissance Trip Ending at Great Barford

I have an apology to make for anyone early who attempted to search for these images - I slipped up - Sorry,
They are now properly linked. So, do try again!
The early afternoon sky showed signs of the sun breaking through the overcast, so I gathered potential camera gear for trip to take a look at a lake that apparently according to a couple of anglers I had met at Marston Lake offered possibilities of seeing kingfishers, so I decided a visit was worthwhile to see the lay of the land, as I had taken a look using Google Earth and it was not too far away. The Lake was at Willington, but the only way is for me to locate the local Bailliff for access.
  I set off despite there seeming to be few opportunities to park up nearby, and that proved to be the case, so I travelled a short distance further to Great Barford and after an extended wait at traffic lights, set off over the bridge and after turning right on the far side, parked up close to the Anchor Public House. The siting of this pub and its bridge in the milky sunlight made choosing the EOS 5D and 24-70mm with macro lens the ideal choice, and I put the 35mm f/1.4 in my pocket as a possible addition, and locking the car, crossed the road and entered the riverside field beyond via a kissing gate.
  Only a stretch at the river’s edge is public; the field itself belongs to the private house beyond a smaller bridge to the owner’s garden. The view of the main, long bridge over the Great Ouse was bathed in the soft light from the wintry sun, and almost immediately I saw the chance of choosing a a spot from which to take a series of shots handheld to create a panorama. Adobe Lightroom has an excellent feature for this using Raw files, so selecting the best position, I carefully checked the necessary exposure, then set this on the camera and made this as my fixed exposure and manual focus and holding the camera vertically took eleven consecutive images from the left to the right extremities of the bridge, hoping to complete later the single image of its length. The resulting stitched image heads this piece.
I then reset the camera to Aperture Priority and continued taking photos from this side of the bridge, before returning to the kissing gate, and taking to the same side of the river, but on the other side of the bridge. The light persisted for most of my walk along the path and up to the weir and its lock, where I took a walk over the bridge and along the far side, before retracing my steps and returning across the far less inspiring bridge, where I got talking to a lone man who showed an interest in what photos I was taking. It was during this brief chat I asked him about where he had seen kingfishers and he mentioned Blunham, so this went into my notes of a further visit I should be making.
  On my return walk I began taking shots of the developing seeds of Ivy along the hedgerow, and finally, shots of the The Anchor’s signage and its environs. The completed panorama which stitched with only my shadow and an errant branch being retouched acts as the end piece to the gallery, so I headed homeward to process all the pictures I had been lucky to capture.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Marston Lake Walk, and 'Swims'

 
 
Rather late in the day, I will decided I would see whether the wind I had in Marston Moretaine was also blowing at Brogborough, but even before reaching the turn-off, I could see by the stillness of the trees I was passing there was not even a breath stirring the leaves on trees! As I came upon the gate to the Windsurfers’ parking area, it was firmly locked. I pulled into the small lay-by opposite the entry to the Anglers area, locked the car and wandered to the water’s edge to see whether there was any activity on the lake, and confirming there was not a soul or even a ripple on the surface, and strolled further along the shore to see if there were any walkers or birdlife, and having rounded the bend to see the full stretch, turned around and headed for Marston Lake.
Approaching the lay-by close to that lake, I crossed the road and parked so that when leaving I would be facing in the direction of Marston Moretaine. I had brought some crisps and a biscuit, so before grabbing my kit, I had a bite to eat. Just in case there was some birdlife around, I decided to take my long lens in its bag over my shoulder and belted to my waist. With the benefit of twenty-twenty foresight, I should have made the decision to forego that choice and relied entirely upon the EOS 5D and it’s 24-70mm lens that I had taken along, just-in-case! I did however take along my monopod having extended it to use as a walking stick, because my back was still weak from my last trip with the heavy Benbo tripod and the Sigma Sports 150-600mm!
I had decided that since the low light from a clear blue sky really enhanced the colours of the lake and the threadbare trees along its margins, I would be able to gather views of each ‘swim’ as I understand this to be the correct term for where anglers cast from. It struck me that putting together images of each and every spot around the lake might well be of interest for the club to promote itself either in print or on the Web. And purely from my angle it meant that the images would hang together as an entity when the gallery was visited.
I managed to cover just short of half the perimeter path around the lake before I realised that my back would probably give out if. I went too far, so I cut short my trip as the added (superfluous!) weight of the heavy camera and lens in the bag, meant I had a very good chance of doing myself further harm! The sun seemed to confirm my decision as being correct, as when I turned to retrace my steps the sun dimmed as the clouds began to slowly cover it and it began to head ever closer to the distant trees.
I also noted that there might well be a shortcut to my car, but it might prove to be tricky, especially as there was not only mature brambles, but a mound of mud and rubble to negotiate; having my monopod, came in very handy in checking the terrain, and also providing extra and very welcome support as I navigated a way through — successfully! This saved my back considerably as it meant at least four hundred less yards to cover with my unused burden of the heavy camera bag and totally redundant contents!
I felt that despite the additional burden, the images captured were worth the effort, and the exercise did me no harm, and it had been pleasantly warm throughout. I also met and chatted to three anglers along the way.