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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Monday, 9 December 2019

Fairford Leys 2019 Christmas Concert

Each year, Fairford Leys provides a Christmas Concert in the central square, and the Aylesbury Concert Band performs under the overhang of the colonnade to provide possible shade from the weather.
When we arrived, there were warming flames from braziers to welcome us, and the seats were already arranged for the Band, and as my daughter set up her Saxophone, I brought out my camera and placed the camera bag behind the players for security and chose the 24-70mm lens and checked its settings and took a shot of the nearby instrument to see what shutter speed I was having to consider, and despite the lighting being only from candles above us and the spill from numerous individual lights placed on the music stands by individual musicians, it was on the cusp of useable.
This was definitely going to be right on the edge of usability, as the ISO indicated was 12,800 and gave me a shutter speed of 1/5th of a second at f/7.1, which meant, I would often be taking multiple shots and 'chimping' to ascertain whether I had achieved an acceptable image. The one advantage that cameras with focal plane shutters have over shutters with iris blades is that the slit is travelling over the frame faster speed giving effectively a faster shutterspeed.
Another advantage the EOS R has over my other two camera bodies is this full-frame body has a higher pixel count than my EOS 5D MkII, which means the noise is less obtrusive, and with judicious use of noise reduction, the end result is slightly smoother. Towards the end of the afternoon, I was asked to take some group Band shots, and it was fortunate that I had brought along my electronic flash, because I would need to stop down further to encompass the greater depth needed for such shots.
The informality of the Concert here allows me to move around the band taking either individuals or small sections with reasonable ease, but with the narrow depth of the covered area, pillars and stands and other players, still meant getting perfect compositions unfettered by lights on music stands and banners, other musicians, or their instruments intruding, is unavoidable. Also at low light levels, I can easily miss the intrusions of these LED lights, clothes pegs, or sometimes, other instruments. There were no trombones on this occasion, which can sometimes be a challenge.
One noticeable absence on this occasion is Band uniforms, replaced by layers of warm outer garments, gloved fingers, festive headgear, flashing lights and large woollen scarves.
The programme of tunes was governed by the interspersing of other parties providing the Christmas narrative, which meant there were lulls in the Band's playing schedule, which often plays havoc with ever-changing notes due to cold instruments and often frozen lips of the musicians. It is fortunate that the Festive Spirit tends to accept these inevitabilities, and there are other diversions, such as the Cymbals, which add to the enjoyment of the players themselves! Altogether a very enjoyable introduction to the season of Goodwill.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Harold-Odell Country Park

Wednesday dawned bright and crisp, and the car which overnight had been encased in a thick frosty coat, was slowly warming in the bright sunshine above the low lying mist, thawing the windows from the rear of the parked car going forward.
The mist was also burning off though more slowly, and the sky above was a cloudless blue, which enticed me to consider a trip out to record life on the lake to the North of me at Harold-Odell Country Park. I had a leisurely breakfast, by which time the last of the frost had thawed making it a matter of moments to clear the moisture from the front and rear screens, and a swift lowering of the front door windows to clear them, before heading northwards. The only heavy traffic encountered was on the section of the A421 currently narrowed and speed-restricted from the M1 Junction northwards till the dual carriageway.
When I reached my destination there were roadworks just before the turning for the car park, so I parked on the right before the entrance in the small very muddy lay-by. It is was at this point that my day’s luck ran out. Somehow my car key had been damaged earlier in my pocket, and I found that I was unable to use the open switch on it, and using the key manually left me no means by which I could open the boot! Add to my annoyance, my alarm sounded as well due to the delay in discovering that I had to turn that off whilst the key was in the Ignition! It took some while for me to work out a way to get around this Snafu! My woes did not end there, as I had left my monopod in the house, and it had my tripod head on it, so all my shooting was going to be handheld. It was therefore a blessing that at least the exposures were going to be fast enough for my long lens.
Before entering the Park, I wanted to get some shots of the lingering mist and the distant churches before the sun burned this off, and even as I was taking these the mist was lifting, and the distant scene was crispening.
I had hoped I might see Grebe on the water, but they were nowhere to be seen, gulls and Mallards were in the majority, and swan families were reasonably numerous too. Along the margins inshore I kept spotting a Robin, but it was too flighty, rarely still long enough for me to get a focus, before it was off elsewhere.
I only stayed long enough to capture a few representative shots, before it became obvious there were no new views to be had.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Aylesbury Concert Band — Christmas Carols — St. Mary’s Church

A crisply cold afternoon in the warmth and welcoming atmosphere that pervades this Annual event hosted by the Town’s Mayor, Councillor Mike Smith, with the Reverend Douglas Zimmerman officiating.
The readings were given by the Town Mayor, followed by His Honour Judge Sheridan DL, Fran Bourgeois-Wheeler, CEO Youth Concern, Julia Upton, MBE, High Sherriff of Buckinghamshire, Group Captain Katherine Wilson, CO, RAF Halton, Alicia Foster, Thames Valley Police Cadets.
  The start of the afternoon’s ceremony was heralded by the Band playing the Pavane from Aylesbury Dances by Wiffin, which brought the general level of Audience conversations down as the local dignitaries filed in from the rear to take their designated seats at the front of the congregation, and the Rector of St. Mary’s welcomed all to the Season’s singing praises to God.

It was less easy than some years to cover the event, as I was shooting from a comparatively low viewpoint, and current etiquette requires avoidance of the young children, which is almost impossible, so I have tried to lessen the lighting on those in the forefront where possible. I hope however that I have still recorded the ambience of the event without causing offence.