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.

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Monday, 20 January 2020

Very Brief Visit to Marston Lake

Once again I started out way too late, but despite this I was still determined to make the most of my afternoon, by visiting my nearest lake, Marston Lake. There was edge-to-edge blue sky, and I parked right at the nearest shore to the entrance. And the number of birds on the water was way more than on my last visit which was heartwarming, and also as I scanned the water, I spotted one of my favourite birds, a Grebe.
It was surprisingly close, but sadly it took a while to get the camera mounted on the tripod, by which time it was at least twice the distance from me than I had first caught sight of it. Undeterred, I patiently watched to see whether it would come closer, but after each dive, it seemed to be increasing its distance from me.
At a much greater distance were Cormorants. Although not one of my favourite birds, Cormorants can sometimes have some interesting traits, and I was interested in the behaviour I observed of a couple near some stunted trunks of dead trees a good distant from my position. Their greater size slightly nullified the extra distance from my position, and there was some interesting interaction between two of their number as they occupied the branches of a long-dead submerged tree. It appeared the bird that was perched on one such stump was considered by another to have a good position, the other decided that s/he had been there for long enough, so was attempting to dislodge it, with little success; as the incumbent was unmoved, and stared the usurper down! Stretching its wings to dry them, the incomer seemed to be a tad threatening, but to no avail — the stand-off continued.
There were some Gulls, Coots, and a Swan also on the water, but all way closer to the farther shore, so I presume they knew that I was unlikely to venture to that far shore as I would be shooting against the light – birds are quite canny, and know quite a lot about humans; their behaviour, and what kit these pesky humans use to photograph them – on numerous occasions, kingfishers have approached really close, knowing full well that my long lenses have no chance of focussing that close! They are bright enough to perch on the static rods of Anglers, who in turn use those opportunities to get better shots than many a professional, by quietly using their phones to capture those fortuitous visitor events! We often study animal behaviour for any number of reasons; self-preservation, curiosity or to extend our knowledge, should we therefore believe that other species do not make similar observations and react accordingly. The time a Kingfisher circled twice really close to my camera, was I wrong to consider it might actually be fully aware that I did not track its movements when it approached close, from previous examples of such dismissive behaviour by others of my species?
My earliest sightings of Grebe on this occasion were when I had yet to assemble the camera on a tripod, and just before leaving, I ventured beyond my car in the direction of the dead-end of the lake path which is marked off-limits to anglers, when one Grebe came similarly close and I was shielded by high bushes on this occasion and was able to get my final shots.

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