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…


View any Gallery by Clicking the relevant TEXT Headline

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Lone Windsurfer at Brogborough

The wind was just below gale force in gusts, which I was certain would attract windsurfers to gravitate towards Brogborough Lake to take advantage of the dry conditions; the missing factors were sunshine and warmth! I gathered the serious kit as well as the mirrorless LUMIX, and as I approached the entrance I wondered whether the gate was open, and it was, which is always a good sign.
I pulled into the spot I generally used; and looking around, found I was only the third car into the car park. As yet, it looked as if only one person was considering taking to the lake — Geoff, and he seemed to be in no particular hurry to be putting on his wet suit.
The wind was brisk, and I soon realised that I was not as well-prepared as I had assumed. I had presumed that a coat was in the boot should I need extra protection, but when I opened it, I was soon disabused of that! So, my time was going to be spent exactly as I was dressed presently, as it was far too much trouble to go back for extra clothing.
For the first time for quite some time, I lost several images, and I think it was due to my using the same memory card in two different cameras. From now on having formatted a card for my Canon camera, I will avoid using it in a different manufacturer’s unless not only it is re-formatted, but specifically it was reformatted in the specific manufacturer’s camera. There were several shots of Geoff that I took on a card that had the remnants of a previous visit to Brogborough taken on my Canon EOS R, that became unreachable later when, I came to download them.

I will now designate specific cards to my Canon gear, and try to remember to Always reformat a card in camera after download has been completed, rather than just Occasionally. Also designate a Single, Specific card for the LUMIX. I was aware that many users format every time, but having never before faced this issue, possibly because all my gear was Canon till now, this situation had never occurred. So, my apologies to Geoff for so few shots.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Harrold-Odell Avian Observations

In the lull between the wind and rain of recent days, I headed for the lakes at Harold-Odell; at first there was some sunshine, but that became milkier, as the afternoon wore on.
        At this time of year, the capturing of images is determined by the nuances of weather; dull days with wind can often be the source of dramatic monochrome shots that give drama, wind and sun can provide the drama on the nearby lake for its windsurfing community, sun with less wind can attract powerboats on a different equally close lake. The lakes at this location feature a variety of birds, and on this visit, the two species in greatest numbers were Swans and gulls.
One species I had not encountered before was the Goosander, and there was a pair, sadly at too great a distance for really good shots on this occasion as I had made the decision to use the LUMIX 10002 on this visit; it was the male I had spotted as being of interest as  a bird I had not encountered before. It was only in a conversation later in the afternoon that a local Warden to whom I was showing some of the shots informed me that I had in fact got some shots of the female! There is a lot to be learned from conversation with others.
The gallery started by my hoping to capture a sighting of a grey Squirrel in the trees on the left as one enters, but actually what caught my eye were clumps of flowers, the first tentative signs of Spring, no Squirrel on this occasion. I made my way to the fenced off bank by the break in the shoreline trees, where the more fearless of birds come, knowing that parents of young children are to be found offering seeds and bread to bring them close.
Mallard ducks and drakes were the most numerous, followed by swooping gulls squawking loudly in the hope of diving in earlier than other species on the water. A behaviour that surprised and baffled me somewhat was how presumably the parent swans would aggressively drag Cygnets away by the neck, or with heads low on the water, chase their young away.
The light was fading, and by the back of the Restaurant were some raised flower boxes with an array of coloured Spring flowers that caught my eye, so colour topped and tailed the gallery of birds.
My phone alerted me that the time had arrived for me to take my next antibiotic to calm my raging toothache, so I sought out a glass of water with which to take it, which was how I had come into contact with the warden who had told me of the Goosanders.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Windy and Sunny at Brogborough Lake

               Sun and wind was forecast for the Saturday afternoon, and for a change I was arriving fairly early, as I expected that combination would attract some interest amongst the windsurfing fraternity and certainly there seemed to be a fair amount of interest, so I set to immediately opening the boot of my car and erecting the heavy Benbo tripod. The camera I chose was the EOS R and I decided to put the 1.5 Converter on the Sigma 60-600mm Sports lens. This combination would allow me to capture a good overall range from the shore to the anticipated distance, judging from those sailors already on the water.
                The first observation I made was that there were at least two sailors who were out on hydrofoils, so this aspect of windsurfing is gaining traction. As I noted that the jetty at the far end was already under water, I decided that working from the shore would seem to be a sensible idea, since with the wind, had I been on the jetty, my camera gear was very likely to be at risk of suffering from waves breaking over the end that was already awash.
I was pleased that the wind direction did give me some opportunities of the sailors heading straight towards me on occasion. I was soon shooting, but after those whom I had seen preparing their boards were out on the lake, I did not see the overall numbers growing, which did surprise me a little, as although what wind there was, was often in short gusts, there was both sun and a reasonable amount of wind for most of the time.
                It was good to see that the numbers of hydrofoilers was rising, and amongst their number they were gaining experience of staying aloft for longer in the turns. It will be interesting to see whether the numbers will rise still further as the year progresses.
                On this visit, I tended to shoot more, due to the quality of the light, and cull far more shots back here when I was putting the gallery together. Also, I only shot from the same spot as I did not fancy a trek through mud to select a different viewpoint.
                I did not stay all that long as I knew that I would not get through my editing in good time if I stayed too long taking many more shots. I hope they give as much pleasure to those whom I captured as they did me in their taking.

Friday, 7 February 2020

1st 2020 Visit to Harrold-Odell

I needed to practice how to get the most out of a recent acquisition, the Fujix FZ1000 MkII. How I came to purchase the camera in the first place was fortuitous in the extreme. It came about when I recently visited the London Photography Show by SWPP in West London. I was due to meet up with fellow Photographer, Steve Scrase, who joined a photographic studio just as I was leaving, many moons ago, and with whom I have remained in contact ever since. I was coming from out of London, parking up near a Tube Station then using the Underground to reach the venue where later we would meet up after his arrival. We arranged to meet on the Panasonic Stand, from where he was phoning, I met up with him moments later and he related that a colleague of his had bought the Fujix FZ 1000 MkII, and was highly impressed with the quality of the results. I did play with it and asked lots of questions
The clincher was the Show price. The price point was achieved by the use of plastic in its construction and the lack of extensive weather-sealing, it therefore meant there would be limitations to some of its use, but I possess kit that has that level and more of protection, so it does not compete, but with a Leica lens and such versatility it very definitely has a place in my kit! It was one of the fastest decisions I ever made for a camera, and placed my order at the Show and received it a few days later. I left the decision of buying a spare battery and charger till later, when I had had proper opportunities to understand and use it for real.
The outcome of the decisions I made can be seen in particular in the gallery of pictures on my blog, headed: ‘A Church and the River bank’, in which every shot was taken with that camera, and all handheld. Although I can say this camera will not supplant my use of the Sigma Sports 60-600mm lens, I can equally state I will not be using that lens handheld, so this is very much a case of ‘Horses for Courses’.
I took along both mentioned cameras lenses to this Lake and made just one mistake, I generally used the Sigma with the 2x Converter attached, which due to where my chosen subjects were was a wrong decision as I should have only added the 1.5 converter bearing in mind the low level of light on my subjects! However, it was worth my while to always keep both converters with me and their caps, but in this gallery, only the metadata will answer which camera was used.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

A Church and a River bank

Relying on my Memory is increasingly an issue, and so it proved this particular morning. I was aiming to take a look at the state of the water level, at a particular spot on the River Great Ouse, so I duly set a destination at the village that my failing memory suggested was one of the previous destinations set into my SatNav. I was way off as my SatNav confidently said that my destination was now just ahead – in 200 yards! 
Well, I recognised the spot, but certainly not for this reason! I recognised that I had in truth visited this destination on a previous occasion, but it was most definitely not the destination where I wanted to be!
I searched for a suitable spot to pull in so that I could investigate further, and in safety. This took me a further mile before there was anywhere that I would not be a problem for other drivers, and as I had been travelling slowly, I now had a queue behind me, with the lead car sitting right on my rear bumper! It was almost another mile before I could see a spot that I could accelerate ahead far enough to avoid annoying the leader of the queue behind and then park up!
I then had a further look at both my record of journeys and a separate printed map and realised my mistake, and hoped that my new destination choice was correct. It was soon after setting off, I came into Felmersham, and there was the briefest of moments, when the sun broke through the gathering clouds, so I had to choose a suitable gap in the traffic to be able to stand in the road for the best angles, and obviously miss some opportunities when the cars were then in my picture, but my patience was rewarded and on each lucky moment the light was subtly different almost every time as can be seen in the shots I took. I soon returned to the car as by now the cloud cover was almost complete, so got back on the road.

Fortunately, this time my guess of the destination was successful, though the turning to the lane did not seem familiar, but as I drove further down it became familiar. After I had turned the car round to park up facing my journey’s return direction, I tried the door of a lady I had met on a previous visit, but sadly she was not in, so I took out my camera and walked to the water’s edge, and the water level was still very high, so no chance of walking along the bank, but at least there were a couple of interesting views, though in very lacklustre lighting. As I headed back to the car, I spotted the lady with whom I was hoping to meet. She kindly invited me into her house and we spent a relaxing time chatting over a cup of tea, and biscuits. Before leaving I took a few shots of some of the early Spring flowers, and hoped that they would survive the frosts that would soon arrive.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Brogborough Test of Lumix FZ1000 MkII

The weather brightened for a while, and enticed me to consider taking just the Lumix FZ 1000 MkII, the mirrorless body with a fixed zoom equal to 25-400mm, out to the lake at Brogborough. Since there was a reasonable wind blowing I anticipated there would be windsurfers out on the water to take advantage.
  By the time I was ready to leave, much of the promise of sunshine was rapidly dwindling, but the chance to find out how this camera might perform was too great a draw, and my only slight disappointment was just how few sailors had decided to grab the opportunity. Certainly, compared to setting up my Sigma 60-600mm on the heavy Benbo tripod, to ready this camera, was a mere matter of removing the soft cover and switching the power on – a breeze!
  It was not long before I had taken a few shots of the meagre number of windsurfers who were out on the lake, and I broke off to chat to some of those on the lakeside, before seeing just how effective this new ‘toy’ was able to perform; certainly compared to the Sigma, this was way short in terms of the size of image I was accustomed to expect at the long lens end, so I needed to position myself as close to the shore as possible, even at the long end of the range, since the sailors were at a reasonable distance from me. At first this seemed a bit of a disappointment, but once I had ‘chipped and zoomed in on the shots I had managed, I was fairly happy with the results. The cloud cover had increased from the start, but after I had taken some two hundred images, of which I would only use a mere forty-five, I felt I had enough material to look through and assess this camera’s potential for use here in the future. My conclusion after creating the gallery, was that if time was short and this camera were at hand, it would definitely be usable, but it certainly was never going to provide the same coverage I can get with my Sigma Sports lens, more especially as that is absolutely excellent when I also can attach the 2x Converter!
  I now knew if this camera was with me, and there was activity on the lake, I did have an excellent backstop to capture some action. As a technical reference, these were all taken at ISO 2000, so the quality achievable is more than adequate. I now know there is still more potential here once I really understand how to get the best out of it.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

2020 1st DigiCluster Meeting – West Herts College

 
 
On this occasion, I travelled without company, and the journey was slow with heavy traffic, which was further exacerbated by a Breakdown Vehicle in attendance on the Exit Slip Road from the M1 Motorway, but I still managed to arrive reasonably early at the venue, the West Hertfordshire College Campus. Those already present were in several groups engaged in animated conversation.
Even as I assembled my camera and checked settings the room was filling and among several faces I knew I was greeted warmly and it was not long before I was capturing the growing numbers of attendees, and groups were forming with genuine interest in involvement, and there were obviously some newcomers. Whilst it was less than full, I took the opportunity to capture some images involving the majority of those attending so that there was a good chance that all were captured to individual advantage in lively conversation.
Many of those attending were gesticulating with great energy, and that is always something that attracts my attention, just as much as those to whom the actions were reinforcing either their individual descriptions or the underlying humour of situations they were retelling. Not being a movie taker, but a moment capturer, I have tried to record the varying emphasis being made by some of the moments I followed.
It was quite a time spent socialising before formality was brought to the occasion as speakers Jeremy Freeman of SmartGiving and Loiuse Towler of Indigotree took the floor to give their ninety second pitches, both of which were received intently by the audience.
There followed the Fireside chat, with Syd Nadeem introducing Lucy Mann of Gunpowder Consulting to the audience, and gently providing questions to maintain the momentum, and ending by inviting questions from the audience.
During these talks, I observed the audience activities as well as the speakers to give a balance to the atmosphere and later, the attendee interactions and further conversations both amongst themselves and with the speakers. I thoroughly enjoyed how much non-verbal communication in terms of gesticulations and facial and body language plays such a part in these human interactions. And, this camera I was using for the very first time gave me the opportunity to often distance myself further from my subjects because of the range of its zoom. For those interested in the technicalities: it was the Lumix FZ1000 MkII with its extended longer focal length reach zoom.
However, despite spending several hours beforehand attempting to familiarise myself with this camera, I came unstuck a few times, and so missed shots, despite taking a total of 640 and only putting out a mere 245, so the Cutting Room Floor, read ‘Bin’ was reasonably full! I hope those attending enjoy reliving the moments I captured.