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

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Brogborough – Fitful Wind


The fewer visits of Windsurfers to the lake has allowed the native avian community to reclaim the lawn in front of the Clubhouse as their latrine. To ensure the humans fully understand their claim they have put down a deposit making our navigation a tad more wary!

From the start I put up my heavy tripod, the Benbo, to give me a firm platform and a level horizon to the images I planned to capture. One sailor I had not seen in a while was Richard McKeating. Sam had alerted me to the diversity of craft the Sailors would be using on this day, and I suspect he also navigated the Three Musketeers Group into position for me to capture ‘The Gang’ — which definitely required skill in the unpredictable wind conditions; so I hope he was pleased that I took note! In return, I hope he appreciated my also capturing his square-on wing shot! — complete with level board! It also gives the impression of a winking girl! Perhaps he’ll consider an A4 print for his Man Cave?!

This visit was not the longest of my recent visits to the lake, but at least it has taken less time to reach the participants than my last recording of the lake’s activity. I commend it to the participants.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Brogborough and Wind


  Brogborough Lake greeted the windsurfers with wind and variable sunshine, and the variations in response, skill levels and what caught the eye of my camera, meant I was kept on my toes all the time. Initially I planned to use my monopod to be able to react speedily, but I soon changed to using my heaviest and sturdiest of tripods. I was helped in this decision by the gusty wind, and also by my desire to capture sequences where some were using their wingsails for airborne excursions beyond the lake’s water surface. As a direct result of this activity, I have created some galleries so the sequence of such events is useful for later inspection, since some such occasions did end unexpectedly.

Another aspect of the enforced closure of the lake caused by Covid restrictions, was that the lakeside lawn was shared by several young families of Canada Geese and Greylag Geese, and also their subsequent, less welcome lack of healthy toilet considerations. Several of these families were there with their new youngsters with their parents in close attendance; naturally I captured some of this activity in addition to the human attempts at flight from some of the windsurfers.

The variety therefore of activities has meant a delay in putting up a record of this particular lake action, but I hope it proves to be worth revisiting once I have it up on the blog. The delay is longer than usual due to the sheer number of images to sort, and the current sluggishness of my computer. I trust my recording of the activity extends the enjoyment of all those participating.

I have extracted the series of shots of a particular jump sequence from Sam Barnes, because he started from the water alongside another Kitesurfer and was in the air with this fellow watching events unfolding behind him! There is a second sequence I have separated out, which due to the angle from which the jump was viewed is more anonymous, but equally useful presumably to show position and height achieved.

Jump Sequence 1 SamBarnesAirborneSequence          16

Jump Sequence 2 BrogLake-DeceptiveAngleJumpSequence 16

Jump Sequence 3 LongerJumpSequence                 16

Jump Sequence 4 Small Jump Sequence                 12

  I apologise for the delay, but I hope everyone who was out on the lake that afternoon enjoys reliving those moments.

Monday, 10 May 2021

Sunny Visit to Priory Park Bedford


The weather was warm and bright, and it had been a fair time since I had been to this place, but I was really looking forward to what it was going to offer on this occasion. What really pleased and surprised me was the variety of subjects. I had been concerned that it might be difficult to keep my distance from the expected numbers of people I would encounter as the weather was so warm and bright, but everything went well, and finding subjects for the camera was no problem at all.

Although the camera kit I brought with me gave me various opportunities, I only put the 60-600mm Sigma zoom on the Canon EOS R6, and attached it to the monopod with a small ball joint head, so I could have a stable support with minimal weight. As I have found from excursions in the recent past, this is kit I can carry all day long with excellent scope for almost every aspect of images I am likely to encounter. Although I did have another lens in my rucksack should I encounter subjects that needed real closeups, but everything that came my way, or I found when deep in the woods never needed any change.

One surprise for me were the zealous swans, as on more than a single occasion I would see one head aggressively towards another at high speed and with much slapping of wings on the water, causing the victim to head away at high speed. Now, I have no idea of the sex of the participants, and whether it was predatory or sexual, but my guess is that it could be related to both. I did my best to cover the encounters which seemed to occur a few times in quick succession, but my observations never settled on a conclusion.

There were times when shots I had hoped to capture failed, one in particular was definitely down to my not spotting a bird a few feet in front of me; it was very close, and only broke cover when I had become a foot away! Another failure was a series of shots where the bird I was panning was flying against the rippled water surface, and the entire sequence held the rippled water in focus, not the bird in flight, surprisingly I had not noticed this whilst shooting, a failure which really annoyed me!

I noticed that I spent longer in the park than the majority, so perhaps afternoon tea drew the majority to their homes. On my return trip back to the car, I closed the monopod leg, considering the afternoon’s shooting was over, when I came across a couple of energetic magpies, only to put the camera back to work for one last time.

I found the afternoon rewarding, and well worth the extra miles to exercise my legs and brain, and I hope that those who take the time to look at the images enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed the challenge of taking them.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Brief Recent Brogborough Lake Visit

        Time is a Commodity that is very precious, and I do my best to fill the hours in the most productive and satisfying manner, which under the present situation, my most valued activity is the taking of pictures. The hours spent keep me occupied mentally and physically and I am very fortunate in that this area abounds with places that provide me with activities that are challenging, such as the windsurfers on Brogborough Lake, and sailing and powerboat aficionados, on Stewartby Lake and, slightly further afield, the River Great Ouse in Bedford which has rowers, canoeists, insect- and bird-life, as well as nearby parks and woodland. All have provided me with subjects for my cameras and lenses, whilst involving both exercise, relaxation, and mental stimulation, not to mention, albeit at healthy distances; interaction with fellow humans, some of whom have shared photographic interests.
        This gallery indicates a small but varied set of images as evidence of my observations and interest over a couple of days, which were vital for my peace of mind as there have been several situations causing me considerable stress, some of which remain unresolved; and unrelated.
        It is reassuring to note that presently it would appear I must be providing others with something of similar interest because over eleven hundred visitors seemingly have spent some time, either looking at the galleries or reading the accompanying narrative. My only regret is that so few readers leave comments (I am not looking for flattery, but reader’s suggestions of subject matter, or locations for further visits that others have enjoyed and succeeded in capturing similar subjects or activities).
        I miss human contact, and variety, so every one of my ventures armed with a camera are of great personal satisfaction, and stress-relieving, but Variety is the Spice of Life, and very much something I seek. Earlier this year, I bought a new Canon body, and it was a difficult decision, but proved to be one of merit; it proved to allow me to spend more time using my Sigma 60-600mm on a monopod without sacrificing quality, because the stability of the monopod alone when using the EOSR 6 meant I could walk with it all day without becoming tired! This means I can even part with some of my other lenses because this Sigma is so impressive.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Maulden Afternoon Visit – Somewhat Random Images

Some days do not turn out as expected, but in the present situation I find myself, it seemed not unreasonable to go with the flow when I found it difficult to find the spot where the map seemed to indicate a lake. The young lady who was engaged in dropping leaflets through letter boxes, seemed the ideal person to ask for help, as I was assuming her local knowledge would provide the answer. She very kindly took a look on her phone, whose screen was far larger than mine, and gave me some directions, for which I thanked her, and headed in that direction.

Sadly, I must have slipped up along the way, for I found no indication of the proposed destination, however, I did spot something that caught my eye — I often see trees that have been the site of an abundance of balls of mistletoe, but never so many as seven different sizes on a single tree. I pulled up and parked on a widened area of verge, and attached my EOS R6 to the 24—70mm lens. I was assisted for part of the time by sunshine bringing some detail to the spherical growth of this parasite.

As a direct result of this distraction, I eventually came to the village of Maulden, where I parked near the green close by where a fellow photographer I used to know once lived. I made a quick call to mention where I happened to be, and surprisingly, he greeted me by name, so he must have recognised my number! We had quite a chat, even though it has to be at least seven years since we last spoke! After the call, I continued shooting occasionally walking to different spots to capture both human and bird activity and various plants I came across that appealed to my eye. Since I had got a shot of a girl walking her horse, and was within hailing distance, I asked whether she minded my photographing her, to which she had no complaint. Although I took a shot of a light aircraft with the short focal length lens, it was a testament to how good both the camera and lens performs as its number and propeller blade are visible. The pigeon on the distant roof ridge were on the 60-600mm, which would not have fared as well on the shorter zoom lens.

Altogether, an enjoyable excursion with pleasing results, and both lenses justifying my choice to have to hand. Obviously, the longer lens had it been attached at the time would have made a considerable difference to the light aircraft shot, but that it resolved the propeller blade was still a testament to both camera and lens.


For the observant among you, I apologise for not correcting the text to the blog gallery text which repeats itself at the end (dittographic error!) but sadly may I just apologise, as altering it at present will give grief to my son in law, who is kindly helping me out… Put it down to falling dominoes in 'anno domini' ! Try not reading the titles, and look at the pictures instead. Note to teacher:  I must try harder, Sir!

 

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Nearby Stewartby

     

It was warm, but overcast when I parked up beyond the railway bridge on the outskirts of Stewartby. I assembled the EOS R6 on the monopod with the 60-600mm Sigma lens and crossed the road to enter the path leading to the open area beyond. I was lucky to get just three frames of a pair of Greylag Geese heading in the general direction of Ampthill, and one was fortunate to be used at the start of the two page gallery of images from my brief visit.

I was hoping for more birds and possibly rabbits, but the rabbits spotted me and scampered into the bushes before I could even consider a shot! They never reappeared. I spent a few minutes to see whether they re-appeared, then a few moments taking a look at the small lake bordered by reeds, but no signs of life appeared there either!

Every so often trains passed on the raised lines in both directions so I captured a few shots of them, which was good panning practice, and the new EOS R6 body performs excellently in giving me crisp images in short fast bursts. For those interested, I was shooting at ISO 1250, which at exposures of around 1/800 at f/10 gives excellent detail, with no need to smooth out Noise, and the sign writing on the side of the trains is totally legible despite the train passing at high speed. The quality this camera extracts from the Sigma lens across its range is faultless, and when it is sunny I am happy using the 2x Converter which for Sports and Wildlife shots, only using a monopod is a joy.

I am really looking forward to the relaxing of Lockdown and some wind to be blowing at Brogborough to enjoy using this new body at the extremes! Canon and Sigma – Thank you!



Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Milton Ernest River Walk

An afternoon walk in the mild sunshine alongside the River Great Ouse from Milton Ernest with my  Sigma 60-600mm lens on the Canon EOS R6 mounted on a monopod. This combination is really a highly effective tool for capturing nature and wildlife without over burdening one self with weighty kit. Granted, it is not as stable as a tripod, but I am able to carry this all day without fatigue, and in bright sunlight, as it was on this visit to the River Great Ouse, I was able to use a fairly low ISO speed setting for much of the time. I had a rucksack on my back with another lens should the need arise; the Canon 24-60mm lens with its handy macro facility — when encountering a steep slope or pushing nettles out of the way, a monopod is a handy tool!

On this occasion, my outward trip was to just beyond the overhead bridge arches for the railway where I was able to get a few shots of some cattle on the farther shore, before I turned and made the return trip. Since it was a weekday, and Lockdown is easing, it was unsurprising to find fewer people either out on their own or with family members, but considering the weather I had expected to find more people than I encountered. I enjoyed the exercise, and once again I made an observation that despite returning along the same route, I still found subjects to photograph as I retraced my steps to my start point. Springtime offers colour to the trees with blossom, and has an a effect upon the animal kingdom too, as the birds on the water were in pairs, but surprisingly on this stretch I only saw two pairs of birds, and a week back when in woodland, there was less birdsong, and not as much generally in terms of wildlife. Perhaps the majority of birds were on the nest. It was a workday afternoon, which certainly had a bearing on the paucity of humans, for which I am not complaining.

One of my pleasures when out taking pictures in the great outdoors is playing about with the juxtaposition of subjects and their backgrounds or environment, and the observation of patterns whether natural or manmade, or differing colours or textures in the same image. Likewise contrasts between colours or tones or textures, and this gallery has more than its share of such pairings, and be defined as the characteristics of this one afternoon’s output, yet was not specifically intentional. I wonder how many readers of the blog will make that connection.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Two Visits – Pure Serendipity

  On this trip out, I spotted the entrance to woodland with a short lay-by handily situated immediately opposite. This seemed like a welcome invitation, since I had never visited it previously, and if it warranted a display board to announce itself, it seemed like bad manners not to accept the invitation to visit and explore.

I parked up and decided on what I would take with me and soon I found myself walking along a wide well-kept path bordered with lush grass, and young bluebells with trees displaying fresh young leaves soon to be opening to welcome Spring. The sun had little difficulty in providing its rays to hasten this growth which would be lost to the full glare within a very short time as the wood lost its present sparse look to provide shade for those who would walk their dogs along these avenues.

My walk through these avenues encountered just a few people exercising their dogs, a small young family group and one couple who stopped to chat, and mention that as they had been walking along the parallel path, the man suggested I might well find an interesting shot of a small clump of flowers growing in the cleft of a tree. He was indeed correct!

Later, I spotted a sign to a derelict church, so followed the lane and took a few shots there before returning to the main road and continuing my return trip home. The afternoon proved to be very rewarding by relieving any stress caused by my current isolation from my family.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Another River Gt. Ouse Visit


There are times when Britain defies the idea that all we talk about is our weather, and this day, certainly in Bedfordshire, just had to be one where everywhere I turned everyone simply got on with enjoying it! There were no clouds to be seen from horizon to horizon, just clear blue. I had headed north to a place I had visited on the river that seems to wander in circles around the county, never giving a clue as to where it might be heading. Perhaps the message is: “Forget your compass, just follow me”! I did just that after taking the A421 north until I could get on the A603 and headed to Great Barford. The bridge here tells a story, it has many arches meaning it was built to defy the river and reach beyond its clutches to reach other destinations rather than be contained by its leisurely meanderings. Yes, the river provided water for growing crops, but it also gave the means to reach elsewhere to sell them and to reach higher ground to be safe from its dangers. The bridge not only has many arches, but it has history — a record of being constantly rebuilt stronger and wider over centuries — people here needed the river, and realised it had to be managed.

On this day the river gave over some of its power to the people to be enjoyed, and the sunshine brought them out cheerfully and in relaxed mood, small family groups remained in relaxed isolation, or walked with young families, or exercised with their dogs; older folk sat on some of the benches, at peace, watching others pursue their activities. People individually enjoying both the calm and the exercise in the open fields or on the paths, or on the water, paddling or tending their boats. In the air were birds flying, also with no clearly defined destination; Time appeared to have slowed down in the mild air, and even the young children appeared serene.

I spent some time at the same pace capturing what I saw, before moving elsewhere to see a pair of tractors tilling the ground and raising the dry soil in the slight breeze. I moved elsewhere to capture views of some of the houses and churches and, the ravens and pigeons on the ground or the pollarded trees, and finally I got shots of Spring blossom, fields of golden rapeseed and before leaving the area, I strolled around a lone church which remains consecrated, but like its neighbour buildings seems to be from a bygone era; in retirement.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Another Riverside Walk


  I set off from Marston Moretaine, and headed towards Bedford, and the destination on this occasion was the River Great Ouse at Willington, having parked in some shade, I put my 60-600mm Sigma into my rucksack, and mounted the Canon EOS R6 with the 24-70mm + Macro facility on the monopod, and set off past the Dovecote to the entrance to the woods and the river. I carried a spare fully charged battery, as the one in the camera was only half-charged.

  The first image I took simply appealed to my sense of humour in that the dead tree seemed to depict a Klu Klux Clansman with other bleached and petrified stumps nearby. Am I alone in  visualising faces, animals, and other features in the trees as I walk in woods? As trees age, and branches break off and the trees heal, I frequently see heads or other features form animals and birds without human intervention, and later this same day I come across examples of carving that are not simply happenstance as well as a querulous raised eyebrow that was definitely not the result of human intervention.

  I met and chatted to a few fellow walkers at healthy distanced proximity, and enjoyed a pleasant Spring walk with my camera.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

A Lake and a River Visit

           This is a gallery from two different locations; one at the nearby lake at Brogborough, but then moves to the river Great Ouse at Great Barford, on an exceptionally bright day. The early shots at the lake had several shots of the reflections on the water, which handily provide me with background images for greetings cards, which provide backgrounds for messages or for inserting small separate images. I also took various other lake views, and some tulips in my own garden before transitioning to the shots I took at Great Barford.

          Parking was no problem, but I had almost reached the river before realising I had not brought my mask from the car (if asked how do I exercise, it is by forgetting to bring my mask from the car, having walked most of the distance to my destination, and have to return to the car, and make the initial journey a second time!) I find this failing memory extremely frustrating, especially as I seem to have damaged the cartilage in my right knee.

          For the early part of my trip I mainly used my general purpose wide angle to medium length zoom, with its extremely handy button for when I need to do closeup shots. Later, I changed to the 100-400mm for some more distant shots. It was pleasing to find that here social distancing was being observed very well, unlike some of my earlier trips, where the main offenders were groups of inconsiderate cyclists who seemed to consider themselves above such considerations for others.


Sent from my iPad

Friday, 16 April 2021

Milton Ernest Flowers


Every so often, I feel blessed that not only is the sun out, but I am somewhere that really benefits my choice of venue to take photos, and this afternoon at a spot by the River Great Ouse, Spring flowers greet me. My lens of choice for such a situation is the extremely versatile 24-70mm lens with its handy macro facility. The gallery of images displayed on this occasion are taken close to the river at Milton Ernest.

The size of the flowers I captured range from the smallest, a few millimetres in diameter to clusters of full-size variegated tulips, which shows how versatile this one lens can be when used exclusively on the EOS R6, as I was that afternoon. After my long telephoto zooms this is one of my favourite lenses because of this very versatility.

What pleased me amongst these images were the interesting curves that the leaf blades formed alongside the flowers themselves. I rounded off the set of images with shots of the river bank and, as I walked back up the lane, the clouds looked ominous over my parked car, so I captured that as a fitting end to my afternoon.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Marston Moretaine Garden Flowers


  Brogborough Lake had been open, and in good weather that temptation was a magnet, but the sheer number of photos I was able to capture coupled with a computer that is not performing at full speed made my most recent task of putting a gallery of windsurfing pictures up on my blog a real pain to achieve at my normal speed. So, having put those pictures up, I needed the therapy offered by the taking of more photos, but without the same level of urgency, and the new season’s arrival was having a noticeable, and beneficial effect upon the gardens along my road. So, not wishing to miss the opportunity of less energetic image capture, my camera and I, with its general purpose lens and its extremely handy feature offering a macro facility at the slide of a button took a stroll along the main road of Marston Moretaine. 

The houses alongside this road, all featured front gardens to offset the effects of the volume of traffic upon the owners’ peace and quiet and their health; and tended to take considerable efforts to make the most of the opportunity to create a wealth of bushes, flowers and trees, and my walks take advantage of the colour and life that follows. I had paid a visit to both the different Co-ops to buy food, and noted the gardens that offered the greatest potential for images that might later offer handy subjects for cards in the coming months. Upon my return, I offloaded the purchases to my cupboards, fridge and freezer and gathered the camera with the 24-70mm lens with its handy macro facility.

     It was an interesting and rewarding walk up to the main road and back along both sides of the road at times, and was both relaxing and rewarding, and I hope that others can enjoy the fruits of my short trip.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Windsurfing and Other Activities on the Lake


Sorry for the overlong delay in getting any photos up on the blog this time around, but the reason is that the sunshine resulted in my making the most of the time I was down at the Lake, and the sheer volume I had then to work through has meant that even now,  I have decided to get the first half of what I recorded up, so that the pressure is relieved somewhat.

What has also not helped is that my several hard drives have filled, and my new 8TB drive has yet to be optimised for speed! So I hope that the first tranche of shots, at least gave some indication of what caught my eye, whilst I try to get get my house tidied a tad, and then offload a separate set of even more recent shots, before going back to part two of the Brog pics.

Meantime, enjoy these. Sam, Although you caught me a bit off guard, I surprised my self by capturing a higher percentage than I had thought — but I am sorry that you all had to wait quite a while for the results in part two. I feel sure that you’ll not be disappointed! My speed currently is not as fast as I wold hope, but I am running on empty currently and it shows, and my right knee cartilage is causing grief as well; and I am only walking, not crashing the waves! I hope that the wait was worth your patience. Enjoy these as much as I did in capturing them at the time, I hope I did not miss out too much of the less energetic of the folk on the water.

Thanks for providing me with so much to capture — I hope you all feel I have done justice to all that took place that afternoon.

Just a Teaser, The Gallery to Follow


         I am sending this gallery to the blog first partly to say thanks to Sam for lining up so well for this shot, and also to check that I can get these shots up at all, as I have been experiencing serious difficulties with getting anything done to my satisfaction at all, and I apologise for how long this second half of images has taken – it has taken its toll on my Sanity, but hopefully very shortly I will get the rest up to remind you of an excellent Day at the Lake; please be patient and the rest will follow shortly.