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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Saturday 28 February 2009

Focus on Imaging 09

For the first time in two years I attended the show as an ordinary punter, which gave me time to visit almost all the stands, a luxury not afforded me when manning an Adobe pod and discussing Photoshop, Lightroom and almost any Adobe product.

I did miss that aspect, but was gratified to be asked on several occasions: "Aren't you working today, Rod?" I met several of the old crowd, and got the chance to meet and put faces to names of several members of ProDIG and prerelease forum lists, such as John Beardsworth and Sean McCormack. Once again I also met someone from the days of the Persuasion Users Group, Frank Deery from Dublin, the same city as Sean. Adam Woolfitt introduced me to Dave Wall, another Photoshop guru and trainer. Richard Earney, who had come up with me, and I would keep in touch by mobile phone, and we'd swap info on people and things of interest.

I was also able to meet up with Vanessa Champion, Ray Fitchett, Andrew Boardman, Paul Hopkins, Eric McCashey and Steve Newberry on the Creative, Sigma, Bob Rigby, Rapid and Adobe stands respectively, and the overall impression I got was that professional visitors were still buying, and in many cases this was because of the current economic climate.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Afternoon & Evening at Startop Reservoir

There is a cluster of reservoirs near Tring, and one is called Startop, where parking is easy, close to some steps, and I decided that it was a good place to try shooting some of the local wildlife and human activity on the sunny saturday afternoon.

It was a slow start, with few birds aloft, but I did get some shots of a skittish bird darting along the water's edge, and having taken some shots, spotted a couple with binoculars nearby talking about the birds to be found hereabouts, so asked could they tell me the name of the bird I had just taken a shot of; I learnt it was a pied Wagtail. Not long afterward I got chatting to a serious wildlife photographer carrying a substantial lens encased in a camouflage protective cover, and he told me of some of the images he had captured that morning of a swan landing on the water.

I was later to see the shot and meet up with him further round the reservoir where I also learned his name Mike Casey. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in his company and learnt a few more of the bird species and captured some of them, rounding off the day shooting sunsets. He was both charming and informative, and he was able to shoot much later than I was, and I have shots of him in silhouette to prove it!

Tentative Spring

After our short spell with snow on the ground, a few brighter days have arrived, and with them the first stirrings of Spring. I took the opportunity to see what my camera and I could find, and was pleasantly surprised.

Before coming across nature rising to the call, I noticed that human activity was evident – hedge-laying, so took some record shots of this ancient activity, and subsequently have noticed several other instances of this procedure, and have learnt that techniques vary across the country and are often regionally specific and named after their counties of origin.

I soon came across catkins, buds, crocuses and snowdrops – enough to show a small gallery to mark the awakening of the countryside from Winter.

Monday 16 February 2009

Aylesbury Community Concert Band

Sunday evening at Aylesbury High School saw an evening of music by this band under the musical direction of Duncan Stubbs, in aid of a Heart Scan machine for Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and therefore for the future benefit of the local community. I went along to see my daughter play flute and hear the music, and was delighted with what I heard.

Lizzy most likely lived in mortal fear that I might lose control during the playing of the Sailor's Hornpipe, but with considerable restraint I confined myself to just tapping my feet! I did give in to singing during 'Mine is the Glory' and 'Rule Britannia', but hopefully I am forgiven for those transgressions!

To be able to shoot unobtrusively without flash and with such clarity is just such a boon, I hope that those viewing the gallery feel as much, when they view the results.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Catching up on Friends' News

Perhaps this should be headed 'Bowled Over by Colin's Cooking!'

Normally, Jennie provides the cuisine, but when we all met up last night, Colin and his new toy were the 'Chef d'Oeuvre'. The lamb he cooked simply fell apart it was so tender and we all enjoyed catching up on the various families' news.

Colin's grandson's school report was emailed over and it was a very impressive description of Adam's first year at school and we all listened intently as Colin read from it in between courses. We all discussed the present economic climate and other political subjects, and though we knew of friends declared redundant the general feeling was fear was being fuelled by our media, and we should all try to remain positive.

Colin and I showed each other our new toys, and I once again took a few moments to capture some of the happiness that was exuded in faces present – all taken without flash at 2300 ISO on the 5D MkII. To complete the assemblage Colin took a shot of me, and I think we all look a happy bunch!

Thursday 12 February 2009

Hatfield Dean Announces Dawn of DNA

The venue was Hatfield University at the Weston Auditorium and the inauguration of DNA – the Design Network Association. I had been invited both to the event and to join the organisation. It has come about to promote communication between Creatives within the Design community, both experienced and newcomers, hence the host venue, and its charter expressly includes the associated disciplines to pure design: photographers, printers, video and sound technicians and the like.

The first part of the evening was social with drink, nibbles and chat amongst both designers I had already met, some who were new to me and small groups of students. Several faces amongst the student groups were familiar to me from a previous meeting of CSD (Chartered Society of Designers) at the same campus.

The interaction was not in any way stilted between students and experienced practitioners, nor did it seem clicquey, and conversation was easy and wide ranging, and when the time came to move to the lecture theatre, there seemed to be a reluctance to break up the chatting groups!

The first speaker was the Dean of the Faculty, Chris McIntyre, who expressed his delight to be hosting the start of this group and how it meshed with the University's own ideas of how to bring his students closer to those involved in the Industry in genuine dialogue.

Then came Mike Benjamin who explained the structure, membership levels and aims of the DNA, and introduced the keynote speaker of the evening, who was to give a talk entitled the 'Perfect Pitch' to enlighten the audience as to how a Captain of Industry saw from his angle, the way a Designer might successfully pitch for business with his group of companies at Simplyhealth, this was their CEO, Des Benjamin.

The message was hard hitting, delivered in a casual style whilst the speaker roamed across the stage and without any distracting images of barcharts and bullet points on the screen behind him. The material point of his talk was the prospective pitcher must convince him that they understood his company's ethos and product and how they might provide the group with both a short and long term benefit and do it in an imaginative way with confidence. He expressed his wish to see DNA become a respected association and see the logo and letters become the sought after stamp of approval that its members represented a high standard of achievement within the Design and Creative community.

Andy Coomar thanked all the speakers and those behind the scenes and we returned once more to the ante room and further animated chatting.

Monday 9 February 2009

Snow out at Tea Green and Lilley

On the Friday, I had planned some Photoshop training for someone in Windsor, and was nervous over getting there on time so stayed in Burnham the night before, and was fortunate that the trip over was uneventful. However, overnight in Luton there had been a heavy snowfall yet again, so on my return, I realised how fortunate I had been. On the Saturday, out came the sun, so I invited my next door neighbour, Brenda to join me for a trip to Tea Green and Lilley.

The low sun cast long shadows which brought out the texture in the snow and accentuated the skipping steps of birds across the surface. So I now have a number of background textures to add to my collection. I also liked the effect of snow on some white palisades, some frozen splashes near an island in a small frozen pond, and lastly the sweeping ribbon of tarmac in a wintry landscape.

Thursday 5 February 2009

Snowfall Overnight, now Mist, but Life Goes on

The snow that had fallen before had packed down to ice, but as night closed in a thaw set in making it possible to clear the front path (almost!) As I looked out late in the evening the snow was falling thinly, so I did not expect the amount that greeted me this morning.

With it came the mist and then rain, but seeing that the people were making it to the shops I thought I'd capture some of the atmosphere, so here are a few shots of smiling faces in some cases, of kids in a group once more throwing snowballs amongst themselves, people walking their dogs, going shopping and someone with a Quadbike off to do some snowboarding. Despite the economic climate, the snow still brings smiles, and life goes on…

Wednesday 4 February 2009

High Speed Capture of Water Stream

In the ongoing search for knowledge and experience I recently took some shots of water flowing from a tap onto an upturned, floating, empty baked beans can.

I hear you say "As you do!"

It started not because of the visual effect, but the delightful 'pling, pling, pling' as the droplets made the tin resonate to the flow. I played with different amounts of trapped air, and began to notice the way the stream of water reacted, and thought that it might be worth using a Canon Speedlite to freeze the action and view the results.

One shot in particular grabbed my attention, so I sent a JPEG to a few colleagues and my family, and all were without exception, equally fascinated, so I have decided to make a very small gallery of the results, so they can see some of the other effects. Yes, I did change to dripping onto a plate!

I relied on the freezing affect of fast quenching small flash units due to the the power and close proximity of the flash to the water stream, and used the Tamron 90mm macro on the 5D MkII. I found looking at the subsequent images really intriguing and may try again with two flashes.

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Out in the Snow, and Sunshine!

On this the second day of snow, much has melted and more schools are open, so fewer children out playing.

I set out rather late as I had built a sofa from snow just outside the house – the 'Snowfa' proved to be quite a hit with some of those passing this morning, and I saw some parents taking photos of their children sat upon it, before setting off; making all the effort worthwhile.

I headed for the Lower Luton Road and beyond, and found an igloo being built on the green at Peters Green, but less fortunate was a car which had skidded off the road just beyond the village. I thought I'd climb the bank to get more height and found the 'bank' was in fact simply piled snow some two feet deep!

The silos at Woodside and Claggy Bottom Cottage I took to add to earlier shots taken at different seasons. I met walkers which helped to give scale to landscapes, and I was fascinated by the stalactites at a flooded stretch of road. I soon ran out of sun, due to my late start.

Monday 2 February 2009

Snow Comes to Caddington Again

There may be no sun, but with most schools closed and parents not going in to work, it's suddenly a fun day on the Green in Caddington with such a snowfall.

Two local families in particular have brought sleds out and make the most of the opportunity, and so do I.

Next stop Stockwood Park Golf Course, noted for its sleigh ride and toboggan runs down the slope near Slip End.

Hopefully with a forecast for further precipitation overnight and sunshine, there will be better opportunities tomorrow, but in the present economic climate, the chance for enjoyment is not to be missed, whether the sun shines or not, and I was there to capture it.