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 21 March 2009

London from the Air

I count myself extremely lucky. I recently helped an aerial photographer with his Lightroom and Photoshop workflow, and he generously offered a spare seat when he next flew over London in a Twin Squirrel helicopter; one of the few makes allowed over central London.

That opportunity was to arrive far sooner than expected, and even more fortunate was that I had made up my mind to purchase an 85mm prime lens, which arrived on the Thursday and on Friday, David was on the phone to ask whether I fancied an early start on Saturday morning. Hesitation was measured in fractions of a nanosecond!

We met at Denham Airfield at around 5-30, with low lying mist coming in patches. This was almost ideal for more atmospheric shots of the capital, and we set off at around an hour later. My side of the helicopter had a very small window for me to shoot from, but to shoot at all was a privilege, and we took off over Merchant Taylor's school with wisps of cotton wool shrouding the grounds, heading first for Tower Bridge. I was too reticent to ask for a viewpoint at this stage, so contented myself with contre-jour shots of it in the distance.

David was very generous with offering me some time over other areas, and the gallery that accompanies this piece is testament to the opportunities I had over the next forty minutes to capture various landmarks.

After landing and a drink and a chat with the pilot we stopped off in Denham village where I had a second, this time, cooked breakfast. When we parted, I phoned Nick and Patricia Rayner to see whether they minded my calling in. Both were happy to see me and it was good to catch up and Nick kindly plugged my iPod Touch into his HiFi, so we had a quick blast of 'Ca plane pour moi', and 'From Now on' - both of which Patricia appreciated as much as me!

I am not sure I have quite landed yet!

Friday 20 March 2009

Innovation Centre, Butterfield, Luton

At the beginning of April, Thursday the 2nd, the Basepoint building is to hold a business-to-business exhibition for small businesses. It is titled 'Innovation Day 2009' and has been funded by Bedfordshire County Council and Luton Borough Council.

I shall be there. By way of preparation, I sought permission to take some photographs of the venue, so that I can have A4 images of the location on my stand. The gallery of images shows a few aspects of the centre from an architectural viewpoint; all images were shot using the natural available light, handheld, and depict just how pleasant the working environment is should anyone be interested in taking office space there. (Fiona, Kay or Pauline can be contacted in this connection by email to lutonadmin@basepoint.co.uk, or by telephone to 01582-434 200).

Provided all goes according to plan, not only will I be there to discuss what 'SOLUTIONS photographic' has to offer, but I should have a jar of homemade ginger nut biscuits that I will swap for business cards! Remember the date: 2nd April at Basepoint, turn left at the last roundabout out of Luton, heading for Hitchin, then left again. I look forward to seeing you on the day.

Sunday 15 March 2009

Northchurch Woods, and a walk along the canal

Sunday saw a day of milky sunshine and some warmth, so a drive into the country beckoned. I parked the car close by some woods that took my fancy because they lined a deep valley, and I soon discovered that at some time in the past, the owners had arranged low jumps for horseriders which made some interesting photos.

Later I continued and parked near the allotments to take a walk along the canal towpath. Clottishly, after changing to my wide angle lens I put its lenshood in my pocket, so that when I bent down for a low-angle shot, it was squeezed out, bounced twice on the edge before plunging into the fast-running water from the lock! I cursed my carelessness, and hopefully will learn in the future, not to repeat the mistake!

Walking along I mentioned my stupidity to a fisherman, who offered me the use of his net, and though I spent five minutes dredging the side downstream of where it went in, it was fruitless.

I spent the rest of the afternoon walking gently and occasionally chatting to some of the numerous others taking the opportunity to cycle, walk, run or boat along this stretch, there was a photographer using a Nikon who was in Fine Art Marketing, a few fishermen, and a family group who were interested in what I was shooting, and except for the mishap with the lenshood, it was a very pleasant time.

Holmbury St. Mary and Godalming

After a family Sunday with Catherine and Martin and the girls to round off Lizzy's birthday, I got myself prepared for a few days in Surrey, and some nights sleeping on other people's floors.

I did my best to clear all my phoning and set off on Monday afternoon to Holmbury St. Mary, near Dorking to stay with Nick Zoller from whom I learnt that the local church was erected by a member of the Waterhouse family (of Price, Waterhouse). We went out for a drive and found a place I remembered from a much earlier visit, Friday Street, but it was dark by the time we reached it.

In the morning I set off to Godalming where I was to give two day's training to an aerial photographer covering Lightroom and Photoshop workflow. He and his Latvian partner had two charming young children and I managed to capture some shots of them to leave them with some memories. On the Wednesday we broke off at lunchtime to stroll through the town, and learnt it was one of the first to have electric street lights.

Monday 9 March 2009

Burwash and Grantchester

For the first time in a long while, I joined both Catherine and Lizzy together for day at Grantchester. Driving over was in sunshine, but it was not long before the forecast squally wintry showers arrived. The intention had been to go for a walk at Wandlebury, but when the clouds parted after lunch we made for Burwash – a farm dedicated to the crafts and to families with young children.

As we approached, the sun came through under thundrous dark clouds with that amazing brilliance that seems only to come after rain, I unpacked the camera as we arrived at the farm, and immediately tried to capture some of the intense colours and dramatic lighting.

Due to misunderstandings on my part, I then proceeded to muck up the photographs the others were trying to capture, but I am hoping I am forgiven. The rest of the gallery are shots of textures, lighting and family, taken there and back at Grantchester.

Saturday 7 March 2009

American Girl Gives English Audience their Botanic History

American Botanic Researcher from the RHS Lindley Library, Annika Erikson visited the Luton Hoo Walled Garden project this Saturday to give an illustrated talk to visitors to the Arts Group, on Georg Dionysius Ehret and his connections with Lord Bute.

Lord Bute was a keen botanist who presided over the work of Kew Gardens, was Prime Minister for a period, and had Capability Brown design the gardens at Luton Hoo, where he lived.

It was interesting to learn about some of the artists and personalities involved in the beginnings of botanic art and the dichotomy between the art and the science.
The Portakabin venue was filled to capacity and the audience were enthusiastic in their appreciation for Erika's talk and slideshow.

I took the opportunity to take photographs of some the work being carried out in the gardens, and the people attending the talk. I met Chris Willmot an artist whose work on moths is going to be a feature in castings to be hung using the hooks which already exist for the support of plants along the dividing wall. I took some shots of the early examples whilst talking to the artist about his forthcoming project and book.

Cockernhoe Woods & Around

Having cleared my work, and with the sun coming in and out like a cuckoo clock, I decided to see whether I might catch sight of deer. It was not to be. Instead at Cockernhoe Woods I found a profusion of snowdrops, and a lot of fallen branches from the recent winds.

There are the dark greens of future bluebells to be seen and also catkins, it may be cold, but Spring is just arriving. I found a farmer spraying fertiliser and at the far end of the woods I caught sight of Luton Airport. The final leaf in this gallery seemed to depict a tuning fork and a leaf, suggesting 'In tune with Nature'.

Sunday 1 March 2009

Weekend at Bailey's Hard, Beaulieu

I was invited to my sister-in-law's and her husband to stay the weekend, knowing it would give me a chance to capture some of the wildlife and scenery of the Beaulieu River, I arrived towards the end of the day, with the intention of being up early Sunday morning to photograph the tits close to the back door, and also take a stroll into Beaulieu village for the papers.

I managed to capture some shots on the Saturday evening when the tide was out, and the following day, to begin with there was little sun, so I had both a high ISO speed and wide apertures to cope with, but later things improved, but bluetits are skittish birds, never still for more than a couple of seconds, so it was quite challenging, and so I erased several blank images on the camera!

I finally also felt guilty not helping with the wood burning, so gave a hand putting rotten branches on a fire in the nearby field before lunch. After lunch I continued shooting for a while before packing up for the journey back, reasonably happy with what I had managed to capture.