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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Wednesday 29 July 2009

Harrods in Luton

I have been back helping Ben Rice with the stitching of 360˚ panoramas again, this time at Harrods Aviation at London Luton Airport. Quite handy for me living just a short distance away in Caddington!

English weather was its normal unpredictable self – one minute cloudy another bright sunshine, but fortunately not when Ben was doing the HDR circuits.

The new assistant, Rob and I were working under a tented enclosure vaguely reminiscent of Colonel Gaddafi's desert home, to give some semblance of consistent lighting.

In the few moments of our first day I managed to grab some shots of the taping over the aircraft windows, and fortuitously the Harrods Aviation logo on the side of a van, that using Photoshop's 'Blend If…' facility allowed me to quickly create the first slide in the gallery.

Thursday 23 July 2009

Closer and Closer…

I have been fascinated by hoverflies for the last three years – I just have to photograph them in ever greater detail, and one of the greatest challenges is to capture them in flight, but above all, I am determined to do this by using the camera handheld and without any automatic means of firing the shutter for that precise moment.

With each series of shots I take I try to learn more about the insects themselves as well as know my own limits and try to push them further. I am slowly getting there. I have learnt that I cannot simply keep raising the ISO rating, I cannot necessarily shorten the distance between the camera and the subject, I know also that I have to increase the depth of field by choosing a smaller aperture, but then I need more flash power, but that means the picture loses the ambient light, so it looks as if I may need to use a second flash unit to give me that, and so it goes on…

Here is the latest series with some ladybirds and other bugs.

Sunday 19 July 2009

Walled Garden Big Lunch – Rain does not stop play

The forecast was sunshine and showers, and the day certainly started out in keeping, but it was not long before it flipped – to showers with breaks of sunshine, and boy did it come down! But this is Britain, and remarkably, everyone I saw wore a smile, and shrugged it off..

I could see that I somehow had to choose views that made the place look busy, so I would angle myself to find one group with another in the background! Once I had got a few shots like that in the bag, I then spent a few minutes in the Alchemy garden, where hoverflies and bees were busy…

I also visited the Cacti again, and some of the musicians, the Steel Band Drummer, and A Different Beat; with Bongos, since both were under cover, the entire time rain or shine, was accompanied by the rhythm of drums.

I managed to get stung by a bee outside the Cactus house whilst photographing some hemlock. This gave me my introduction to the St. John's Ambulance group, and one of them some paperwork to complete! An ice pack soon eased my pain, so thank you guys.

It was a good-humoured time, and water droplets adds something to flowers.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Dr Twigs Way Talk – Animals in the Garden

I arrived early at the British Schools Museum venue for the talk by Dr Twigs Way, and gave a hand with a few of the preparations and as it was very hot, I suggested that Terry Ransome lock the hall, and I would spend the intervening time keeping cool in my car, since it had air conditioning.

As I only intended to cool myself down then quietly read, I decided not to run the engine. What I had not anticipated was that I might nod off.

An indeterminate time later I came to and immediately turned everything off, but it was too late! My battery was as flat as it could possibly become; the clock gave a date of 00:00:1997, the radio read 'Safe'. Safe means I have to search for my entry code and reset it before I can hear Music or News on the move!

I pushed the car as high up the car park as possible and pushed it down again in what turned out to be a vain attempt to bump-start her. After the tenth time, by when I was reduced to a wet rag, I parked up and phoned the AA! However, I later cancelled that when I managed to find Terry had jump leads, she started first turn, so I gave her some three minutes of charge before starting to take photos of the guests.

A lemonade revived me and despite having cancelled the AA, I then got a call from the patrol man that he was ten minutes away – they forgot to pass the message on! I got on with the shooting, but after a delayed start hoping for more attendees, the talk began. And I learnt about some of our human idiosyncrasies when it comes to the keeping of animals within our gardens, large and small. The level of light was low, but I hope I have captured some of what took place.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

British Schools Museum, Hitchin

          On the strength of photos I took for the Delmé Radcliffe Appeal Concert, I have been asked to take photographs for the Hertfordshire Heritage Fund of an event at the British Schools Museum in Hitchin. I made a preliminary visit on Tuesday afternoon and took some photographs showing a bit of the architecture and something of the exhibits on display to give an idea of what there is to see here.

          I can highly recommend that today's teachers try to find the time to make a visit with or without their young charges.

          There is a small gallery of the images I took on the day, to be found by clicking on the Text Header for this very brief piece I wrote at the time of my visit.

Friday 10 July 2009

Luton Hoo – Moth Hunt in the Walled Garden

It was a shame it was not as muggy a night as it has been of late, but despite that everyone was upbeat, and Andy introduced himself and Melissa to us all. I was surprised to learn that one of the participants, Anne already knew me from the time we were both living in Slip End!

Charlotte very kindly supplied us with crisps and Cider, and we were treated to a captive peppered moth, but later in the evening a native of the Garden was captured at one of the other traps.

I have tried to capture something of the atmosphere by having shots of some of those present as well as some of the specimens that appeared, tempted by our lights. I was pleasantly surprised by how many I managed to capture in focus. I can now accept Andy's assurance that not all moths are dull and grey!

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Test Day for a Seamster

Ben Rice, a top London Photographer working for International Corporate companies had been asked to create a series of panoramas within a series of executive jets, and very kindly asked me to provide some technical help in their production – on site.

The location for the test run was to be at London City Airport at the Jet Centre. We met up in their Car Park at the start of the day; probably the hottest day in London for several years! I learnt at the end it had reached 32˚ C.

We had to go through a few preliminary security checks to go airside as we were to work in a converted container at the very end of the runway with the aircraft, a Hawker 800 close by. We soon found that its normal role was storage for bottled water, which steadily dwindled as we sweated our way through the day.

The first two tasks were to rig black fabric over the open end of the container, and for Ben's assistant to start papering over the aircraft windows with tracing paper to sort out the lighting for the aircraft's interior. Next was setting up two MacBook Pro computers and hard drives for me to work at to perform my brand of magic as the seamster.

Once that was completed, I joined Ben in the interior of the aircraft for the setting up of the panoramic head, after that Ben was on his own; at least until he realised that it was too cramped for a grown man to keep clambering over the tripod and camera in such a cramped space. He then sought out a willing and lithe young lady who between shots from beyond the tripod, would hide in the loo as Ben fired the shutter. Her transfer of weight was less disruptive than his, on the camera's stability.

There were three points within the aircraft to shoot the panoramas, and there were several sets to do with two different lenses, and after each run, I would be handed the card to extract the files from, and do the stitching, in two programs, Photoshop and PTGui, after which Ben and the client would run through my results until everyone was satisfied. We had a short break in the middle of the day and continued till well after six, and I shall make a further apology for spending much of the time stripped to the waist!

The Festival of Speed

Once again I am extremely grateful to Lord March for the invitation to visit Goodwood to enjoy a great day amidst the crowds on a glorious July day. Sharing the day with me was another photographer friend I first met whilst I was Sales Manager at a London Colour Lab, Charlie Milligan.

We arranged to meet at a Service station on the M25 at around six-fifteen, but Charlie came down the A3 from London and turned onto the clockwise direction, where almost immediately the sign told him the first such station was forty three miles along. Seconds later I managed to contact him, and said "…turn around and we'll meet along the A3. I am in a silver Astra…" He told me: "…a blue Passat…" a short while later, a 'dit, dah, dit,dit,dit' on the horn, and I passed him, We came off onto the A3, soon to find a small services, where we left his car and continued to Goodwood; arriving at seven-fifteen.

It was much cooler than earlier in the week, making it very pleasant. The supercar area was already packed and whilst I captured details from these, Charlie grabbed an English breakfast. After touring this area, we took in the cars from an earlier era, before taking a good look at the installation in front of the House. Before a long walk up the hill, we decided to visit the Qatar Airways-sponsored VIP enclosure.

You would think us celebrities, given the attention lavished upon us by a series of beautiful girls who descended upon us! Never one to miss an opportunity we stressed how much we would like to do photography for them, and the response seemed surprisingly positive! We both await our first commissions!

Onwards and upwards! Past the off-road 4x4s; shunning the charabancs, we walked through the forest section stopping at a couple of likely corners in the Rally section. The first spot proved tame, but not so the second, where we were soon greeted by a car at full-chat whose driver had decided the banks had to be gouged wider, and we were showered by rocks and chalk! Thank you, that made a great shot! Though I am sure I came with a black rucksack! We walked on through and out at the marshalling area at the end of the hill run; it was so packed we had no chance to view anything there, so we took a well-earned rest and a drink before venturing back through the woods to visit the F1 Paddock.

I am certain the crowds were fifty-percent up on previous Sundays, and it was hard to get clear views of some of the machinery, but no matter, the sounds, smell, atmosphere, the voluptuous lines of many of the cars and all the women made this a great place to be. I forgot to mention that on the way up, I managed to persuade a high sided truck owner to let me take photos from his roof, of the off-roaders 'yumping' and spraying clouds of chalk in their wake. Such is the warmth and hospitality of this event!

I also forgot to mention the 'Red Arrows', but here we did miss out because much of their display was behind trees.

The latter part of the day we spent some time using the VIP enclosure as a great shooting vantage point of the first corner, chatting and 'chimping' and meeting another photographer, Chris Jelf, who was there for Veuve-Clicquot. After more tea and dates, we left and then had the small problem of getting back to Charlie's car, which could only be reached from the southgoing A3 – a minor hiccough in a wonderful day. Thank you, Lord March.
Further Galleries from this event:

Saturday 4 July 2009

Helpful and skillful – SRB-Griturn

I needed a small adapter ring to fit a Canon ringflash head to a Tamron 90mm macro lens, and it needed a flange to prevent it from sipping off in use. Just down the road beyond Whipsnade is a company called SRB-Griturn and midway through a Saturday morning one of the joint owners, Terry was more than happy to sort me out something while I waited, from two readymade items and a small amount of machining, and the charge was very fair.

I have known the SRB element of the company for some time from their Luton days (and even earlier when there was BDB!), but in the short time I was there I learnt something of this small precision engineering company, Terry and James had been Griturn, which had in turn been Textile and Optical, before teaming up with SRB, and they have worked for comapanies such as the BBC, but they are fast expanding into other areas due to their purchase of an anodising company, they now do work for motorbike crash safety systems and bows, and are bursting at the seams in their present premises.

It is really good to see a British company in good health and deservedly so, they obviously have pride in their work value their customers, and treat them well – I now have a ringflash that does not drop off the lens from the wash of the wings of a hoverfly!

Appeal Concert at Maydencroft Manor

Friday turned out to be a far cooler day than Thursday, which meant that Bob and Franie's plans for the Delmé Radcliffe Appeal Concert was blessed with perfect weather. The venue for the concert was Bunyan's Barn at the Manor. Bob's major concern was for the bats that roost here; I for one hope they enjoyed the music we heard performed there.

At the critical moment, the main stage lights failed, but the audience were good humoured enough for this not to spoil their evening. A cow and a peacock however were not to be left out and added their piece, sometimes with an excellent sense of timing!

Bats willing, this concert venue could prove an attractive addition to the Hertfordshire scene, certainly the acoustics are good and the performances excellent.

Purely from my own perspective, the harsh lighting made it hard to take the best photographs, but I nevertheless hope that I have captured the ambiance of the event in those shots which appear in the gallery.