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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Friday 30 April 2010

Showery Stockwood

Having had a very productive and instructive morning with a technician at the University in Luton, I came back close to the entrance to the Discovery Centre, and decided I’d pay a quick visit. There was milky sunshine as I went around to take stock. I met one of the gardeners and learnt he would be leaving at two o’clock, so dashed back to pick up cameras as he was willing to be photographed, and was doing some exquisite topiary work to the miniature hedge borders in the decorative gardens.

It was now drizzling with rain on my return, but hey, that puts raindrops on leaves and flowers! I was quite surprised that although it is still very early in the season, there was a lot of colour and interest. I was surprised by what I managed to find. The gardeners and staff have done a great job. and the Discovery Centre is well worth a visit.

Thursday 29 April 2010

Oxford Country Life

Tuesday, and I just had to get away from the computer to do some photography. Driving in the direction of Oxford was not my first choice, but I did want somewhere different, and the upper reaches of the Thames sprang to mind, but travelling without Jane (my trusty SatNav) I was at the mercy of my flawed bump of locality and the regional highways planners desire to put me on the A40 or M40 at all costs, and to make it very difficult to find small villages when close to the metropolis of Oxford, despite its abhorrence of the motor car.

I came close to Garsington and immediately off the main road towards Denton there was a passing place sufficiently close to another on the opposite side, so I felt it was safe to park for a short while. I had spotted some very large well-fed crows in a field largely given over to dandelions, but they were averse to my capturing them in this setting, so having readied my camera, I chose to start on my lunch.

Soon I spotted an ingenious farming vehicle equipped to muck-spread, involving twin augurs or Archimedes screws that flung dung far and wide from a large hopper. It was sufficiently intriguing to warrant my recording it in action. Having taken some shots that illustrated how it worked, I spotted a Red Kite circling low overhead, and was soon doing my best to get some shots. It was soon joined by its mate and they both gently soared around together, enjoying the mild warmth and some gentle thermals. I had a chat with the driver when he had evacuated the bowels of his vehicle, and learnt that there were several Red Kites in the vicinity, and suggested where I might go to catch sight of more.

As it turned out I only saw one more, and although hovering, it was far more distant; instead I found a tit and a one-legged pheasant, and several displays of flowers – tulips, daffodils, magnolia and purple clumps on drystone walls. I also met several women out walking their dogs or with young children, who were generally happy to chat. Later, rather than drive straight back I stopped off at Marsworth and Tringford reservoirs and found some young duck families in the last rays of the evening sun.

Saturday 24 April 2010

My daughter’s Westcott garden

England’s summer arrives on St. George’s Day. Friday is not a normal day to spend in a garden unless on holiday, but it proved to be ideal – mildly warm and sunny. It was a day when Spring was not yet over and the birds were in abundance with joyous song and much flirting and flitting about. I saw a robin, sparrows, blue tits and even a goldfinch with overhead, gulls, crows and pigeons. A lone self-set tulip stood proud to be away from the crowd, with a silver birch beyond.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

A Bright Wednesday in the Walled Garden

Having missed the Sunday event at Luton Hoo, I wanted to see how the team restoring a Dairy cart were getting on, and now the days were getting both sunnier and warmer, see whether some of the plants were catching up.

There was still a cold breeze when I first arrived, and there were a good number of volunteers judging by the number of vehicles, but oddly it did not look crowded with people, I later gathered there was a meeting discussing future plans.

The restoration team were not due till after one, so I wandered around the greenhouses and garden first. And later met the three main restorers who were now cleaning up the springs for the cart, then later was shown a room I had never been in and found an old bus sign and odd finials. There was discussion this might well become a tea shop.

I also recorded some very obvious signs of subsidence damage evident in the brickwork of the potting shed outhouses.There was an abundance of tulips many yet to open, but still snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells and some blossom appearing on the fruit trees.

The sun had brought out the bees and they were once again swarming around a water trough.

Monday 19 April 2010

Westcott Day, followed by Bulbourne and Tringford flowers

A bright day with a chance to see how Lizzy’s garden was progressing and to see the kitchen in sunshine provided a few interesting examples of colour, light and shade.

A day or two later, visit Bulbourne to see the Blacksmith where there was a beautiful display of Spring flowers rarely all seen at the same time, daffodils, tulips, and early bluebells with some dandelions thrown in for good measure! Then on to Tringford to meet the man who introduced me to the bailiff, which allowed me to capture life on both the stream and the reservoir, there in his garden were poppies and tulips.

There were Greylag, Canada Geese, a Heron, Coots and a Grebe to be found in flight, on the water and on the ground in a field still with blossom on the trees, yet at long last the day had the warmth of coming summer.

Later still, and I took a walk along the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union canal, and managed to get up close and personal to a Starling. Fishermen were to be found in abundance as were cyclists, families with children and dogs and a few slowly chugging narrowboats. A woman was knitting seated by the towpath and a man ensconced with his Sunday newspaper outside his galley. Birds were to be seen gathering twigs for nest-building others sang invisibly in the bushes, and overhead were the occasional sounds of light aircraft, cattle lowed in the fields nearby and the horses wandered slowly with swishing tails – the midges and seemingly mosquitoes were the reason for that. There were some very strange canoes on the canal looking very precariously low in the water.

The shot of the anchor was especially for Catherine.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Quick Afternoon Visit to the Walled Garden

The morning was grey and cold for this time of year, so it was easy enough to be persuaded to keep working inside at the computer, but once the sun came out and I had cleared the work, I gathered a couple of lenses, and set off for Luton Hoo.

Many of the volunteers had already completed their work by the time I arrived.

I just wanted a record of what had changed since my last visit. The cold grey days were evident in the paucity of real growth, but I was also lucky enough to spot a group of the bee keepers tending the hives, so there are two separate galleries of images of what I saw this afternoon; one mainly floral the other of the bee keepers.

Monday 12 April 2010

Sunday Spring Colour

Spring finally arrives in central England, so Sunday brought more people out into the country. I took the opportunity to visit Wilstone Reservoir for a change, parking close to Wilstone Cemetery, but the wildlife had been up early and avoided human contact!

I then went to Grantchester and Linton to enjoy some quiet time with my elder daughter at Linton C of E Primary school where she teaches, to help her tidy the classroom for the onslaught when the children return after the Easter break. Here is a small gallery of the colour I found that day.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Luton has to take a bold new step

General Election Time just like New Year brings out resolutions. I often wonder, as many do, just how many resolutions made, actually reach maturity and come to fruition? Politicians make agendas, and since preparations for the contest have been going on for some time, and many thousands of leaflets have been printed; how many on these lists are already tired. Just how many are truly relevant to those the candidates purport to represent?
How many are simply trotted out to negate their opponents’ claims in the form of damage limitation, and how much is for the positive good of the Community?
Rather than harp on all the negatives, understand what they mean and then work out how it is they can be mitigated or better still, how can the trend or status be reversed and the momentum accelerated to bring about improvements. We need Change for Gain.
Undoubtedly money must be spent, but it has to be managed effectively and there has to be a positive return.
Luton is close to London, close to the M1 Motorway, it has Industry, it has a major Airport, it has two major stations, it has Business Parks, Retail Parks and a University. It also has Museums, churches and a Mosque, a Library, a Theatre and gardens. It has some thriving communities but not every area is blessed. There is also a wide cultural and ethnic diversity. It has challenges, especially with the loss of Vauxhall.
One very positive project that must be put ahead, and promptly is to ensure that communication between Luton and its lifeblood is to remove the thrombosis caused by the M1 Junction 10a roundabout where two streams collide, The artery, the link between the Spur Road and Airport Way has to be surgically removed from the veins, the local traffic, so that vital functions of the Town can flow freely in all directions, and all the vital organs can work efficiently.
The dual carriageways of the Spur Road to the M1 Junction 10 and Airport Way has to be segregated from the local traffic by the construction of a flyover above this busy roundabout so that Luton can breathe economically. This has to be the single most important project to be tackled for this area, certainly long before any expansion of the Airport which currently does not have the necessary infrastucture or organisation for the present traveller throughput. The Airport would benefit from this installation, but it has to deal with the extra fluidity this scheme offers, before it should be considered for further expansion.
Politicians take note. Build the Flyover and FAST!

Today I shall be following David Willetts as he visits the Chancellor and Students of Luton University, at Park Square, his host Les Ebdon is to give his friend a tour of the campus so he can see for himself what Luton is doing now and hopes to do in the future. These students are the future, and aspiring candidate, Nigel Huddleston is hoping that he can be the local link to the Conservative party he and David Willetts represent.
I hope to cover other Shadow Cabinet visitors to Luton in the next few weeks leading up the General Election.

Today’s Visit

It was interesting to listen to two Conservative Candidates, Jeremy Brier and Nigel Huddleston, as they met with Professors Les Ebdon and Carsten Maple, and David ‘Two Brains’ Willetts. The atmosphere was very cordial and as an outsider I saw it as exploratory from the Politicians and very much a Sales exercise from the University. I tried to keep my picture-taking mainly as a recording of the event, rather than a set of posed groups. I hope I have succeeded.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Easter Sunday, Caddington-2010

After so many grey days and drizzle, Easter Sunday seemed like the first day of Spring – not bad when nearly a week after the official British Summer Time! I had hoped to have mown the lawn on the Saturday, but circumstances conspired against that happening, so after watching Sebastian Vettel win the Malaysian Grand Prix, and Lewis Hamilton come from twentieth to sixth, I was in the mood to mow the lawns back and front. Moss hardly constitutes a lawn, I suppose there must be some grass, but what I kept emptying into the bin did not suggest there was much! I also added Budleia branches from earlier trimming.

With the sun being blown from behind clouds every so often, I took out my new 100mm Macro with its Image Stabilisation for its first serious outing and added the 1.4x converter to give me greater length and took a walk through Caddington village to see what I could capture of the first tentative signs of Spring, it was rewarding, not the least because of those I met as much as the shots I took.

I am hoping that tomorrow has some sun to give me another chance.