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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Monday 23 May 2011

Stockwood Discovery Centre May Visit

I made this visit with just one lens, the Canon 100mm Macro, on my Canon 7D. I anticipated that I would be mainly shooting close-up, and this meant I would not be giving my wound too much strain. The gusty wind did not make shooting exactly easy, nor did the cloud cover really add to the ease of shooting. The sun came in and out, which was challenging, but overall I managed to capture some interesting shots.

When I arrived there were very few visitors, but this soon changed as numerous families filled the area with chattering and laughter. The long tropical greenhouse was open this time with some splendid cactus flowers, whilst outside some of the roses were just stunning. The gardeners have excelled themselves once again and Luton should feel very proud of what the Discovery Centre have achieved in these gardens.

John Sentinella Chauffeurs Me to Tringford Reservoir

Since my operation, I have found it hard to walk in complete ease, and I need to spend a fortnight avoiding heavy lifting and straining myself. John wanted to visit the reservoirs, and very generously offered to take me in his car, so I travelled in comfort.

I soon spotted Bob Menzies fishing from the far shore of the Tringford lake, so I walked over to meet him with he possible chance to photograph him; maybe even landing a catch! He mentioned that he had spotted that a grebe had a new family, and that the male could be seen carrying two of his offspring beneath his wings as the female did the food gathering, returning to feed the young grebelings regularly. Learning this I was determined to see if I could capture this. When I returned to the moorings the grebe pair were swimming very close inshore, albeit rather far out for the lens I had brought along.

John and I gathered our cameras and set off for Marsworth reservoir to see what subjects we could find. I settled at the bottom of steps on the edge of Startops End to capture shots of some  pied wagtails that flying to and fro from the bank. After a while John came along to say a heron was settled on the floats across the Marsworth, so I joined him on that side, and was very lucky to get some shots of this juvenile both static and in flight.

We rejoined Bob and went out on the Tringford lake by boat, enabling us all to catch up on news since we had last met up. Altogether a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable morning. Especially to be transported back to Caddington in air-conditioned luxury!

Saturday 7 May 2011

Jarvis Foresters Development Harpenden

Milky sunshine was the order of the day for this 6th May visit. The brickwork is now rising above ground floor level in many places, and scaffolding being added to take things higher.
In the basement the supports for water piping is going in.

More steelwork is due next week, but I will not be covering this as I go into hospital on the Wednesday, and will be having to take things easy for probably a fortnight, so I expect quite a change when next I visit.

Toureen Mangan’s Project Manager, Sean Mooney was on site for a meeting, and greeted me whilst the team were making their rounds of the site.

Friday 6 May 2011

Bamville Cricket Season Start

Harpenden boasts two cricket clubs, the first on Harpenden Common, the second just a short distance beyond East Common, close to the Three Horseshoes Public House. The May 1st match was Bamville’s first of the 2011 season, posted as ‘Players and Jesters’ –  the Abbey Players.

I arrived after the match had begun, and the sun was shining from a clear blue sky, and there was the mildest of breezes. I gathered my gear together, and made my way across towards the clubhouse and pavilion and put up the tripod with gimbal head just short of a shady tree. I spent most of the first half of the Visitors batting shooting from this locations, and with the benefit of the Canon 7D’s greater burst rate than my 5D MkII, was able to capture the ball closer to the bat when shooting the batsmen than on previous occasions.

I was also trying to capture bowlers in exciting stances, ideally with both feet off the ground! I wanted to keep a low viewpoint. but this proved hard for me to get comfortable and Peter Carr very kindly brought me some cushions which eased my back considerably, and eventually I adopted a kneeling position, with breaks to bring them back to life. All the time I was also trying to work out better ways to use the various additions I had made to the tripod and gimbal head system I had created.

During the afternoon the wind slowly gathered momentum, and the sky clouded mistily over, and as I had come with only a shirt, the temperature and windchill gradually got the better of me, and my neck stiffened, but once again Peter came to my rescue and found me a sweater, so I soon began to look a member of the team!

I was pleased to have captured a couple of bails in the air, some floating bowlers and some very energetic running fielders!

A Visit to Holkham Beach

On the final day of the seemingly endless Bank Holiday, Catherine invited me to join her and the girls on a visit to Holkham Beach on the Norfolk coast; the forecast of cold and very windy conditions for that ease coast did not deter her – I accepted and we set off on our trip through a part of the country I once knew fairly intimately from my time in the RAF. My memory was jogged on several occasions, and I was able to recount times I had before I was even married let alone in Catherine’s early years.

Some of the time the girls listened and asked questions and at other times, I was prompted to ask them questions, but for most of the time they played quietly amongst themselves, but this did not avoid the perennial question: “Are we nearly there yet?” But it arrived very late in the journey.

It took a bit of finding, but we were soon parked up and gathered everything (almost including the kitchen sink!) and set off for the 400yd walk through the sandy-floored forest path before descending steps to the vast open, gently sloping sandy beach. The gusty wind blew scudding clouds across the open sky. The girls had thought it a good idea to place all their belongings into one long bag, but it soon became obvious this was not such a brilliant idea, so it was split once again and instead of being half-dragged across the sand each had a small rucksack and a bag each, and the going became smoother.

We walked across the vast flat sand keeping mainly to paths that criss-crossed this are towards the far dunes and scrubby tussocks of hardy grass. Even after this trudge the sea was still distant on the horizon – a mass of white horses from the wind. We chose a spot in a small dell, but the wind blew sand across regardless. The girls took no time pulling everything out of their bags and rucksacks, and because wind was not in short supply out came two kites.

The first was a two-stringed one that supposedly meant it was more controllable, my take as an observer was it simply added to the complexity when trying to prevent it nosediving! After a while out came the smaller, less impressive single-string model, at first it seemed equally prone to nosediving, but it did handle slightly better. I noted that it consistently turned towards the green side, so I took it from the girls and since they had brought Sellotape with them I found a small flat stone and took a stab at where to stick it on the yellow panel, and handed it back – this time it soared aloft without any hesitation!

The pilots still managed to crash it in the gusty wind, and this meant I became a rigger; Kite Maintenance Engineer. I forgot to mention that earlier this kite was also missing a cross spar, so I suggested we find a small twig or somesuch that we might press into service, and soon a perfectly bowed dried piece of wood exactly the right size was found - perfect.

Both girls also went down to a strip of water just short of the sea that had a few starfish that had become beached on the dry sand, so several of these were rescued and taken to the water. I noticed how as the wind got up it was lifting the dry sand and it was forming wisps a few inches above the surface, this sand could cover footprints and trainers in short order. So much so that Catherine checked and found buried socks the girls had taken off earlier.

I tried capturing shots of the black-headed gulls and oystercatchers that were there, but only had success with the gulls.

It was a fabulous day that we had, but it could have been better had the cold wind been a little less gusty and strong. The barbecue we had planned took place back at home!

More New Life at Marsworth

Another Visit to Marsworth Reservoir allowed me to peek and no more at some four young coot chicks on the edge of a reed bed, and later a nesting coot in the lake at Tringford. As I watched a couple of grebe going through their ritual dance, tern were either skimming along just above the surface or gliding around intently searching before swooping to try to catch small fish.

A pair of grebe would be diving for food for a while before taking greater interest in each other, then parting, the returning to begin shaking beaks at each other and stretching their necks, but it did seem somewhat half-hearted. The herons I saw were far more wary than on previous occasions, and the greylags were fairly aloof. And the young mallard families were quite happy to stray from the mother and go diving for the fairly abundant green slime which floated just beneath the surface of Tringford reservoir.