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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Thursday 30 June 2011

Latest Visit to Stockwood Discovery Centre

I started taking photos before even setting foot inside the centre, of what is considered to be a precursor to Morning Glory – Bindweed! The bright white trumpets are rather beautiful and really confirm that a weed is simply a flower growing in the wrong place, or where it is not wanted! Also there is an inviting bed of flowers outside the entrance offering a promise of what can be seen within.

After several minutes spent outside and having strolled towards the back of the open area and beyond the greenhouses taking a handful of images I came across one of the gardeners, Jan, who has been extremely helpful in telling me where the best blooms were – she was chatting to a couple of visitors, I spoke to her once they had left, and learned the answer to a puzzle that had been intriguing for some weeks; I learned that she was one of my secret ‘followers’ of my blog!

Harrowden House had puzzled me for a while, especially since as a family we had a saying that defined someone’s circuitous route when offering an excuse for arriving late to our house or the Station’s choir when we lived at Shortstown, and that was: “Did you come via Harrowden Road Post Office?” I cannot now remember exactly how this came about except that when we were younger, we lived in Officers’ Married Quarters that were part of RAF Cardington; the aforementioned Post Office was at the bottom of the hill from Cardington and Shortstown, and was just one of our cycling routes.

Many of the flowers were past their best this afternoon, and many had suffered from a lack of rain, especially the Sunday before, so I was amused by the ingenious use of a fork to support the hose nozzle to provide the beds with some welcome nourishment. I was not always blessed with sunshine, but sometimes this offers dark skies and partially lit areas that then seem to glow. I spotted on ladybird with no spots at all, so presumably either they were burnt off or the downpour that followed the heatwave washed them off! Bees were fairly active, but in lesser numbers than I had expected, likewise hoverflies.

Thursday 23 June 2011

23rd June 2011 Jarvis - Foresters Development

Arriving at the site in sunshine on a day when showers were forecast is not necessarily a good omen, but all I experienced were just a few isolated drops on just a couple of occasions, fortunately towards the end of my visit.

The main change was the addition of some of the wooden roof trusses going up to the left end of the site. Another point of note was how almost every spare space was filled with stacks of insulation panels! I learned this was to beat an imminent price rise!

To get a better idea of what was going on across the site, it was once again worth a higher viewpoint which meant climbing to the third platform of the crane, because the mesh of scaffolding precluded getting a good view of the progress of the brickwork from the ground.

In the basement, the array of pipes was further advanced, with bays beginning to be built, whilst outside the crane was helping move pallets of breeze blocks and preformed trusses around the site and the forklift truck was resiting some of the insulating panel stacks.

However, scaffolding planks were being transported by hand from where they had done their job at second floor level in one area and were now needed in the left hand corner of the site, just above ground level.

Sunday 19 June 2011

Marsworth Steam Rally

Speaking to Bob Menzies in the week I learned that Marsworth was holding a Steam Traction Rally beyond Startops End Reservoir, on the Sunday, so I met up with Bob, and we walked around Marsworth lake chatting. We both watched from reservoir rim, then Bob walked back and I entered the field.

To begin with, the sun had gone in, but for a short while during my visit, the sun did come out, I took a look around and even managed a short spell on Kevin Flint’s engine, as my namesake Rod, the MC,  had been having little luck getting the public to take a ride around the arena.

Although I was careful to avoid getting my clothes dirty, my hands did need a thorough clean, but that was remedied by a visit to the temporary loos at the edge of the field.

There was a surprising number of visitors attending and in addition to the traction engines there was a display of various ancient tractors and a bouncy castle for the kids, and although I left when it started spitting with rain, in fact the weather held off well and it seemed the crowd thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

I went back to Tringford reservoir after an hour or so and chatted some more before the cold wind got the better of me, and I returned home.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Grace Bar, Gt. Windmill Street, Piccadilly

It is some time since I visited the West End of an evening; it was extremely muggy as I arrived to meet up with Charlie Milligan outside Grace Bar. We were visiting at this venue as guests of Vanessa Champion who was arranging an evening of live music and comedy for one of her friends Paul Gregory. Charlie who had managed to put his back out, had found a couple of comfortable seats just outside and was already sitting relaxed in one – I joined him, grateful to get a chance to cool down having travelled from East Finchley using the Northern Line Sauna!

We chatted for a while before taking a gentle stroll up towards Lexington Street. Charlie had spotted the incongruity of a school here in Soho, and I was able to let him know that Diane, my soon to be ex-wife had once taught in the Adult Institute that adjoined – I used to drive into town to pick her up to avoid her having to hang around there for too long. We soon entered the club, and were ushered downstairs where the gathering was already underway. I soon spotted Vanessa, and we acknowledged each other, but I waited till a lull before going over to chat.

Charlie meanwhile bought our drinks, and for a while we stayed on some cube seats near the front, but after a spell in discomfort, Charlie moved to the back where fortunately he found a more comfortable seat to ease his back.

I anticipated that the lighting levels would be sufficiently low as to mean I would be doing unavailable light photography, but I needed 5,000 ISO to give myself even half a chance of stopping some of the movement of the performers. I had brought along a 24 - 105mm f/4 and an 85mm f/1.8 and began shooting with the zoom, but soon swapped it for the fixed lens, and that remained on for the rest of the night.

Most of the comedy was somewhat lacklustre, but Kerry livened proceedings with her observational humour, and much later in the evening an Italian man was definitely the most amusing of the male contingent. I enjoyed the music far more from both the music and the singing – the diminuitive blonde was certainly a ‘belter’, in particular in their last session which ended the evening’s entertainment. I also liked the lone guitarist and some of his gritty songs.

Charlie had to leave before the end as he had an assignment which meant he had a six o’clock start, but I stayed on the end, then having said my goodbyes, I took a few shots out in Piccadilly Circus, grateful for the cool of the night despite some desultory drizzle. The tuq-tuqs were in abundance, but many were finding trade hard to come by and were parked up and chatting amongst themselves. Despite the abundant roadworks, there was no shortage of people out for a good time; many shops and restaurants were open and filled and the steps beneath the statue of Eros provided seating for small groups, and couples with a bongo group providing a rhythm to the drown the sounds of congested traffic.

I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to capture some of the colour and light both in the recesses of the Grace Club and out in the streets of London. I hope I have done it justice.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Jarvis – Foresters, Harpenden June 14th

I still seem to have the happy knack of bringing sunshine to the site, and I mentioned this to Trevor as soon as I arrived, and he said he might have to call on me for that at sometime in the future! Since my last visit, the major change has been the arrival of steelwork for the roof structures. The brick work has also had another scaffold lift.

Down below in the basement many more pipe arrays have gone in and some new holes have had to go in to carry some of the services. It is interesting to not how window and door fascias have been pre-assembled, put into place and then pointed in situ. It seemed odd to see a pre-assembled chimney stack had arrived on the topmost slab, with only its pointing needed to complete it once in place.

By the time I was ready to leave I was feeling the effects of the sticky heat, so perhaps bringing sunshine is not all its cracked up to be!

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Stockwood Discovery Centre Gardens

If I thought I was late arriving at Luton Hoo, that was as nothing to when I arrived at Stockwood Discovery Centre! I thought I would have little time to capture anything of note, but far from it; I was well-rewarded by finding an abundance of floral colour.

There were very few people in the car park or within the gardens, probably entirely as a result of the generally unpromising weather, unless you consider there was a strong promise of showers! I consider I was very lucky as the showers seemed to be over and although I did not have unbroken sunshine and there was a fair breeze most of the time, there was an abundance of flowers, leaves and buds on display – a tribute to the hard work done by the gardeners.

The public address announced to all present that the centre and its café were due to close shortly, but despite this I feel I really did capture a wonderful variety of floral colour in the short time available.

Sunshine and Showers in the Walled Garden

The morning was dull with very few bright spells, but the afternoon improved enough for me to consider visiting the Walled Garden at Luton Hoo, even though it was already mid-afternoon.

The first port of call was to see how the restoration of the hand cart was getting on, however there was no one there, but I took a quick few shots. I took a stroll around the garden and found quite a few beautifully scented roses, and wonderful rich red lilies, and some rather small sunflowers. There were a fair number of bees, though few were honey bees.

The newly replanted strawberries were being carefully protected from any marauding birds. I also noted that part of the potting shed roof between two chimneys was under reconstruction.
There was a very sharp, but shortlived shower which brought a stop to that work for a while and brought me into the shelter of the greenhouse where I spotted a beautifully formed fig leaf. This afforded me a a chance to catch water droplets on leaves and flowers, which always adds charm, and also offered some dramatic clouds against a rich blue.

Sunday 5 June 2011

1st Site Visit since Op.

After a forced absence of more than a fortnight, I returned to the Jarvis Foresters site in Harpenden to see for myself how much the brickwork had progressed. Once again I had brought sunshine, at least that’s my story! Some on site reckon I only turn up when the weather’s good, but I’ll admit it has rarely rained on my visits. Even Steve Morcombe had been fairly lucky weatherwise when he generously took shots whilst I was away.

One surprise visitor to the site was a hedgehog that had fallen into the basement, but Steve was on hand to rescue it; there is not much nourishment to be found on a building site, especially in a basement! Although I did catch a glimpse of a crow finding some morsel deep within a skip, and flying off with it in its beak!

Arrays of pipes are appearing in the basement mainly but a few are reaching the higher levels, and it’ll not be long before steelwork for some of the roofing will be arriving on site.

Saturday 4 June 2011

Harpenden Site Update in my Absence

During my forced absence due to medical reasons, Steve Morcombe the Forklift driver on the Jarvis Foresters site very kindly offered to take some photos, so that there would not be a major break in my coverage of the progress on site.

I have tried to take as much care with the post processing as I would have lavished on my own photos. I trust he is happy with what I have done.

I am certainly grateful for the shots he has taken and am more than happy to give him credit for the work, I only wish I could have been there myself, but I was under anaesthetic at the time in Luton & Dunstable Hospital.