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 31 August 2011

End of August Visit to Foresters Harpenden

Despite all the scaffolding that surrounds the buildings on the site, the overall shape of the Foresters Development by Jarvis just off the Kinsbourne Green end of Harpenden High Street, is very apparent with all the roof work that has been done of late. Many areas have both the Tyvek membrane and tiles laid, and many windows and Velux skylights have been installed. On one of the several false chimneys even the television aerials are up!

At the end of the month, the most noticeable sign of this development will be dismantled, the tall Cerex crane will be taken down, and Harpenden’s skyline will once more return to show just rooves, the church tower and tall trees. That does not mark the end of the work however, but certainly it does mean that completion is another stage closer.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Tringford – Bank Holiday Monday

The water level was lowering all day at both Startops End and Tringford as Bank Holiday’s visitors to the Grand Union Canal gave the Locks a good working over, that meant greater water clearance beneath the moorings, and we were astonished by the appearance of a kingfisher who swooped across the water actually beneath the landing stage, and although at a lesser speed than I had seen it before, being so close, its angular velocity was incredible!

When I arrived it was fairly cold, but was sunny, but as the morning wore on the wind increased and it became mightily chill. The anglers were mostly lucky with their catches, but not everyone. One fisherman actually brought up a good sized crayfish on his anchor, and was looking forward to a very different meal that evening!

The swallows, terns and gulls were very active and one juvenile grebe was fishing very successfully, and for a change was not too far from the shore. There were a few herons flying, but certainly not as many as last autumn. The most striking behaviour from several of the fish was that they spent a considerable time at he surface sometimes with just their tail fins showing, but often much of their bodies visible, and there was a good amount of jumping sometimes twice in quick succession, presumably due to lice, and this was their way of trying to rid themselves of the irritation.

Brogborough Visit – August Bank Holiday

Not for the first time I have visited Brogborough with a specific aim in mind and ended up taking photos of a completely different subject. On Bank holiday Sunday I had every intention of trying to meet up with a fisherman I had met at Harpenden on the Jarvis Development site. The intention was to go clockwise around the lake, but on my arrival I was told that the wood had been cleared considerably to create a mountain bike course, and that I could approach anticlockwise from the Windsurfing beach.

It was to prove not possible and it also resulted in my getting a good soaking, but deepite not having the right lens for taking shots of the windsurfers as I moved through the woods some of the viewpoints seemed too good to miss, so despite my best intentions I have returned with shots of windsurfers, and a few shots of the insect life to be found thereabouts.

My trek through the undergrowth meant that I learned that beyond the woods was in fact private land controlled for shooting, so I shall not be using the route again. When I set off the weather looked reasonably settled, but as the breeze got up in blew clouds that brought a shower, and you do not get much cover beneath hawthorn bushes, so I got a dowsing.

Lizzy had earlier that morning got a text from Tim who had been sheltering from a shower with my grandson, which briefly said ‘under a tree’ – well, I resisted the temptation to call her to mention where I was at the time, especially since I was less lucky.

Sunday 21 August 2011

The Flying Proms at Shuttleworth

I have never before visited Shuttleworth for this event, and it was an opportunity to enjoy the company of my elder daughter, Catherine, to pay a visit to the Birds of Prey conservation area, and listen to some excellent music, with the added bonus of taking some photographs! I have divided the shots taken into three galleries,
 and Three

Unfortunately, due to other commitments, not the least being to pay yet another visit to Tringford reservoir, I arrived with barely a quarter of an hour to spend with the birds of prey, which really meant only see ing the range of owls; I was well late for any of the demonstrations. I did feel it was somewhat sad to see the owls tethered to hops all in a long line, and hear their plaintive calls, but I was amazed at the variety and size of those I saw there.

I had worried that having left Tringford as it started to rain, and because it had not let up during the rest of the time at home preparing ‘Brands Hatch coffee’ and other sustenance, I was envisaging a somewhat damp evening listening to the music, but I need not have fretted, as soon after leaving, the rain stopped, and as I neared my destination, the roads were completely dry. I took a couple of quick shots of the college itself; limited by the presence of a fire engine, which added nothing to the scene!

I parked the car and wandered down to where the last of the microlites were arriving and being secured, disgorging their occupants dressed in evening dress, and soon found myself in conversation with a man with a camera; it turned out he was a family friend of the singer for the evening, one Abigail ‘Abi’ Iveson. I also met another gentleman also toting a camera, and although we parted with ‘See you later’ I little expected to meet up again in such a large crowd. I spent quite a time trying to capture the aircraft as they took off, flew a circuit or two before landing and taking the next passengers for a flight.

Whilst waiting to meet up with Catherine who was making her own way from Cambridge, I tried desperately to capture something of the swallows ducking and diving low overhead, above the cars in the car park. I was very wrong about not meeting the two gentlemen again, for we all ended up in front of the stage in darkness, each trying to capture the ambiance offered by the lighting and the singer! I was even able to meet up with Abi’s parents and show them a couple of images on the camera back.

At the end of the show, I managed to capture some of the fireworks, despite not having a tripod. Altogether, a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Tringford and Flying Kingfisher

I wanted to check out the Canon 7D after it had been returned from Canon, having suffered communication problems with the battery! So Tringford seemed like a good idea. So it turned out, for I saw and managed to fire off shots of the kingfisher – zooming across the water about one foot off the surface, to all intents like an exocet missile. The first occasion found me shooting at 1/650th, and that was not fast enough. In case I got a second chance I set 1/800th, but even that is not fast enough to do it justice! And in the UK with only my lowly 300mm f/4 this is simply not enough.

But nothing will take away the pleasure of at last sighting a kingfisher through the viewfinder – it feels as an F1 driver must do when getting their first Championship points; now I am waiting for my podium finish either a static shot perched by a stream, or a sharp shot in flight.

It was the birds once again who seemed to be meeting success on the fishing front, rather than the anglers. I set off home just as the rain came, so that I could prepare for the afternoon trip to the Shuttleworth Flying Proms and evening with Catherine. I have to say full of foreboding regarding the weather, but I need not have worried, it turned brilliantly.

Friday 19 August 2011

Jarvis Foresters Development, August 19 Visit

Mainly sunshine greeted me on this visit to the site, and it was obvious even more roof was tiled. When I went down to the basement, it was now storing plasterboard and double-glazed window units. A supporting structure to take a large tank was now ready and more signage was going up, as well as other electrical wiring.

Within the main buildings partitioning was well-advanced and electric cable was being threaded through prior to the installation of the plasterboard. The Retail area had more wooden roof structures up, and behind the main area a curved wall was now up.

Friday 12 August 2011

Fish Restocking at Tringford Reservoir

Today I met up with Bob Menzies down at Tringford, so that I could capture the restocking of the lake, and I just arrived in time for the delivery from Bibury. The driver had to drive into the water on this occasion as the level in the lake was so low.

It took a little while as he had to be sure he would not sink too low and that he could reverse back up the slope, because of the drop at the edge. As it happened this did not present a problem.

I took a few shots to establish the scene then clambered on to the back of the trailer so I could capture the release from a good vantage point. It was over very quickly, which I had been warned to expect. After being paid, the driver reversed up the hill, and I then went into Pit Marshal mode (I spent thirty years as a marshal for the BRSCC, covering motor racing events all over the country) to ensure he got safely into the road and back on his journey to his next client – in Peterborough! I hope his load of trout were not too seasick from that trip.

From my point of view the only disappointment was the lack of sunshine.

11th August Visit to Foresters, Harpenden

As I drove into Harpenden, it was spitting with rain, and I feared it might continue for my entire time on site, so it was not too surprising that Trevor should greet me with “Well, this time you have failed! This is the first time it hasn’t been sunny or at least good weather for your visits?” I think he was pleased that I could not continue with my comments that I often brought sunshine with me!

Jarvis are pressing ahead with the roofs currently and so I made the first task that of climbing the crane tower for some shots either at their level or from above. When later I was alongside the roofers, some plumbers were there too, and they told me to look at the crane hook as someone had high-jacked a flatulent gnome kidnapping it and and had banished it to the crane hook! Boys will be Boys; even when grown men!

The skeletal aluminium framework for partitioning is going in at the ground floor, and more of the underfloor heating piping, and down in the basement which is now a large storage area , plumbing, drainage, electrical cabling and even signage is going in. Looking beyond the skin of scaffolding the final shape is becoming ever more obvious.

Saturday 6 August 2011

Friday Meetings and Architecture

I had an important meeting with someone at UCL in the morning, and later in the day a get together with three Pit Marshals from a long time back when we had all spent many Sundays at Brands Hatch helping others race with safety.

Between leaving UCL and the time of my meeting at the Artillery Arms, I spent the time looking at some of the contrasts of architecture between the old red brick of the Cruciform Building and the modern shiny white, green and glass of University College Hospital, and later, the spinnaker-like buildings at Old Street roundabout.

I spotted that the Post Office Tower was revolving the message of how many days there were till the 2012 London Olympics; 357 whilst I watched. The typical red London double-decker on the Old Street roundabout was also too good to miss. What is surprising is that the different styles do not so much clash as contrast.

The lighting was not always ideal, but with the help of the tools within Lightroom, I hope I have made them work.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

August in the Walled Garden

Because there was some sunshine, I was hoping that the weather might be conducive to the sighting of the elusive humming bird hawkmoth in the walled garden at Luton Hoo, hence my visit this Wednesday afternoon. It was not to be!

There was however a riot of colour, and some of the time there was clear sunshine at others the cloud cover increased, but the one constant was the oppressive mist heat, with only the occasional respite of a gentle breeze (always when I needed it to be still either when very close or simply to ensure a good composition – I believe there is a law governing this with gardening connotations!)

It would have been an ideal day for painters, I felt somewhat sorry for the toiling volunteers in the heat.

Monday 1 August 2011

Tringford Afternoon Bird Watching

Having decided to record both the Qualification and Race Day for the Hungaroring Grand Prix, I was free to visit the Tringford reservoir in the sunshine and to relax in the bottom of the boat moored at the jetty, so that I was as low as possible to try to capture some of the birds more intimately.

I was really lucky, one of the grebe had a late offspring and was cruising around with its single young chick on its back in the comfort of its wings. Some of the time it would disappear entirely from view, and on one occasion I spotted the parent diving and no sign of the youngster and for a moment thought it had decided to drown it, but I maligned him. I said ‘him’ because it would seem that the male does the passenger carrying whilst the female does the food-finding, though in this particular case I never spotted a mate.

I was lucky to capture some of the herons, and ironically a cormorant; not welcomed at this reservoir as they tend to attack the fish for sport not food, so many of the trout show signs of repeated wounds from these birds. This particular cormorant had been ringed as can clearly be seen in some of my shots. There were a few common tern, and black-headed gull doing some fishing, but they seem only to be competing with other birds rather than taking the larger fish such as trout and tench from the anglers.

I returned home much later to watch Button win the race with Lewis a lowly fourth, but what exciting racing! Thanks to being able to defer the racing I got the best of both worlds over the weekend.

Houghton Circular Walk

Houghton House is an attractive wreck of a building just outside Ampthill, in Bedfordshire with spectacular views across towards Stewartby with its four remaining chimneys from its days as a brickworks, that have been awarded listed status, retained I gather from my colleague Andy Fox as an aerial landmark, though searching the internet, I can find no corroboration of this.

The idea of a circular walk from this house was proposed by Andy, so we met at his place and drove to the house and parked up. I decided that whilst walking the 70-200mm zoom was a better bet than the 300mm, but how wrong could I be? Once we had walked to the house,we spotted three large birds (which turned out to be red kite) soaring in the warm air not too distant from us, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight I should have gone back for the longer zoom, but it seemed too far back and I thought the birds might have disappeared in the meantime. Shame, because they performed in front of us for more than half-an hour! My shots were worthless. Andy who had a 300mm took some very nice shots. He has Nikon gear, I have Canon, so a swap was not on the cards.

Whilst we were there, a posse of photographers with a bride and groom arrived to use the derelict house as a backdrop, to my mind a somewhat bizarre linking, but each to their own.

We set off up the tree-lined avenue, past the farm, and water tank, close by another farm, and I learned more about this area that Andy had travelled since his childhood, he mentioned he had come across rusting cars in earlier days, and soon spotted the final remains of at least one by a young tree, we joked about shooting what we found in different seasons with puns such ‘Spring in Summer’, and later we found a saw; Andy saw it first!

At either end of Holly walk are Lodge-style cottages, both of which had once been thatched, but the first is now tiled which makes the chimneys seem far higher. Altogether a great way to spend Saturday afternoon, thanks Andy.