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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Sunday 27 January 2013

Snow Gives Way to Sun

Saturday brought the first sun for some time, offering a respite for birds and animals to take to the open with a chance to feed. In my case it gave me a short opportunity to get out and capture some of the scenes in good light just before it was all washed away in the thaw.

I drove out past the gates to Luton Hoo's walled garden, over the treacherously icy hill past the water treatment plant and take shots on the top of the further hill, and looking back to the Hotel that was once the great house, and home to the Werner Collection, famous for its collection of Fabergé Eggs.

Then on to Codicote with its fine church, and Claggy Bottom and the wonderful setting of its cottage farmhouse. From there beyond to Welwyn, and back via Wheathampstead to East Hyde, where I spent the rest of the day enraptured by the racing river and how it had enticed all the local birdlife in abundance, though it was somewhat overwhelmed by the large number of gulls, that did however give me the opportunity to see that Canon's alignment of my 300mm and EOS7D had made a difference as I practiced capturing the gulls in flight.

Fortunately several knowledgable birdwatchers visited the same bridge and they generously pointed out rarer species of birds than gulls, swans, Canada geese and mallard ducks, that I had not even spotted, such as the snipe and egret. The snipe was so distant, that in the gallery it is a far smaller image due to the cropping necessary to show it at all!

The heron looked bitterly cold as it hunched up in a tree, a magpie watched from afar, a red kite over flew, the pied wagtail ventured from the muddy bank to strut across the patches of snow amidst the grass tussocks, and a robin and jackdaw were tempted to the parapet by seeds and nuts I had laid along it. Courtesy of the aforesaid experts spotting the wagtail and kite, they also pointed out the landing of a kestrel on the nearby pylon. To them I am very grateful – I need every help I can get to spot such birds.

As I left with the clouds covering the sun once again, I got a shot of shy sun and rich yet pale orange glow diagonally behind a skeletal tree on the brow of the hill as I left. The water level under the bridge had noticeably risen over the hours I had spent there, and I have no doubt the banks will recede still further over the next few days and swamp much of the fields close by.

Thursday 24 January 2013


A new name ventures to become a name on the lips of residents of the hamlet of Chaul End and the villages of Caddington and Slip End in the coming months or possible years.

As the etymology displays its origins clearly, it has been well-chosen. Whether it becomes a word spoken harshly or with warmth depends on how what is discussed in the eponymous newsletter is received by those to whom it has been sent.

Where is Chaulington? Well, as I have mentioned above its name comes from the two places most affected by the proposal put forward by Vauxhall and promulgated by PPS Group, an organisation who have experience in tackling projects considered ‘tough’ for their clients and is situated between Chaul End and Caddington.

There is an undoubted need for housing within this county and in fact, the rest of the country. The site has merit. However, it is not the siting that is in contention, as can be the case, it is the effects on existing infrastructure that can cause friction, and that is given no mention within the newsletter. Nor is there a face or name  behind the proposal, a failure I have mentioned in a letter I have written to the email address given in the newsletter.

I have asked for permission to visit the Vehicle Storage Depot to take photographs, and have been at pains to mention that I am not partisan, since at this early stage, the newsletter is the entirety of the information to hand, and my interest is to serve the community, both as it presently stands and how it moves forward. Perhaps if my access is granted and maintained, my words and photos can be a force for the good, of all concerned.

It will be most interesting to see how long it takes for a response and whether I get a name, or permission to take photos – Watch this Space!

Monday 21 January 2013

Sunless Snow – Whipsnade Woods

The snow had stopped falling, but still not even milky sunlight, but with no excuse to stay indoors I ventured out, knowing the challenges of trying capture snow scenes, without some sunshine. The exposures have to be just right to hold the detail in both the darkest and lightest areas, such that afterwards I have the chance to somehow achieve the snow’s whiteness without losing detail of footfalls in the snow, yet at the same time bring out some texture in the blackness of the branches of trees.

Fortunately Lightroom is able to do this for me, but not without considerable effort balancing one control against another, I hope that I have succeeded in the shots I have captured in this gallery. Thinking back on the trip out I realised it took me as long to clear the car of frozen snow as the actual drive out and back, and tonight more snow is forecast, so I will have the same task tomorrow when I need to do some re-provisioning, and the journey involves hills!

Caddington – Non-stop Fine Snow

Snow is wonderful when the sun is shining, it covers much of the ugliness and angularity of a village scene, but without the sunshine, no delineation between sky and horizon, brown, slush-laden main roads and constantly-falling fine damp sleet-like snow, it is somewhat dismal and the devil to capture any detail. This was what somewhat dampens the spirit of the weekend. Had the snowfall abated and the sun shone milkily, the sounds would have been more shrill as families made the most of the days. It would have lightened the gloom and raised spirits and more than made up for the lost working and classroom time, and made the coming of Monday more bearable.

I did find that the few who did venture forth were generally cheerful, and acknowledged my presence in the main, but certainly to several of the men I encountered I was invisible, they never so much as lifted their heads as they passed me by, alone in their own unsmiling worlds trudging begrudgingly by with no care for others’ company. I am sure the sight of the sun would have lifted their heads and their spirits.

So the pictures from that afternoon stroll are to capture some of the brighter signs and some of the shapes and colours to be found when you look around.

Mishmash of Subject Matter

Dripping Taps to a plumber represent a potential for earning, however for myself they represented an opportunity to check out the alignment of a lens and camera, and once I started trying to capture it, it became a fascination in what is actually happening. I know it all has to do with surface tension and a battle between those forces and gravity, but to see it in action is endlessly intriguing; what to our eyes is an intermittent stream is often fast moving globules of water, that as they start their downward journey stretch the surface envelope to breaking point.

Where was I whilst watching all this unfold? Well, it was a 300mm lens on a Canon 7D which meant the first major issue was getting far enough away from my subject, and yet be at the closest focussing distance of that combination, and the tap was in the downstairs shower room basin and in order to be low enough and distant enough I was seated on the closed loo, pressed firmly against the wall behind me and handholding the camera. Hardly ideal from the point of view of my study, but at least I was able to check whether what I was viewing was represented in the image file, and it was!

The rest of the shots in this small gallery represent a trip, possibly my last to my sister-in-law at their pile near Cliveden, as it has been sold, and is scheduled for demolition – it will then truly become a pile; this time, of  rubble. Sad, as the house has seen some happy times over the years of Richard and Glory’s ownership. Daughter, Virginia was over from India and we all sat around the kitchen table chatting in low warm light in the late afternoon, and Joshua who is fascinated by my cameras and in fact anything mechanical or technological was hell bent on taking some pictures so I positioned the camera on the table to so he might be able to look through the viewfinder and once he found the shutter release went at it as if it were a machine gun – the scatter approach managed to capture one shot of Gloria and Virginia as they patiently awaited the release of the shutter, that was both correctly focussed and steady, and the patience in the subjects’ expressions is fairly obvious and rather nice!

Big Al who was against the large window was less easy to capture but is an  interesting study of concentrated disinterest. Taking any shots of Joshua under such circumstances was impossible short of flooding the area with light and trying to keep him far enough away to be able to be able to focus on anything more than a pointed sticky finger or a snot-laden nose!

It was a short but enjoyable visit along with Lizzy who is wishing the arrival of my next grandchild will hurry up and arrive!

Wednesday 9 January 2013

January Photo Miscellany

The last few weeks have provided me with few photographic opportunities, but some subjects have come before my lens, so the gallery I am putting up now is very much a miscellany of situations that have come my way.

Receiving several of the large bars of Toblerone provided one such occasion – having broken off a piece, I noticed that the silver foil left on, closely resembled the snow up on a mountain, so I resisted the immediate imperative to scoff the chocolate and instead brought my camera to bear!

Only yesterday I was up in London to visit one photographer in UCL, and having helped in a very small way as Tony Slade’s assistant whilst we held conversations as he worked, I then headed for Clerkenwell to visit my erstwhile retouching colleagues in The Colour Company, and although when I first arrived only John Swift was working away at his screen, I was soon joined by both his wife Annie and another past retouching friend, Steve Warner.

I had taken the opportunity to grab some Furniture and Interior Design shop windows before calling in, so this brought the changes I had noted within the Clerkenwell area into the conversation, before I set off once again to the studio of Geoff Dann, where he was coming towards the end of the day’s shooting of farmyard scenes for Trina. When this came to the end and she left for the evening we both ventured upstairs where I joined Lizzy Perry to chat over a welcoming cup of tea.

Today after clearing work in the morning I took off on a visit to the Stockwood Discovery Centre, where I took a few quick shots in the park area, and a squirrel on a wall, then wandered into the Museum area where the Wildlife Photography exhibit was, and where amongst the permanent displays was a small display of Varda by visitors from Pakistan. The disappointment for me was that two boxes for visitors in which to place comments had no forms for them to fill in, and only a couple of ladies came in to view the shows whilst I was there. I had packed away my camera before leaving when I noticed the light on a figure by the exit caught my eye. I grabbed that shot before the moment passed!