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 27 June 2013

PENHA Branding & Network Event

PENHA is a pastoral and environmental organisation dedicated to improve the perceptions and hence the aid and support to countries within the Horn of Africa; they held an event at the Adulis Eritrean Restaurant in Brixton Road, London. One of the organisers of the event, Vanessa Champion of Dragonfly Communications invited me along, and as a consequence I invited a talented photographer, Karena Perronet-Miller, who has done photographic assignments in India, to come along too.

We set off from our very different points mine from outside London, Karena’s from North London, yet as I came along the Brixton Road, Karena spotted me before I sailed by unknowingly as she had stopped by one of the shops en route, so we entered together giving me the opportunity to introduce Karena to Ness downstairs, having been greeted by the owners and  Zeremariam Fre at the entrance.

Already music could be heard from below, and although we were early there were already other guests who had arrived still more promptly. Karena, despite having told me she was apprehensive about such meetings was soon very much at home, and I realised I need not have worried. The atmosphere was very welcoming all round, and having checked with Ness about photographing was assured it was just fine – it was not long before I was far from alone in taking the opportunity to capture the event for a wider audience! It proved to be difficult to avoid each of us finding other photographers featuring in our images.

It was a wonderful opportunity to listen to some lively music, some introductory speeches, explanations of some of the instruments being played and their origins. Naturally, it was also the chance to gain further experience of ‘unavailable light photography’ by having to shoot at 5000 ISO to get exposures as short as 1/15th second with some semblance of sharpness somewhere in the picture – especially challenging when trying to capture speakers whose heads seemed capable of swivelling 360 degrees and hands that moved faster than the speed of light, and musicians whose virtuosic fingers operated at similar velocity.

In some instances due to moments of humour, or subtle changes in expressions I have shown images that at first sight may seem duplicates, but often taken together provide a greater truth to what was happening. Mixed lighting sometimes enhanced the images at others proved quite challenging when I was processing them for display in the gallery, but I hope overall, I have captured the essence and ambiance of the evening which I thoroughly enjoyed as did my feet and toes as they often followed the beat with abandon.

It was a well-organised and successful event with splendid food, wonderful hospitality and incredible friendliness; I met several new people and was very grateful to be invited and I hope in this record have contributed in some small way.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Another Muggy Day

This time I am in the Walled Garden at Luton Hoo. After a brief chat with Charlotte Phillips who is the leader of the project to restore the Gardens to their former Glory, I take a look at display of flowers within the garden that forms one half of the octagonal enclosing walls.

I have two cameras with me; the EOS 7D has the 100mm macro, and the 5D MkII has the 24-105mm, and both come into use depending on the distance from my subject and the angle of view, though ironically using the 7D which has the smaller chip, I sometimes swap to the zoom because the distance does not seem quite right compared to using it on the 5D MkII, but when I use the earlier 5D, the issue is the review screen is too small. I am just too fussy!
Walking around and often kneeling down means it is easy to work up a sweat, yet compared to the volunteers all around me, I must simply be unfit, as they are really toiling, pulling out weeds wheeling barrows and raking.

There are now three Mallard ducks that have taken residence; two males and one female, and I learned that apparently there were some eggs, that they had been incubating, but last week they were found to be cracked and the presumption is a fox possibly feasted on them. That is sad. Certainly they do not seem fazed by all the people around them, whereas the ducks I see on the reservoir are far more wary of human proximity.

Today was definitely not a day for a visit to the cactus greenhouse, so when I felt I had a good collection of images, I left and returned to my car which I had carefully parked in the shade, but before sitting inside I grabbed a rug from the boot to keep my cloth driving seat dry and fresh.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Muggy Weather at Tring Reservoirs

The sky was overcast, the temperature warm, and the mugginess attracted midges, so damselflies were feeding well and pairing successfully. The swans at Tringford had at last been blessed with a brood and were showing their offspring their stretch of water. The Terns were enjoying the opportunity of the low water level to fish in the shallows at the edge of the reservoir and doing reasonably well, one brought its catch to the old Rothschild boat.

After a spell on this lake, I then moved to Marsworth where I was lucky several times to capture a heron in flight, and likewise the terns here were patrolling the margins giving me reasonable scope and they were having a good feed here too. I was really lucky to hear the approach of a heron and turned just in time to capture his successful taking of a Roach from right beneath a pair of Grebe! And then to follow it as it flew off with its bounty.

I was also fortunate that an angler threw some bait to lure the terns in close to me whilst we chatted, so despite the lack of sun and a spell of rain, by shooting at 1600 ISO I was able to get some reasonable if grainy images for my stay.

Thursday 13 June 2013

Dull Day at Marston Forest Country Park

The Weather was certainly uninspiring as I visited the Country Park at Marston Moretaine, hoping that the mugginess might tempt dragonflies and damselflies onto the wing. On that score I was to be disappointed, as the wind was both gusty and quite strong, and although I caught a fleeting glimpse of one male damselfly I only managed to photograph a dull female.

I was luckier with the butterflies as a male Common Blue stuck around one small area, and did land from time to time. I also captured a Checquered Skipper with its characteristic antennae with floppy socks on the ends. The blossom which I thought surely should be gone from hawthorn bushes by June was still in abundance and fresh. One bee was still managing to fight the gusting wind despite carrying a very full load of pollen like saddlebags. And as I returned via the walkway through the reedbeds, I spotted that the birds were being so careless with their feeding that several lazy squirrels did not need to find their way to the feeder as there was a plentiful supply of nuts beneath.

I would like to visit later when there is greater warmth and a better chance of shooting dragonflies as they remain a fair challenge to capture them in flight.

Sunday 9 June 2013

Langleybury Cricket Match

I pondered for some while as to where to travel on Saturday morning and decided to head for Lady Capel's Wharf in Watford, this turned out to be impossible as I was to discover later, I had already planned exactly where to park – Hunton Bridge, just off the A41 where from past experience I knew that close by a church and on the opposite side of the main road to the building which housed the Advertising Agency, Clock. The sun was out fairly strongly and I did wonder at the number of Police vehicles that kept passing, and also noted helicopters overhead, but apart from wondering whether there was a Policeman's Ball taking place or there were criminals at large, I took little notice and seeing the nearby cricket ground and a match being played, decided my canalside walk could wait awhile.

I did not need to enter the grounds I could stay by the boundary and take shots from a low wooden fence, and so it was that I spent probably around an hour just trying to see whether I might hone my skills at capturing some of the action. I missed some of the important action from a fielder stepping between me and stumps as one batsman was clean-bowled, and missed a catch by the wicket keeper at the far end, when I was slightly less attentive. I also varied my position to add some interest by altering the angle, then whilst the teams took their customary drinks I wandered back to my car and took some coffee myself together with some crisps, then wandered towards the entrance to the ground.

Spotting a couple of players I enquired the names of the sides playing, which in turn meant that I handed the camera over to one of them to scan through the shots I had taken, and we chatted and I mentioned where the shots might appear, and gave him my blog address. Little did I know that we shared a mutual friend in Peter Carr of Bamville Cricket Club!

We parted and I set off under the main road with three cameras around my neck to walk south along the Grand Union Canal tow path. A couple of locks further I learned the significance of the Police presence from a couple who informed me that it was all due to the Bilderberg Conference being held at the Grove, and soon I was to be directed away from the canal by a pair of policemen who had travelled from Leicester, and later some from Thames Valley, however despite not being able to reach the stretch of canal I had intended visiting I did learn precisely where Lady Capel's Wharf was and also spotted Lady C's Cottage (not Chatterley!) I certainly got plenty of exercise and I also saw just how extensive the closure of the surrounding area was, and hope that Taxpayers do not have to foot any part of the bill, because I have never seen anything like it, and considering how much disruption was caused I am staggered that somewhere more easy to police was not selected by the organisers, such as Leeds Castle. I now fully understand just how disruptive this was for local residents, and sincerely hope something like this is not repeated.

Byways of Hertfordshire

I was planning to take a wander along the Grand Union Canal near Hunton Bridge, but decided I would take the scenic route through the lanes, and along the way I spotted the interesting edge of a wood where the land changed directions multiple times and the sunshine which came and went was likely to provide some interesting lighting to the various slopes, so I stayed some time waiting for the sun to do my bidding and light different parts of the scene, until I could get an interesting shot – it never quite provide exactly the shading I wanted, but it came close a few times, and I took at least twenty shots hoping that I might finally get one I was reasonably happy to use.

I also took a close-up of some infestation of leaves within the hedgerow where I stood, and some immature fern fronds, before spotting an attractive bend in the road by a field of oilseed rape. Later after covering a spell at a cricket match and my thwarted walk along the Grand Union Canal, I returned via Ashridge spotting a splendid newly painted water tower, with to my mind poorly placed microwave aerials that were put right in front of windows! At Ashridge at the end of the day I took some shots of pathways in the woods, rhododendrons in profusion and a few bluebells that were still fairly fresh; not totally disappointed by the final outcome of my day out.

Thursday 6 June 2013

Stockwood Discovery – June 6th Visit

Thursday comes with its forecast cloud cover, and promise of warmth, so I get email read make phone calls, some which actually connect. I also have numerous books collected which will help add to the stock available at the Allotments Library, and I load this into Helen Turner's car as she will be opening the Library shortly. It is a new venture opening every other Thursday for a couple of hours since the Mobile Library has been withdrawn.

Once the desk is clear, I opt for visiting Stockwood Discovery Centre to see how the gardens are coming on. By now the sun is out and the sky is edge to edge blue with a slight but pleasant breeze, and this has brought all the mothers and their toddlers, and seemingly some of the local primary schools with their charges, or should that be chargers? The sounds of happy children is occasionally interrupted by the new season's aircraft movements seemingly overhead every five or so minutes.

I soon meet an apprentice who works with Jan the Gardener and check she is in today and learn she is working in the Sauna, for that is the best way to describe that particular greenhouse, but I am happy to leave that visit till later! I note that one of the other greenhouses has been completely surrounded by a fence and black polythene sheeting as it is going to be restored to hopefully its former glory. The task is going to be mammoth as all the glass is now out and the extent of the damage to the woodwork is all too evident. The work is going to be ongoing for several months.

It was as I was on my knees obtaining some close-ups that Jan came on the scene and after a quick chat with me she asked the workmen whether I might be allowed to take some photos of the work, knowing I would relish the opportunity. They acquiesced and led me inside the enclosure and I took a few shots in the hope that later I might continue to cover the progress of the work. In that short space of time I learned that they had found that the original design incorporated a series of holes to take condensation from the inside glass panes out the gutter outside to avoid the wood suffering from the retention of that water. I therefore took two shots of these details for the future.

After a period outdoors, I entered the greenhouse sauna as Sam and Jan took their lunch break (seeing the juxtaposition of those two names reminded me of an old song: "Sam and Janet Evening" but perhaps I should keep such trivia to myself!

Although I did manage to capture a bee or two at work, I was disappointed at the scarcity overall. It was a reasonably worthwhile visit and it was good to hear that Jan is now seeing more brightly after her ops on both eyes.

Sam, Jan, Stockwood Discovery Centre, Gardens, flowers, leaves, greenhouse restoration, Luton, Bedfordshire

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Walled Garden, Luton Hoo – Early Summer

Well, there looks to be a chance of some settled and more Summer-like weather this week, with even the potential of lasting into the weekend. I have not had much of a chance to visit the Walled Garden of late as I have had to contend with preparing my own garden and surroundings to improve my chances of selling the house. But having made some corrections to the new Estate Agents’ work on the brochure, and my desk being clear I dashed out for an hour to see what was on show.

I never tire of seeing the leaves on the erstwhile Garden Manager’s Office, as they start green and then change to red and white, so after some shots of that I made my way into the garden itself and whilst close to the wall and capturing a close-up, I heard the somewhat unusual twittering of some young Mallard ducks, and they then tentatively emerged from the back of the garden beds onto the path towards the grass beneath the fruit trees. A short time later a male pheasant also skittered away from near me, and not long after took to the air and departed.

The layout of the gardens has changed from earlier years, with much more fencing appearing, and unless I am mistaken a different range of plants. I spent just on an hour wandering around occasionally patiently watching bees doing their job of pollinating, and just before leaving taking a shot of the beekeepers working around the hives behind the potting sheds. Overall there were a lot of volunteers this Wednesday almost certainly due to the improved spell of weather.