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 20 October 2013

Neighbourhood Plan for Caddington and Slip End

This weekend has been devoted to displaying the possible plans for future development of the Caddington, Slip End and surrounding local areas. The venue for these discussions is the Heathfield site, which is itself a subject of the discussions. Another feature was an update of what was gleaned from the earlier consultation with  local residents over the Chaulington Scheme.

I visited on the Friday evening and was a little disappointed in the number of those present – because those who had given up their valuable time to be there to answer questions and who were working on the project were in the majority, which I feel sure they found dispiriting. It was self-evident that considerable effort had been expended on the work that had been going on behind the scenes. I was intending to put up a photo of the map that was on display, but I see that it is available, (though without the designations of the possible development sites) on the CaddSE site. <http://caddse.info>

When viewing the above or any other links in this item, use the back arrows in your browser to return here.

I have produced two PDFs from the plans that were on view that show the added details presented on Friday and Saturday, here is close-up view of part of the map *: 
Click in this image to view it larger in your browser

I did find that much of what was presented did seem somewhat open-ended; at first glance I thought that certain designated areas had more defined development intentions than it transpired. I also felt that they were too dispersed, which seemed to suggest that speed of implementation was considered inevitably to be a slow process over a protracted period of time, whereas my view was that a bold assessment of the defined future should be placed on the table for 2018, and that a path to that future should show the line of least resistance, set against the future targets five years beyond that. Means should be found to ensure that unnecessary delays had penalties attached.

By way of an example of fairly avoidable bad planning I explained that in the case of the Busway route, one only had to look at the original reason for that route when it ran trains, it was chosen because it did not disturb residential areas, whereas if a bus is to provide a service it needs to be close to those various residential areas. For trains A to a reasonably major terminal B, speedily and frequent is a target, but for buses it is for there to be several minor stops and is better represented as A to Z ,with the rest of the alphabet between, with schedules that used different combinations of stops that represented the best assessments for some A to Z trips, having alternative minimal stops, with others for more inclusive travel, even including Request-only points. The route in the current case should have involved a crossing of the A505 such that Caddington, Slip End, Chaul End etc were part of that route.

One overarching snag to the Neighbourhood plan and the Chaulington plan is Chaul End Lane, and I have yet to hear of a resolution to that issue. Several previous short-sighted plans have made this an issue that is far from easy to tackle. The Tesco site, the single carriageway A505 stretch, the No right turn junction at its junction with Chaul End lane –  all these contribute to present problems. When you add in the Junction 10A roundabout linking the A6, and the fact that the locals of Slip End and Caddington suffer the noise of the M1, yet have real difficulty in reaching the Motorway quickly themselves, one begins to realise that a seriously bold and different approach to the future is needed for this neighbourhood.

I noted that one of the questions that had been asked was whether bridleways/ ccycle routes improvements for the area should be provided through local tax increases, and there had been surprise that people should largely be against this. I feel if our postcode was unlinked from LU1, then one might find villagers more amenable to considering such a proposal more favourably.

Local residents should definitely read the relevant information provided on site regarding the Neighbourhood Plan – <http://caddse.info> provided by the CaddSE N-Plan Steering Group. They provide a detailed map of the area involved as a link from the above website.

I feel that the guidelines for each site should have been suggested at this stage, because then residents can make a valid assessments of each, whereas at present these are far to vague, no reasons for their designation has been supplied, so only those immediately adjacent have any valid understanding of their merits or demerits, or of any knowledge of current ownership or plans for those areas by the landowners. I think that before the community as a whole is asked for their opinions this information should be supplied.

I may have missed them, but I saw no Assessment Principles, but since the Chaulington discussions seemed well-attended, that should provide a useful guide to the assessment principles at least from the residents side, then the local parishes and local authorities should add their considerations. Only at that stage should the allocated sites be reviewed overall by the residents for their own rating.

I shall be interested in the conclusions drawn from this consultation.

* The second PDF I created can be found here:

PS. I do not own copyright for any of the images reproduced in this piece. They are only provided for convenience

Saturday 19 October 2013

In the Rut – Woburn Park

The weather was forecast to be generally bright and warm, with an outside chance of showers, so outside I went, to visit Woburn Park and see what I could capture of the deer there at the time of the annual rutting. Since it was decidedly nippy when I set off I was wearing a Guernsey pullover, it was not long before it was being worn tied first around my waist and later, more practically around my neck! Also I could have forsaken one camera and allowed myself only two, but I suppose I could do with the extra exercise, so perhaps the added burden was no bad thing.

The early part of the visit was in an almost cloudless sky, but clouds rolled in and on occasion even seemed to threaten rain, but it brightened again, but with somewhat milky sunshine. When having walked through the woods and passed the lake, I found that the verdant landscape was entirely bereft of deer, and speaking to one of the gardeners I learned they were all over the far side. That turned out to partly true, as some walkers ahead of me had spotted a stag beyond the wire, so I did manage a few shots before walking across the vast empty grassy area and came in sight of the private stone bridge, that led to the main House, where beyond another lake the main gathering of deer was at the water’s edge. At this point the right of way takes to the road, and back into woodland and rolling hillocks interspersed by smaller lakes, and here were several more lone males, but these seemed to be of an older generation.

They seemed very laid back; several were very relaxed about the rutting game, apparently moved to give the occasional deep-throated bellow, but had resigned themselves to doing this occasionally, very half-heartedly and whilst lying down; leaving the field free to the energetic young bucks! One had taken to the high ground close to the main House, and having made his stance and bellowed in the direction of the House, then strolled down to inspect the crowd. Around this time I also spotted other stags strutting their stuff and chasing the occasional does, and just asserting themselves. I saw just one encounter between two bucks, but sadly it took place partly shielded by one of the many wooden structures built to protect young saplings. On a few occasions I spotted one male threatening another, but the second male gave way each time, perhaps I was too early, that for now each male was testing others, and the real trials of strength would come later.

I had walked beyond the main herds, so began to head back and before leaving took a few pictures of the last roses and the lowering light filtering through the leaves that were just changing through their rainbow colours in the twilight of summer, to the golds and browns  of autumn. I had spent a very pleasant afternoon and felt reasonably satisfied I had captured something of worth.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Breezy Brogborough

Wind and sunny spells were forecast, and so I considered that the chances were good that some brave souls might venture on the lake at Brogborough to surf the wind despite the air temperature being way lower. As I approached I caught glimpses of the stretch of water, but no signs of windsurfers and began to think that perhaps my surmise was wrong, but as I turned into the entrance I saw that the car park was not empty.

I then saw Tony Tiffen, but as I was wandered to the foreshore sans camera, I saw no one on the water, but a few boards close to the edge; so there was a possibility of action. I then strolled over to the main hut where inside I spotted a couple of wet-suited figures talking and eating, and joined them to learn that they had in fact been out much earlier and were due out again very shortly, so I left them as they discussed who was faster and that a race might be imminent. I hastened to grab my camera and assemble it with the gimbal head, but they were far quicker, and by the time I was ready and set up they were a good distance away. In order to hep me in assessing the shots I chose to set up CamRanger, so the iPad was propped up in my camera bag alongside me, and as took the first shots, I was able to view the results on the iPad screen rather than the camera back.

Initially I chose to shoot from the bank, not too far from the slipway the windsurfers launched from, but at their closest the surfers were too distant, so I shortly gathered my kit up and headed to the Ampthill Anglers’ stretch of waterfront to the left and beyond the car park where again I chose a low angled viewpoint right down close to the shore. I was also shielded more from the wind here, which meant I could withstand the cold for longer, bearing in mind unlike the surfers were exercising, I was clutching cold metal and sat still.

I stayed there for a while before returning when the clouds overhead began to look menacing of a possible downpour, and I thought it preferable to be closer to shelter. Fortunately, the clouds passed without a drop of rain, so after a spell doing more shooting from a spot midway between my previous locations. It was during this spell that I got chatting to an ex-surfer whose wife very kindly offered me a warm cup of tea and duly returned with one a few minutes later. After shooting from here for a time I went into the shelter of the reception area and ordered a bacon roll, and I listened to the banter of derring-do from the earlier pair. I had taken a bare couple of bites from my roll, when I lost sight of my plate and asked around whether anyone had moved it off the sofa – one of the wet-suited protagonists then asked whether I had eaten anything of it to which I responded, “Just two bites” and he said “I just removed a plate which I spotted a dog had been sniffing at a crumb, and took it off him and put it on the hatch.” I thought for a moment they were taking the Mick, but soon realised the dog had in fact got the better of me as I had been concentrating on my gear and their banter! Very generously, I was offered another one.

I went out for one  last spell of shooting before leaving.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Summer’s End in the Country?

Is Sunday the very last day of this Summer? It looked strongly as if this was to be, so I determined that I would take the opportunity to be out and about with the camera; more correctly with two, one, the EOS 7D with the 100 - 400mm and the other the 5D MkII  with the 24 - 105mm. I set off heading towards Dunstable and just by the Mansfield and Streetfield Schools entrance I parked up, because the tractor was in the steep hill  field where I had spotted it ploughing on the Saturday, and here was again this time ‘dressing’ I believe is the term. Having taken a few shots, I was waiting whilst the tractor was hidden from view when I heard a different sound coming from the direction of the Schools’ playing fields, as I approached, I spotted a radio-controlled helicopter between the trees, and grabbed a quick shot before entering the grounds to get a better look.

I saw the man handling the craft, with his back to me and thought I’d try to get some shots looking over his shoulder or at least with him silhouetted in the foreground, and I then did my best to get shots of the chopper in flight, I kept shooting till I saw him land it and as it did so laughter broke out from behind me – they thought I had missed out and and were also amused that the controller had never known I was behind him; I was surprised they were behind me as I had no clue there was anyone else around, though I was not in the least disappointed with the shots I had taken. I showed him a few of them on the back of the camera, then took some more shots of a smaller helicopter and a truck, before returning to grab more shots of the tractor. I was while I was doing that the man caught up with me and asked could he some of the shots and gave me his email address, I promised I would send him the URL of the blog, and he was happy. I also spotted a very happy cyclist as I left, presumably because for the last half-mile it had all been downhill, and she was coasting at a fair lick!

I then headed for Dunstable and on towards Tringford where I called in on the anglers, before moving on to Wilstone where I was lucky to capture a Migrant Hawker spotted initially by some birders.Later I was to see a juvenile heron as well as a more mature one standing at the water’s edge alongside a lapwing. I also spotted a swan aloft and another revving for takeoff. It was however sad to see just how low the water was at Wilstone due to its leak.

I felt contented by the shots I had taken in the warm October sun under a blue sky with puffy fairweather clouds, and headed back to watch what turned out to be a very exciting Korean Grand Prix. I was highly amused by Lewis Hamilton’s radio message to his team after several fruitless laps close behind the Sauber of Nico Hulkenburg trying his utmost to get past – ‘Anyone got any suggestions?’