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 13 November 2014

Nikon Red Kite Day – Tuesday

The Nikon/Chris Gomersall-organised trip to Gigrin Farm in Wales to give six photographers an excellent opportunity to photograph red kite and benefit from the experiences of a true professional wildlife photographer, now seems like a distant memory, due to my family helping to de-clutter the place and create a new bathroom in our house has kept me more than a little busy since that time, and all I did mange very quickly was to mention the day prior to the official day and put up a selection of images without too much culling from that afternoon and evening.

I am now hoping to devote some time to process the following days’ images and write a description of the day, before so much time passes that my memory fails to put together a meaningful narrative. A break has occurred whilst the paint I had applied earlier on the bathroom door and skirting is drying…

The evening of Monday was spent in the nearby Brynafon Hotel, a former workhouse where Chris and I joined one of the following day’s fellow delegates, Daan and his wife for a splendid dinner – I was very impressed by my choice of lamb chops; it is many years since I have seen what I remembered as full-size chops, and my plate was graced with three, and beautifully tasty they were too! There was no good reason to order a sweet as my appetite was sated, so we got engrossed in conversation with these two fascinating South Africans, and sharing reminiscences that we learned would qualify us in SA as the ‘WhenWes’ - conversations between elder adults who would preface stories with the opening: “When we…” That evening was a great success and rounded off a full and long day.

Breakfast the following morning found me catching up on emails courtesy of the WiFi available in the small lounge, before spotting Chris head for the dining area, I joined him and we sat down and were soon offered the choices of cooked food before we selected cereals and tea or coffee. We did not linger, but soon parted for our rooms to gather our gear for the short trip to Gigrin Farm where we began setting the stable area for Chris’ presentation. Although we were somewhat later than scheduled, we waited for everyone to arrive and chatted amongst ourselves with the earliest arrivals and helped Chris to get his laptop and screen up and running. With everyone present Chris got each one of us to introduce ourselves and tell the others something of our work and interests with Chris apologising that there was a Canon user (myself) amongst us; fortunately everyone seemed to be camera system agnostic and my experience of testing Lightroom and Photoshop meant I was made welcome.

Chris explained a bit of the history behind the re-establishment of a healthy population of kites in Wales and a bit about Gigrin Farm, the feeding times they established and the hides that had been built to take advantage of these events for photographers. We were to be using the high hide with a beautiful backdrop, and we were given guidance as to what to expect and how best to maximise the value of what we would be witnessing, and how it might be best initially to be using a moderately short focal length lens to capture the initially large number of swooping birds, before considering getting shots of individual birds.

We also learned that we could expect other birds than the red kites, such as buzzards, ravens and crows, and whereas the kites would rarely land, the others which would each have their specific times to arrive, may well spend some time on the ground.

Before the allotted time for feeding we all made our way up the hill, and eventually up some extremely slippery steps to the high hide, overlooking the feeding arena. As we began setting up tripods, cameras and lenses, the birds slowly began filling the sky in anticipation of the daily event, and soon we could hear the sound of a tractor that heralded the arrival of food. A note: the food provided was always of fresh beef that had to be ‘fit for human consumption”!

The tractor soon unhurriedly came into sight making its arcing way around the arena, before coming to a stop and the man took shovelfuls of fresh meat and placed them in three separate areas to give the photographers as wide a spread as possible when shooting. The sky was full of swirling, diving and swooping birds. Of particular note were a leucistic buzzard and a couple of wing-tagged kites, number 51 and the buzzard spent some time on the ground as did many of the crows and ravens, whereas the kites would twitch, go into a near vertical dive then swoop in just above the ground pick up the meant in its talons, then as it climbed would bring its beak down to the meat before once again return to circling or heading off elsewhere away from the crowd to eat in peace.

It was all too soon over, and somehow seemed even shorter than the previous day before the sky was returned to peace and the ground was now mainly populated by groups of ravens or crows and the occasional buzzard. Prior to the arrival of the tractor and food I had noted a couple of cats and a peacock strolled into the field.

During all this Chris was going around ensuring we goth the most out of the kit we were using, offering suggestions and asking questions in order to ensure we made full advantage of the short time the birds were present and giving us every assistance. We did have very occasional glimpses of milky sunshine, but it was never as bright as it had been on the Monday, but everyone seemed delighted and really grateful for all the guidance that Chris provided, and we all stayed till there was barely a bird on the wing!

We all headed back to the stable, saying our fond farewells where Chris and I gathered all the kit into the car and headed back. I now had a mammoth amount of images to go through, and little did I know then how long it would be till the images saw the light of day on the Web! The Official Day's Images are now finally up.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Day Before Nikon Gigrin Farm Visit

Monday was scheduled for a trip to Gigrin Farm near Rhayader in Wales, and I was lucky enough to be joining the organiser of the trip, Wildlife Photographer Chris Gomersall. Although this is under the auspices of Nikon UK, I had learned that the trips are camera-type agnostic, so sporting Canon equipment did not place me at a disadvantage or any additional cost burden. The red kite do not have any prejudices either, and they are not the only species of birds that attend the feeding station as I was to learn.

I set off with a clear GPS SatNav route to follow to meet up with Chris, but it did not account for a road closure close to my first destination, Potton – a bridge is being repaired, and this meant I had to phone Chris to find an alternative route to reach him. I arrived only five minutes later than we had arranged and we loaded the car with my camera gear and clothes and set off for Wales avoiding the motorway roadworks, breaking the journey at Telford. Along the way we both got the chance to know each other better and discuss a wide range of topics, not all related to what lay ahead at Gigrin Farm. One surprising incident was when Chris spotted a buzzard sitting happily on a road sign on our side of the road, he mentioned it to me and had I had a camera to hand it was so close I could have filled the frame using a wide angle lens!

We met rain and numerous light-controlled sections of roadworks even on these lesser roads, but arrived well in time to get our gear into the Brynafon Hotel and have some time at the afternoon feeding up at the farm where we took up station in the high hide. We were really lucky with the changing weather as during this ‘bonus’ time we were blessed with a rainbow that stayed for quite a while whilst the birds were still feeding.

We met up with one of the morrow’s delegates at the hide and learned he had seen a spectacular display at Aberystwyth of a Starling Murmuration, which decided us on the hour’s drive to coast to see whether we might be so lucky, but though they appeared briefly it was a very small flock that visited us! But the high tide and the skies still invited us to take pictures.

We joined up again with Daan and his wife at the hotel and suppered together enjoyably, all of us eager to repeat and improve upon that day’s shooting.