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 30 July 2015

Canon CPS+ Parkour Event in London

Canon has a scheme known as ‘CPS+’ where they organise varying events that challenge practising professional photographers to experiment with areas of photography outside their own specific areas of expertise to both expand their horizons, meet with other photographers and often invited photographic product suppliers in an informal atmosphere that allows the delegates to handle lenses and bodies with knowledgable and helpful Canon staff.

Canon invite the ‘plus 1’s who need not even be Canon devotees as the subsequent publicity and goodwill promotes their products to a wider audience. I have personally benefitted from the knowledge imparted and been more than willing to promote Canon and its products by whatever means available, most notably by expressing my gratitude via this blog and conversations with colleagues. The Canon staffers have always been impeccably well-organised and the Canon staff have been attentive and genuinely pleased to ensure everyone is able to get the most out of the day.

This Parkour Day started with refreshments and registration at the Frontline Club just a short distance from St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington; Frankie Jim from Canon set the scene followed by two speakers, Samo Vidic and Scott Bass who respectively spoke about working with Red Bull and shooting Parkour illustrated with a few photographs on screen.

How come I was there at all?
At the very last moment, having earlier been informed I had not been lucky enough to be invited, my luck changed! Canon phoned me up to say would I like to come, and bring along a guest ‘plus 1’ – originally that was to have been Geoff Dann, but once he had learned we had been unlucky, when a photoshoot came along for that day, naturally he had booked it in, so in haste I contacted several others from my circle of friends, and Julian MacDonald was not on holiday and was fortunately delighted to take up my offer, and it would give him the ideal opportunity to handle a lens he had been considering to purchase.

Originally there was talk of a twenty minute walk to the venue, however Canon had thoughtfully provided a series of taxis which meant the walk came at the end of the day. The venue was next door to a large Studio complex in a secure fenced off area where Canon had set up a table with their comprehensive assortment of lenses and camera bodies if anyone wished to sample the toys on offer. I did take a quick image on one of their lenses, but when it came to shooting the athletes, I was going to stick with my own 5D MkIII and 24-105mm.

I soon lost track of time as I settled into trying to capture the three participants as they went through their repertoire, and understand what they were hoping to see from our efforts, when I thought I had succeeded I asked each for their judgement on whether I had got what they were looking for in a particular action. Although I definitely added considerably to my shutter actuation count, the vast majority of images may well end on the ‘cutting room floor”!

Both Julian and I had thoroughly enjoyed our day, and now comes the hard part of turning raw captures into finished images on the blog, then judge whether I had achieved some success. I do not see any masterpieces appearing, but what I can say with sincerity is a big thank you to Canon for giving us both a great afternoon.

Sunday 26 July 2015

Brogborough Lake – Short Early Saturday Visit

Saturday early, around nine till eleven was forecast to be sunny with occasional gusts of wind, so since this was about the only bright news on the weather front for several days, I decided the night before that I would take a short cycle ride to Brogborough Lake to take a few photographs of any windsurfing activity.

Here in Marston Moretaine, it seemed little more than a light breeze, but as I cycled along the Woburn Road towards the Liddlington turn-off, it was a bit brisker, had taken and worn for the outward trip, my pullover – it would double as a cushion if wrapped in my groundsheet. I have yet to get the ideal means of transporting my tripod, Gimbal Head and Camera and long lens, so I do look somewhat encumbered and certainly a bit top heavy, but with a couple of bungee straps, it is manageable.

On arrival no one was on the lake, but the area was thronged with people getting prepared and groups chatting, so I laid down my bike and started getting myself ready; the first action being to divest myself of the pullover since my short burst of exercise had warmed me sufficiently.

I learned that the first flurry of activity was likely to be youngsters, and that adults were likely an hour or so away, and that proved correct. New to me probably for the very reason of safety for novices and the young a boat was being launched with Barry Rivett and a young helper, so I joined in to help them put it in the water. Soon after I was taking shots of parents taking their child out on the lake with much gentle encouragement. The dinghy looked good in the sunshine, so that also featured in the shots as well. My time was limited as my next door neighbour was due to be moving in, and I had offered my help should it be needed.

Today was never going to be a day to capture exciting and energetic activity on the lake, but at least there were a few more experienced surfers out during my short stay, it was simply a chance to keep my eye in and record some of the activity in reasonable lighting conditions.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

The Whitecross Street Festival

Saturday evening was to be a very formal affair at the Caledonian Club in Halkin Street at which I was formally requested, (or should that be ‘forbidden’?) to bring a camera, with this in mind it was great news to hear that the very friends I was due to be staying with after that event were due to be visiting, and in the case of mine hostess, performing, at the Whitecross Street Festival.

This street is familiar to me, for my longtime friend Geoff Dann, has his studio at the top end of the eponymous street. I arrived at the Main Stage just in time for the start of Kit’s playing in the group, on the Gamelan, a Balinese percussive instrument. Fortunately I had already primed my camera and taken shots of a very unusual tall building by Old Street roundabout on my way to the venue, so I began shooting an tapping my feet to the strong beat of the music – always a challenge when you are photographing bands playing and the light does not penetrate the depths of a stage!

I tried my best to get shots of Kit that would be complimentary, whilst remembering there were also others in the band deserving of such care. I hope I have captured the spirit of joy that emanated from the players, I felt their slot was all too short, especially when I learned they had actually underun their allocated time; I would have enjoyed hearing more from them. The audience were equally enthusiastic which is always encouraging. Sadly since I was unaware of the timing of Kit’s playing it meant that Geoff was unable to hear her play. He joined us we sat down to have something to eat and drink, and only when he arrived did I remember he was already known to Kit and Gordon, since he had very kindly returned them to London after a Birthday Party of mine a couple of years back!

Liz Perry joined Geoff and I after our short lunch break and we explored a bit further before I had to leave to get back to north London to change into my DJ for my niece’s Fortieth Birthday Party back from Mumbai especially to be among friends and family. I did take one shot a young artiste painting at the corner of the street, and I hope she can get to see the treatment I gave to the shot when she turned to look straight at me, I wish I had managed to grab a more meaningful shot of the radio-controlled wheelie bin that squirted water at passers by that ignored it, but I do at least have the perpetrator in the background of the scene. I also managed to buy a couple of small presents for my two youngest grandchildren.

Sunday 12 July 2015

Aylesbury Concert Band – Fairford Leys Fête

Fairford Leys holds its Annual Fête in the Central Square, and the Aylesbury Concert Band performed in the eponymous Band Stand on Saturday 11th July, in excellent weather, surrounded by numerous stands, a Helter Skelter, Carousel and Wheel. The local Ambulance Service was on hand, as was later, a Fire Appliance, or as the youngsters would call it a Fire Engine, there were Fitness Exercises energetically performed by Dancers, a Kiddies Bookstall, a Hook-a-Duck stall, the Local WI, stronger refreshments than tea and coffee were provided, a DJ who gave the announcements and a bubble machine, and a very welcome Ice Cream Van – all the ‘Fun of the Fair’.

There was a slight drama at the outset for the Band; several other villages and towns were holding their summer fêtes and the drummer with all his kit had to make numerous diversions en route which meant his arrival was somewhat delayed, but he made it! One recurring issue with outdoor venues was apparent, the profusion of clothes pegs to keep the sheet music on the stands!

Local Councillor, Sally Pattinson opened the proceedings after the Band had actually already been playing (I am hoping I have her surname correct, as I was at that time at the top of the Helter Skelter, trying for a high enough angle on the Band to be able to really see them all, so did not not catch the full name!) I did not come down on a mat, in case I am asked. I did glean that both the Helter Skelter and the Carousel were owned and provided by a family concern, and I am very grateful that they allowed me to shoot from that viewpoint.

It was a delightful and happy family event and seemed very much appreciated and I certainly very much enjoyed the music; I hope it comes across in the pictures I managed to take.

Sunday 5 July 2015

Another Brief Brogborough Lake Visit

Exercise nowadays is low impact on Fridays when I get in the swimming of as many individual underwater lengths of the Aquavale Competition Pool in Aylesbury and higher impact short cycle rides from Marston Moretaine to the Windsurfing Club at Brogborough Lake, and the most recent of those was on Saturday afternoon. The wind was against me going which is always good from a psychological standpoint so long as the general direction remains the same I can be assured of a following wind on the return journey – I am not one of the world’s fittest!

The journey is short enough to be enjoyable and the warm sunshine makes the ride seem far shorter and I tell myself that I am behaving responsibly from the ecological angle by not using the car for such a short stint, but a fit cyclist would hardly have got in their stride by the time I have arrived! Lycra on me would be ludicrous as I just don’t cut that sort of figure, so no cycle clips, just the trousers tucked into socks and sensible shoes complete my gear.

I brought my full-frame body, the 5D MkIII so as to avoid the extra step before processing of creating DNGs from the 7D MkII, but what this means is I do not have quite the same throw with my 150-600mm Tamron zoom, nor the burst rate, but I needed to check out how I’d get on with this combination. On balance I felt the 7D has the edge, so I will have to put up with the extra step in post processing until I upgrade the version of Lightroom I use. I have held off upgrading my operating system in order to to keep running costs in check whilst paying work is slow, and the time for that upgrade is sadly looming ever closer, but sadly the way Apple is moving connectivity with my existing hard drives means lots of adapters or newer replacement hard drives – an expense I cannot justify.

I settled down initially at the water’s edge where the surfers launch and return, but I later moved to the jetty, but soon after that move which was for better lighting conditions, the wind direction changed and fewer surfers went in that direction, which as it also dropped meant that my session was soon curtailed as my subjects all returned to shore. The shots I managed to capture were fairly colourful, but none were spectacular as the wind speed was not that high, but it was enjoyable while it lasted and the journey back was very swift and effortless. I hope the images I did capture bring some pleasure.

Thursday 2 July 2015

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015 Sunday

Saturday proved to be a very long day, in part due to my trying to make the most of my time at the Festival, but also because the journey home was full of slow moving traffic. Having been very warm during the day, showering and shaving before retiring was also de rigeur, so it was well after midnight when I hit the sack.

In the morning, awoke with the alarm and despite having cut short the time I had allowed before heading for Martin’s house in Berkhamsted, I did manage to have a fair breakfast. I arrived at his place just before the allotted six o’clock, only to find that he had had a third day of restless sleep and was decidedly under the weather and felt he could not manage the day, so reluctantly I had to collect the tickets and a copy of his latest Lightroom book and journey on alone. Although I always enjoy driving, I prefer the company of others and sadly at this time of morning it is hard to find someone around to receive a call from me especially with the lack of a second car park ticket to consider.

I arrived once again at the House where I enquired again about meeting with Jo Willitt and learned she would be around at lunchtime. When that time came around Valentino Rossi was due in, so that schedule slipped somewhat as Suzi Perry interviewed him on the balcony in front of a large flag-waving crowd amassed on the circular lawn beneath the Mazda twin car installation. Long before that however, I headed up the hill to the Forest Rally section where I met up with and had a long chat with the ambulance man. He gave me a few hints as to where the track weaved through the trees as there was still a good bit of time before the cars came through. I got in some nice shots as they came through a couple of corners before I made my way further up to where there was a jump, but some of the best vantage points were either obscured by tall nettles, or in one case by one of the Press boys standing directly in the best line of sight; this despite his being able to get far more dramatic shots had he been lower – but the paying public began to address him and suggest he squat which he obligingly did!

The ambulance man also mentioned I might well be able to get a a VIP ride back down to the house, which proved correct, and was very welcome as the uphill trudge in the humid heat had been quite exhausting. I revisited the end of the Sponsors’ enclosure to take shots from that viewpoint before heading for the House for lunch, it was during the enforced wait that I managed to catch up with Lord March and let him know Martin had been unable to make the journey, he asked me to let him know he would be welcome to join him at the Revival Meeting.

Lunch was in a long marquee at the back of the House, and I found myself on a table with Dame Donna, the title given to matrons at Lord March’s son William’s school, and her brother Robin, who it turned out owned the Bayeux Colour Laboratory and knew several of my colleagues and friends! I did wonder since one of those colleagues was Mike Huideburg owner of Tapestry whether it was that that had influenced the naming of his Lab?

Sunday was yet another day to remember and cherish, and to give me a not inconsiderable time sorting images to go in a gallery or galleries here on the blog, and it would just happen to be the hottest UK weather ever!