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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Monday 31 August 2015

Aylesbury Proms in the Park Concert, 2015

I spent some time trying to consider the minimum amount of gear to take photographs of the Aylesbury Concert Band’s Proms in the Park event as I knew I would be some distance from the car, and I might encounter rain, so not only had I to consider overall weight, I had to also take account of bringing some form of protection against a probable downpour of rain, yet I knew I would want a long lens for shots of the musicians and singers and since there was to be a fireworks display to round off the evening I would need a fairly wideangle lens, I could not consider taking two camera bodies, and knowing the likely level of lighting, taking a tripod was sensible.

On the outward journey I had a bag over each shoulder and a seat and a brolly strapped with a bungee to the tripod bag, and felt impressed that I was travelling so light, nI also knew that the journey back to the car would not be so tidy!

I arrived early and trekked back to the park from the car park, and I thought I would be standing around before anything began, but rehearsal was still taking place and even after that had finished the stage was taken by a couple of singers who entertained the gathering crowd with medleys of songs from the fifties, already there were other photographers there to cover the activities. It was a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere with numerous family groups settled on the grass with children enjoying the warm afternoon either playing or relaxing on rugs; the air was full of laughter and chatter and the music from the stage was the backdrop.

Right from the start therefore there was an opportunity to capture the scene and even take a few shots of the band before rehearsal had finished. The gallery that results is therefore not simply of the band and their guest singers but coverage of the atmosphere that surrounded the stage. I was always conscious of trying not to obstruct the view of the audience, but it seemed no one particularly bothered and everyone was happy to let the four photographers wander across the front of the stage and various audience members did the same with their camera-phones, Russ whom I might describe as the official photographer even used his small steps to get a higher viewpoint from time to time and all of would occasionally take to the back of the stage to get shots. I am sure therefore that the shots of the event will reflect the laid-back nature of the whole event.

All the favourites from the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ were there and much appreciated with patriotic fervour, waving flags, glow sticks and dancing!

It did rain for a short period, but certainly not long enough to put a damper on the evening and did not prevent the launch of the fireworks at the end of the day.

Friday 28 August 2015

Stockwood Discovery Centre – August 28th 2015

I had not been down to the Centre since I moved house and wanted to catch up with Jan Tysoe. I was not prepared for her news however – Alex Hyne, whom I had known during her period of working at Luton Hoo’s Walled Garden and met again at Hyde Hall, had died earlier in the year. Coupled with that Jan’s husband had been diagnosed with Throat Cancer and though on the mend had had to endure considerable pain when operated upon. For this reason she was only working for half the day so she could visit him in hospital in the afternoon. Hence Jan allowed me first into one of the locked greenhouses. Jan also let me know that one of her volunteers, whom I also knew, Bridie had retired.

I was very envious of Jan when she told me she had twice seen a Hummingbird Hawk Moth in the Gardens, which is something I have longed to photograph. She managed to get a shot of it on her phone, so has promised to let me see it. Why am I so envious? Both my youngest brother and my son-in-law have both seen them and captured them in photographs, whereas I have only spotted one briefly at Luton Hoo and just not had a chance to take a photograph because it was too far away and flew away and over a greenhouse!

I did however get up close and personal with a bee today! I met a new volunteer in the long greenhouse, one Keith and I believe much of what I photographed today was as a result of his earlier handiwork in planting them.

Although it was very warm, the greenhouse had all its windows open, so it was very comfortable for a change. I hope that today’s pictures can give pleasure to Jan.

Friday 21 August 2015

A Marsworth Kingfisher and Other Birds

I have not visited the Tring Reservoirs for quite a while as I am that much further from them, and settling into my new home and pressure to find paying work has taken priority, but circumstances prevented me from working today, so I went to bed somewhat earlier than usual so that I meet leave in plenty of time to arrive at Marsworth’s lake with some chance of settling to wait upon the vagaries of kingfishers perhaps calling by after two hours and still being before nine and the most prolific birds were Wood Pigeons and Mallard  ducks followed by the occasional moorhen. A Heron did take a look, but despite my being in the shade of hawthorn bushes I guess he must have seen me as he turned in flight and disappeared in the direction from which he had arrived. I was visited by the local Robin, but far less frequently than I had been accustomed, but nary even a flyby by a kingfisher till about ten to nine.

He came to a branch much nearer than I might have expected which made a change. Soon after a pigeon took the same spot after the kingfisher had flown elsewhere. I was lucky then to see him or at least another male of the same species twice more, but he never did any fishing, so there were no shots of any catches, but at least some nice portraits. A family of female Mallards did come for a preening session close by, and I was surprised by three explosive leaps of what I can only presume were catfish, but never in the same spot and my lens was never trained in the same direction, I have to say that my Robin looked very dishevelled which was a disappointment as he was normally impeccably groomed.

After a further hour and a half I called it a day and returned, but not too disappointed.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Woburn Park – DH Moth Airshow

A friend of mine, Andy Fox told me that over the weekend he would be manning a stand at the Airshow to sell some of his photos, and I decided I would make the time to visit the park to see what it was all about. Since I had a long walk from the Free Car Park, I made the decision to eave the tripod in the car – this lack of foresight lost me valuable shooting time as I then had to make that journey twice in order to make good my mistake! I soon learned that trying to use the 100-600mm lens handheld for shooting aircraft in flight was really not satisfactory; after all why go to all the trouble of buying a carbon fibre tripod and leave it in the boot of your car (and make the same trek twice!)

On the first trip to the field I had the camera in a case that had both a spare battery and spare card, on my return to the car I dispensed with the case in order to offset some of the extra weight of the gimbal head and tripod, forgetting that by so doing I was leaving my safety net behind which consideration dawned upon my feeble brain only as I left the car park for the second time! I had been watching some aircraft both arriving and others doing circuits, but on my return flying was over till 2pm, so my mistake cost me dear! Speaking of deer – the airfield is normally their domain and several of their number felt they should protest by nonchalantly heading across the arrogant human’s airstrip several times during the afternoon.

I was fortunate that on both the occasions I was at the protective boundary in the company of keen aircraft buffs who knew the aircraft types and some of their history. I found that even without aerial activity there were subjects of interest from the public, the main road and the deer and of course there was time to chat to a couple of other photographers.

 I have since learned from Andy he had a very successful time in the marquee selling some of his photos and recruiting potential visitors for his wildlife days at Clophill – the highlight of his weekend was meeting a ninety-three year-old ex-pilot who proudly spotted one of Andy’s pictures of a Sea Hurricane and told him that he had actually piloted that specific plane! Andy managed to get the back of the framed picture signed by the pilot and have his photo taken with him and the picture. Andy promptly popped a ‘Not for Sale’ Sticker to that one and it is now in pride of place in his own Sitting room!

Although the show was originally dedicated to De Havilland Moth aircraft it has over the years been extended to embrace other aircraft models, and although it has had some lapses, it seemed well attended and was blessed with a good amount of sunshine and attentive attendees, I certainly enjoyed my Sunday and will likely return next year, and I will be back to the park itself for the deer in a month’s time or so.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

An Afternoon with Evening

It is sometime since Martin Evening, whose books I tech edit, and I have met up; the last being when he kindly offered me a ticket to join him at this year’s Festival of Speed at Goodwood – sadly on that occasion he had been unwell and so I ended up going down alone and feeling guilty as if my being there was under false pretences. He came to visit for two reasons: I was lending him a US Army Sargent’s uniform for the Goodwood Revival Meeting and giving him the first glimpse of my new home in Marston Moretaine.

After a brief tour we both then gathered some camera gear and I took him on a tour of the local environs by first heading for the Brogborough Lake, but any intention that I might show him where the windsurfers hang out was dashed by the gates being closed as we passed by and by a severe lack of wind and any potential windsurfers!

I parked up just beyond the entrance and we took a stroll along the water’s edge beyond, chatting and taking the occasional photo of dragonflies, and in Martin’s case the receding pylons walking across the landscape and disappearing in the distance. The wind then did pick up a bit and this blew away at least some of the cloud cover. Our time there was brief and we soon turned back and I then drove towards Lidlington then left in the direction of Marston so that we would be approaching the Nature Reserve before reaching Marston Moretaine, we drove in and parked up so Martin could take some shots of the rusting brick-making machinery that stands by the entrance to the Visitor Centre and Restaurant; I had left my camera in the boot, but decided on reflection that I would take it out so returned to collect it.

We then headed for the walkway through the reed beds and on up to one of the hillocks where Martin watched a small sailing dingy in the distance and I took a single shot of the view across to the chimneys of Stewartby from the peak. Martin had a menagerie of his neighbour’s animals to feed before supper, so we then headed back to the car and my place where we had a brief closing chat before he journeyed back to Berkhamsted. It was good to know that the uniform fitted perfectly and that we had managed to catch up, and I do so hope he does not have a too exhausting and stressful time before the next Goodwood trip, so that we can do that together.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Brogborough Sunny Break – Mild Wind

I decided I needed a break from assembling bookcases to house my large paperback collection, so after tidying up having reached the early ‘M’s of authors, I gathered my camera and bicycle and headed off down Woburn Road away from Marston Moretaine, but just before the exit onto the old A421, my chain came off the sprockets and jammed itself between the pedal and a bolt head. As laid the bike down the basket on the front containing all my camera gear, fortunately strapped carefully within also detached itself and lay in the grass. It took more than five minutes to free the chain and then get it all back, but what little grease remained on the chain now covered both hands!

I remounted for the short journey to Brogborough Lake and the hope that I might find a way to clean up satisfactorily upon my arrival at the windsurfing area. I was in luck as the charming lady who supplied me a welcome cup of tea had some wipes that worked wonders in removing the grease such that I could delve into my pockets to find the money to pay her.

No one had yet ventured out as there was next to no wind, so I lingered with my tea before setting up my tripod and camera, hoping that as I had left Marston Moretaine in a fair breeze, that the wind speed would rise sufficiently to tempt people onto the water. In this lull, I did spot a lone dragonfly, and I hoped I might catch sight of more, which I did briefly, a while later, but again only a singleton (possibly the same one!)

At first I captured local family activities and training exercises and then I spotted André whom I had met before and a little more action seemed promised; I suspect that August holidays and the lack of a stiff breeze played their parts in keeping the numbers of experienced thrill-seekers from the lake. Every so often the wind would rise and André and others would take advantage and provide me with images that were a little more exciting.

In the end I captured some interesting shots and definitely enjoyed my afternoon – the journey back with a following wind passed without incident and brought my mind back to how I might make space for yet more bookcases to hold the latter half of the Author’s alphabet from ‘McC’ onwards; Billy from IKEA will be paying me further visits!