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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Wednesday 25 November 2015

Evening Skies over Nearby Landscape

Spotting the richness and power of the clouds, I hastily grabbed my camera and shot out to Stewartby and Houghton Conquest where it is marginally less flat than here in Marston Moretaine to capture a few quick shots of the effect these could have on mundane and unremarkable landscapes.

There were barely enough to create a gallery, but they could later provide backgrounds to cards with plenty of space for an accompany message. Simply Grist to the Mill. The image that heads this piece was me playing with duotoning one shot in Lightroom to almost simulate a snow scene.

I also took the chance to visit an engineering works who manufacture robot parts for the automotive sector of British Industry in case they might ever have a need for my services, but sadly they already have an incumbent, but I try to leave no stone unturned, and I had earlier helped a photographer based in Cardiff hoping it might generate some training at a future date, so the day was not not a washout.

Monday 23 November 2015

Ampthill Christmas Lights – Switch On

Andy Fox came around to drop off the last of a series of mounted prints that now adorn the walls of my new home, and casually mentioned that he and his wife, Debbie were going to the switching on of the Christmas Lights in Ampthill that evening, and this struck me as a good way to spend the late afternoon and early evening as it was generally well-attended and a good show.

Since my arrival was not likely to be all that early I decided not to chance going too far into Ampthill to park, but I do need all the exercise I can get, so I parked just off the A507, giving myself a fair trek to reach the town centre; I soon found I had been overly cautious, as it soon became apparent I could have parked far closer, but I was not going to waste time and petrol to make the change. It also gave me a chance to add to my stock of images of autumn and textures.

The central roundabout had the access to the High Street barricaded off to make it a pedestrian thoroughfare and the Sainsburys car park had become a funfair with stalls, rides and charity tents and was filling with people when I arrived, and though the afternoon was cold, it was still bright and families were along full of the festive spirit. The decorations were mainly confined to shop windows, and the lighting scheduled to be lit were not extravagant, but that mattered not a jot – the atmosphere engendered by the throngs of people was all that mattered and the street was a happy place with chattering children and shiny balloons depicting Minions, Mickey Mouse, Super heroes and Ponies, and it was not long before one was lost to the sky, but I did not hear the sounds of crying for its loss, just a few adults remarking that it was on its way to the stars!

There was dancing and music playing in the run-up to the count down and dusk began encroaching very gradually with the crowd density increasing in direct proportion to the darkening of the sky. As I recorded the scene unfolding I spared a thought for such gatherings on the continent realising just how fragile was this peaceful scene I was witnessing, and I wondered how many of those present sensed those same sentiments – if they did, it certainly did not show or dampen their spirits, for which I was grateful. It is however worth at least understanding how tenuous this grip on everyday normality really is at this time, whilst not becoming despondent and fearful.

I enjoyed the event very much and was really grateful to Andy who brought the event to my notice, I hope I have captured the essence of the evening in the gallery of images.

Thursday 19 November 2015

November on Tring Reservoirs

I felt I needed to chance taking the opportunity to Visit the Reservoirs at Tring for possibly the last time this year., despite there being light rain forecast. When I first arrived it had not yet started, but as I took the first few photographs the first few drops arrived, but I was well wrapped up in case it got worse, but surprisingly for mid-November, it was not too cold – at least before I had been stationary for long.

The first bird of interest was a heron standing in just a few inches of water, but it barely moved during the time it took me to set up the tripod, and actually losing my footing on the steep bank of Startops End lake. I was surprised at just how many birds were on the water considering how much noise was being made by the workers presumably doing repair work to the far bank.

I headed beyond the end of the path between the two reservoirs of Marsworth and Startops End and waled along the Grand Union Canal, meeting the occasional dog walker, but as yet no anglers. I settled to wait by the reed beds in the hope of possibly catch sight of kingfishers, but for the first hour and a half, only a dabchick appeared, though I failed to capture the squirrel on two of its charges across the fallen branches and into its favourite lair within a large bush on the far side.

Also, the mink never ventured out of its hollowed tree trunk, but my firm favourite, the well-groomed Robin did join me and partook of my seed offerings, and gently chirped as it flew around its territory either side, behind me and by my feet. I did catch a fleeting glimpse of a heron overhead, but as there was so little leaf coverage, it almost certainly decided against landing on any of the high branches due to my presence.

Although I never felt like giving up and returning to base, it was a very long wait before the arrival of a kingfisher, and as luck would have it, he had succeeded in in catching a fish and was landing on a distant branch to swallow it. It took him quite a time to swallow as it was fairly energetically twisting in the vain hope of escaping, but a final deft flick, possibly also bashing it on the nearby trunk and the kingfisher began to turn it so it was headfirst and in one large gulp, and a straightening of its throat, it was down.

I stayed for another hour, but was visited no more, and by now was cold frosting still for so long.
I climbed back up the steep, muddy bank and made my return journey to the car. I did stop in the hide and chatted to an ex-Postie, newly retired and another birder, Michael eponymously named for his career and we all three chatted as I still took the opportunity to grab shots of a gull and some Crested Pochard, whom I managed to capture in flight as they left the lake and we also had a visit from another Robin and a Dunnock.

As Michael and I walked back to our cars, who should be coming in the opposite direction but Bob Menzies the Bailiff for Tringford!

Friday 13 November 2015

Windy Friday at Brogborough Lake

Most of the summer when the sun has shone there has been next to no wind, therefore not the most exciting time for action of the windsurfing variety on Brogborough Lake. Along comes November and both wind and sun, but the sun has a cold brightness, and when the wind is strong enough to blow my heavier tripod over, my hands on the cold metal of camera and tripod soon became very cold indeed.

I knew I was not going to be free over the weekend, so the lesser numbers on the water had enticed me over in the afternoon of Friday, and I concentrated on trying to capture longer sequences as the keen freestylers practiced doing their turns in the air, I was very grateful that Sam Barnes offered suggestions as to what to look out for and where to expect the action, and where in the past I would be more concerned with the start of a manoeuvre, Sam made the point that the landing was more important, so I tried  to take longer bursts where hitherto I would stop short as I felt that to concentrate on the ignominy of failure might be unkind when the surfer failed. However, I could see his point that this might in fact help my subject to see why there was a failure.

So we shall see, I just hope that I don’t get a clip round the ear by showing a sequence where the end was less promising than the the start. This also reminds me that on this occasion I started shooting with the 150-600mm lens, but  that often meant that 150mm was too long due to how close inshore the windsurfers often came, then I remembered that I had put the 100-400mm in the car, so I swapped over, which meant I could be closer to the water’s edge and therefore have a wider view before the bushes obscured my view.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Steppingley Reservoir Visit

Since the sun was out and autumn is almost over, I decided to check out a reservoir near Steppingley, just in case it is another possible location for wildlife; looking at the area using Google did not show a promising area for parking, and I had driven almost the entire area around its location without even catching sight of it or anywhere likely as a spot from which set off after parking, but found myself in a spot that was quiet and very attractive and likely to be above and beyond it. I spotted one of the local residents sweeping leaves from the churchyard and learned that where I had parked was fortuitously the best place to do so, and he gave me directions as to how to reach it.

It looked decidedly waterlogged, but I decided to chance it and grabbing two cameras, one with the 100-400mm and the other with the 24-105mm and made my way into a field and down the hill and soon could make out the lake in the distance. I had been informed there was a footbridge off to my right at the bottom, but I managed to completely miss it and headed off clockwise to the left, but was spotted by the farmer and learned I had passed it and was now on private land – not an auspicious start! On the walk back I did find the footbridge and headed off in the correct direction.

The reservoir is well equipped with stages from which the anglers can fish all around the lake, and I was introduced to two new angling terms I had never encountered before ‘leger’ and ‘swim’ in connection with such positions – they were on a sign by one of the stages.

Although I spoke to a couple of the anglers and learned there could often be wildlife hereabouts, they all informed me it was currently quiet on that front, but there were plenty of ducks! Mainly Mallard as far as I could tell, not quite what I had in mind. I did a complete circuit and returned up the hill and with judicial stepping managed to keep the amount of mud I collected to a manageable minimum. I returned via a different route and stopped to take some shots of the varied autumn colours still to be found by the laneside.

Not the most successful of trips, but the old school called Folly House was certainly of architectural interest and I do now know how to reach that particular reservoir.

Saturday 7 November 2015

November Windsurfers at Brogborough

Sometimes I get time to play, so here is another jump, in black and white:

Saturday morning brought rain and wind, but I had learned that it was due to dry up later, but I welcomed the wind as it held the promise of there being windsurfers on the lake at Brogborough, and I was hoping I might be free enough to go down there, but this time by car, not bike!

The rain took a while to stop and the wind remained unabated, but the sky brightened so I gathered camera and lenses and loaded them aboard my car, and was soon on my way more in hope than certainty; it was quite a relief to see a fairly full car park at Brogborough Lake. I did not delay, but immediately brought out the tripod and set the 7D MkII and 100-400mm onto the Acrotech head and made my way to the lakeside. I was surprised by just how waterlogged the grass was; much more so than the I had experienced just two miles distant – there were even large puddles of water in the grass.

Initially I set up right by the water’s edge, but after shooting from there I soon found my feet slithering in the mud as I swivelled to follow the windsurfers, and retreated to more level ground a bit further back, I little realised that I would be moving many more times as each spot became a morass of slippery mud due to my frequently moving my feet.

Shortly for a while the sun broke through the cloud cover, but at first this was short-lived as it began to spit with rain. Fortunately it did not last too long and the sun returned  giving some good lighting for a spell. I was blessed with a few taking advantage of the gusty wind to jump, but I did not manage to capture every instance as there were too many people to cover and in every direction, but despite my lack of knowledge as to when any one person might choose to leap, I did capture  a few sequences.

It was such a wonderful opportunity as for several weeks there has been very little signs of wind except when it was tipping it down and was very dull, there had bee n sunshine but on days when there was not a breath of wind. I hope that what I have captured meets with approval from those who did do some jumping.

Monday 2 November 2015

Autumn Morning Mist at Marston Moretaine

Click – A Monochrome Alternate View for a few shots in black-and-white

I am not an early bird, more a night-owl, which is my downfall when it comes to capturing the undoubted beauty of sunrises and the dew-laden webs of autumn spiders. Sunday morning I was up early – for me and by foregoing breakfast was able to be out with my camera before the sun had had a chance to burn off the heavy mist, so I walked along the road towards the Nature Reserve, trying to capture some of the charm of the glowing mist before the sun had claimed the day.

We have been lucky that this year the autumn colours have remained with us for longer, due to the absence of high winds alongside the rain, and so there was still colour to be seen in the hedgerows. I even learned of a plot of fenced-off land that will become a graveyard that explained something of the tarmacced walkways in the field opposite the Nature Reserve’s land – the wooden sign giving this information was festooned with the work of numerous spiders beaded with droplets bestowed by the dew.

I entered the Nature Reserve by way of the kissing gate and learned that I was definitely a late guest to the party, as there were cyclists and dog-walkers enjoying the warm morning mist; there was simply no chill to the air and all those I met were warm in their greetings too. I presume the lack of wind was allowing the low-lying mist to enclose the warmth from the previous day and the sun was definitely winning the challenge to clear the air and herald another pleasantly warm autumn day. I used the time to capture what I saw, even though there was nothing to make the heart beat faster, just serenity, and reminders of the year that was passing in the faded green and russet tones of the hedgerows.