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 28 March 2016

Easter Saturday, Wind at Last at Brogborough Lake

Weekday winds are not as attractive for windsurfers due to jobs getting in the way, and that has been the situation for a while, but though rain does not deter those participating, it is a little less enticing for me as cameras and lenses are not partial to a drenching! I was therefore hoping that rain might hold off for at least some of the time, and I really cannot complain too much as it held off for much of the time. Even when it came I was thankful that it was light and relative to the direction of most of my shooting, it came from the side.

My arrival timing was fairly reasonable as several windsurfers had put their kit together and were due to join the single person already on the water. It was time for me to put my kit together — put the Lensmaster gimbal head on the Gitzo tripod with the Novoflex levelling head. This was going to be a test of a new set of wave washers in place of the spring washer in the gimbal head that Robert Hardy had kindly supplied just that morning. Recently I had been doing my own experimenting to improve the overall smoothness of what is already a good (British made) gimbal head, and had been in contact with Robert who was its designer; hence why he sent me his latest take on how to effect an improvement. Although only marginal , any slight advance is always welcome and so it proved.

The shooting on the lake this time would be watching the various sailors go through various manoeuvres to improve their skills and do my best to capture the sequences and apparently due to the wind direction the conditions would not favour jumps, so such dramatics were not likely fare. Seemingly though jumping would not be easy, it was not going to stop some of them taking a chance, as I spotted a couple through my lens, and one with my eyes!

Not being a windsurfer myself, it is not easy to read the conditions and sense when a sailor is about to make their move so to capture jumps at all gives me a lot of satisfaction and to do so when it less likely than ever is a delight. I am afraid that there are a lot of images to wade through as they are as much as anything a record the windsurfers themselves can study to seek to hone their skills, and some sequences may well span more than the same page.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Marsworth Reservoir – A Quiet Early Spring Day

Arriving at Marsworth Reservoir, I was somewhat surprised by the lack of birdlife activity, and the half-hearted pair of Grebe by the reeds, who eventually went their separate ways the one heading towards the centre of the lake, the other into the strips of water cut from the reed beds apparently to encourage the bitterns. The largest group of ducks were the Tufted Ducks after the ever-present Coots. A few gulls were skimming low across water occasionally dipping for small fish, and on occasion successfully. I stayed awhile at the pathside keeping watch on the Grebe in case its mate changed its mind and returned to the reeds.

It didn’t happened so I moved along past the hide and turned right alongside the Grand Union Canal; where only a single narrowboat was moored with its engine gently chugging, perhaps to keep its electricity running. Upon my arrival there were no anglers encamped at the lakeside, so I presume the calm waters were considered to favour the fish rather than the anglers. Although buds were beginning to show, the frequent chilly nights of late kept them firmly closed for the present so there was little leafy cover at the water’s edge which meant I was almost certainly going to be avoided by kingfishers on this morning, and that proved to be the case.

There was a very busy little wren gathering leaves for a nest which it was cunningly building beneath a broken and split branch overhanging the water in the middle of the narrowing neck at the far end of Marsworth’s lake, and it managed to defeat my attempts at capturing it either entering or leaving its concealed nest. In this same area, a Grebe visited me several times spending its entire time diving for lengthy periods and returning to the surface only to catch its breath before dipping once more beneath the surface. A Grey Wagtail spent a short time close by and every so often a pair of Bluetits darted from bank to bank in the characteristic swooping flight, but rarely did they stay long in one spot or close enough together for me to capture both in the same frame as no sooner had I got both in the same shot, one or both would be on the move again! Over some three hours I never spotted a kingfisher, yet as I left and had walked no more than fifty feet along the path back along the path I spotted one heading to the spot I had just vacated – I cursed the cheeky so-and-s0 for outwitting and teasing me once again.

I met up with Tringford’s Water Bailliff as I headed back to my car and we chatted awhile as I went to see whether there was any more activity on the Tringford Lake, but it was even barer than the one I had just left. Instead of going back to Marston Moretaine I headed for Westcott to meet up with my daughter and her children to spend a short time with them.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Crisp, Cold Wilstone – Not Too Many Birds

It was a cold misty start to the day, but the mist was due to burn off, and I had decided it might be worth my visiting Wilstone Reservoir as it was less muddy underfoot for a change. 
I cleared the build-up of emails and took a leisurely breakfast after gathering the camera and lenses I needed, choosing the 24-105mm on the 5D MkII and the 150-600mm on the 7D MkII and the lightest (Carbon Fibre) tripod with a Manfrotto levelling head beneath the Lensmaster Gimbal Head (minus the spring washer on the side adjustment, as I had found that this did not add to general operational smoothness).

Going to Tring Reservoirs from Marston Moretaine did however require me to use the iPhone SatNav to give me the directions cross country as I did actually wish to get there as soon as possible, and I have yet to work out the best route for myself. Fortunately there also proved to be little traffic.

To get to the Hide from where I park gives me a long trek, and seeing little activity on the water meant that I did not even remove the lenshood until the last straight before the bridge and wood; this is one way I get plenty of exercise, and this is one walk I definitely do not make with my heavy Gitzo tripod!

Arriving at the hide I hear voices, something I generally do not expect from a hide; but in this instance it was I suspect one of the rangers with an trainee, as he was taking a count of bird species from this quadrant of the lake, and naming some of the birds that he was seeing; this is always handy for me! In this instance he mentioned Widgeon and that was a bird I would not have recognised for myself, so that was handy, as I might have mistaken it for a Teal.

Although I spent some time in the hide, it was not an overwhelmingly productive period, really only capturing shots of the Teal and Widgeon. As I left the hide, I spotted a few smaller birds in the swampy area alongside the path, and set up the tripod there, but that was enough to ensure that I simply wasted the next quarter of an hour hoping they might return. 

On the outward journey I had spotted some nervy wagtails, and on the final stretch of my return I did manage to get a just a couple of shots of a Grey Wagtail, but it was the Greylag Geese that I was hoping to capture in flight, and they at least announce their forthcoming takeoff plans giving me the opportunity of takeoffs from the field and the water to complete my trip.

Sunday 6 March 2016

Sawston Community Concert at West Road, Cambridge

Each Year for the last several, I have had the good fortune to visit West Road Concert Hall, to enjoy the Sawston Community College Concert give of their all to please parents, friends and staff of their ongoing improvement in Music; they have never failed.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the high standard is impressive and this can only come about from the willing and talented staff and the enthusiasm they instil in the students. Good humour prevails and is not confined to just the students as I have managed to capture in the photographs I capture on each visit.

I used two cameras and three lenses, and somehow failed to align the time-stamping of each body so it proved to be way too difficult to re-align them, so I apologise for the discrepancy in chronology of the resultant gallery.

I was lucky enough once again to shoot from the gallery and met up with a past student who was also there to get shots of the event, so that was a bonus, since generally my family sit in the main body of the hall. I hope he will appreciate my choice of image for the headline picture for the gallery. My grandchildren were beaming, and it has been a pleasure to see them grow in confidence under such inspirational tutelage over the years I have visited. I do hope that music remains an integral part of their life in Sixth Form College and beyond. I also hope there are others amongst their friends and the school who enjoy some of the shots I have assembled in the gallery. 

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Watford Digi-Cluster – Networking Event at University

Tuesday afternoon I set off south to meet up with Product Designer and friend, Peter Carr to head on down to the Digi-Cluster at the University of Hertfordshire. This is a networking evening for Creatives with some excellent speakers, Josh and Ollie Bolland of JB Cole, and Julian Morency, in this instance to cover the inspirational story of the Agency called Browser and its metamorphosis into a Product company Twine, though Browser actually survived the transformation; to continue, having facilitated the birth of Twine. Another speaker, Ollie Bollond, discussed the values of APIs in the creation of efficient software. The evening was organised jointly by JB Cole, Clock and the University of Hertfordshire to promote creative collaboration through Local Enterprise Partnerships or LEPs, Paul Witcombe explained their role in that context.

As is often the case at such meetings the number of questions asked at the end was bordering on minimal, but nevertheless meaningful and answered expansively, setting the scene for much informal discussion whilst partaking of the generously supplied refreshments and pizzas.

I met up with some familiar faces from past events, such as Nick Rayner of Image 2, and Richard Allibone of TheWayForward.Com, and shamefully someone whom I had met before, but had forgotten, Paul Meyler; he had to jog my failing memory! During my trying to record the event in photographs, I was able to engage in conversations with  some new characters, from whom I took business cards to assist in retaining their details beyond the evening!

I was using my recently acquired wide aperture prime wideangle lens on the full-frame Canon 5D MkIII camera body. The room is entirely black-walled offering minimal lighting, which is challenging photographically, and I term this as 'unavailable light photography' but I find this to be intrinsically less intrusive and a more honest representation of the reality and atmosphere of such an event, and I hope this will be seen in the subsequent gallery of images that I post on the blog. It was very warming to be thanked by Syd Nadim of Clock for taking photos of the evening; I hope he is as pleased, when he sees the results! I was certainly most satisfied by the opportunity that the evening offered in listening to the speakers and chatting afterwards. I don't think I was alone in feeling this was a successful networking event from the animated conversations I spotted through my lens.