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 31 August 2016

Three Species of Butterfly Grace my Buddliea

On the second day of more frequent butterfly visitation, there are now three varieties flocking to the rapidly fading Buddliea in the back garden – there is a fourth, but it is the Cabbage White and it it is very elusive; rarely stopping anywhere for more than a nanosecond, and fortunately definitely less attractive than the three more colourful – the Painted Lady, Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral, that were present this morning around breakfast time.

Nothing more to say than the wind meant I had to work harder and waste more shots! But they were very welcome visitors, I did make another discovery, the two plums which I had since forgotten, were no more, one had dropped and both had largely been consumed, which was sad, I should have picked them both when I first spotted them!

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Aylesbury Proms in the Park 2016

For last few years Aylesbury Town Council put on a Concert in the Park, close by the Swimming Pool and Gym complex, and it proves to be a very successful event that provides funds for Charity and a great family day out. Rarely could it have had such good weather for the event, and this was also reflected in the numbers attending the Concert by the Aylesbury Concert Band on the Bank Holiday Sunday.

I arrived with my daughter’s baritone saxophone in time for the start of the rehearsal and families and individuals were already settling down for the afternoon of music. I dropped off the sax and my daughter and parked the car up the road before returning to get out my cameras. Very early on I spotted the Soprano, Alexandra Lowe warming up solo out at the back of the marquee, so I asked whether she minded my capturing those moments to which I got an affirmative so I took a few shots and looked forward to the ones for real later.

As the rehearsal got under way, I looked around at the gathering audience and spotted some characters I had seen at earlier concerts, and the Council’s official photographer whom I remember, Russ Naylor came over to greet me and we chatted – he had been covering the whole holiday’s events, not just the concert. The Band ran through their programme and Alexandra joined James Liu on the stage for their pieces, and although I got shots of both performing at this point, I would be able to kid no one these shots were part of the concert, especially since Alexandra would be swapping spectacles for contact lenses and a very striking red dress for the main event. I also spotted a trumpet player around the back, also practising solo.

Carl Quaif opened the main event, introducing the Conductor Robert Wicks and part of the theme was a salute to our Rio Athletes and although clouds began to amass at this time, we were spared. During the rehearsal and the first part of the concert the audience kept swelling in numbers and I took the occasional shots to illustrate the progression as well as incidentals. There was only one incident that marred the proceedings as one recalcitrant male was escorted away.
I did my best to get shots of the musicians as they played, but without a cherry-picker to gain height the shots tend to look cluttered by the music stands, the banners and the individual mikes for the different sections, and also I do not like to disturb the concentration of the performers by being too close.

As the Finale approached and the daylight dwindled, I would keep increasing the ISO speed, though sometimes only after spotting that the sharpness of the shots was deteriorating! It is also hard to get steady shots when one’s feet are tapping to the rhythm of the music which I also came to hear and in some instances sing along to, when the the music was loud enough to provide cover. It was good to end with the solo singers looking upward to the fireworks and being lit from the front of the stage.

Thursday 25 August 2016

My Garden Insect Pollinators

Today was the day when those taking O-Level GCSEs get their results, and I was hoping to hear how my twin grandchildren had fared, and fortunately I did not have to wait too long and was both relieved and thrilled to learn just how well both had performed – I knew it was well-deserved as they had both worked extremely hard and now they can take things to the next stage with confidence and I wish them well. Catherine their mother should feel justly proud of their achievements considering she is also a hard-working teacher herself.

It was very hot and humid today and so when lunchtime came and I spotted a couple of Tortoiseshell butterflies at long last visiting my Buddliea, I knew I just had to grab the camera and take some shots since up till yesterday I had seen only a lone Cabbage White and the flowers are nearly all over now. It was a welcome sight, and they do make excellent images for birthday cards.

At one stage when looking to see whether any butterflies had gone to the very low branches resting on the grass, I spotted some colour close to the fence and thought at first it was a kiddy's toy, but on closer examination I was amazed – when I moved here, my two daughters had bought me a house-welcoming present of a plum tree, and despite being only a year in the ground it had produced two very healthy looking plums one with a large glob of sap coming from its skin. I who can kill the healthiest and sturdiest of plants had been given fruit on my plum tree in the first year! I shall check later to see whether they are actually ripe enough to eat, I immediately texted both daughters with the good news and a quick photo as evidence. One plum for two excellent results for my granddaughters.

I then grabbed a few more shots; enough for a small gallery and got back to the Sauna that is my office.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Warm Sunday Afternoon – a Full Brogborough Lake

I had some prints to deliver to a couple of the windsurfers at the Club, but I took along my camera in case I was tempted by any action on the lake. I was.
It would seem as if I am a glutton for punishment when it concerns post processing, especially since I have taken to trying to capture sequences of windsurfing action such a gybing and jumping. I spent the first quarter of an hour watching and chatting, getting a feel for who was on the water and the likelihood of exciting action. As a few more arrived, went to the boot of the car and took out my camera – the Canon 7D MKII and the 15-600mm lens and put it on the Gitzo tripod with the gimbal head and then moved to the foreshore to see what transpired.

Later I grabbed a spare battery and card, and headed away from the launch area, over a small fence and into the woods, following the earlier cycle race track through the hawthorn bushes and brambles to reach two spots where I could see the windsurfers and have a reasonable angle of sunlight on them as they came in my direction. Initially I went beyond the point I had been to on previous occasions, but it turned out to be too far round, and where the sailors gybed was hidden by both trees and the headland. I stayed just a few minutes before moving back into the woods and then finding a path to the cliff edge that was nearer to the launch area.

By the end of the afternoon, I knew I had given myself a lot of images to sift through, balance,  re-align horizons and crop! Other work and life get in the way, and it is now Tuesday evening and I am writing this with that work now behind me – just!

Saturday 20 August 2016

A Brief Brogborough Lake Look in

I may not be able to visit the Lake on Sunday, so decided to nip along to deliver a print to Sam Barnes for one of the windsurfers, but took along the camera – just in case…

It began to spit with rain as I got out of the car, so I handed the package to Sam and walked to the lake edge to see what activity there was, the wind was even more sporadic than the last time I came, with some quite strong gusts, then it would die completely and the rain looked settled but light, so I just chatted, and during that time, the rain stopped and the wind began to pick up so I went to the car and got out the camera, when I returned to the foreshore a couple were just about to set off in a canoe.

The sun even broke through the clouds occasionally so I stayed and took a few shots every so often and had a few brief chats with a few of the windsurfers, but when the activity thinned, I went inside, had a cup of tea, showed a few prints that I had with me, and showed a few some of the afternoon's shots on the back of the camera and gave out a business card with the blog details for one who had asked, and chatted to Sam for a while before leaving; by the time I got outside everyone had disappeared!

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Stockwood Discovery Centre – A Floral Abundance for Bees

Due to plan changes I decided a visit to the Discovery Centre at Stockwood in Luton would be worth a visit; and so it proved. I was able to move in close on bees going about their business of pollinating. I was watching one bee in particular, and I was convinced by what I saw that he was becoming intoxicated, because he came out from within the flower head really dozily, and landed on a nearby leaf where he would wander somewhat and also try to clear some of the pollen from the top of its head, then return to the same flower for more of the same!

Elsewhere the Echinops were a favoured flower of the bees, and again the bees would seem to stay longer on the same flower, likewise the giant thistle heads, giving me half a chance to capture the bees in flight.

These gardens hold a wide variety of species in a limitless range of colours, that are laid out in a manner that invites the visitor to wander, and the peace of this place is only shattered when the numerous aircraft fly low into Luton Airport, as this is the busiest UK holiday flight period. When each has passed, the sounds of chattering children reasserts itself, and if you are close to the flowers, the hum of insects takes over again.

I also got a chance to visit the greenhouses, and when I came back out I was dripping and grateful to feel the warm dry breeze waft across my shirt, but no pain, no gain, and I had been able to get shots of grapes and a ripening lemon and also an abandoned nest with a single egg. Outside a white butterfly was also less flittery and would land briefly several times leaving me just about enough to time to capture a shot. Luton should be justly proud of this wonderful free amenity and it is always worth a visit.

Monday 15 August 2016

Thurlow Nunn Milton Keynes, Welcome Quality Architecture

I recently bought a secondhand car from Thurlow Nunn, Milton Keynes, and am pleased with my purchase and the service I received, but more than anything else it was the architecture of their Showroom that appealed to my senses as a photographer, and whilst collecting a replaced key for the vehicle, decided it was worth asking the management there if I might take some photos. David Hyde their Sales Manager was happy to oblige.

So I went back and collected my camera gear and returned to see what I could record to allow others to see what had appealed to me, I also needed to test the latest version of CamRanger, so brought along my iPad and set it up at Reception so that the receptionist could get an idea of what I was shooting (and anyone else who might be concerned) it performed flawlessly as I moved around both at ground level and up on the balcony where some of the new cars are displayed.

By the time I had finished I was bathed in perspiration, because at one stage I moved one of the very heavy display stands that gives the specifications of the vehicle  it is alongside, and yes, I put it carefully back where it had been! I took some shots that were duplicated and some that were intended to be brackets for an HDR, but they failed, so forty usable shots from sixty shot might have seemed a poor success rate, but I was keen to get as good verticals as possible, and in some instances my exposure was off, so forty makes a nice 8x5 grid in the gallery.

It is a handsome and flexible workspace as I had witnessed at the promotional day where I succumbed to the buying of my car, and I hope I have captured this in the shots taken this afternoon, and I can but hope that something may come my way to warrant the effort I have put in. Thurlow Nunn hopefully will at least point to the gallery when suggesting  what a visitor to the showroom would be seeing on arrival.

Sunday 14 August 2016

Windsurfers in the Sun at Brogborough

The afternoon on this day at Brogborough was a busy one for me, having given up my attempts at photographing insects, I was lured by the magnetic attraction of watersports and that there was some wind and sun which proved too strong to resist, so out came the tripod, gimbal head and the 150-600mm lens on the 5D MkII, and I simply captured what unfolded before me.

I met the son, of the earlier incumbent at the Club, David who was over here from Australia, he very kindly provided me with some excellent views of the underside of the board he was borrowing, and his jumps were performed heading straight for me! I hope he is pleased with what I managed to capture.

The shot of the girl that heads this piece was chosen because of the fortuitous happenstance of the reflection from her sail lighting her face and showing the set of her mouth in concentration, I apologise for cropping out the top of the sail, but the shot was a vertical, and I head these pieces with landscape images to be economic of space.

I'll let the gallery tell the story from here, as I have written enough words for one day. Suffice to say the day was a really enjoyable one.

Windsurfers Take over my Activities…

I give in! To the WINsurfers!

Action taking place in front of me, and the possible opportunity of capturing a striking image gets the better of me, so whilst I am at this high bank I take a few shots with the lenses at hand, before making my way back to the Club Car Park where I can swap for the much longer 150-600mm and also consider working from the tripod. I did still keep a weather eye out for dragonflies, but they eluded me. Up till this point I was using the 300mm with a 1.4 converter and another body with the 100mm macro.

At this stage I had no idea how the day was going to pan out, so the gallery of pictures pointed to from here is not the end of the story, and it has certainly kept me busy! I shall leave the gallery of pictures to tell their story, and get on with processing yet more pictures from the day.

Brogborough – Very Much a Great Family Day Out

The Sun was out and the Wind Fair, and alongside my opportunity to cover the general windsurfing activity on the lake, I took the opportunity to capture a significant day for a couple of the families, that of accomplished sailor, Richard McKeating help his two daughters to take on board some of the sport which gives him so much pleasure, and Sam and Emma Barnes’ son being given some encouragement walking and playing with bird feathers, that seemed to constantly escape his young clutches. Sam runs the Club, and was on hand to give Richard’s daughter some tip whilst he supported a mast.

I decided these shots needed separation from the rest of the shots taken on the day, as they were far more personal, but both parties were happy they could still appear on the blog. I am now back on the task of collating the rest of the day’s output!

Saturday 13 August 2016

Brogborough – the Lake Hosts More than Windsurfers

I had some free afternoon time, and had had tantalising glimpses of Dragonflies at the lake at Brogborough and I genuinely went there with the intention of getting some shots of them, and here are a couple of dozen shots mainly of their more abundant and smaller cousins the damselflies, and finally a dragonfly, but and it's a big one – I was distracted by the Windsurfers!

A camera with a long lens attached is a magnet when visible on this lake and the polar opposite to a stationary photographer is a very mobile windsurfing sailor!

It will take more time to process the later shots, but in case the blog is visited meantime, here is a teaser –

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Sunday Cricket – Bamville vs Bedford Park

It is some time since I went to Harpenden to cover a Cricket Match, and the weather looked set fair, so I travelled down to see Peter Carr who this day was scoring as is is his wont. I left in what I took was good time and chose to take a part of the journey along the country lanes, which was a reasonably good choice as far as it went, but it would have been even better, had I decided to avoid the M1 entirely as an accident on the other carriageway had attracted the attention of the southbound carriageway users, thereby slowing our journey as well!

I arrived just in time to miss only the first over. The home team, Bamville had chosen to bat. I was determined to avoid the sun where possible, so had a scruffy, but wide-brimmed floppy hat and a light scarf to protect my neck, and set up close to the pavilion in the leafy shade of some nearby trees. The pitch is part of the Golf Course for weekdays and Saturdays, and is undulating and irregular, making it very irregular and being close to dense, bramble-heavy undergrowth and tall grasses, prone to numerous stoppages due to locating errant balls despatched by enthusiastic batsmen, which has the effect of forcing fielders to do the searching aided on occasion by the occasional spectators.

Photographing level with the pitch can sometimes be difficult when using a tripod, because fielders can often obscure your direct line of sight to the batsmen or bowler alternately, but shooting handheld with a long lens can be wearing, so full-coverage is never guaranteed and capturing fielders catching balls is seriously difficult, so with the home team batting, I concentrate on them for the first half and do my best to at least cover some fielding in the second half. As a spectacle-wearer I find it hard to get a complete view of the screen with a dSLR, which is an issue when trying to follow a cricket ball!

As with the windsurfing shots I have tried to capture sequences, which means an extra burden in post processing due to the large number of shots, but it does improve the success rate of the peak of actions, but it gives me even greater respect for the sports photographers in the days of film.

I did manage to capture a few of those moments when the bails flew, but sadly lifted my finger from the shutter release when a catch was about to be made, but the waiting hands of the fielder are in view. I had an enjoyable afternoon, but have spent longer, doing cropping and occasional colour tweaks due to the light changing, and throwing out shots either leading up to or following on from an action I was trying to capture, but altogether fun.

Thursday 4 August 2016

Brogborough Wednesday – Wind Fitful

The day looked promising for windsurfers from the weather forecast; the wind appeared to be from a good direction and the speeds were encouraging for those who either worked for themselves or had tolerant bosses to allow them to get to the lake, don wetsuits and get out there.

That was certainly my premise, and since the sun direction might well favour a walk through the hawthorn woods  to set up above the high bank, I took the car so I could heft my Gitzo, rather than the lightweight carbon fibre Giottos one.

On arrival there was one person out on the water, and three or so others rigging, so this was a promising sign. So I put the gimbal head on above the Manfrotto levelling and attached the 7D MkII with the the Tamron 150-600mm and headed for the woods. I looked at three different spots before settling on one that gave me the widest view, and was in the general direction for the best chance of the my subjects approaching head on. I was really fortunate that at least one leg of the tripod was able to slot into a root close to the edge of the steep bank. Earlier I had looked at a spot down by the water’s edge which was approached by a very steep and narrow path. I decided on checking it out whilst leaving the camera and tripod at the top this turned out to be a very sensible precaution as in going down unencumbered by any gear I slipped and only just managed to stop myself from falling all the way to the water’s edge! I retraced my steps and made a far more sensible decision to live with being above the foreshore!

I was lucky that I was soon spotted and many of the more experienced sailors headed my way, the wind though played fast and loose with the sailors, sometimes blowing strongly only to die away to nothing on a whim. This meant at one stage several of them found themselves becalmed right beneath me, this did mean that I was engaged in conversations with them for a change.

I did manage to capture some jumps which was a benefit, but I missed some as there were so many on the water at once, but I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon and despite the sun, I was shaded by some tall trees near at hand.