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 29 September 2016

Stockwood Discovery Centre's Garden Colours

The colours I experienced in the gardens of the Discovery Centre were not simply those you come to expect of Autumn, these were ravishing and in abundance.

Seemingly I am not alone in observing this as it was apparent that some young students from a local school or even a sixth form college were to be seen singly or in small groups,  clutching sketchbooks taking notice and sketching what they found; they were entirely unsupervised, but diligently working away responsibly. I had come down as I felt this was probably the last chance to capture the flowers before autumn winds and rain took their toll.

I took several shots in the greenhouse before venturing out into the cooler air of the gardens and learned from Jan, one of the gardeners that there was an exhibition of Garden Photography in the exhibition hall, so before I left, I vowed I would take a look, and I was impressed, the entrants came from around the world and some were of a very young age and the scenes depicted were very evocative and of a high standard throughout – I can highly recommend taking the time to pay a visit, it is entirely free.

At the end of the gallery I have taken some photos of the display, that show just how well they are organised.

I now have to travel further to reach the Centre, but I have never been disappointed in making the journey, and to have been able to the fine work of many others in the exhibition was an unexpected bonus.

Monday 26 September 2016

Brogborough Stop-off and New Sun Roof

I have just had a sunroof fitted to the Insignia, and the delay I endured was because this new version of Webasto’s sun roof was the first into the UK for cars with very curved roofs such as the Jaguar XF and the Insignia, was somewhat late and the template had been delayed.

The Journey back from Hemel Hempstead took me back via the old A 421 as I had purposely made my journey back avoiding the M1 motorway as engineers were removing a bridge and had closed an entire Bedfordshire section, this took me finally past Brogborough lake the home of the eponymous Windsurfing lake, that I often frequent. As there was a reasonable breeze I decided to detour despite it being still morning. Only one sailor was on the water, but there were a few rigging their boards, and a few familiar faces greeted me.

Although the shots I took of the new sun roof are at the beginning of the gallery, they were taken just before leaving, the windsurfers all appear in correct chronology.

I took the heavy tripod with me and headed up the road beyond the car park in through the Angler’s field gate and as far as the second more impenetrable bushes above the beach so the windsurfers would head towards me before gybing and I would have the sun on them, if it stayed out! after seeing that the sailors were going beyond me, I back tracked a bit to give me a better span, and awaited the arrival of a few more on the water. Fortunately I did not have to wait too long as rigging a board seemed to take less long than my trek across the field.

Today I was informed was not likely to encourage any jumping, so sequences of gybing were going to be the order of the day. This gives me a lot of extra work in post-processing deciding to reduce the number of shots in the sequences and also ensuring level horizons, cropping and resizing to make the sequences have more constant sizing, so the number of shots per gallery is not a measure of how long I was taking the shots, but a measure of how long I spend later editing whilst sat in front of a computer screen.

On my return to the club car park I managed to get some shots of a a reddish orange dragonfly, sadly not in flight or against a smooth backdrop, but I did mange to get in fairly close which pleased my eye for detail.

 I did not stay very long, but stopped shooting when the wind dropped dramatically and the number of sails on the water fell to low single figures.

Thursday 22 September 2016

A Spur of the Moment Visit to Gadebridge Park

A Product Designer friend was very kindly coming to collect me after I had taken my car to have a Webasto sunroof fitted, and whereas I had set off for an early arrival in Hemel Hempstead, I had expressed to Peter Carr that it was entirely sensible for him to leave after the end of the morning rush to minimise his loss of time, and I would find something to do once I had handed over the car.

Dave Sweetingham who runs Executive Autocare who had fitted a sunroof to my last car, and done an excellent job, when asked what places there might be offering photographic opportunities suggested I made my way to Gadebridge Park. I was very grateful to take his advice and found the gardens were being tended by no less than three gardeners upon my arrival, and the display was very well managed, and each of them greeted me warmly.

There were only a handful of visitors, but all acknowledged my presence, bar one gentlemen who was entirely engrossed, in the smaller Charter Garden, obviously happy with his own company in the warm early morning sunshine with its long shadows, I found the lighting very pleasing even before reaching the gardens themselves with the line of trees casting there striped shadows diagonally across the circular beds that lined the road to the entrance gate, which was the remains of the Charter Tower.

I strolled quietly around capturing the essence of the place, until the call came on my mobile to say Peter was arriving with my return trip, thus ending a brief interlude which provided me with a couple of gallery pages of the formal gardens, very satisfactorily filling the time. I can warmly recommend them as a place in which to relax and enjoy the colour and serenity.

I now look forward to collecting my car with its new sunroof, and taking some shots of the completed job, so Dave can show the quality of his handiwork to other potential clients, especially as this particular Mark 3 version is the first in the country, especially designed for the very curved roofs of cars such as the Jaguar XF or my more humble Insignia!

Wednesday 14 September 2016

A brief Afternoon Visit to the Forest Centre

I felt sweating in front of a computer screen on one of the hottest and certainly muggiest afternoons in a long while was not the most productive way, nor the most comfortable, so a short trip in an air-conditioned car then sweating whilst trying to hand hold the 100-400mm lens steady on the 5D MkIII was preferable; the aim being to try to capture dragonflies in flight.

Foolishly I thought using a tripod was a good idea, but it really wasn’t and soon though I did use it on occasion as a monopod, it simply became a burden to carry with me! As I entered the steps to the reeds I spotted a tiny lizard, but I just watched it as it soon found a way to elude me, certainly well before I could have readied a camera! I carried on down to where I soon spotted a few dragonflies flitting and briefly hovering above shallow pools among the reeds. It took me fully a sweaty twenty minutes without ever reaching the point where I could press the shutter release, and during that period a couple from Windsor paid a short visit, which gave me a spotter, for the lady was able to point out a small red dragonfly stationary on a reed, so I got my first shot of the day, but I had my sights set on the larger species that were brightly coloured green and blue and hopefully hovering in flight long enough for me to focus and capture.

I persevered for some time and the couple continued further into the Reserve and later returned and in passing wish me success. Later another photographer came along and she mentioned there was a large family of rats below the bird feeder, so I decided to take a diversion from dragonflies and went along and took a few shots as the youngsters came out in the open for a while before being spooked and returning to cover. I then returned to my original spot as did the photographer and occasionally in the lulls between dragonfly visits we chatted, and on mentioning I enjoyed shooting kingfishers she told me her boyfriend chose the colours of a kingfisher for his canoe – I did wonder whether that platform might be successful in attracting our feathered friends, but I think not.

Eventually as the sun dipped further, I decided I might move to the reeds at the edge of the lake in front of the play area, and this proved marginally better and I did manage a couple of passably sharp shots of one in flight, but got some interesting compositions of one in the reeds, static. Then as I took a winding route back to the car I spotted another that alighted on a blackberry cluster and later still some bees among the flowers, so my journey was not wasted, so there was to be a gallery in the end, and it meant the perspiration had been worth enduring.

Monday 12 September 2016

Goodwood Revival Meeting 2016, with Martin Evening

Friday involved a very early start for me; in darkness and drizzle, as I had first to pick up my generous host for the day, whose guest ticket I was using to visit the Revival Meeting. This leg of the journey was scheduled to be an hour, to arrive at six o'clock at Ashridge Forest, but fortunately I made good time. With Martin Evening aboard, we set off for the M25. It did however remind me that although many might also be heading for the Goodwood Revival Meeting, for most it was just the end of another week's work, and if they were hoping to leave work early at the end of the day, then an early start was 'de rigeur'. Once we met the M25, this was very much in evidence, I did not help the situation, for I took a wrong roundabout exit which involved a trip down the wrong road and back to take the correct one which meant we hit the trail of cars further back than was necessary, delaying our arrival even more!

Since Martin wanted a comfort break, he set off, while I gathered my kit together, and looked around for markers for when we returned to the car later. We agreed to meet up at the Old Control Tower as this was to be our base for the day. I was already very warm despite my attire being a summer-weight suit, and so far there was very little refreshing wind.

Some of those staffing the entrance to the Control Tower were vaguely familiar from a previous visit, and brightly welcoming, and soon Martin and I were relaxing upstairs discussing our plans for the day.  One idea I had was to go to a part of the track I had not visited since a chance visit a year before Stirling Moss had had his near fatal accident. I had been taken by a neighbour from that time, rally driver, Peter Morley in his modified Triumph Herald, PM3. 

We headed anti-clockwise around the outside of the circuit in the general direction of St. Mary's. We stopped at several good vantage points on the way for a chance to take shots of the cars as they headed towards what would be our turnaround point, where we could return a short distance back to one of the bus stops. We chatted whilst the first two stopped without offloading any occupants and alighted the third for our trip back to the marshalling assembly area.

The subjects of our photographs were very different; Martin's were characters in extravagant outfits mainly groups of entertainers, in informal posed groups, where mine were snatched moments, both of us were capturing some of the practices going on on-track, but in Martin's case, this was a lower priority, he was far more interested in the people, and these were more evident close by the centre of activities in and around the Start/Finish line and the Pits complex, so after our walk to St.Mary’s and the Tractor return trip we split up for a while, but that did not mean that I failed to capture some of the entertainment provided by groups of Acapella singers such as the Doo Wop Mommas.

I also met some interesting engineers at the Richmond Enclosure by the Chicane, and at lunch a husband and wife publicity team from the Horse-Racing fraternity at the Lunch in the Old Control Tower, where I also briefly encountered Rowan Atkinson in Revival attire and white racing overalls. Later Charlie Settrington, Lord March’s son came to to the Tower similarly attired having had a spell in the A35.

We had an enjoyable day and set off for a journey back involving the unavoidable Friday M25 Crawl, but at least for us it was not the weekly fixture. The end of yet another enjoyable day at Goodwood and later spell in front of the computer sifting through the day’s images, but that was not to be for at least another twenty-four hours!

Saturday 10 September 2016

Woburn Park Late Summer Afternoon

Just carrying the 100-400mm Canon zoom and without a tripod I made my way from the Car Park opposite the Church into the woods via the gate by the Cattle Grids. I had taken a few shots of leaves but soon caught sight of several dragonflies, but they were particularly flighty, so it was a while before I managed  to get some shots, but at quite a distance making handholding somewhat hit or miss, but I did get a few static shots and a single one in flight and despite waiting around for a short spell, that was it.

I did however manage to capture a few small butterfly shots of Speckled Wood, it was the only species I spotted, which I found surprising. I did find a few examples of interesting lighting on leaves and serendipitous shapes formed by grass, and moved into the small lake by the entrance to get a few shots of single deer, the only different image was when I saw an Albino deer running with a fallow deer. Having taken a few shots by the lake, I returned through the woods, taking a few shots on the walk back to the car. I spotted a pair of butterflies which I took to be mating as one pinned the other beneath it in the grass and then it seemed to release the other, then linger awhile before flying off on its own.