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 28 June 2018

Woking in The Garden

No, it was not a spelling mistake! As will be apparent by your visit to the gallery of images.
It was good to be asked once again to help another Digital Photographer do some Computer housekeeping other than my own, and especially beneficial to travel away from my own locale, to visit someone whose photography is very different from my own. David has photographed the seasons in several European countries as well as Britain; from the Air, in Microlight aircraft, and the wider range of his work can be seen by visiting his site at <http://afbs.co.uk> I tend to think of his work from the Air, but by visiting his site it is self-evident that pigeon-holing him in that genre alone is to do him a disservice, and I heartily recommend visiting his site to verify this for yourself.
My earlier visits were additionally recompensed by a trip with David over London in a Twin Squirrel helicopter, one of the few aircraft permitted to fly over the metropolis rather than be restricted to flying just above the Thames, hence my tending to consider this aspect of his work primarily.
This gallery is my way of ensuring I do not get stale and also a means of allowing me to add some words that help to repay being asked to help him, by alerting others through the medium of my blog to the work he has done shooting from above. It is a very different perspective, offering as it does patterns not apparent from terra firma.

Monday 25 June 2018

Despite Lack of Wind - BrogLake Buzzes

Saturday and fine weather, but little wind did not deter numerous visitors to sample the atmosphere and enjoyment to be had at the Lake. There were numerous Paddleboarders and several windsurfers of varying levels of attainment and some training was taking place in the light breeze as it was an ideal opportunity not to be missed, and also there were a greater number of birds than I reckon was normal - affording me an opportunity to capture wagtails who were along the shore. There were some gulls swooping to fish, but were either way too fast when close, or simply too distant.
Richard McKeating one of the experienced sailors was taking the opportunity to check out some new manoeuvres including travelling facing backwards which seemed a somewhat unusual skill to attempt to master, since it would seem risky to be facing the way you have come and not see in the direction you were heading, but perhaps it is a skill for when faced with danger from behind as well as ahead, but he told me others had mastered the skill, so reckoned he should put in some practice – watching the occasions Richard made his early attempts, the results I observed seemed to have a downside!
The lack of wind was a bonus for those attempting to learn and gain experience which a full lake of competent and skilled practitioners travelling hither and thither would have been somewhat more daunting. A lack of wind is definitely a bonus though for paddleboard enthusiasts, and their numbers were greater, and I learned that the paddles themselves are more sophisticated than I had imagined with Emma showing one which was of a very novel shape, exceedingly light and cleverly designed to be adjustable for length and the handle of which could not rotate in the shaft.
Watching Richard I tried to capture sequences, as much for me to learn what he is attempting as be able to provide him and others with the movements and results he was achieving. This afternoon was never going to be one where I witnessed stunning jumps or skilled turns, so there were always going to be numerous exposures that never made it to the gallery, but it keeps my eye and hand in, which is of importance to me.
At one point I heard the fairly recognisable sound of Pratt and Whitney engines overhead and a Dakota DC3 passed overhead from the direction of Old Warden, but this was not the burnished silver of aluminium, but a very dark grey, almost black, painted body, yet with white stripes and RAF roundels, and oddly displaying ‘UK’ on the nose, checking using Google, it would appear to belong to the Battle of Britain Flight, which surprised me because I thought it was a plain unadorned aluminium one, certainly my memory of them were that.
I was twice treated to a visit from a Pied Wagtail whilst I was at the water’s edge.
It was a quiet, but relaxing day, that meant being in front of a computer to get the shots up later, so I left whilst there was still plenty of life at the lake to give myself a headstart.

Monday 18 June 2018

A Family Visit to Brooklands Museum

It is quite some time since I visited Brooklands, and the landscape is very different, though some of the Circuit Buildings I do remember, but the area now looks like and is a Business Park. However, the Museum Area is very much a family-oriented and welcoming venue. On Sunday it was Fathers’ Day and I was treated to the day by my younger daughter’s family, and despite a warning of possible rain, only a few very minor drops fell, with absolutely no dampening of the spirit of the day, and it passed without any adverse effect whatsoever.
Parking was no problem, and we walked from the car having gathered some food and other essentials, and it was at this point that my daughter realised that in concentrating on everyone else’s needs she had inadvertently left all food for herself, back at home, which was more than a little unfortunate as the availability of gluten-free fare and other non-allergenic foodstuffs is not readily available at such venues. Add to this a heavy dose of onion vapour in some areas meant she was never 100% well, which was very debilitating, and difficult to shake.
Although obviously my invitation was father-related, I felt this was a day for the children and my two grandchildren who had been before were thrilled to be there again and enjoyed every minute and were treated to a car each of their choice at one of the numerous stalls. Looking through some of the aircraft interiors on display and the buses, and later queuing to make an aircraft manned by one of the many volunteers. The buses and the aircraft proved of interest to the two children, although the simulator needed the length of legs of older children! There was an uphill race for youngsters, but sadly we only learned of this once it had started, it was certainly a serious challenge despite only being to just beyond where we were sitting picnicking.
There was one interesting occasion when a man driving his car just stalled inches before the finishing line at the top and needing several able-bodied men to stop him from rolling back, but the ignominy to follow was that his wife managed in the same car to complete her run successfully! I suspect she will be dining on that success for some while!
Altogether it was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon; It’s just a shame that it is so distant as it really needs an entire day because there is so much to see.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable present to be sharing with my daughter’s family. On the return journey I was hoping to point out where I had once worked with Hubert Davey at his Photographic studio in Weybridge High Street, but although we passed right by, I failed to recognise its location. I have since realised why and that is because the building I knew has long since gone, and is now a Thai Restaurant, something I have since gleaned by looking on Google Earth!

Saturday 16 June 2018

An Afternoon at Brogborough Lakeside

In the recent warmth I had begun to see a few hoverflies and dragonflies, so on this afternoon I set out with an intention to try once again to capture either species, preferably in flight. The gates to the windsurfing club being locked shut, I parked opposite the anglers’ gate, and initially put the 100mm Macro on the 5D MkIII body and slipped through the side of the gate and strolled to the water’s edge, almost immediately disturbing a dragonfly which flew over my head and over by the gate I had just passed! I thought this was a good start, but it soon simply disappeared.
There was a fair breeze between the gaps in the hedge that gave access to the water’s edge, and damselflies were flitting hither and thither either side, some already paired up with their buff-coloured females – there was no shortage of the blue males, and I only caught sight of a couple of singleton females for the rest of the time I was there. I think the wind was keeping  both damselflies and dragonflies from the open areas of the shore which was a shame as here the background was less fussy. I also caught glimpses of small brown butterflies and moths.
I spent some time here before spotting a build-up of vehicles by the entrance to the windsurfing gates, and wandered along and after the gates were opened, I brought my car inside and for a while changed lenses to the 100-400mm Canon lens and started taking shots of a lone female windsurfer who took to the water and a couple of paddleboarders, one of whom was to take a dachshund on a lead aboard for a spell on the water. 
So, though the majority of shots were of damselflies, and other small insects and bees, the gallery of images contained humans and their activities, but only one dragonfly almost hidden in the tall grass, but it was a pleasant way to enjoy the afternoon.

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Forest Centre Late Spring Cycle Ride

The Forest Centre at this time is filled with Dog Roses and the many denizens of English Woodland flora, pollinators such as bees abound, and I took along the EOS 7D MkII and just the one lens, the 24-70mm with its built-in Macro switch, on occasion I did wish for something longer, especially when I turned a corner only to see the vanishing white bobtails of numerous rabbits, or distant small birds that sang all around me.
There was a lone foxglove and a single dragonfly, I briefly caught sight of hoverflies and a couple of butterflies, but much smaller insects were around in greater numbers. I spotted a pair of ladybirds, but disappointingly they were not our native species, and the pair  I found were intent on increasing their population.
The single tall Wind Turbine could be seen occasionally above the bushes and trees, and every so often its gentle whirring could be heard, as could a vehicle working on the nearby railway line. In the time I was there I saw only one train pass, and heard another. In this area it would be good to have a better service, but the nearby Millbrook Station has a paltry amount of space for the parking of cars, so is of little benefit, and the location is hardly a secure one. I spotted a notice nearby of some intended work, but there was no mention of any possibility of acquiring enough land to make this a possibility in the future, which is a shame for the numerous new homes being built in this area.
I had not really expected to be rewarded with a large number of images, so to find enough to fill two gallery pages was not too shameful, and several will make greetings cards at some stage in the future, and I needed the exercise.

Monday 11 June 2018

Westcott Visit – to Lend a Hand

I was invited to my younger daughter’s so that her husband Tim could lay some boarding in the loft, and obviously enjoy some time with their family; I was to be downstairs in the garden measuring up the planks as directed from the loft, by Tim, and sawing them to the dimensions directed, then passing the cut lengths to Josh, who would then transport them indoors and up to Tim, who was suffering in the heat and the loose fibres from the insulation.
From my observation later of Tim when that task was complete, suggested that I might have been the luckier of the two, since I was in the open air, despite the mugginess, as Tim absolutely needed a shower, and was very itchy. I also had some breaks awaiting the next dimensions, so had grabbed the camera and caught some shots of his garden’s flowers before the sun left the top end of the garden.
Josh had taken one of my offcuts and was intent on trying his skills in the carpentry field, so I decided to step in to offer guidance, since I felt that my steadying hand could offer a degree of safety that would otherwise be lacking. Tim by now down from the loft, spotted the opportunity to pick up my camera and take a record of the event, hence the shots that appear in the gallery.

Later, despite having the wrong lens for the subject, I did get some distant shots of their Red Kites, whilst out with Lizzy, Tilly and Josh as they had a promised cycle ride, I was also able to capture a few more flower and insect shots, that can often be used for cards for Birthdays and other occasions. Since that meant I had fallen back from the others, I found myself confronted by one of the local cats in the middle of the road, and since it was surrounded by an expanse of unobstructed tarmac, I stooped low and slowly approached aforesaid cat taking a few shots with each few steps – at first it had seemed as if the cat was standing its ground to protect its territory, but in reality it was simply enjoying a stroll in the sunshine, but I was grateful for the opportunity it offered due to the expanse of surrounding uncluttered space.

Saturday 9 June 2018

Marsworth Reservoir Visit

After a meeting in the morning, I considered getting a few wildlife pictures, and finding Brogborough Lake closed, and later learning there was a windsurfing and other watersports activities up at Rutland Water which Sam was attending, I headed south towards Tring Reservoirs. On arrival, there seemed little activity on any of the three lakes, but what there was held some interest, I spotted a couple of Grebe performing their dance, but it lacked total synchronicity, and the pair parted after a while, but later I either picked up the same pair later or a new couple, but disinterest again soon set in.
Common Tern and black-headed gulls were swooping down on possible fish on Marsworth lake, but neither were around in large numbers, and I spotted a lone Tufted Duck, and also a Raven, which was very close by, on a very exposed branch. I got several shots of a single Lesser Black-backed gull as it came in to land. There were several Greylag geese, some with young families.
Later, a young Heron flew in from further along the Grand Union Canal and landed by one of the Lock Gates, then dropped down to a ledge at the bottom of the gates, and it was not overly wary of my presence which was a bonus, s/he did not abort the initial landing and later flew into the empty lock, where it seemed very interested in some nooks in the brick wall lining, but I never saw anything it may have caught. This was definitely the highlight of my afternoon as it seemed to accept my presence, so I had enough time to consider slowing the shutter speed to blur the leaking water that surrounded it. To try to discover just what was of such great interest, I took the camera off the tripod, crossed across the farther gates and lay down to avoid spooking the bird, to get a better view and try to learn what was so intriguing.
On my return to the car I met up with the Tringford Water Bailliff, Bob Menzies and a couple of other anglers, before setting of on my return trip, purposely avoiding the M1 and other major roads as I knew they were gridlocked.

Thursday 7 June 2018

Aylesbury Concert Band, Stone Fête

There is no gallery of images on this occasion, it is simply an illustrated explanation regarding one of the ways my images might be tweaked on occasion

On one of the very few occasions when I am not taking pictures of the Band in Concert, I found myself chatting to Ian who it turns out is married to one of the Band’s musicians; it is during this conversation that he mentions that he noticed that I seem to have somehow picked out an individual in some of the shots I have taken of the Band, but he somehow thought it was the way I had taken the shot. I had to own up that when taking the shot it was often because for me one person, or one group was what I envisaged capturing at that specific moment, and that when I am back at the computer and come to that shot, I realise why it was that I captured that moment and wanted to ensure others viewing were treated to what I had sensed at the time I pressed the shutter.
I use Lightroom for processing the images I take, and it is the reason I shoot in Raw, so have the ability to use the Develop module to subtly alter individual images that become those I then put into a Gallery and place on the server, to be viewed over the Internet from my Blog. I am often using a zoom lens, so frequently an image is used without further cropping and what I am then doing is ensuring that I capture detail in both shadows and highlights by altering the range to suit what I am hoping to project from the scene.
It is at this point I may wish to use the entire picture, but try to somehow highlight the area I want the viewer to notice. The Radial filter is what I then bring into play by making an ellipse around the chosen area and may also rotate it to finesse where I wish to draw attention, which on this occasion was to darken beyond the musician playing the clarinet, and rotate the ellipse slightly anticlockwise. The tool can made to operate either within or without the ellipse that has been drawn, also the subsequent mask that is being created can also be feathered to apply the changes I make with the required subtlety to hide how I have achieved the effect.
  Here is the image before I have made the alterations I have just described, and as you can see your eye is treated to several rows of musicians right through to the percussion section at the rear, and even though my focus is upon the Clarinet section, no person is noticeably more obvious than another, it is entirely egalitarian, however, when I took the shot I was focussed upon the lady in the blue jacket, so when I wanted to draw the observer’s eye to where I wanted them to look, I despotically lessened the contrast of those around and beyond her so that the observer did my bidding and concentrated on this individual player. I also lessened the highlights.
To get across my point, I have over-egged it a tad here, but it is still sufficiently subtle as to not look ham-fisted in my attempt at explaining the mechanics involved.

Note I did not tick the ‘Invert Mask’ box, so that the changes I made to the parameters I chose were applied beyond the selected area of the ellipse. I lessened the Contrast, because had that area been less brightly lit, it would lack contrast relative to the lit area, in addition I targetted the highlights and lowered these too for a similar reason, and lastly the feathering of the mask was just enough that there was no obvious sign of the ellipse that created the mask being obvious when the visitor viewed the end result.
Creating Galleries of images quickly, efficiently and effectively is the reason that I use Lightroom for the task, since to involve Photoshop to carry out retouching prior to creating a gallery adds way too much time to the process, and though the tools are less sophisticated, with practice ways can be found that mitigate the limitations and allow a large number of retouched images to be available to the Internet audience in fairly short order. Another beauty of working in this manner is that if I am approached for a high resolution image to be used in Print, the hard work is largely done, and the subsequent file can be despatched rapidly, and this leaves Photoshop for the more subtle or detailed work by exporting directly from the original in the Lightroom catalog.
One last point, despite my having exaggerated the effect to explain the technique, it does not show an ellipse to give away how I achieved the effect, and I might add that I am also able to deal with the extraneous highlights or shadows separately if needed.
Ian, I hope this explanation is helpful; I dedicate it to you and your wife. I hope it may help others who wish to use such tools in Lightroom when they are taking a large number of photos for display in galleries rather than individual images.

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Watton at Stone Cricket Team at Bamville

The Cricketers from Watton at Stone visited Harpenden to play against Bamville Cricket Club on Sunday and the weather was warm and close, as was the match that played out in the afternoon with an end that was equally close.
I cannot claim to be writing about the match from a cricketer’s standpoint, I simply try to record what I find of interest from what I can capture, and this is strongly biassed towards my capturing the bails in the air and the stumps ‘akimbo’! That is challenge enough; to capture a fielder catching the ball direct from the batsman requires a thorough recognition of the characteristics of the bowler, the batsman, considerable knowledge of the game and the relative skills of individual fielders – my knowledge of the above can be summed up as limited in the extreme, or more honestly as zilch!
Now that the cataract in my hitherto dominant right eye has been rectified, my skill lies with my eyes and reasonable reactions to what they see and anticipate from my observation of the play. I have a weighty but very steady tripod, so moving around is slightly restricted, and every so often the fielders share my chosen viewpoint thus I have to wait a while before I have a clear line of sight on the batsman, or if they seem rooted to the spot, I have to move and reset the tripod level again. When deciding to follow the action of a bowler, it is well nigh impossible to follow the entire run-up due to the proximity of the umpire, and the batsman at the crease, so that often results in less than tidy images.
If the bowler is powerful, this makes inclusion of the wicket keeper less easy due to the distance he will be from the stumps, so I tend to favour the batsmen as my favoured subjects, and some can be right-handed others left-, so as play within an over progresses, my viewpoint which had one of the batsmen facing me, can change when odd numbers of runs are achieved. I therefore tend to err on the photographic and photogenic aspects, such as from where is the light coming, the composition and any drama that occurs. Crisp shots of the bails in the air and the stumps re-arranged therefore seems like a good measure of whether my photos are a success – I missed two such occasions in this match due to my attempts at concentrating on the bowlers in both instances, but hopefully the batsmen’s play of the ball helps to tell the story of the afternoon alongside the record of their occasional demise due to accurate bowling. My apologies for the total absence of the record of great catches of which ironically I did actually witness two, with my number one eyeball!
Play was interrupted by a friendly Golden Retriever, and I manage to get a few shots of an overflying gull, just to add to the day’s action, and thank you Peter for some sustenance, the end of the day however was less successful and ultimately very costly, I managed to pick up a sharp flint from where I parked my car, and with the air in my tyre only lasting to the far side of Harpenden, my journey home was delayed waiting for the AA, because, the puncture could not be repaired and the rest of the journey was completed using a spacesaver tyre, and the day following necessitated a drive to Luton to replace the tyre, as the damage was right at the very edge of the tyre.