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 27 February 2019

Brands Hatch with the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club

No, I have not suddenly come into money, and become the owner of a Jaguar — I do have a friend though who does own such a vehicle and we met up and travelled down from Bedfordshire to attend a meeting of what amounted to a rescheduled event from last year. 
The day had begun in fairly thick fog and upon our arrival the sun was beginning to win the battle to burn off the mist bringing a glow behind Druids Hairpin that was being reflected in the windows of the hospitality suites between the Main Grandstand and Paddock Bend. The effect was beginning to fade by the time I had put the camera and lens on the tripod and captured the scene.
The portends for a good day at the circuit were gathering apace, and I took the opportunity to grab a few images of a largely empty rear area behind the garages that line the Pits. I used to be Assistant Chief Pits here for the BRSCC for some thirty years, and this the second reincarnation since I left, but the circuit still holds a place in my heart and still retains much of the character I remember, since when I first came the circuit was close to a third the present length.
The circuit in use on this day is affectionately referred to as the Club Circuit and means that spectators in almost any position can see the cars, bikes or trucks for a major part of the circuit. I have fond memories of my times here spent in all weathers from biting winds and snow to heavy rain, and unrelenting heat, and even night racing!
The numbers attending gradually rose, but perhaps because of the previous cancellation and the time of year, the attendance was not as large as I had experienced with John when he invited me to the Castle Combe event. Before anyone went out on the circuit there were preliminaries to go through to explain the procedures, and the rules of behaviour when out on the circuit. After that and with wrist bands attached that indicated who were driving, and who were considering being passengers and that they had listened to the rules outlined in the briefing, the audience members filed out to the Pits Paddock area downstairs.
By now a few more vehicles and people had arrived and I had taken a few shots that covered  some of the attendees and vehicles and I was watching the activity around one of the Swallows Jaguar Team as they were having some difficulty removing their car from the transporting ramps, and I could see that they could do with some additional weight in bodies to make it possible for the car to have clearance enough to move freely to the ground. I then made what turned out to be a fateful decision and splayed the tripod legs and put the tripod on the ground; I had thought it was balanced correctly, but as I turned to offer my help, I heard the heart-wrenching sound of my camera, lens and tripod crashing to the tarmac, then  saw that the lens had separated from camera body and tripod, and both lay a few feet apart! I realised that that decision to consider offering my assistance had brought this calamity upon myself and I was near to tears. I picked everything up and was in shock as I realised my day was ended before really having begun. I walked away unable to concentrate on anything but the terrible loss, and dwelling on the consequences. I cannot be sure of what happened for probably ten minutes as I was locked inside my own world… then one of the Swallows Team came up to me and despite just having witnessed the accident to my own equipment, had brought along his Nikon camera equipped with a long zoom lens and offered it to me! That was kindness of a different order! I was absolutely amazed that without a word he had gone away and brought along his camera and offered it to me, a complete stranger! It was truly humbling, and suddenly amidst all my gloom suddenly he had brought a gift beyond words. I cannot remember a time when such a gesture of human kindness has been bestowed upon me. It still brings tears to my eyes as I write this piece, days from when it occurred. I doubt I will ever forget the occasion, and later, the chance to be driven round the circuit for numerous laps, most of which we were the only ones on track.
During those laps, I became very aware that the driver was inching deeper into the apex of Bottom Bend to gain a greater benefit upon exit, and at the end my thoughts were that the driver really enjoyed that drive, and literally before I could voice that statement he made the declaration himself! I then mentioned my observation and it appears that he feels trepidation in that corner as a close friend had crashed badly there. I felt my observation was keenly understood, and I said that if he ever needs human ballast to continue exploring the boundary for that corner I would be more than happy to supply my reassurance.
During the day John Sentinella my generous host and I met several really interesting people, one of who remembered me from my time as a Marshal as he was once a Course Marshal and he also knew brother Ian during the time he was racing and worked for the club.
I will cherish both the drive and the selfless generosity I received that afternoon at a moment when I had the heartache of losing my latest lens and camera in the first days of ownership. The delay in getting this narrative and accompanying gallery is due to the consequences of the accident that befell my photographic kit on the day. All this week has been spent sorting out the repair and insurance and the travelling involved taking the lens to Sigma and the camera and adapter to Canon. All this during a record amount of sunshine for a February!

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Brogborough Windsurfers – EOS R, 60-600mm Lens + 1.4x

For those windsurfers hoping to see what I had managed to capture, I apologise for the delay, but other priorities occurred, and also I learned a hard lesson, bigger files, especially without a fully compliant profile with which to process them, also adds to the delay. The files are now over twice the size, so when you also add into the mix that I have yet to be able to understand just the best way to process the subsequent files, it has taken me way longer to prepare the gallery.
In the recent past, I have used the smaller-chipped 7D MkII to both gain the extra throw of the lens, and to maintain a high burst rate when shooting the Brogborough windsurfers and the Stewartby powerboats. On this occasion, I was using the full-frame EOS R, and to give me extra focal length using the new much longer range of the 60-600mm Sigma Sports lens, I added the 1.4x Converter. It had the effect of making the 600mm become 840mm and in place of 60mm that was now increased to 84mm; which was not too bad a loss when the windsurfers came close – compared to the closest focus of my previous 150-600mm used alone which meant if my subjects came close the cropping was obvious. On this afternoon I had little difficulty keeping the whole sail in frame when I was approached closely, yet equally able to get a good size when they were a good distance away!
I still have to find an effective solution to placing the cursor where I need it for both autofocus and exposure, so that I can vary the focal length to achieve effective framing and composition. Getting the ring that provides in my instance the means by which I can make quick changes to exposure compensation was essential to give me the level of control I need to work efficiently and speedily.
I apologise to those who feel there were too many shots of Sam and the hydrofoil board, but I was trying to see whether he might complete a successful gybe aloft, and I was impressed he was getting close; I think it was as much due to the fickle wind conditions. I was pleased to have captured some shots of multiple sailors spanning the width of my frame, especially as now the quality details of the individuals in such frames is so much better. I did not stay as along as I might have, because I knew I had little available time to get this gallery up, and now it is late Tuesday as I write this narrative to get the gallery up tonight. I hope it was worth the wait.

Saturday 16 February 2019

Marsworth Reservoir with Sigma 60-600 Sports on EOS R Body

The title should really include another important piece of information — I also added the Sigma 1.4 Converter, and was amazed by how well this combination worked. So that readers of this piece can fully understand just how well this combo performed I have taken a shot from the same standpoint at the wide angle end of the lens’ range to give an indication of where I was when taking the subsequent pictures. Frame 3 shows the exact view from my position when the lens was at its shortest focal length, albeit still with the 1.4 Converter still attached! So you can see how impressive the images are; immediately below the distant view at frame 9, is an enlargement from the previous picture, showing just how much detail there is, and I was amazed! So, all praise to Canon and Sigma, for the sensor in the EOS R, and Sigma for both this excellent range telephoto and their 1.4 Extender — it makes me wonder how the 2x Converter would fare on this body? Perhaps Sigma might loan me a 2x to check it out.
At this point I shall digress; I drove down to Sigma to borrow this lens due to a really frustrating situation that was brought about by the carriers, UPS who managed for no less than the second occasion to fail to read the postcode on my package beyond the first three characters, and dropped my package into the Amazon Depot which due to Amazon’s high-handed arrogance, only acknowledges the Entire Delivery, and any package not due to Amazon, simply place it in a cage for when the carrier next collects, and does not reflect this in the tracking, so the tracking at this point reads ‘Delivered’. It is only subsequently revived once the original Courier has returned it to their Depot. This is a gross failure on Amazon and UPS’ Duty of Care, and should be utterly condemned. It completely undermines the Tracking System and since the fact that this has occurred twice to me personally, it must be only the tip of an Iceberg, and has but one result that packages lost completely are untraceable, and claims on Insurance simply compounds the losses, and increases everyone’s prices for Deliveries. This must be tackled at Government level. If anyone reading this piece has had similar issues of packages being delivered to Amazon and suffered delivery delays please tackle your MP, so we can prevent this from escalating.
Back to the narrative; I had been concerned that perhaps the Sigma Sports 60-600mm  lens might fail to focus when on this mirrorless body, but though on occasion I did have to  occasionally twist the focus ring to initiate autofocus,  I believe I may be able to use the Custom Presets on the lens to obviate that. I shall be enquiring of Sigma on that after the weekend. 
One observation I have made in relation to the EOS R is that it is rather easy to have wide range subject exposures suffer from irretrievable highlights, but whether this is due to Adobe not yet having an EOS R-specific profile. I am relying currently on a previous, but seemingly otherwise workable profile. If I have subjects with bright whites, I am taking a similar approach to how I handled transparencies in the days of film, and choosing to under-expose in such circumstances. The dynamic range of sunlit swans is such an example, it is definitely better to under-expose and then lift the shadows ‘in Post’.
I wonder how long before My lens arrives having gone ‘Up the Suwannee’ — the shoe on the lens though a little longer than some is not as long as the separate full length one which I had for the earlier 150-600mm lens, as I was loathe to put mine on this loan lens, so I await the return of the one due to arrive when UPS get it back onto its route to me.
The 60-600mm lens may be heavy, but using one lens and one body for sports and wildlife is a boon, and with the marginally lighter mirrorless full-frame body giving such image quality has certainly been worthwhile, but there is a learning curve, and  I still have a way to go to reach the ease of use to which I had become accustomed with the 5D MkIII and 7D MkII…

Monday 11 February 2019

Brogborough — a Few Heroic Windsurfers!

Is it a surprise that Brogborough Lake was not inundated with sailors taking advantage of the wind? Hardly. Despite a reasonable degree of sunshine, the wind that blew was bitter, and on my arrival only one sail was to be seen on the water. However, as I put my tripod up, and added the gimbal head, the numbers increased one hundred percent! On this occasion my longest practical lens was the Canon 100-400mm, augmented by the Sigma 1.4 Converter. This combo brought about due to my wait for the 60-600 Sigma Sports, due I am assured this coming week.
I was not daunted by this prospect, as  I have checked out this pairing in the last few days, and it proves reasonably workable. Overall, I was reasonably satisfied, but I did face one issue that meant I did miss some shots; the reason being that it was all too easy to find my focus point being taken way off, unintentionally. I shall have to work out a better way to keep my focus point static until I decide I wish to relocate it. So, there is further work needed for me to feel confident in the procedures I adopt when using this EOS R body.
On at least three occasions I missed some of the action, in part because the last burst was being processed, and this frame was now in the viewfinder because of my having lifted my finger from the shutter release. I am unsure how to remedy this at this time — more burrowing in the PDF Instructions!
Later this week, I should be taking delivery of a lens that will avoid any converters, the Sigma Sports 60-600mm lens,  I parted with my 150-600mm Sigma Sports in order to obtain and fund the purchase of the longer range lens. l hope that it will allow me to use this one far more at events like Goodwood for motor racing, Stewartby for powerboats, taking shots of wildlife such as kingfishers, and this location for windsurfing. On this afternoon I was able to capture swans and cormorants, though due to the focussing issue I encountered on this occasion, I failed to record a grey wagtail that hopped around the foreshore at one stage. I was pleasantly surprised by what I managed at this afternoon’s visit with the MkI Canon 100-400mm lens using the 1.4x Sigma extender. It is noticeable just how much sharper this lens is when used on the EOS R body compared to either the 5D or 7D with the same lens — so I am really looking forward to using the 60-600mm on this body.
Through all the testing of this new mirrorless body, I have had to adopt a very different way of working which has already impacted the handling of my earlier DSLR bodies, which cause me to find them confusing when I return to using them!

Thursday 7 February 2019

Bromham Lake – EOS R Familiarisation

When I first ordered the Canon EOS R body in addition to the straightforward adapter giving me access to the direct use of my pre-existing lenses, the ring that appealed was the one that gives the user a ring that allows instant access to a feature that otherwise would mean several key presses through menus to make a single change to a needed setting.
The most useful one that I ever need when using my cameras to shoot rapidly changing subjects such as wildlife and sports, is when lighting situations change due either to backgrounds beyond a subject having an adverse effect on my metering, or when my pre-determined settings are rendered suddenly beyond the preset limits — the beauty of this ring is that I can use it to make a compensation for the circumstances, with my finger taking first pressure on the shutter release as I turn the ring, to add or subtract from the measured exposure, then press the shutter further to take the shot. No taking my eye from the viewfinder and menu-diving to make the change.
This trip was the first occasion to put this to use as the ring arrived in the post that day, and I was considering going out to search for new locations despite the overcast sky as it was not raining and it was surprisingly mild. Having had a poor connection with the phone’s SatNav to the car’s speakers I never reached my original destination, but I did spot the sign to one I had visited previously — a small Nature Reserve at Bromham. So I took the long lane to where it’s entrance provided a small parking area. For this venture I took my Canon 100-400mm MkI lens and my Sigma 1.4x Converter in case I needed the extra throw.
I also added the monopod, to give me a steadier shooting platform as well a a support when negotiating slippery banks. It proved its worth in both modes! This year’s weather has been definitely out of kilter, the last week has been unusually mild, and this was apparent as not all the Autumn leaves had been shed, and the catkins were gently sway in the light breeze.
There were a few birds to be seen flitting across the paths as they flew between the meagre cover either side, a sparrow, a robin, and a rook briefly caught my eye, but there was little birdsong to be heard for most of the time I was there. I put out some birdseed in case there was a chance I might get some shots of these birds, but none came to my carefully dispersed piles on tables or tree stumps, so I moved deeper into the woods, taking stock of possible images that might allow me to check out the new camera body further.
The aspect I still found problematic was using the screen to move the cursor around the scene I was viewing through the eyepiece; I found it was often difficult to move to where I wanted it, as either my finger’s proximity to the eyepiece would move the cursor, or when. I lifted my finger, it would jump to follow my finger as it moved away! I think this maybe down to my being a spectacle wearer, and therefore being farther from the eyepiece. I can see myself having to adapt the way I move the cursor! However, when I get it right the sensor does an excellent job of getting my shots sharp, and the extra file size means the graininess of the higher ISOs I often use is greatly reduced, meaning I can get far more from my longer lenses in difficult lighting.
I am waiting upon a new delivery to Sigma of the 60-600mm Sports lens so that I can  see how the lens performs with this body, as it would be a real boon if it really performed well bearing in mind the mentions I have made relating to this full frame sensor. Time, as they say, will tell!