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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Sunday 29 September 2019

A Short and Late Lake Visit

Upon my arrival, I did not realise that though it was still early afternoon, I was already late, since almost everyone had come in the morning and my hope of action was doomed as many of the sailors I would have found adventurous had now come ashore. 
I did set up my camera and was using the 60-600mm with the 2x Converter on the EOS R body, mounted on the Benbo tripod, and the head I had on was the Acrotech Long Lens Head, which was the most suitable to try to maintain the horizon level, yet be able to pan smoothly and allow some movement vertically. However, the best uninterrupted viewing position was on the landing stage which is not the stablest of platforms when there is a good wind blowing, but does offer the widest uninterrupted view.
There was a youngster being helped by his father upon my arrival, and after some help, the young lad was soon aloft, and so these were my opening shots, and it was apparent that he had some prior experience despite some early hesitation.
This particular visit was not my most productive, but it is helpful to me to establish which items of kit work best when I use the EOS R, so that everything becomes second nature. In speaking to Barry Rivett, I learned he had been wondering about using a mirrorless body, so with everything locked on the camera, I went over to where he was chatting with another windsurfer, and suggested that he might like to take a look through the lens, to see what it was like, and as I answered some of his questions, I think it helped to help him make up his mind about whether to consider a similar investment.
The shots I took on this occasion were at least a record, and from a personal perspective were useful, but were definitely not overly exciting, but served a purpose, and I did get an opportunity to strike up a few interesting conversations with others, some unrelated to sports photography, and one interesting exchange on the political situation in relation to Brexit, and possible ramifications.

Friday 27 September 2019

A Windy Thursday at Brogborough & a Digression

It was initially my intention to use a sturdier tripod to take a shot of an ex-Country House, now exclusive residential flats. They are 2.66 kilometres from where I was standing when I first took a shot of the building a few evenings back.
But since wind is a prerequisite for exciting windsurfing images, I dropped into the Brogborough Windsurfing Car Park first, and found that although there were a couple of sailors out on the water, they seemed to be making the most of the wind to travel the length of the lake and gybe, whereas I had been hoping for the more invigorating and exciting; jumping.
I stayed awhile in case I was wrong, and had a brief chat with Sam, before considering revisiting the location on the outskirts of Stewartby from which I had earlier taken shots of this distant building, which nestles beneath trees that form the boundary of Ampthill Park.
My interest in this building is akin to HMS Belfast, which used to be a longterm Lens Test subject for Amateur Photographer, well-known to ‘Smudgers’ of a certain age (‘Smudgers’ being a term once used to describe early photographers).
         I wanted to check out just how good a distant detail could be when using the Sigma Sports lens with their 2x Converter. Although, I did take some images with greater detail, the wind and much lower light value proved to be the limiting factor! I did manage to get a few shots, but sadly the cloud cover meant there were not the crisp shadows of my earlier shots. But I did my best to limit the camera movement by using a shutter release cable. The long lens and lens hood were almost as efficient as a Windsurfer’s sail, as it seemed to be blowing a gale here!

This is the detail of the front door!

And this is the full uncropped frame from which it was taken:

           That you can recognise individual bricks which were over two and a half kilometres away, is remarkable!  This distance I have since verified from Google Earth!
Having taken these shots, I returned to Brogborough, and now there were a few more Windsurfers on the Lake. I saved myself some time by only removing the camera and lens from the tripod, so that on arrival, I took out a far more robust tripod, and was soon capturing shots with far more action, where a certain amount of blur only adds to the images.
One set of images, which is of Phil Ashton is a sequence from Frame 71 to 77, really impressed me – had I stopped after a couple of frames I would have missed the very successful continuation of the move, because, at first glance it looked unrecoverable, but his skill became apparent from the outcome! That sequence really made my day, In an earlier posting, I had not known his name, but have since put that right, as it definitely deserved a mention.
         This was not one of my lengthier visits, but provided me with some interesting images, and I worked out a far better assembly of tripod and head for the future, so the time was well spent.

        I stayed just long enough to know that there were to be no more Jumps for me to capture and I headed back to sort through the images and prepare this entry, having had a worthwhile day's shooting.

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Goodwood Revival Meeting 2019

The Duke of Richmond and Gordon seemingly has the Weather Gods in his favour, for in the more than ten years I have been lucky enough to be visiting his grounds to attend the Revival Meetings and the Festivals of Speed, I have only encountered inclement weather on two occasions, and only one of those was really a problem, but every last one has proved thoroughly enjoyable.
My early contact with Goodwood was through Peter Morley a neighbour of mine in Bromley, Kent. He was a Rally Driver and a Director of Tesco, who at the time was the Assistant Chief Pit Marshall at Brands Hatch, a role I later inherited jointly with a colleague Peter Melville, when Peter Morley became the Chief. The first occasion he invited me to Goodwood, it was a regular and fully functional race track, and a year or two before the fateful crash that brought Stirling Moss’ racing career to an end. On that occasion as we drove through some of the villages, people waved to us as we passed, and Peter told me that when he had come to a standstill for a longish time on some occasions, villagers had offered him cups of tea!
I cannot speak for all UK motorsport venues, but for an atmosphere of joyous camaraderie, Goodwood for me has been in a class of its own, followed closely by Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Lydden, and Castle Coombe. Short of some major disaster befalling you, Goodwood never fails to deliver.
I always bring a camera, and on this occasion, I had decided to forego my superb Sigma 60-600mm and had brought my much earlier and far lighter Tamron 150-600mm on the mirrorless Canon EOS R body. I had one further ‘tweak’ — the 2x Converter — which meant I was actually using a 300-1200mm full-frame camera! Knowing There would also be opportunities for closer work, I also had the 24-70mm — which I used to get shots within the ‘Motor Show’ feature.
I will make an admission that despite my careful preparations there was one failure on my part; the one item which could have made my life far easier was still carefully nestling in the boot of my car — a monopod! However, that only surfaced once I was trackside, since to make the trek to the car would lose me too much time, I was going to have to rely on whatever support I could find, such as the top of fence posts, and my daughter’s willingness to provide her shoulder on one occasion! The sacrifices one’s family sometimes endure for their forgetful parents!
Goodwood as I mentioned is a friendly place and an example is a charming mother of two young children who was just in front of me at the banking, who opened a conversation wondering whether she was in my way whilst shooting, I assured her she had no need for concern. Later, she had insisted the boy and girl stayed together which was good advice, and later still when both were at the front fence, in return I suggested that they don’t watch from beneath the wire fencing as they were at that time, because they were unprotected. Somehow, interactions between strangers here at Goodwood is the norm.
I watched an old business colleague, Simon Diffey, do well in his race, and listened over the speakers to his delighted response to his good fortune whilst being interviewed. Later I briefly met up with him, still in high good humour. Another familiar face I spotted was photographer, Jeff Bloxham, but I failed to catch his eye as he was trackside at the Kids’ Pedal Car race and we were in the enclosure. Over the years visiting Goodwood rarely has there been a time when I have not come across old friends, but perhaps the clue is within the adjective ‘old’!
Also, most of my visits, I have bumped into Charles March during the course of the day, as in what I term my ‘former life’ he had been a client of the retouchers, The Colour Company with whom I had worked for many years — in fact it was through them that I had been twice invited to stay at the house to give him some Photoshop help. This day, I did listen to him over the Tannoy, give a moving tribute to his absent friend, Stirling Moss, and later watched him take Susie, Sterling’s wife around in one of the many cars he had driven to success over the last many years. I have tried since to find a recording of his piece, but thus far, in vain. It undoubtedly came from his heart and in his own words as a friend. Sadly, Sir Stirling was not up to travelling to be present.

The last pictures from our day were all taken on my handy 24-70mm, and this turned out to be one of the very few times when I never used its handy macro feature, but this lens if I ever am limited to just camera and one lens and weight, proves invaluable. Another, wonderful, warm, and welcoming day nears its end, just the journey home and the parting with my daughter Lizzy as she heads back to her husband and young family.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Pre-Goodwood EOS R Test of Lighter Long Lens

The Goodwood Revival comes around again, and although I wanted to capture some of its spirit with a long lens on the EOS R body, I knew that all-day with my heavy Benbo and the Sigma 60-600mm was simply out of the question, so my plan to choose the Tamron 150-600mm with the 2x Sigma Converter was worth considering, but I needed a test to make up my mind. There was a reasonable breeze blowing, so to test both the lens and lightweight Carbon Fibre tripod was worth the short trip to the lake at Brogborough. I was fortunate that despite it being a weekday, there was a single windsurfer on the water to provide me with a moving target.
I learned that my presumptions of the suitability of this combo were accurate, but I also learned that with this Converter and the closeness to the shore favoured by my unsuspecting model, meant that the lens was being mainly used at the middle of the focal length range, so it would be sensible to take the lower strength 1.5 Converter along as well, since I would be missing the 60mm end of the Sigma.

I am glad that I had run the test, because also another feature of the Revival Meeting was the aerial display of aircraft, and my lighter lens made this far less of a strain, and this short trip has given me the confidence to opt for this lens alongside my general purpose 24-70mm. I wonder whether the sobriquet ‘Glorious’ Goodwood will apply to the weather on this occasion?

Tuesday 10 September 2019

The Black Gallery Tring – Evergreen Africa Exhibition

After my most recent trip to Brogborough Lake to photograph windsurfers, I left for home after only the briefest of spells there, because I was heading for Tring to meet up with a fellow photographer, Dr Vanessa Champion who has spent several spells shooting in Africa; the most recent being the subject of an exhibition of her work with Evergreen Africa from her PhotoAid expedition to the Foothills of Mount Elgon.
Vanessa had invited me to the Private Viewing evening due to be opened by David Evans, MBE, but my arrival was horribly delayed, and my entry was embarrassing in the extreme, but as I listened to the end of Paul Votzenlogel’s words, I calmed sufficiently to take out my camera and quietly take some shots of him speaking. Up till that moment I was so disheartened that I had considered leaving the camera in the car because of how late my arrival had been, however, I rallied, and began silently shooting, and once I had some images, my self-flagellation subsided, and calm was restored.
Photography for me is therapeutic, I become absorbed in what it is I am watching, and as my eye spots the interactions of others who may be conversing intently, to either a group or an individual, or are self-absorbed, I try to move to a position where I can best compose the image that tells the story. It is interesting to see how some people use their hands, others use their eyes, or tilt their heads. I often spot interesting non-verbal communication and this evening there were for me some interesting interactions amongst friends, that certainly intrigued me. Perhaps Ness will enlighten me, or perhaps not! I do not use flash at events such as these, as it is far too distracting, such lighting also kills the inherent natural ambiance and character of the venue, yes it is a challenge, but where is the joy if it all comes easily, or the event is overwhelmed with flashes from all corners. Under such an assault it is more akin to a War Zone than an intimate gathering enjoying the atmosphere, the introductory speeches and the later interactive banter amongst friends and new acquaintances.
On all occasions such as this evening, I do not use flash which means that I do not intrude, however the mere fact I have a camera, can sometimes mean that if someone sees the lens is aimed in their direction they stare straight into the lens as if to enquire: “Why me?” Most times I will aim elsewhere, if only momentarily, but twice on this evening I took the shot. Generally, I try not to intrude, I keep my eye open for laughter, and for hand-waiving, finger-pointing, and certainly, Ness never disappoints! I hope that some of those attending will get the chance to see what I captured. I am certainly glad I did bring the camera, it was cathartic for the frustration I felt for the over-long journey and subsequent very late arrival.

I also hope the pictures I have taken will be a reminder of an interesting and enjoyable evening for all those attending this Private Viewing, and perhaps many of those in the following days, when the doors are open to all-comers.

Saturday 7 September 2019

Brogborough Lake Trio of Windsurfers

Since I was due out in the evening to an event in Tring to publicise the work of Evergreen Africa with an exhibition of photos from a recent Photo Aid Expedition, entitled “From the Heart of Herts to the Foothills of Mount Elgon”.
I had been invited by Vanessa Champion to the fund-raising evening event at a Tring Gallery with an exhibition of some of her photography in Africa for PhotoAid Global and Evergreen Africa. I therefore spent only the briefest of times lakeside, taking shots mainly of a trio of windsurfers who were making the most of the reasonably strong wind which was unusually, heading directly onshore.
Despite this being apparently the least effective direction for anyone jumping, but possibly due to my presence with a camera, and a knowledge of my predilection for dramatic images meant they were generous enough to attempt to satisfy my needs! I do have to own up to have missed some of these events for a variety of reasons/excuses?
I have done my best to get these images displayed as soon as possible to retain correct chronology, but they are somewhat tardy, so I am hoping the audience will accept my apology and accept “better late, than never”!

I will aim to improve… (mind you I could say that should also apply to my planning to set off in plenty of time for my trip to Tring…)

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Marston Lake – Life Mainly Tiny

I suppose here I share the interest I remember the young Gerald Durrell found so fascinating but, he found that on the far more exotic Greek island of Corfu, bathed in warm sunshine for a large proportion of the Mediterranean year. On this warm English Summer Day, I had driven but a short distance from my home and entered a secluded lake given over largely to the sport of angling. 
The relentless passage of Time was very apparent, for where just a week back water-lilies could be found in bloom, now it was almost as if they had never been in this spot; there were but a low single figure left, and in poor condition, but I only learned that later when I ventured to the far side of the lake. On this visit, I spent time in the second or so Swim where in a preliminary walk I had seen some activity from dragonflies and butterflies. I tried to see whether the extra flexibility of working from a monopod might be viable.
I persevered for around fifteen minutes before I realised that with my heavy long lens, this was wishful thinking on my part, so leaving aside my monopod and flask, I returned to my parked car and fetched my sturdy Benbo and the Acratech Long Lens Head and, though I did occasionally lift it bodily aside to avoid intervening reeds from my subjects, I spent most of the time in the shade of an overhanging tree with a good view of dragonfly activity close by the water’s edge. Apart from the obvious stability advantage, the relief came from the vast reduction of weight and less waving around!
It is always fascinating to watch- Water-Boatmen walk on water, though the is not strictly true – they jump, but the semi-religious analogy is still apt for the ease with which these insects travel across the water surface. I was able to capture this in some detail on this occasion due their  comparative closeness and the use of the 2x Converter on the 60-600mm lens. I also switched away from autofocus in order to keep up with both these creatures and the Dragonflies, with a subsequent improvement in my overall success rate!
I have never given up attempts to capture insects such as Hoverflies, Dragonflies and Butterflies in flight, and on this occasion was extremely lucky to be rewarded more than once with some success! As the sun eventually left this location in shade, I packed up my kit and visited a few other spots , but with less success; I had managed to get the most out of my trip, and the shaded light by where my vehicle was parked tempted me to take a couple of shots of the car to conclude.