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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Friday 29 November 2019

A Further Brighter Day

I was up early to pay my optician a visit at Luton, and after that, I took the opportunity to see what pictures I could take at the Stockwood Discovery Centre gardens. It turned out there was a problem — large areas of the gardens were on lock-down as preparations were being made to create a lighting extravaganza for Christmas.
The end result was that a major proportion of the gardens were unavailable, somewhat limiting the boundaries for my subject matter, but I rose to the challenge  as it would be a shame to waste all this clear sunshine. It just meant I would have to look harder in the search for suitable images. It would be a shame when the lighting was so pleasing, to fail to do my utmost to capture whatever came my way.

Another disappointment was I had no access to the Greenhouse due to a somewhat over zealous application of Health & Safety regulations, I hope that what I did manage to capture gives an indication of some of the beauty of late Autumn in the gardens.

Thursday 28 November 2019

A Brighter Day — a Photo Opportunity?

I had an opportunity to be out for the first chance in a while, so gathered my camera gear and headed for the closest lake. Upon arrival at the gate, I entered the numbers to allow me access, and when it did not open I assumed that the number had been  changed, so phoned the Water Bailliff, but he was unsure, but he would contact one of the other. I therefore decided to try again, and this time it opened! I suspected therefore my earlier attempt had been thwarted, by the rain of the last several days. I immediately phoned the Bailliff back to say all was OK, and apologised for bothering him.
Once I was parked by the lake, I got out of the car and took a look across the water, at first only seeing gulls and some coot, all congregated in the middle, away from any shore, which was a disappointment. I stayed awhile trying to spot any more interesting subjects, and a couple of swans came into view, and a small group of gulls took to the air, and that gave me a chance to catch sight of a Grebe.
That was incentive enough for me to erect the tripod and mount the camera and lens. On this occasion I had remembered to ensure I had the 2x Converter, so that I had the full throw of my Sigma Sports 60-600mm lens on the EOS R body, which with every bird equidistant from any shore was going to be essential! Whilst I mounted the camera and lens on the tripod, I kept my ears attuned to all the sounds in case I heard the distinctive tapping of the woodpecker, but the only untoward sound was the stuttering exhaust note from a powerful car engine at the nearby Millbrook Test Circuit; the banking of which the circular track is visible from the lakeside.
Initially, I set up immediately by my car, just closer to the water’s edge, and as I did so, a Mallard noisily left the reeds and headed towards the middle, so much for me trying to keep a low profile! Luckily the duck did not spook the rest, but it did cause a few more of the gulls to gulls to take to the air, which allowed me to see the birds I was hoping to encounter; another young Grebe. I stayed in this spot till I found the Grebe pair heading further away, which prompted me to pick up the camera and tripod, and try to get closer to where the birds were heading, I found two other spots from which to shoot, before the light faded too much and darker clouds approached menacingly.

I was not too disappointed with what I managed to capture especially as one of the Grebe was successful twice catching one toddler and another slightly larger fish, I was too far away to ascertain whether it was successful or whether he swallowed it without me capturing the event. It was a satisfying afternoon from my perspective.

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Tring Reservoirs — Mainly Marsworth

Despite the dull, overcast weather, I headed south to the reservoirs at Tring; parking the car in the field adjacent to the Tringford lake and the entrance to the Anglers jetty, and walked the short distance to get a view of what life was either on the lake or nearby — there was very little life at all, mainly some coot and gulls. Disappointed, I assembled my camera and 60-600mm Sigma Sports lens onto the EOS R body with the 1.4 x Converter, and headed across the road to see whether my luck was in, at either of the other two lakes: Startops, or Marsworth — it turned out disappointingly for both, with most birds staying out in the middle of both lakes.
Activity was desultory presumably because of the lacklustre weather, so I focussed on the only action there was on the far shore of Startops, where a couple were creating a slight stir for the gulls, by ‘breaking bread’ religiously as a break from their dog-walking. The only other nearby activity was an odd pairing of a Canada Goose and Greylag, and a more natural Swan pair. That helped me decide to travel the short distance to the fourth  of Tring’s Reservoir Lakes, at Wilstone.
This proved to be a difficult route to even arrive at the closest point of its shoreline, and was even more disappointing since I was only able to record some further dog walkers and some distant views of the lake on my return trip to the car, but I enjoyed the exercise, the fresh and mild air, and the knowledge that I was not missing too much, it also made me wonder about how much cross breeding there was between Canada Geese and Greylags. I must ask my Avian Guru, Chris Gomersall, who regularly runs trips for Nikon, to which even Canon aficionados such as myself are equally welcomed.
                I did get to speak to Chris and learn that it is not that uncommon for such relationships to occur; I also learned that my memory is not what it used to be, since he told me I had asked him the same question on an earlier occasion!

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Unusual Museum Visit - Cambridge

My daughter Catherine invited me to visit her over at Sawston, and I had been alerted to one aspect, the introduction to her School’s 3D Printer to help her with a project she was planning for her young charges now that it was up and running. I should own up here, that although I have ‘dabbled in a bit of programming’ I would definitely consider that my past experience was firstly ‘in the Past’ and secondly, somewhat primitive and simplistic, but I was game, and always tend to ‘push the envelope’ and run before I can walk! She wanted to create a nameplate, and a rectangle or square simply did not feature in my repertoire as a base. My immediate thought was to indent all four corners, it would be a plaque as a base. The base was therefore to have a fair depth, so instinctively I knew that at each corner, I was going to subtract a cylindrical post from a rectangle, a scallop. However, I knew nothing of the program that was to perform the task I had in mind, but intuitively knew the task I had in mind could be considered as one routine repeated at all four corners, by my telling the machine to repeat the cylindrical subtracting at each of the other three corner co-ordinates. However, here my input ground to a halt! At this point in the English language I described this to Catherine, who then used a series of jigsaw panels into which I then fed the circle instruction with the four corner co-ordinates into individual groups, going downwards, since the process was top-down. We had earlier defined the depth of plate upon where we were going to build our 3D letters, so the cylindrical subtraction would be the same Z-component as the depth of that plate. Each instruction was applied singly, rendered and checked before building the next program jigsaw instruction.
I am absolutely certain that the instructions I was building individually could be entered in a Step & Repeat function derived from simply the corner co-ordinates of the initial rectangle, but we just created another jigsaw piece with those new co-ordinates using basic principles! Also we did a Refresh render at each step! This, simply to verify we had made no mistakes, we were still a long way off feeding this to the printer.
Having arrived at a point where we could let the Printer work it’s magic, Catherine ensured that the heater was up to temperature, she set it going, and the alarms, and we headed off for a speedy shopping trip. Later we returned to see the fruits of our labours

before a trip to an ex-Water Treatment facility (read: Sewage Works) which has become a Museum which houses other technologies such as printing presses. 
           As we walked down towards the entrance, I was surprised by the sight of the boughs of trees overladen with an abundance of berries, generally considered as a precursor to a harsh Winter.
           One room on the site was locked on this occasion, but my daughter’s conversation with a volunteer at the entrance had inspired her to ensure the room was specially opened for us, allowing us to get a brief inspection. I only managed a single shot of a block of type as we chatted with the person who had generously opened that room just for us to take a look.
The very first image that had caught my eye as we descended the slope to the entrance, was a striking, if rather simplistic depiction of Concorde at takeoff, painted on the side of a Container. Later we saw the complete view of the tall chimney, scaled at one time by the irascible character, Fred Dibnah.
I do not know how long this Museum has been open; my impression was that it is early days, but I enjoyed the visit, and was impressed with the garden bar and the welcoming atmosphere, I hope my images have captured this favourably.

Monday 18 November 2019

Sunny Afternoon — a Very Brief Quest Lake Visit

Every so often a brief moment is needed for me to relax by capturing scenes in sunlight, and one such occurred back on Wednesday last, but only now have I had the time to even look at the shots I took.
Quest Lake is another old worked out clay pit that has become a series of lakes, but access is somewhat limited, but near enough for me to reach at a moment’s notice, and after some dismal grey days, sunshine had arrived at a time when I needed a break, so I did not hesitate.  Unlike a previous visit there was far less activity, and most of that at some distance, but it gave me the chance to try panning passing trains along the raised track at the edge of the site, in between clumps of trees. I also took a shot of the distant ‘Caddington Sheds’ as the vast hangars were known, that housed the two Airships, the R100 and R101, and in more recent days, the Airlander.
At a far more personal level, as the eldest son of a past Deputy Officer Commanding, RAF Cardington it held memories for me, as my father retired from there to take up life in ‘Civvy Street’. So hence my taking a shot of the distant hangars beyond the trees. I would like to think that these lakes develop into a Nature Reserve for the countless soulless housing developments, rather than add to their number, since from the few shots in this gallery, it should be apparent that there is both beauty and tranquility here. Carefully selected plant and flower species introduced here would really help to make Bedfordshire a County that was not merely a transit corridor between London and the North, viewed from closed car and train windows, but a location of interest to visit and enjoy, not simply to pass through.

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Very Brief Visit to Weston Turville Lake

I was due to have lunch with my younger daughter at Quainton, but not too early, as she was in need of some quality time with her two youngsters who were hopefully coming to the end of their coughs and sore throats. Since I had woken early and was ready to go out, this suited me, since the sun was shining, and the time spent at a lake with a camera was equally good for my soul.
Having not visited the lake at Weston Turville for some time, and it being in the same general direction as Quainton, this was very welcome; also, an added benefit was Lizzy knew how long the journey to her would take, so when she felt that her roast, potatoes and vegetables would be my time distance away, she could simply ring me, and I would pack up and be on my final leg of the journey.
Despite there being almost no wind, there was a gathering of dinghies on the farther shore, with just a couple beyond the confines of the harbour, there were a fair number of swans, a few, scattered Coot, and a young Grebe, also there were several small groups of gulls, mainly on the water, occasionally taking short spells in the air. I had assemble the camera and lens on the Benbo tripod by the car, just beyond the entrance; a thoughtful soul had kindly vacated his or her slot very close to that entrance, which meant I was spared a long walk from the farther end of those parked cars. A few dog owners were heading in and a lesser number coming out with their charges as I set up my EOS R, the 2x Converter and the Sigma Sport 60-600mm onto the tripod, then headed for the entrance myself.
I had assumed from the number of parked cars to find the bank and paths crowded, but obviously the lake and woods are large enough to absorb that number without more than three or four groups being visible. It took very little time before I began shooting, and rather than the native wildlife, it was the somewhat pedestrian sailing dinghies that were my subjects as they very slowly made their way out from their moorings, I felt their sadness that with this sunshine there was barely a whisper of wind — a mere zephyr!
Meanwhile the Grebe was inching slightly closer, but still little more than a speck at the full extent of the lens’ range, meaning it would be well-cropped within the frame, even with my 2x Converter! It is here that the EOS R shines, in that with the sunshine on this occasion, even with such a crop, the quality of the image is still good. Even though now the Sigma is invariably linked to my 2x Converter, I find I can still focus close enough at the 60mm end of the lens with the Converter on when as happened a Coot swam into the ban below me, and gave himself a good shake, without being chopped in any way.
One fascinating group of shots occurred when a small dinghy with an outboard came towards me then returned to the boatyard making some wonderful interference patterns on the surface, and behind me a Dad and son were cycling when the chain came off and Dad stopped to pop it back on whilst the lad ran up and down the bank, as Dad settled down to pop it back. Not long after I got my Dinner gong from my daughter, and headed back to the car, and an excellent roast ham and all the trimmings, rounding off a great day.

Friday 8 November 2019

Harrold-Odell Lake– Alive with Swans

Although it was a dull day, I decided to visit the park at Harold-Odell, to see what birds were on the lakes. It was certainly a good choice of venue, as there was a plethora of birds; the largest number of swans on a lake I had seen in a while, a Cygnet and numerous gulls. I spotted a Shoveller, some Pochard, male and female, Mallard ducks in a couple of family groups. I had my sturdy Benbo tripod, and had put the 2x Converter on the 60-600mm Sigma Sports on the EOS  R body. All the birds were congregated at this near end of the right hand lake, but if they were close to the shore, it was by the far bank. As I approached the near bank there was a noisy exodus of half a dozen gulls that spooked several of the ducks, which was a shame, but a man dressed in black and moving a large tripod with a long lens might just be considered a threat, I suppose.
It was definitely a good move to have the Converter in place because the only large birds were the swans, and even when at a distance they were never an issue, and they are definitely very capable of taking care of a feeble human! Obviously, it would have been very nice to have had some sunshine, and even better had my subjects come much closer, but it was good to come away from a computer screen and be outside taking pictures again, and the swans gave me some nice shots, and it was good to see the Shoveller and Pochard.
I feel revitalised once more, since I had not had a chance to get any shots of fireworks this time around, though there is a weekend coming along, so there is a possible chance still. I also wonder when there might be some wind and sun that beckons the windsurfers; I should not be greedy, but I was greeted by an early call from an erstwhile one-off client who is wanting some building progress shots, which came as a very welcome surprise, so we are meeting next week, so as the man who as he jumped from the Empire State Building was heard to say as he was passing the twelfth floor: “I’m not dead yet!”

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Ashridge Forest – Autumn Sunshine

My trip in sunshine to Ashridge to visit the Author of the ‘Photoshop for Photographers’ books meant that after delivering the last item, the images for a personal Ad at the end of the book, I took along my camera in the hope of capturing some of the surrounding scenery in the fickle sunshine and billowing clouds. I was rewarded by the mixture of colours that herald the onset of autumn, and the occasional light showers meant the obvious possibility of rainbows.
At every clearing that sported an area for the parking of cars, already had its measure of takers, and many of those could be seen unloading their cargo of dogs to give them some exercise in the woods and moorland. I soon found a spot which offered at least some photo opportunities, so grabbed the camera and locked the car to take a few shots.  The opportunity turned out to be limited, so I drove on a little further and was rewarded with better views within the woods, and figures in the landscape, and to round off, I managed to capture a rainbow. This trip was therapeutic as the last fortnight was devoted entirely to reading the entire output of the next tome, covering the several additional features of this powerful piece of software, that has been a mainstay of my career for both the taking of pictures and their manipulation in retouching and montage. I purposely spent the minimum of time with Martin as he still had some more work to do as the deadline was Friday; I was luckier, in that my task was now almost over, hence why I relished the chance to get out from a darkened room in front of a computer and be driving in the country, and with the bonus of possibly taking pictures.