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…

View any Gallery by Clicking the relevant TEXT Headline

Tuesday 31 December 2019

Tring Reservoirs – Canalside Images

               In that iterregnum between Christmas Day and New Years Day, I decided to pay the Tring Reservoirs and Grand Union Canal a visit. It was surprisingly warm and the sky was clear; the birds on the water stayed clear of the banks, and those I sought were absent – the Kingfishers, Grebe and Herons. Numerous groups of friends, families and dog-walkers were making the most of the mild weather to enjoy the opportunity, and the hopeful anglers were few.
               I had my EOS R with the Sigma Sports lens and 2x Converter and a lightish tripod, but on this occasion, I was mainly using the wideangle end of the range, due to my hopeful subjects not making an appearance. I had come for relaxation, and so I was not overly disappointed, and had numerous brief conversations with other photographers, and simply imbibed the tranquility that pervaded.
               So, as a result the gallery of images is but a single page of pictures of personal observations of a quiet afternoon, in an unseasonably warm and windless December approaching the end of this decade. However, the end of the afternoon found several of those visitors stop along the path to witness a truly fabulous murmuration of Starlings perform, as the sun was setting – all that was missing was Music, as a growing gathering of people stopped to watch this almost silent display of massed birds, swooping and circling above the margins of the Lake.
               All of us watched in wonder and quiet conversation as the flying group was gaining ever more small groups of birds to swell their numbers as the light dwindled. Whilst we watched, after the overall size grew ever larger, it would separate for a while, then coalesce once more as the mass semed to be weaving like fine lace in a breeze.  This body of birds circled ever closer to a stand of trees beyond the far shore of the lake, and teased us by then climbing higher. As the light further faded, the straggling smaller groups still came; until the right hand edge of this body of birds, suddenly dived for the trees. But this was barely one third of their total number.
               The remaining group returned to their swirling display, and tantalised all the gathered assembly of people for a while longer before diving down again, but slightly to the left of where the earlier group were settling. This still left a sizeable number of birds in the air, as more stragglers had been absorbed into the mass. Then, the next group flew down to the trees. The remainder still circled for a couple of circuits before they dived for their place in the trees. But, even as they headed for their night's rest a smaller group circled and finally the display ended. All the assembled group of watchers   stood awhile to comment on what they had just witnessed in wonder, before breaking up and heading away. It had been a wonderful way to end the day.

Monday 23 December 2019

Afternoon Sunshine and Waterlogged Fields

On this afternoon the early clear skies after the rain tempted me to consider getting out and doing some photography; I was hoping for some birds, ideally kingfishers, but that was not to be. I headed first to Biddenham in that there seemed to be a possibility of reaching a stretch of river with trees along its banks, but that proved to be of no luck. On the journey to my next village, I saw a vast open, low-lying field that had succumbed to the recent rains so I parked up just beyond and returned to the viewpoint from which I felt I could take a series of images and create a panorama within Adobe Lightroom, the program I use for my galleries. (The subsequent image is not as wide as I had hoped because of the positioning of one of the young saplings in the foreground).
  I returned to the car and headed for Bromham and where I parked a short walk from one of its bridges having found a suitable slot and took out my camera, popped another couple of lenses into a camera bag and slung that over my shoulder and walked back to where I had seen the Mill, choosing that as a start point with its fast rushing waters, that created interesting eddies swirling past its piers.
A little later I walked across one of the bridges to the small riverside park where some of the trees had recently been cut down, and where I met and chatted to a lady taking her young dog for a walk, during which I asked about spots that I might catch sight of kingfishers. It was during our conversation she showed me images she had on her phone and she mentioned the name of a photographer called Alan Goodger. I told her that I was certain that his was the name of a man I had met a few years back, and when I did a search using Google, I not only found his name, but just a few entries further my blog came up, as I had noted his name in the narrative of a trip to Woburn Park where we met!
The shots I took here were to be the last of the afternoon as the sun was going down, and I was lucky as I left the park to capture the church at Oakley, bathed in warm low sun, with even its reflection in a puddle in the road. I imagine my next photos will be of members of my extended family over the Christmas holiday period.

Thursday 19 December 2019

The Spirit of Christmas…

               How is the Spirit of Christmas defined?

               Is it defined in the Western World by Christianity?

               Or, is it defined by Market Forces and the year's last ditch efforts to Turn a Profit?

               Or is it that time of year when we remember Friends and Family, and reach out with cards, letters, email and time; to reach those for which a hectic life has somehow prevented us from contacting for too long a time?

               Perhaps it is a smorgasbord of all of the above? Certainly in the Northern Hemisphere, it is often depicted by Wintry scenes of Snow; well, on that score we need to consider more strongly this Planet's tenuous grip on the World's Climate; on the home we have made of the Earth – of All the Species, Humans do have a measure of Control on the Outcome and Longevity of this Planet, so if Snow is to be depicted on our Christmas Cards, then we ought to come together Selfishly to Preserve this our Home.

               In reality that is not a totally selfish thought, but I felt it might appeal to more basic instincts.

               I have not used images of Snow in my Cards this Year, partly in truth because I always like to use fresh images whenever I create cards for Greetings, be they Birthdays or Seasons, and there has been no snow so far in my neck of the woods! No, I chose a couple of moments I captured very recently that expressed one very strong and universal emotion – Love.
I have been fortunate on more than one occasion to capture an action performed in front of me by Swans, and what has been surprising is that the performance on both recent occasions has been aligned perpendicular to my position. Now, since I have my camera on a heavy tripod with a long lens, can this be pure Happenstance? I would very much like to think Not! The Action is certainly one that conveys Love between the two Swans, And to me as Observer, they form the Heartshape we Humans consider – the Symbol of Love.

               Is this fanciful? Perhaps. But as a Message from another Species, it hardly seems specious. So at this time when the majority of my species have this theme at the top of their priorities, albeit some with the baser instincts of Profit, I feel the Images conveyed by my Card can be seen in the Positive aspect of Christmas. Please let it not be the Swansong of Life on this Planet upon which we Live.

Happy Christmas.

Apology to those who might have clicked the Headline on this occasion – there is no Gallery, but…

Feel free to print out the image below, fold along the middle and let it join all those who were able to give and receive a more tangible card. (This may well only be possible from a Computer or iPAD), in such a case click on it in your browser to view at least what I had intended.

All the Very Best in the Next Decade,


Sunday 15 December 2019

Therapeutic Trip to Bromham

Every so often circumstances conspire to cause me stress, and I need to get relief in some form of therapy; the best I know is to grab a camera and take some images. On this occasion, I had lost time and was desperately trying to make it up getting a series of Christmas cards printed, alongside a series of emailed versions that I needed to sort for those for whom I had no addresses and so was trawling the address book to add to my master email. Hence, once this task was largely sorted, I opted for phototherapy.
I decided that a reasonable destination was the small Nature Reserve and lake at Bromham, however the SatNav was not particularly helpful with accepting a destination, so I had to opt to tap an intended destination on the map, since it consistently refuses to accept the destinations I provide unless it happens to have the specifics in its database, and even more irritating it deletes my entry! So much for the updated, SatNav! 
Upon my final arrival it was very muddy and the sun was dropping rapidly and was soon lost below the horizon of the wood surrounding the lake, and the paths through were waterlogged and interspersed along their length were large pools of water, that made it not worth my while heading to the lake itself, so I decided upon capturing shots of leaves, berries and views that at least recorded what I felt were deserving in the lowering light levels. Handily, the number of images I felt worthy of being of interest by the time I had worked my way through, came to exactly enough to create two gallery pages without my having to throw any out, and satisfied my need for the trip.
I commend them to those viewing the assembled gallery as interesting, though hardly world-shattering examples of photography, and I felt more relaxed once they were edited, assembled and these narrative words that are now complete. I only saw a lone bird, met one interesting man exercising his dog who seemed intent on inflicting wounds on itself, and needed constant recalls from danger! When I was finally leaving I met a couple who were just returning from their constitutional, and before I drove off we chatted briefly, and I said ‘yes’ in reply to the voice which greeted me asking whether I wished to head for ‘home’.

Monday 9 December 2019

Fairford Leys 2019 Christmas Concert

Each year, Fairford Leys provides a Christmas Concert in the central square, and the Aylesbury Concert Band performs under the overhang of the colonnade to provide possible shade from the weather.
When we arrived, there were warming flames from braziers to welcome us, and the seats were already arranged for the Band, and as my daughter set up her Saxophone, I brought out my camera and placed the camera bag behind the players for security and chose the 24-70mm lens and checked its settings and took a shot of the nearby instrument to see what shutter speed I was having to consider, and despite the lighting being only from candles above us and the spill from numerous individual lights placed on the music stands by individual musicians, it was on the cusp of useable.
This was definitely going to be right on the edge of usability, as the ISO indicated was 12,800 and gave me a shutter speed of 1/5th of a second at f/7.1, which meant, I would often be taking multiple shots and 'chimping' to ascertain whether I had achieved an acceptable image. The one advantage that cameras with focal plane shutters have over shutters with iris blades is that the slit is travelling over the frame faster speed giving effectively a faster shutterspeed.
Another advantage the EOS R has over my other two camera bodies is this full-frame body has a higher pixel count than my EOS 5D MkII, which means the noise is less obtrusive, and with judicious use of noise reduction, the end result is slightly smoother. Towards the end of the afternoon, I was asked to take some group Band shots, and it was fortunate that I had brought along my electronic flash, because I would need to stop down further to encompass the greater depth needed for such shots.
The informality of the Concert here allows me to move around the band taking either individuals or small sections with reasonable ease, but with the narrow depth of the covered area, pillars and stands and other players, still meant getting perfect compositions unfettered by lights on music stands and banners, other musicians, or their instruments intruding, is unavoidable. Also at low light levels, I can easily miss the intrusions of these LED lights, clothes pegs, or sometimes, other instruments. There were no trombones on this occasion, which can sometimes be a challenge.
One noticeable absence on this occasion is Band uniforms, replaced by layers of warm outer garments, gloved fingers, festive headgear, flashing lights and large woollen scarves.
The programme of tunes was governed by the interspersing of other parties providing the Christmas narrative, which meant there were lulls in the Band's playing schedule, which often plays havoc with ever-changing notes due to cold instruments and often frozen lips of the musicians. It is fortunate that the Festive Spirit tends to accept these inevitabilities, and there are other diversions, such as the Cymbals, which add to the enjoyment of the players themselves! Altogether a very enjoyable introduction to the season of Goodwill.

Thursday 5 December 2019

Harold-Odell Country Park

Wednesday dawned bright and crisp, and the car which overnight had been encased in a thick frosty coat, was slowly warming in the bright sunshine above the low lying mist, thawing the windows from the rear of the parked car going forward.
The mist was also burning off though more slowly, and the sky above was a cloudless blue, which enticed me to consider a trip out to record life on the lake to the North of me at Harold-Odell Country Park. I had a leisurely breakfast, by which time the last of the frost had thawed making it a matter of moments to clear the moisture from the front and rear screens, and a swift lowering of the front door windows to clear them, before heading northwards. The only heavy traffic encountered was on the section of the A421 currently narrowed and speed-restricted from the M1 Junction northwards till the dual carriageway.
When I reached my destination there were roadworks just before the turning for the car park, so I parked on the right before the entrance in the small very muddy lay-by. It is was at this point that my day’s luck ran out. Somehow my car key had been damaged earlier in my pocket, and I found that I was unable to use the open switch on it, and using the key manually left me no means by which I could open the boot! Add to my annoyance, my alarm sounded as well due to the delay in discovering that I had to turn that off whilst the key was in the Ignition! It took some while for me to work out a way to get around this Snafu! My woes did not end there, as I had left my monopod in the house, and it had my tripod head on it, so all my shooting was going to be handheld. It was therefore a blessing that at least the exposures were going to be fast enough for my long lens.
Before entering the Park, I wanted to get some shots of the lingering mist and the distant churches before the sun burned this off, and even as I was taking these the mist was lifting, and the distant scene was crispening.
I had hoped I might see Grebe on the water, but they were nowhere to be seen, gulls and Mallards were in the majority, and swan families were reasonably numerous too. Along the margins inshore I kept spotting a Robin, but it was too flighty, rarely still long enough for me to get a focus, before it was off elsewhere.
I only stayed long enough to capture a few representative shots, before it became obvious there were no new views to be had.

Monday 2 December 2019

Aylesbury Concert Band — Christmas Carols — St. Mary’s Church

A crisply cold afternoon in the warmth and welcoming atmosphere that pervades this Annual event hosted by the Town’s Mayor, Councillor Mike Smith, with the Reverend Douglas Zimmerman officiating.
The readings were given by the Town Mayor, followed by His Honour Judge Sheridan DL, Fran Bourgeois-Wheeler, CEO Youth Concern, Julia Upton, MBE, High Sherriff of Buckinghamshire, Group Captain Katherine Wilson, CO, RAF Halton, Alicia Foster, Thames Valley Police Cadets.
  The start of the afternoon’s ceremony was heralded by the Band playing the Pavane from Aylesbury Dances by Wiffin, which brought the general level of Audience conversations down as the local dignitaries filed in from the rear to take their designated seats at the front of the congregation, and the Rector of St. Mary’s welcomed all to the Season’s singing praises to God.

It was less easy than some years to cover the event, as I was shooting from a comparatively low viewpoint, and current etiquette requires avoidance of the young children, which is almost impossible, so I have tried to lessen the lighting on those in the forefront where possible. I hope however that I have still recorded the ambience of the event without causing offence.