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 26 March 2020

A Marston Moretaine Walk

Yesterday I needed exercise, and the Marston Vale Forest seemed a good place to walk in sunshine and fresh air, away from contact with other humans. I took only my LUMIX fz20001 and walked along the main road to the gated entrance on the opposite side to the row of houses — encountering no one! Once through the gate, I had walked to the first viewing platform of the wetland area before I met a soul, and these were a couple in quiet conversation, who probably did not even register my presence. I climbed the steps to take in the view from this open air hide — all that was to be seen were some rooks and a lone Greylag.
The flowers in the opening and closing galleries were taken in the walk to and from the Forest Centre. The camera that recorded every image in this group was the LUMIX FZ 10002; which now accompanies me when I am not toting my heavy Benbo with one of my Canon bodies and the Sigma 60-600mm Sports lens. The irony is that the LUMIX should be easier to use, but because it has so many different functions, I find it harder to find the limited facilities I require, at speed! This is why I try to take this camera out as often as possible, so I can feel as confident as using my Canon gear. The drawback is that due to an aging brain, when I then next take out one of my Canons is that I struggle to remember how to do something that used to be second nature!
Initially the route I took kept close to the outer boundary of the reserve, and by pure luck I found myself taking a picture on the far side of a brick structure I had photographed only a few days back; it still has me puzzled as to its original purpose. I suspect it is a remnant from an erstwhile railway line, but viewing using Google Earth did not expose any further answer.
Today’s photo trip does show that Spring is definitely coming on, spurred by the several days of welcome warm sunshine. The wind has also moderated over the last couple of days. At various points along my circular trip, work upon the Covanta Incinerator can be seen with its tall cranes highly visible in red against the blue sky. Of more personal interest, I spotted my first butterfly of this year, the Peacock. The variety of colours and textures is very much in evidence at this time of year, hence why I enjoyed that afternoon trip; young leaves often exhibit far greater texture in their early stages on growth than their later full size. The variety of textures I found in dead wood, dried, crazed soil and discarded bark, and the curves of the paths are all featured in the gallery of images from this walk with a camera. Coming away from the Park, effectively bookended the gallery with what caught my eye once back on the road back to my house in the front gardens I passed.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Marston Lake Sunny Afternoon

I set off to my nearest Anglers' lake, Marston lake to see what life was on the water in the warmth of the afternoon, and spotted some Tufted Ducks, a juvenile Grebe, and a Gull. All at some distance from the shore.
It was therefore lucky that I had decided to use the 60-600mm Sigma Sports lens with the additional 2x Converter, as on this lake, many of the smaller birds stay a good distance from the shore, unlike the Swans.
When I first arrived I met up with the Angler from whom I had learned about the Willington Lakes, and we chatted before I set up the camera a short distance closer to the entrance to the lake, as with the sun so low, the light was at a better angle. I did fire off a few shots at the more distant birds, but they were of no value so do not appear in this small single-page gallery.
Although it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon in the sunshine, and avoid close contact with others, it was not an exciting group of images, but it was good to see the Grebe stretch its wings, and the swan with its upturned wings as it headed straight for the shore ahead of me, when I realised he seemed likely to be coming ashore, I quickly gathered a handful of Sunflower seeds and threw them for it as a reward, but he seemed disinterested at first though once ashore for a moment did start to pick at the few that I had thrown onto jetty, and later even some of the seeds on the water. I got the impression it was some morsels of bread it would have found more appealing. The last shots I managed before leaving were a couple of Mallard ducks heading for the reeds.

Saturday 21 March 2020

Early Venue Change — a New Lake

Initially, and fairly early in the day I load the car with camera gear and head for Brogborough Lake, only to find it open, but bereft of any windsurfers! I head for Sam to enquire whether he anticipates many sailors, and learn that he knows of no visitors yet, but has opened just in case any turn up. Whilst we chat a van turns up, but as the driver steps out, he recognises me and hails me with a wave. He is not a Windsurfer, but an Angler, and we have met on other lakes.
After a return wave, I close my conversation with Sam and walk over to him; during the subsequent chat, I enquire whether he knows of opportunities to photograph one of my favourite birds, the kingfisher, and that and the non-appearance of windsurfers led to a change of location — I learned of Willington and it’s lakes, and that there was one area that was preserved for Anglers with entry only by key.
That conversation decided my destination for the day, and with brief directions from Marc on how to reach the lakes, I took a look at a map, set my SatNav and headed off. Close to the end of my directions, I spotted a man walking a dog, so pulled over, got out and asked for directions — the somewhat surprising response was: “You have come upon the Bailliff!” He pointed me in the right direction of the gate, and I drove on as he followed on with his dog going to right and left, rather than heading in one straight line.
This visit was to get some idea of the layout, and just what I might find, and I stopped to chat to another angler, who handily told me where he had spotted  kingfishers which was music to my ears.

Before setting off, I captured various information boards, so I could study these in more detail, having got some idea of the overall layout.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Bright Sunny Day — Garden Visit

The clear blue sky was far too tempting — and I succumbed! I checked over my camera kit, and in addition to the EOS R with the Sigma Sports 60-600mm lens, I decided I would give the LUMIX FZ 20001 an outing. I packed the car having checked my tripod and head were already in the boot, and headed north from Marston Moretaine.
The drive to my planned destination was uneventful, and the blue sky was even clearer than I could have hoped. My arrival had not been announced, so I was pleasantly surprised to see familiar faces after parking my car, and starting to mount my camera and long lens on to my heavy tripod. Once that was completed I entered my friend’s garden and set down the tripod on her patio, and by that time the dogs had presumably barked themselves hoarse, because they now fell silent! By this time I had met other family members and been offered a cup of tea, which was accepted gratefully.
One of the dogs was now happily settled across the open door leading to the kitchen, so using the handheld LUMIX I captured that quiet moment, little did I realise at that point, that the camera on the tripod with its long lens attached was going to spend the rest of my afternoon visit exactly where I placed it upon arrival! I spent the greater part of my time relaxing and chatting, only picking up the camera towards the end of the afternoon as the sun was lowering, and taking a leisurely walk taking pictures of some of the flowers blooming in the beds surrounding the lawn. Unlike a previous visit when the birds were flying in and out of the garden to the trees beyond the drive, it seemed as if my presence with a camera on this occasion was not as welcome as it had been on my earlier visit.
I did take a single picture of one of the avian visitors, but it was not worthy of inclusion to the gallery, and my picture-taking was confined to the family dog and flowers and leaves. The heavy tripod and camera was simply disassembled and repacked into my car without ever coming into service! I had a very relaxing and welcoming visit with more conversation than picture-taking, but the small LUMIX camera once again proved itself very capable and worthy of being with me whenever I venture out in my car.
I am really grateful for the opportunity to take pictures in this garden.

Wednesday 11 March 2020

Lemsford Springs Visit

In what now seems ‘Another Life’ I used to regularly visit a Colour Lab in Clerkenwell, that outlived the one for which I had been their Sales Manager, Longacre Colour Labs; that Lab was Metro and their Print Manager at the time was Grant Jenkins. After I left and set up on my own as SOLUTIONS photographic, I began creating 35mm slides initially on a Slide Writer, and then began getting scans done by my erstwhile Retouchers, The Colour Company who had by then also broken away from Longacre.
I started to gain experience of electronic retouching myself, and so I was getting my customers’ transparencies scanned by the Colour Company, I would then often create montages on my Mac, and do any retouching back out at my home in Slip End, and later Caddington, both were in Bedfordshire, and since the files were to be output to transparency, I would deliver the exposed 35mm films to Grant and he would bring them into Metro the following day where they were  processed, and either picked up by myself or someone from Colour Company, or in some instances my clients.
There was a mix of 35mm slides and 10x8 and 11x14 transparencies, but the 35mm slides soon gave way to retouching 5x4, 10x8 and 11x14, and ultimately all the work was being supplied as files. But the friends and business relationships endure to this day.
Yesterday, I visited the home of Grant and his wife Clare and daughter, Elizabeth and it was good to catch up, and in the latter half of the afternoon Grant and I visited nearby Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve, and the gallery of images which I took are linked from the title of this narrative. The keys to this Reserve were obtained from a nearby private house, and arriving at the first hide, we met a charming and friendly couple both of whom were also photographers, and we stayed awhile learning of what they had already seen from this vantage point. The man had a longer zoom on than I was using on this occasion, and he showed me some excellent shots he had got of a pair of Mandarin Ducks. I managed to also get a few shots of the beautiful bird, but mine were way smaller, because on this occasion his lens had a far greater throw.
We also visited another hide, and later found we were unable to complete the entire route due to the height of the water on this occasion due to all the rain we have had of late. It was a warm afternoon despite the wind, which by the river here we were well shielded. It was good to meet up with Grant and his family after a long gap. It was a shame it has been so long, and I hope it is not as long till the next time.

Monday 9 March 2020

Brogborough New Means of Windsurfing

I phoned Sam to see whether the wind was attracting much visiting windsurfers, and he mentioned that Yes and I might be interested in that there was also a KiteSurfer out on the Lake. That was definitely of interest as the last time I saw something like that was off the coast at Brighton some six or so years back. Fortunately before calling I had already prepared my camera, tripod and lenses, so within ten minutes I was heading towards the Lake.
The sun was out, the wind was reasonably strong, and as I glanced at the lake there was some activity, and as I was putting the tripod up, I caught sight of the kitesurfer, so got the EOS 7D out, added the 2x Converter to my Sigma 60-600mm and got the legs extended on the Benbo tripod and mounted the camera and lens, wrapped a scarf around my neck and locking the car headed for the jetty, but sadly, even though I had not intended being on it, only the support scaffold remained, seemingly recent winds had torn it from supporting structure. Also, in the short time setting up my camera, the KiteSurfer, had come ashore!
I set up from the grassy bank as the wind was throwing spume in the air as the waves hit the shore below me. I was soon shooting away and then caught sight, of our new visitor and his kite sail, and since at least for me this was a new feature for me here, I spent some time trying to capture his efforts in situations that epitomised his sail and stance — I was also able to capture some dramatic moments when the wind scored more beneficially, against him! The sailor was certainly determined as on each occasion that I witnessed he was very soon back up again — spurred on possibly by the temperature of the water!
After a while of my adding to the number of images that I would be having to process, the lake emptied, and I decided that I would curtail that later amount of time in front of a computer screen, and headed off, but not before chatting to a Polish man with a similar length telephoto, to whom after a chat I gave him my card. I also headed toward the Kite surfer who was just beginning to drive off, to whom I showed a few of the shots of him that I had taken and I passed him my card too. I bought a cup of tea from Sam before leaving, to start loading images back at base, and start selecting, cropping and adjusting them and creating a gallery to appear here on the blog.

Saturday 7 March 2020

LUMIX FZ10002 Visit to Stockwood Discovery Centre

The sun was shining and I felt it was an ideal opportunity to take only the LUMIX camera along with me to see just how it fared — overall, this small lightweight camera performed incredibly; there were some snags, but in all honesty they were down to me. Some images proved difficult to accurately focus where I intended, but this was due to my trying to rely on the autofocus, and could easily be overcome by my resorting to manual focus.
The array of different features offered by this camera is astonishing, and I have barely explored any of the more complex capabilities, because I was intent on mastering the basics. The back and top are awash with various controls, many with sub-features, and these take time to become familiar. On this occasion, I was not trying to explore beyond the basics, I was concerned simply with deciding composition, focus, where in the zoom range I wanted to be, whether I used single shot, or a burst to allow for the breeze, whether I flipped out the screen for a low level viewpoint, or whether I altered the aperture to gain extra or less depth. The difficulty I encountered with relying on the autofocus, was due to the subject having a low contrast, whereas beyond and to a lesser degree in front of the pale yellow/green flower it was surrounded by crisp, dark, fine twigs, whose contrast was far greater.
I purposely took the opportunity to break off from shooting a closeup of a tiny flower to get shots of an overflying aircraft taking off from Luton Airport. I was pleasantly surprised by the result. I did not make the purchase of this camera for the same reasons as my other three, Canon bodies; it was as a camera for those times when I was out and about and the circumstances offered unexpected opportunities and this was the only camera that was to hand.
This trip to Luton was made to purposely limit me to just this camera, and to check how I fared in such a situation and, for me to gain experience of its handling. It passed, and more than met my expectations, so will often now join me in the car for those serendipitous occasions which present me with opportunities where I can capture images with a very reasonable and acceptable quality. There are possible ways in which I can tailor some aspects of the features so they reside nearer the surface as opposed to being buried deeply, but that needs further exploration.

Monday 2 March 2020

Brogborough Lake Two Brave Sailors

A bright sun and a brisk wind was enough to entice me to find the time to visit the lake, even though my daughter, her husband and their two children were due to pay me a visit. The failure of my boiler meant that there was little to keep me from venturing out, and a bright sun and brisk wind favoured the odds that there would be some hardy souls grabbing the chance to take advantage of the wind to go windsurfing.
For similar reasons, there was a window of opportunity open to me to drive over and get some photographs, before the arrival of my family, and the generous delivery of an additional electric radiator to bolster the efforts of mine. I was however arriving late due to my needing to tidy the house in preparation for the onslaught of two young grandchildren, and the need to ensure my daughter and her husband could not criticise me for a lack of either tidiness or cleanliness! So, by the time I had arrived, the two sailors had been braving the bitter wind for at least two hours, and I was only witnessing the tail end of the sailors’ energy.
So, I feel I was very lucky to capture the number of shots I did in the short time I spent at the lake, and even more so capture a single jump; whether there had been more prior to my arrival, I did not learn. I certainly was far from disappointed in my brief visit; the only frustration was that I had gone back to using the. Sigma 60-600mm with its 1.4x Converter on the 7D MkII, and I failed to get control of the focussing square to alter where my sensor was positioned — whether this was finger-trouble on my part, or not, this was not the time to go searching for the answer, so that was a slight irritation, that comes about from jumping between different camera models, and the debilitating feature of increasing ‘Anno Domini’ or diminishing mental faculties! I now will explore that later (which does seem to be an oxymoron!)
To have captured one jump in the short time I was at the lake has to be considered a bonus, and because the activity was short lived, gave me more time to tidy the house before my family arrived.