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

Wednesday 29 December 2021

Explanation for Current Lack of Activity

      Readers of this blog deserve an explanation for the lack of any recent entry. 

      Firstly, I have had too many external pressures whilst trying to resolve numerous program failures; my main hard drive suffered a disastrous episode where a series of folders that I had created on the drive began whirring almost non-stop for no reason I had been able to discern. 

      Eventually, several hours later, the whirring finally ended. Initially, I did not discern what had occurred, nor had I immediately realised what had happened during this episode of disc-whirring. The observation I did make was that the external disc that I had recently purchased with only a few, newly created folders had been the destination for the files that had exhibited this lengthy disc-whirring activity I had heard.

The most obvious effect I then found was a massive folder that exhibited numerous intermingled fragments from different original folders, all now exhibiting a Creation Date that coincided with the day I had witnessed the lengthy disc activity. The next observation was the original folders I had created were now EMPTY! So, I now realised what had been happening during that disc-whirring activity I had heard. 

      I faced the unenviable task, that I have yet to tackle; trying to identify the intermingled individual, fragmented files, and return the groups to their original parent folders. This task is going to be difficult due to my poor memory and lost original datestamps.

      Since that hiatus in my stories, there are a few more occasions when I have taken more pictures from my brief excursions into local woods, but sadly there is still some time before I can start as I need to sort the original disrupted disc and rebuild the structure on the second new hard drive!

      Whilst I attempt to resolve this mess, can I suggest anyone visiting try entering possible subjects into the 'search this blog' box to find image galleries I have captured; you can put place names, animal, bird, insect, plant, feature, motor race circuit, or location... the one point to mention is the variety and bizarre results that can occur! See what appears, and enjoy... 

Hopefully, `Normal Service will resume as soon as possible'.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Milton Ernest - Autumn Colours Abound

               This Autumn day was warm and bright and found me in a garden close by the River Great Ouse in Milton Ernest, and although the gallery of images only spans a single page, I was rewarded with a fair variety of leaves, berries and flowers. I was also visited by a few birds from time time, though none came close for long enough, or in a suitable spot to warrant my capturing them. However, I was far from disappointed with the images I was able to record, what disappointed me, and was an irritation was the long forced delay in my posting the gallery on the blog! The cause of the delay was my computer suffered a crash that took till today to resolve. I received some generous help from Adobe, and was extremely grateful for the technician’s willing support in resolving the situation, as he patiently waited whilst the computer responded to his careful restoration of several hundreds of images, that had been lost (fortunately — only temporarily) — due to the mishap that had occurred a few days back — To say I was relieved would be a gross misrepresentation of my feelings of Gratitude and Relief! His Patience was exemplary, and I sincerely hope he was aware of my gratitude — I had feared it may have been terminal, as after the mishap, the total within the catalog had been reduced by two or thee orders of magnitude, so to see the extra digits certainly gave me a Very Warm Fuzzy!
               It was a dull day today — outside, but now that I can publish this small gallery, the day in my upstairs room now is way brighter than the lights can ever reach!
               To those souls who visit my blog page, I apologise for the delay, but I am exceedingly grateful that despite this lack of activity from my end, somehow the visitor numbers have held up extremely well indeed, which adds to my relief; so I thank you all very sincerely for your support, and I hope this single page gives visitors as much pleasure as it gave me in their capture.

Sunday 14 November 2021

BrogLake and Aerial Foilers

          A decent wind comes to the lake at Brogborough, and one of my wishes comes true— a couple of the sailors take to the air! I have been longing for the opportunities to capture this action using a mirrorless camera. However, this has some severe limitations, as any sequence the user captures, results in a delay, during which the processing of the captured images removes the view of the scene within the viewfinder. This delay is disorienting when trying to capture live action, especially when the subject is moving, such as is the case of sports and wildlife, and when the scene or subject is dynamic and not especially predictable. Undoubtably, I have had to adjust my methodology to accommodate these limitations and weigh these against the advantages that accrue — I can use my LUMIX FZ10002 handheld all day without a heavy tripod and therefore move around with ease! The zoom range for a camera of this size and weight is impressive. Where the SLR scores, is in having an uninterrupted view of the scene at all times, and this forces a different evaluation of the subjects one is capturing when deciding the camera I chose. Presently, I am using the LUMIX to establish a full understanding of the essential controls I need to master, and here I am sadly impaired by my failing memory, but I am persevering, and I worry that my muscle memory of using the Canon EOS R controls may fade in the interim. 
          This day’s shooting started in sunshine, but clouded over; the wind was good, and to my joy, this allowed some of the kite surfers to rise aloft, and although I did manage to capture some of such action sequences satisfactorily, undoubtedly my Sigma 60-600mm lens on the EOS R6 would have improved my success rate, especially as I would have been on a sturdy tripod with gimbal head! The gusty nature of the wind did hamper my handholding, but overall the higher shutter speed came to my rescue, though I did suffer from some failed shots. I still need to get to grips with the controls of this LUMIX, hence my persistence!
          I do hope I have managed to capture the essence of the afternoon’s activity on the lake, and apologies for the delay, but my hard drive is wilfully putting my files elsewhere than where I designate, but I am hoping that help from my son-in-law has put an end to the hardware's desire to thwart me!

Thursday 4 November 2021

Bromham Afternoon Visit

          I had not visited Bromham Lake for some time, and felt it was likely worth a visit, and it was obviously a good spot for visitors to exercise their canine companions, as only when I came across a couple of ladies did I meet anyone without a dog, and on this visit, not a single man. Perhaps the male population is now returning to work, which seemed to be borne out by the large number of male drivers I encountered on my later return trip home, in dense and painfully slow traffic.
          The day was warm, and the sun for the most part was uninterrupted by clouds, except towards the end of my stay within the park, this therefore gave me the opportunity to capture the detailed textures of some of the leaves, from both backlit or textured but oblique front lighting. There were still signs of lush greens as well as rich reds and golds, and once again an abundance of red berries. I also saw ladybirds. However, although I heard the occasional birdsong and fleeting glimpses of birds, they do not feature in this gallery.
          Autumn is here, but in transition, in that there is still an abundance of lush greens to be seen. The day was warm, and the sky bright with some large clouds. The light was strong and clear, offering me the chance to capture the texture of leaf structures, and give shadows to add further depth. I have this fascination for Teazels, because of the conflict of textures, the complexity, intricacy and uniformity of the pattern, set against the freedom of the surrounding skeletal cage of curves and twirls. Beyond the boundary hedge I captured the gantry stark against the blue sky, and the enigmatic orange square symbol surrounded by twin segmented white plastic rings, whose significance eluded me.
          The recent wind and rain means when I am next out in woods, I will see far fewer leaves, and these will carpet the ground beneath these trees, and much that are presently green will be on the turn, and give way to gold.

Monday 1 November 2021

Brief Brogborough Lake Visit

          Wind was forecast, and I set off for Brogborough Lake, buoyed by the promise of some action from the windsurfers, although I learned that it was unlikely I would be seeing any jumping from the sailors, who were likely to be visiting.
          I had also anticipated more visitors than I met on arrival, but I was happy to see some activity already on the water, and overall the wind fairly strong, so I collected the LUMIX and felt little need for a tripod on this occasion, and took to the water’s edge, rather than the bank. I also noted that the clouds were building.
          I noted that Wingsails were becoming more popular, but I sensed those users were somewhat tentative for the gusty nature of the wind. But, it was not long before they were aloft. Also, the clouds were definitely darkening, and the distant falling rain began obscuring the distant shore, and cameras like this LUMIX were not as weather sealed as my Canon gear, so I was soon heading for the shelter of my car. Sadly, this cut short my visit on this occasion.

Saturday 30 October 2021

Another Walk Within the Woods

          I headed to the Marston Centre for a walk around the woods, and as I took to walk anti clockwise around the central reserved area, I came across a couple of possibly volunteers, who were hacking back some of the longer branches surrounding the wide, outer grassy avenues encircling the lakes. They were certainly facing a lengthy task ahead if two was the entire task force!
          During the course of the day’s walk, the most striking aspect was the abundance of berries this year, so it is no surprise that they feature extensively in this gallery of images. Is this a portent of a hard winter to come? Another observation was I felt there was a larger preponderance of black-spotted and other leaf damage. Although I do visit these woods with some frequency, it is some time since I had seen any horse riders, which is probably down to Covid.
          I am always attracted to the constantly evolving stages in the lifecycle of plants through the seasons, and this day was no exception. This season’s Teazels is such an example, so it is hardly surprising my eye and thus my camera has featured their heads, one particular image of three heads really caught my eye as it was as if the three were in competition for intricate curling! I award the central one of the trio for special mention! Later, I spotted a brown, wind-blown leaf had become entangled with a lower leaf in an earlier stage of decay, still with rich red colour. To my surprise I spotted a complete cluster of ripe blackberries, and later a couple of funghi, but the strangest shot from the afternoon was a teazel that had completely lost its central core, yet the outer curls were intact!
          Two very large Mistletoe balls also caught my eye, but sadly they were hid from the sun, so their full splendour was not captured, but the second of two attached to the same tree was the largest I have seen — at least twice the diameter of a soccer ball! I was coming to the end of my trip around the woods, but I spotted one last sight of note, where a branch had formed almost a complete circle to host a cluster of its golden-brown seeds with its encircling branch! I left the woods still bathed in sunshine, and high clouds, and buoyed in spirit and spent the day since preparing these words and images with no regrets for a dull day and overnight rain.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Milton Ernest - Riverbank Garden

          I recently spent a restful afternoon in and beyond, a friend’s garden — taking photos of the plants, flowers and other life that caught my eye. It was impossible to miss the most abundant colour after green and, normally after golden brown, is one of the natural features of the Autumn season — red berries — which were cascading in profusion from the branches of several trees.
          The stone wall dividing the gardens from the grassy walk to the river’s edge was draped in ivy whose trailing tendrils were seeking to find moisture further afield than dry stone. My eye was caught by a lone bee patiently ignoring my close proximity, that was single-mindedly intent on searching for nectar from the wild roses within the hedge; spending some time attempting to prise apart, the protective petals to reach its precious cargo.
          Is there some significance in this year’s large number of red berries? Are we destined for a cold, long Winter? Or is this feature a result of simply the preceding seasons’ affect on the soil constituents?

Answers on a postcard… Meantime I will revel in the opportunity given me, to capture fine detail of the lone, patient bee as it spent time on wild rose blooms.

Friday 22 October 2021

Calm, Warm Afternoon

          Another Autumn Day with promise and warning. There are high clouds, but my untutored eye reading was that these were a view of the present, as their power hinted of a less benign future. I was not considering a distant location, but a walk towards the nearby Forest Centre. Potentially, the distance involved, could take me a not inconsiderable distance to head home should the heavens open!
          Fortune favours the brave — at least on this occasion, for though there was a suggestion of possible rain, it remained within the clouds, and I spent the afternoon capturing a relaxed view of autumn colours and with the aid of the sun, textures of leaves, especially where the wind had turned and sometimes trapped them upturned to reveal their undersides. Not only was I treated to Autumn golds, but also vibrant reds that sometimes only formed a border to the earlier lush green. This season treats us to a grand finale with a curtain closure of as rich, but a different palette of colours to that of Spring.
          Getting out with a camera, and being able to gather the images together to illustrate the narrative of an afternoon’s activity is currently one of the ways in which I can exercise my ‘little grey cells’ and fill the void created by my overall lack of fellow human contact and interaction. I was pleasantly surprised by the overall variety of subjects that filled my time whilst exercising my legs and eyes. I hope others can share and enjoy the results of my efforts.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Autumn 2021-Forest Centre

          It is immediately apparent when you look through this latest gallery of images from a walk I took in the Marston Centre Park, which I am lucky to have, almost on my doorstep, the woods do have some greens. But, there is a vast preponderance of reds, russet and gold, and pale yellow. It is therefore no surprise that my eye and camera feature these colours predominantly; I was lucky in that the sky was a rich blue with only wispy, high level clouds. Although the sounds of birds was underwhelming, the insect life did not disappoint, and I was soon alerted to the short darting flight of a Dragonfly; it was very unsettled and would land, then leap into the air within seconds before returning to almost exactly the same spot it had just left! Bees were equally restless as they rarely alighted for long on the abundant orange and pink clusters of flowers in one garden close to the main building. 
          I suspect that this spell of clear skies is due to close as the mornings are beginning to take some time for the mist and overcast to dissipate, and reveal the wispy, high-level clouds. I was therefore making the most of the current colour palette before the golden tones and russet of Autumn take over, the abundant red berries are already beginning to show signs of dying back, so I did my best to capture them before the coming frosts took their toll.
          I was pleased to find the end of my walk passed a cluster of high pale gold reeds and some wonderful roses in good condition and lush red bloom.

Friday 8 October 2021

Bedford Park - Warm Afternoon

Warm sunshine in early October is certainly an invitation to be outside, and is an invitation I find irresistible — so I head for a park I have not visited recently, and the beauty of sunshine lies as opposed to light from an overcast sky, is this casts shadows, and enhances texture and detail. A single teazel separated from its blurred background is therefore an ideal start point. Intricately patterned leaves either obliquely lit from above or through from behind are too good to miss! The leaves and sharp thorns of brambles, or the breeze lifting their leaves to display the rubbing beneath are always aspects of nature that will catch my eye, and entice me to record them. For the next several minutes, I found myself fully absorbed by the textures and colours I found all around; some so abstract they might well have been shot from above by satellite! And, as if to emphasise the beholder, as I panned towards what lay immediately beneath me, I grabbed a shot of my own silhouette, before taking a couple of rippling reflections that were accentuated by the original uniformity of the protecting rail, by the Canoe Slalom Course.
            A nearby bush was alive with bees and butterflies eagerly feasting. Rushing water within the pool by the lock gates, and the contre-jour but now somewhat forlorn remains of the spiders’ labours also caught my eye, as did the Mallard ducks being tossed by the turbulence of the water, then the frantic aggression from one male towards another (possible suitor?!) After this, the chasing male spread its wings to dry them, for the next encounter, perhaps?!
           A pair of swans found there was far more interest below the surface than above — but no! One at least had found a tasty morsel of reed upon which to feast. The predator Mallard ignored the passing feather from the previous fracas as it drifted past and the duck continued to paddle against the current. On the shores other Mallards relaxed in the warmth and swans dried their wings, or simply displayed their plumage as a mark of power. Overhead, gulls were gathering, and occasionally swooping to gather morsels of bread being thrown by children onto the water by the shore. This provides me with the chances to capture the gulls as they hover. In sunshine, it also gives me a better chance of capturing detailed images of the birds in flight; that is until some careless dog owners do not control their charges, and two dogs frighten the assembled birds! That irresponsible behaviour is a disgrace, and shows a callous disregard of the owners’ responsibilities!
            There were several Cormorants in the lake on this occasion, and I was intrigued by one which had something in its beak, but it was too distant for me to see exactly what it had in its beak, but after it had played with it awhile, I was unsure whether it had eaten it, or dropped it back in the water. The Grebes sadly kept their distance from the shore on this occasion, because it is a species I enjoy watching. The ravens I encountered on this afternoon seemed to accept my presence as unthreatening, and came reasonably close, and it was interesting that one pair was so different in their personal grooming - one was immaculate without a feather out of place, the partner: the complete antithesis! Unlike the male Mallard which was washing itself all over! While it’s partner watched calmly from the shore. The subsequent display seemed to justify the male’s behaviour, as they both snuggled up to each other — a display I have never ever witnessed before! I suppose you must admit, that definitely should be a feather in its cap!
           One of the Finger Lakes must be especially shaded from the wind as its surface is almost entirely covered by a layer of green algae, but the birds on it seem undeterred by its coverage, and their passage through closes behind them, as they paddle further. As I head back to my car, I stop to take shots of a Magpie that heads in my direction, entirely unfazed by my presence, but eventually, far less so with a couple of men heading towards me from behind the bird, as they licked their way through ice cream cornets. I resumed my pursuit of leaf textures, dying leaf structure, and berries — the Magpie flew off, and I captured a few more varied leaves and berries on the last stretch before returning to my car, and home, ending a satisfying and enjoyable afternoon’s exercise of limbs and brain. Enjoy!

Monday 4 October 2021

Warm and Sunny, Occasional Wind

          The present situation is a constant concern when in close contact with others in confined spaces but when outside, tensions recede and those stresses disappear, and when I last visited the lake at Brogborough, the wind was more apparent, but the urgency to be out on the lake was less apparent; ironically it had a calming effect! At first few were actually out on the water, but activity on shore was building as the boards were rigged and sails were tautened, and soon sailors were heading offshore. Sam soon was shedding his cloak, and making his way from the grassy foreshore and out onto the lake with his wingsail and, taking to the air. I am fairly certain he was very much aware of my presence and the camera, so I was soon grabbing sequences of his abandoning the water for the air.
          The sky began to darken, and the clouds began to look threatening, and a few drops of rain seemed to fall, but then seemed to simply darken though less threateningly, then to dissipate. Sam continued to jump — with occasional calamitous endings. The lake began to fill with more taking to the water, and the clouds receded and were replaced with higher wisps, which had a calming effect upon the sailors, so my subjects changed to those of leaves and their shapes and colours, and I headed into the woods with the intention of choosing a different background beyond the sailors. It seemed as if I had turned off the power to the wind, by my walking into the woods, because when I emerged further down to the shore, few sailors ventured in my direction, and when I returned the lake was emptying of sailors and their craft.
          Perhaps this short Season is closing.

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Brogborough Lake - Sun and Some Wind

            I noted that the lake had several cars parked, with a couple of their owners preparing for their waterborne adventure, donning their wetsuits. There was no urgency, and considerable, convivial chatting. Above, there were fair weather clouds, and as the day drew on, these forms took their majestic shapes, and as ever, I was drawn to capturing their forms against the clear blue sky beyond. I also enjoy photographing rushing water, and waving weed filaments at the mercy of the eddies as they rush upon the shore, disturbed by the forms of brick and concrete detritus from the lake’s past.
            Not all the clouds were benign, some were a glowering slate colour, which occasionally formed a few passing droplets of water, but on this occasion, it seems we missed the showers; they were destined to fall elsewhere. It is on days like this that I am drawn to record the varied stages as they progress from benign, through threatening, and then disappearing leaving clear blue, or paler shades, and distant ghosts of their former shapes with lesser power, and now no longer threatening. I am not blessed with the skills to capture these shapes and colours with brushes and paints, but in case I need reminding of those fleeting moments, I record them with my cameras, and constantly envy those who are able to use painterly skills to produce them from memory or imagination.
            I may not possess the skills to create scenes of beauty and drama with paints and brushes, but I am fortunate that I am able to recognise and appreciate the splendour that occurs in nature, and value my blessing, and recognise how devastating it is for those who are sightless. Some of what I photograph may seem benign or banal, but I am grateful to have been able to witness it, and value it, and perhaps some can enjoy what I share — in this case a happy afternoon.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Brogborough – Activity in the Sun

            The Sun had surprising warmth for the time of year, and there were signs of fitful wind on the lake at Brogborough, and this was enough for me to consider that I could capture some windsurfing activity. Should that be scarce, then the hedges would be worth investigating for as I walked along the margin between the grassy area and the shore, I found I was disturbing myriad small flying insects. However though, no sooner had they broken cover, the they would once again freeze, and I would have to scan diligently whilst I was still and occasionally I might see the now stationary insect – but finding it in the viewfinder was another equally slim chance!
            I am not averse to such a challenge, but the odds were undoubtedly in favour of the small insect, as seeing these insects was comparatively straightforward, compared to actually acquiring the image on screen and being able to record it was quite another achievement! But, interspersed with successful images of human activity, it took some fifty-odd of those images before I managed successfully to record an acceptable few of these fleeting insects amidst the brambles.
            The first acceptable image gives a good indication of how small these insects were, if you measure them against the thorns of bramble on which two were poised! (The stem was barely a millimetre thick!) – this is also a measure of how versatile this lens is, when you consider every frame of this day’s images were captured by the same lens – I cannot praise this Leica lens enough! Before describing the rest of the day’s photos, let me state that the eleven varied frames numbered 50 through to 60 are all from this same excellent lens! – (Only the lone paddle boarder is close to full frame!)
            I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at the lake, and may I thank Sam personally for granting me the ten frames 83 to 92 showing his versatility in adversity! (I am reminded of those Clint Eastwood words…! – as those frames helped make my day!)

Thursday 23 September 2021

Brogborough Life Mix

Having decided that there was likely sufficient wind to tempt windsurfers to head for the lake at Brogborough, I ensured that my small LUMIX had a fully-charged battery and a fresh card, and headed out to the car and drove to the lake, and it was a relief to see there was at least some activity in the Car Park.
            However, I did not see much activity on the water, so locking the car I headed for the shore. I did then see one sailor on the lake, and looking around there were a few others preparing themselves or their gear, so I returned for the camera. There was a slight breeze, and warm sunshine, so no need for anything more than the camera. I took a stroll along the bushes, as I had already seen signs of crane flies and interesting leaves, and some blackberries.
            During the time I was getting shots of these as I walked along the bushes, a few windsurfers were launching onto the lake, but the fitful nature of the wind meant the number of sailors were now to be captured on the water, but I can be easily distracted, and the frothing water at my feet, and the arrival of a dragonfly soon attracted my attention. In the lull, I returned to activity on the water, before spotting damselfly alighting close by.
            My third page of images was finally concentrated entirely upon human activity, but from not too many souls, and as these numbers dropped, I chose to return to process the images back home. I gather that stronger and more sustained winds are due, so I am very likely to return soon.

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Late Afternoon Local Walk

          My younger daughter and her family came to visit and, since they had spent the time mainly indoors, Lizzy prepared a cooked meal so that on their return it was ‘bath and beds’, to be ready in the morning for the return to School the next day. Once I had waved them off on their journey home the sun was yet to set, and I could not resist grabbing the camera and heading out. After almost immediately crossing the main road, I found beaming flowers inviting me to capture their images even before I had reached the path into the woods. It was gratifying to know that I had recorded these blooms before the onset of Autumn, and heading past the bend and onto the path into the woods. 
          Although the fresh, red berries were an announcement of the next season, there were still brave new leaves to suggest the current season was not yet over, and there were still blackberries to fully ripen; I succumbed to the temptation to sample a few after at least honouring their presence in a photo! The versatility of this camera allowed me to squat to record a shot of the slow passage of a slug across the path. Later, on my return home I was able to note it had survived the wheels of bikes and the feet of passing humans, though unable to confirm whether this was as a result of fewer evening footfalls, pure chance, or simply a different slug in a similar spot on the return trip. 
          I feel there is great beauty and power in clouds and I often find myself drawn to capturing them both alone in towering power, or restful backdrops to buildings, hills, landscapes, lakes, sea, or trees — theirs is an attraction I have felt over years and they still retain this power. 
          This walk was not over long, nor was there a wind to make vast and rapid changes to their form or stature, but they nevertheless changed their structure during the few minutes that elapsed as I walked on both my outward and return journey, which exercised my limbs as well as my imagination and enjoyment of the late afternoon.

Saturday 18 September 2021

Garden Buddliea Gallery

        Living in Marston Moretaine means that I am close to both lakes and open countryside, and in different weather conditions there is never a shortage of varied subject material for photography. On this occasion I only opened my back door and my Buddliea was hosting different butterfly species about their business of pollinating, whilst savouring its abundant and welcoming pollen.
        The preceding days had been dull and uninviting for them, but on this day, the wind had subsided, the sun shone, and I was feeling the need to be outside as duller weather was forecast, so it was not a difficult decision to forego exercising my car, and to simply take advantage of the visiting butterflies and exercise my small LUMIX, without any need of even a monopod for support. This camera does have its quirks, and I do need to keep using it frequently to establish the best way to master it, as my memory, or rather, lack of it, necessitates that I keep up my familiarity with its controls, as they are not as easy to master as my Canon bodies and lenses.
        It is interesting to note that fellow photographer, Adam, had arrived at a similar conclusion as myself but two years or so earlier than me, and in his case, the choice was Sony equipment. In my case I was at the NEC for a photographic show, and I was meeting up with a fellow photographer with whom I had once worked alongside, who had brought a friend with him who suggested I visit the LUMIX stand as he felt the FZ10002 might well be worth taking a good look at, as he had recently bought one, and was highly impressed. Playing with it on the exhibition stand, and looking at the impressive results, on an impulse, together with this endorsement from a user, I decided to buy one, there and then, along with a spare battery and charger as it seemed like a reasonable risk. I have to say it has lived up to, and exceeded expectations, and although it is still not as easy for me to exercise total control over it compared to my Canon bodies, it is no toy! The pictures in this gallery I could not have managed with my long zoom on the Canon camera without recourse to a tripod, and even then I could not have moved around to capture the shots I managed with the LUMIX! Thank you Panasonic.

Wednesday 15 September 2021


               Although the day was warm, it was very dull at the park I had chosen to visit along with my camera — on this occasion, the LUMIX FZ10002. The location was a park I had not visited for a while — Harold-Odell Country Park. 
               The avian denizens of the lake were in abundance, the only down side was the dismal light! However, the chance to satisfy my need to keep active and to take photographs meant the weather being dry, the challenge was welcome rather than an annoyance.
               The numbers of Swans and Geese on the lake were high, and the car parks were full, but overall the numbers of birds was large, especially in one area close to the left side area beyond the entrance, mainly geese, Canada and Greylag. As the day wore on, various groups would detach themselves from this large group, and others replaced them in ever smaller groups.
               I spent some time, panning groups of formation flying by the varied groups of birds, as practice with this camera, since it is not the easiest of cameras under such circumstances. I also spent some time with capturing shapes in gnarled trees with interesting alter egos (so another small set of challenges for those with a keen eye! — are you able to see what I saw in the images I captured?) I spent some time playing with shots of red berries and varied choices of blurriness and shapes of backgrounds. It was as much an exercise in my handling of the camera and it’s controls as adding to my store of images.
               I have a colleague who invested in a Sony compact camera, and he is enjoying it in the same way I enjoy this LUMIX. In my case, I have found some aspects of the LUMIX controls harder to master than my Canons, but I am persevering, and enjoying the journey.

Saturday 11 September 2021

A Walk Along the River Great Ouse in Bedford

The sun was favouring the River Great Ouse with its warmth and light as I arrived to spend a relaxing couple of hours in early September. I strolled through wooded shade towards the riverbank, and as if to confirm the warmth a paddleboarder came into view, soon followed by a narrowboat. By now I was right by the riverbank, and spotted an unusual gourd-like plant floating on the surface on a long stem, which disappeared from view into the depths. A Robin paid a fleeting visit to a shadowed branch of the canopy, so my eye turned elsewhere and a small butterfly caught my and unlike the Robin, it seemed unfazed by my presence. I walked on with boats passing by on my left.
        My lens and I caught sight of the first Dragonfly of the day and from my low viewpoint it appeared to match the desiccated and web-strewn seed pods of its vantage point. Soon I was to spot an abundance of dragonflies choosing far more fresh examples of vegetation, greener reeds waving slowly in the occasional breeze. A Cygnet gently passed by as I captured yet more dragonflies moving from one vantage point to another with occasional dances with potential suitors. I found interesting eddies to capture in the gently swirling waters caused by raised stones close by the riverbank, or clumps of vegetation. Also in the shadows and shallows, the water seemed to glow in the dappled light coming through from gaps in the overhanging trees that had started to shed their leaves by the bank. Drapes of Ivy hanging by the path’s edge seemed to provide a silhouette of an Elephant and its trunk, and I mentioned that to a passing couple walking past me, and they smiled and agreed with my observation! From my constant seeking of suitable viewpoints to choose clear views of birds and insects, I often note that flying insects are always willing to practise their skills by attempting landings on unstable waving reeds and leaves. This day was no exception; several times a landing will be attempted, then abandoned shortly after, when the blade of grass or reed drastically dipped under the extra weight! I also observe shape similarities in nature that have equivalences to human engineered tools — I tempt the reader to spot a dragonfly on the handle of a whisk!
        I don’t only observe the denizens of the animal kingdom on these photo sorties, I also capture fellow humans making the most of these areas, as once again I capture appealing scenes of wave-rippled reflections of brightly coloured paddles and cascading water as they leave the water. Leaf textures and shadows add to their appeal, and overlapping backlit leaves can form shapes that can be recognised as entirely disconnected impressions of other familiar objects — see if you can spot a caricature dog?! Or a Duck in the healed wound of a tree that years earlier had lost a branch. Or the basis of tic toe in blades of grass, or individual characters of the Alphabet? This park also can trace incidental architecture from the time of Egypt’s Pharoahs, and to continue this game see if you can spot a lamp standard keeping its eye on a runner?
        Perhaps it’s just me, but the world is full of interesting shapes and juxtapositions, and this trip just seems brimming with subliminal artefacts! Hopefully, I can catch up with some more of my backlog of images yet to see the Light of Day.

Thursday 9 September 2021

An Explanation for Last Several Days

          I have a serious apology and explanation to give for the recent lack of activity on this blog. I have been suffering from being unable to resolve a series of what would normally have been minor problems, but which completely undermined my ability to write the narratives that describe my various sorties with a camera.
          Fortunately, my son-in-law, Tim has been a model of patience and helpfulness as he did his very best to resolve remotely, the issues I have been experiencing with what in the past had become second nature to me; the preparation of images taken during my sorties with a camera. The problems began when we suffered a power outage; and it occurred whilst I was processing a day's worth of pictures to prepare them as a Lightroom gallery. The total loss of Electricity could not have occurred at a worse time as I was close to finishing the work of selecting, cropping and balancing the exposures and colour for some three hundred pictures! As I was actually working on an entire folder from the day's shooting, there was nothing other than the originals saved, and I was close to seven eighths the way through, and in mid operation, so I faced starting back at the beginning! I cannot explain just how much effort those hours of diligent work represented.
          I cannot remember how long I had to wait for power to be restored; time during which my memory of how I had cropped, or adjusted the colour, or brought detail into the shadows, or restored tone in burnt-out clouds. The isolation of the last year had already taken its toll on my short term memory, but the necessity to restore what I had already achieved thus far in my editing, and try to decide which of three exposures I had chosen first time around, really sapped my normal confidence and judgment, and the waiting to learn just how much was recoverable, also really ate into my fragile self confidence. When the moment came and power was restored, was when I learned the full extent of what damage had been wrought. Because my setup consists of numerous interlinked hard drives, and the closedown was not tidy, so I had a lot more problems beyond Lightroom to first assess, then do my restoration. All this sapped my already fragile memory, making restoration and resurgence of confidence, a slow process.
          Just how much my ability to function was illustrated today, when I set to, to putting a fairly simple 2-page gallery this afternoon, I needed Tim to resolve why I have been unable to save this gallery's completion to disc – task which under more normal circumstances would have taken a total of a couple of hours at most, had completely eluded my ability to save it correctly; further damaging my ability to cope. Tim with infinite patience had to guide me over the phone, the steps I had to take.

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Hiatus Gallery!

So named due to a disastrous week when my personal situation became almost totally chaotic, except for those spells when one or other daughter joined me briefly with their children. I am hoping I have come out the other side finally, but only time will tell. The cause of all this started with a power cut which corrupted both what I was working on at the time, and my overall catalogue of photo galleries. How this will play out in the future is uncertain, but I have other images yet to be processed, so as they say: “Time will Tell”.
        The main reason for the captured images of the bee was that during my somewhat tardy attack on the beyond- knee-high grass cutting, the bee was injured, possibly partially concussed. I had spotted it amongst the remnants of cuttings, wandering in circles absent-mindedly, so to avoid further injury, I marked the boundary area with some of the cuttings and finished the rest of the mowing, checking every so often on its progress. Later still upon my completion of the mowing, it seemed a tad less weary. Worrying that since I realised it needed energy to recover, I put down a plate of sugared water so it might drink. On the last visit to check on its progress there was no sign, so I am presuming that since there had been some progress on each of my checks, it had recovered its energy and had finally flown off.
        The rest of the images covered the web the largish spider had woven, and the more defined images of the butterfly on the Buddliea. And, as evening arrived, I heard the somewhat raucous sounds of a couple of groups of birds heading for their overnight roosting sites.

Monday 30 August 2021

A Return Visit to Biddenham

A visit to Biddenham; the first on my part for some time and, although in the village itself, there were several groups and individuals, once I entered the woods, although I heard voices from elsewhere than the path I had chosen, I only occasionally came across others in my meander through the woods themselves. Early in my walk past the larger houses, I had encountered unusual choices of hedge vegetation species, found more commonly as individual trees; my assumption for the choice was the tall, dense privacy they offered.
            Every so often there were breaks in the enclosing boundaries to the paths, and I was puzzled in one of these gaps, by observing what appeared to be a concreted area that may have been the foundations of an earlier building, but with no indications of walls. Occasionally I would break out into more open areas, and another observation puzzled me — here there was an approximately circular grassy area, suggestive of a golf course’s green, but I spotted no indication of a hole for a flag. I returned to the taking of smaller subjects, such as a ladybirds, small berries, and poppies, then bright and healthy apples.
            In amongst the shafts of dappled sunshine, I found the enticing textures of fresh young leaves, and the early signs of ripening blackberries. I am always attracted to the rippled textures of fresh young leaves, and the symmetries and textures of differing leaf structures. The cast shadows on one hanging branch of leaves suggestive of a squirrel caught my eye, as did a bee on a white-petalled flower, which had been repeatedly damaged by an upturned sharp stick remnant piercing two of the petals numerous times in the breeze with the extra weight of visiting pollinators! I also liked another of the white blooms attempting to be seen beyond the spherical bloom of a Chrysanthemum-like pink flower like the rising sun.
            In the warmth of the sun, bees were making the most of the bonanza of fresh blooms, and I was doing the best to do my own capturing of textures and colours, such as the golden toffee of holly leaves and their rich red stems. If the abundance of red berries is accurate in foretelling harsh winters then I also found that strong message clinging to a mortared stone wall. I was amused by the determined ivy escaping from the fence to reach the life-giving warmth of the sunshine, and I soon spotted its cousin succeeding in its journey to the same life force, framed by the evidence of past adherence to the fence. I felt honoured by the generous lighting I was offered in the capture of the textures and sheen on nearby leaves.
            My observations were not confined to the natural world around me. I spotted a slip-up from a human in a spelling mistake by humans in the preparation of a map for this location — Greay! As I was about to leave this map a couple appeared to view the same notice, so I passed on my discovery; rather than simply keep it to myself! I closed the gallery with the high fair weather clouds, and blue sky, I hope the images encourage others to visit and enjoy this enticing park area.

Friday 20 August 2021

I Revisit a Park Just North of the A421

          I headed across the A421 to visit the woods beyond. Once parked, I took the soft case from my LUMIX FZ10002, leaving it behind in the car’s boot, and hung the camera around my neck. On this occasion I am travelling light, very light! Not even my monopod. Locking up the car, I take to the long dark tunnel of trees into the open air beyond, occasionally stopping to capture images along the way that caught my eye.
          Currently, the weather seems somewhat unsettled, and slightly less clearly season defined, but I did find metallic green flies, at least three species of butterflies, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, and some others that I could not immediately identify. Variegated leaf colouring and backlit leaves also attracted my interest, as did a fair number of small, or simply young hoverflies. Beyond the woods, in the open area of the park, the wind had picked up, and despite taking several of the paths in hope of further interest, I was disappointed, as nothing much caught my eye, and therefore my camera — the rest of my walk yielded only fair weather clouds, the green winding paths and one long, lightly leaved and bowing branch framing the curving metalled path.
          I had gained the exercise, enjoyed the fresh air, and was impressed yet again by just how versatile this small camera is and fully justifies my decision to purchase it — it does not replace my more expensive kit, but when travelling light, fully earns its place amongst my heavier and pricier cameras.

Saturday 14 August 2021

Harold-Odell Lake Visit

I pay a visit to the park at Harold-Odell for the first time in a long while; I parked outside the centre, as I wanted to first take a walk down the path that led down to the river as I had not noticed this in the past. I was under-whelmed, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, but I did take a couple of shots for the record.
        It seemed pointless wasting petrol to drive into the car park, so I took my camera with the Sigma 60-600mm mounted on the monopod and walked into the park which was reasonably busy, certainly by the lakeside, with young children with their mothers, excitedly chattering and enjoying the freedom, and the excitement amongst the ducks scrabbling for the bread being provided by one of the dads. One might imagine that the birds fighting for these morsels were starving, but I reckon this is simply a cunning ploy by these birds putting on a show, to ensure a constant supply, and provide enjoyment of the spectacle to these gullible humans; they certainly do not look under-nourished! And certainly, it had the desired effect of ensuring the children were enjoying themselves.
        Just beyond the water’s edge a gull looked on from the vantage of a tall pole close to the shore, perhaps waiting to see some unattended morsels.
        As I walked around the lake, I noticed several new carvings gracing the paths, which I hope inspires others to produce similar works of art. I enjoyed the time I spent roaming the gardens, it inspired me to come again, as there were still several areas I never covered, and I think that some of my family will find a visit rewarding. I hope that some of what I captured will entice others to pay the gardens a visit. I enjoyed capturing some of the swirling shapes created by the everyday activities of the birds on the water.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Bedford — River Gt. Ouse - walk with Camera

Combining a trip to the Supermarket for food, and an afternoon along the river seemed like an excellent way to mix essential travel with exercise and time spent with a camera covering some of Bedford’s wildlife.
        Although I had experienced a few drops of rain on the outward journey, and there were still some dark clouds, the weather held for the entire time I was out, and very few people were in the park — notably, young mothers with pre-school children and retired people singly and in pairs, taking exercise, sometimes with their dogs. Once again, I had only my monopod to support my camera, which gave me freedom in terms of weight without limiting my ability to have a stable platform. Only occasionally was the light low enough to limit my exposure. I did learn that on occasion I had failed to take this into account, so will take greater care in future to keep a check on exposure settings.
         I did observe both butterflies and dragonflies, but none settled long enough for me to take any photos despite several vain attempts, the sunshine presumably kept their energy fully replenished, as I barely had time to frame them before they flit elsewhere, but I made the attempt on several occasions, and overall their numbers were low. Whilst on the subject of observations, once again, I spotted discarded face masks, so I feel perhaps, I will arm myself with a thin rubber glove and a small polythene bag, but this thoughtless behaviour is so selfish, since these open spaces make no charges, and will be lost to us all if this continues.
         I gather we are due more sunshine, so I hope to be able to travel further afield for my exercise and mental therapy.