Welcome

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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Wednesday, 4 August 2021

In the Back Garden…

            
I had initially intended a trip to the River Great Ouse, but because I needed several food items and it meant some needed to be brought back to my freezer and fridge, I decided to forego a further car journey. I am very fortunate to have a Buddleia in the back Garden and Butterflies consider the florettes irresistible, and their recent arrival meant I could simply walk into the back garden and enjoy photographing them. 
            I therefore initially put the 60-600mm Sigma lens on the EOS R6 body as this gave me some distance, to avoid my being a threat, but to ensure some stability, and manage the weight, I mounted the camera and lens on a monopod. I later used two other lenses purely hand held, the 24-70mm and the 100mm Macro Canon lenses.
            All three lenses are in frequent use, and invariably accompany me for trips to local woods and lakes. Sadly of late, another of my favourites, the 12-24mm Sigma wide-angle zoom has seen less use as it is my favourite for recording architectural and city scenes, and I have not been frequenting towns and cities of late. However as Lockdown eases and the threat lessens, I may well visit London and give it an airing.
            This proved to be a pleasant way to relax in warm sunshine and unlike my trip to Brogborough, the processing of the images was completed the same day as the shooting, so there was no pressure involved in getting the gallery up on the blog.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Life and Windsurfers Return to BrogLake

        
Finally, the lake opens to admit visitors and sailors. By the time I arrived, there was plenty of activity, on shore and on the water. I headed for the jetty and set up the tripod, camera and my long zoom, the Sigma 60-600mm, which allows me to capture from the shore to the distant banks to my left and right. The first observation, was that Sam was no longer the lone Kite Surfer, nor was this an exclusively male activity.
        The light was good, and on occasions the clouds provided me with a few more images to my stock of sky scenes, as they make good backgrounds when creating cards to celebrate birthdays and other memorable dates. The wind and the recent introduction of inflatable wing sails was adding variety to the actions I was able to capture. This afternoon was a day that was a celebration of differing skill and experience levels, a day for enjoyment, and for me a real chance to use my new mirrorless camera body, and gain experience of the differences to getting sequences. I welcomed the fast action that kept me on my toes.
        There is a downside — my file sizes are large, and this gives me more images to sort through, and in some instances whilst keeping my finger on the release in anticipation of say, a jump, I consume so much time later, that I do not cull as many shots, as this delays getting the pictures up whilst there is the interest from those participating. I hope that the very long delay on this occasion does not spoil the enjoyment of recalling the activity of that weekend.
        I thoroughly enjoyed doing my best to capture the activity, and I hope there is more to come now that restrictions are beginning to be relaxed; I really hope that we can get back to some form of normality in what remains of this year. I hope that all those taking part in the action can enjoy reliving some of what I captured.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Riverside Garden Life

            Light, Life, Textures and Colour are the features that entice me to use a camera to record; and on this particular warm afternoon a short distance from the River Great Ouse becomes the record of what I found and as I filled a quiet afternoon. The insects at one stage completely covered the flowers as they sought out the bounteous gifts on offer, and played out their reproductive cycle amongst the colours and scents of their environment. Light captured the silky threads that bridged the seed heads as if to form a high wire for insects to perform gymnastic feats for the audience of roses beyond. The supporting plant pillars seemingly offered by outstretched fingers from seed heads. It almost seemed as if the plants were offering their generous support to the web-spinning insects by holding index fingers as pylons — is this fanciful to consider there are links formed over aeons between animals and plants?

             Certainly, there are the very obvious examples of pollination aided by the the enticing provision of nectar. Nearby a small butterfly was undoubtedly providing a service for flowering plants, and ultimately ourselves in the provision of nutritious honey from those natural activities of bees and flowers. I could also see amongst some tall stems the structures at a greater scale; the heads of tropical palm trees.

            A repeating theme of the pictures I take is often the capture of textures and, some leaves caught my eye by the sunlight finding and highlighting the surface of a single lush, heart-shaped leaf amongst the flowing curves of grassy leaves. In the shade of overhanging leaves, a finger of still water by the river’s edge was caught in a pool of sunlight with lace-like golden threads of roots, backed by the reflection of blue sky and silhouette of the shading tree. I did not have a polarising filter to hand which might have better captured what lay beneath the reflecting surface water.

            All the pictures in this small gallery were taken several days back, but I have not had the opportunity to process them, due to a mix of pleasurable time spent with my elder daughter, and frustrating, unproductive time that hopefully is now behind me.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Earlier Images at Goodwood Festival

            Although the images in this gallery were taken before any of the last entry on my blog, they were not processed because I was too hasty in selecting the card that was still in the camera! There is now a further apology for me to make — I have run out of time if I am to get these images out with any sense of timeliness! To get them out at all, I could waste no more time in cutting even more from the overall total.
            Please therefore accept my apology, however in my defence to a small degree, I did make an effort to do justice to some of the participants where a sequence conveyed the level of skills of some of the participants taking to the air on bikes — PEDAL bikes! I have to say that I spent more time shooting these particular participants, because it was a chance for me to attempt to master the skills of keeping them in frame. I find that using a mirrorless camera less easy to track moving action than a reflex camera. So, my interest was two-fold — admiring and recording their skills whilst honing my own.
            My day at Goodwood was spent very enjoyably, both from having the full day with my elder daughter, and in being outside in glorious grounds with no shortage of different and interesting activities. I did not shirk the opportunity to climb to the top of the hill to visit the Forest section, but my timing was poor in that regard, as there was a lull at the time we spent there. It was interesting to glimpse the future direction being taken to attempt to mitigate our damage to our environment.
            In my earlier entry regarding this day, I mentioned that all the pictures were taken using just the one very versatile lens from Sigma, I still feel it worth a mention in relation to the images in this gallery, as I was really pleased with using the EOS R6 on my lightweight monopod with this impressive Sigma lens — the 60-600mm, and impressed I could heft it with comparative ease for the entire time! The versatility of this lens is impressive, so all credit to Sigma, especially since I have also found it’s performance with either the 1.5x Converter, or the 2x when the light is favourable, put this lens in a league of its own.

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Festival of Speed, Goodwood


            
Catherine, my elder daughter got up at the crack of dawn to be with me to drive down to Sussex, and enjoy a long day in the grounds of Lord March’s Goodwood House. The weather did not look too promising, as we drove south, but although at one part of the journey a few spots of rain fell on the windscreen, surprisingly it held off for the entire day!
            By the time of our arrival, the car parks were already well-filled, suggesting either those visitors came from nearby, or they were even more diligent than us, and had little sleep! Already, as we prepared ourselves, the air was alive with happy and animated chatter all around us and a long queue of happy and animated chatter filled the air from every direction. We selected what we felt we needed for the trek to the track, ensured our tickets were all ready to hand and set off. Catherine took a good look around, and made a note on her phone’s map as to where I had parked the car, and we both walked in the general direction of all the earlier groups.
            Neither of us took much note of the time, we chatted, occasionally taking note of the vehicles we were passing, we eventually lined up to be checked, presented our tickets and eventually, we were taking the steps up and over the bridge into the area with a few vehicles to glance at, then we spent some time taking in some of the ideas on show giving indications as to what the future held for us and more importantly what my daughter’s family and my grandchildren faced as we glimpse several facets of life in the coming decades.
            We both spent time trying to assess what the future held in store, and I felt that the present situation with regard to Covid ensured that visitors were very likely to be more receptive to the message than many have been a mere year ago; I certainly hope so — for all our sakes.
            I felt that the tone of the message was more informative than threatening, which I felt was a balanced message; warning rather than frightening, however, I am yet to be convinced from personal observation, that our population is fully on board with how vigilant and careful these next few months need to be? From past visits to this early show centred on vehicles, what was on display was very much a mix of the Past, Present, and a glimpse of a possible Future — in the case of the latter, it was very much a mix of both Optimism and Caution, and those in attendance there was an air of happy optimism, which I felt was indicated by the weather; it was warm, fresh, but cloudy, the atmosphere was one of relaxation and enjoyment, without excessive excitement; very British!
            For this meeting, I have always made the effort to head for the Forest section at the top of the hill, but anno domini had certainly had a sapping of my energy for the uphill exercise, and I was very aware that at times I was falling back in relation to the progress my daughter was making, but from excessive care not to draw attention to my stamina, she would pause awhile every so often to look around before heading forward once again. For my part, I was definitely not going to pause too often as this would have made the upward trajectory far harder. I certainly did not take it to masochistic levels, just measured effort. Also, I valued the effort to keep the cobwebs away! We spent some time within the wooded section watching a few of the rally cars, but possibly our timing was awry as we saw very few competitors, hence nothing to show.
            During the periods inside, much time was spent looking and reading rather than taking an abundance of images, however, what intrigued me was how using this mirrorless body with the Sigma zoom attached to my monopod was how well this combination worked without undue exertion on my part.

An Apology and Brief Explanation

To all those folk who read and look at some of the photography I publish on this blog, I apologise for the total lack of images and any explanation, but I shall at least put the latter to right – I have been waiting for a new Mac. It has now arrived, but it lacks the majority of connections to the several hard drives that store my images. This has been a major hindrance in terms of the way I have been working.

In my desire to both take the pictures in the first place and to keep shooting, I have found it hard to process the work and write explanations about what and why I took them. This is not proving easy to also cope with the stress of trying to maintain continuity with my earlier work.

I am hoping that shortly I can resolve at least some of the issues, but I have inadvertently managed to temporarily misplace the early pictures from my day at Goodwood, and so the first gallery and narrative will cover the latter half of the visit. It is almost complete, but the delay is down to my short term inability to work between two computers, different hard drives, and screens as well! They say you cannot teach old dogs new tricks, well in my case this old dog is struggling! – so I am making the inference to save readers drawing the same conclusion.

Depending on how speedily I can resolve the situation, will decide whether the Horse or Cart comes out first but, so that the wait is less onerous why not play a game of Serendipity — use the Search panel in the rightmost panel to fill in a subject you, the reader, finds of interest, I have made this sort of suggestion before, so I just list a few suggested keywords for you to use for your search, and always mention that because the search engine just looks for words mentioned, rather than their context, it can be amusing to note the diverse results! So, here are just a few suggestions you could enter – you will find it somewhat random – there is also my long list on the right, where clicking gives a indication of both going back in time as well as content, do have some fun whilst I resurrect my recent images and put them into some sense, so you can see what caught my eye at Goodwood.

Do have some fun whilst I keep working in the background (whilst I am less tempted going out in search of more images as it is cloudy!

Some suggested words to use to search (Copy and paste individual ones from this small group):

Autumn, Band, Bees, Brighton, Brogborough, Cambridge, Cars, Clerkenwell, Cricket, Concert, Cambridge, Deer, elegant, lake (for amusement try 'photographer'


Saturday, 10 July 2021

Yet Another Garden Visit

            Good Day to whoever is visiting at present, I apologise for the hiatus in publishing anything to the blog; it is that I have been down to Goodwood for a splendid day with my elder daughter, courtesy of Lord March for whom, many moons ago, had sought help from his retouchers, The Colour Company, with whom I shared space in Clerkenwell and doubled as their salesman, and provider of their Delivery and Collection service!
            Charles March had asked the partners, Tony and John, for Photoshop and Mac Help, to which they owned that that would be the ‘Blind leading the Blind’, and suggested he contact me, whom he had often noted being in and out of their premises on his visits. The rest is as they say: History! — as Charles kindly asked whether I would mind coming down to Goodwood House to stay the night, and be ready after Breakfast to then sit down and lead him through the intricacies of the program. The response was prompt and positive on my part, and not only did I leave with a cheque that evening, upon learning of my keen interest in Motor Racing, (as at that time I was the Deputy Chief Pit Marshal for BRSCC at Brands Hatch) — I have been the recipient of invitations each year, since then!
            However, the reason this gallery is so late in arriving on my blog is that Life supervened, in that it’s preparation gave way for my visit to Goodwood, for which the gallery has yet to be even started! I shall begin in a couple of days, in the meantime, please enjoy the colour and life that abounds when looking close up within a garden.

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Another Garden, Marston Moretaine


               Marston Moretaine is a village that has been expanding with ever more houses being built on land that was scarred with the need for clay for bricks, and this once excavated and exhausted, in turn provided lakes that provided opportunities for recreation, such as sailing and fishing. More recently, it gained nationwide news coverage from local hero Captain Tom Moore, who walked his garden to raise millions for the National Health Service. The Wartime slogan: “Keep Calm and Carry On” has become the resilient answer to the current epidemic situation brought about by the Corona Virus, and has meant much time spent in gardens, and I have taken the opportunity to walk around capturing the efforts of several house owners lavishing much effort on their gardens, which in turn raise the spirits of those who pass by whilst walking either to the shops and Post Office in one direction or the Forest Centre and allotments in the other.

               Currently, the pipe-laying at the junction at the top of the road, which has inflicted long waits for drivers, whilst willing for traffic lights to allow their flow to resume, has meant many more eyes have had the opportunity to gaze on the blooms that brighten the front gardens of many of the houses. On two recent occasions as I took just such an opportunity to bring my camera to bear upon the front gardens from the path, the owners have generously allowed me closer access by inviting me to cross their relative frontiers.

               This gallery is a record of the most recent acceptance of such an invitation, and I hope that my pictures allow others to share in my enjoyment of the photographs I was fortunate enough to take.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Beautiful Nearby Garden


               The countryside of Bedfordshire has been giving way to ever more homes in areas that were dug for its clay, with much of that excavated land giving way to lakes. Marston Moretaine, in the short time that I have lived here has had numerous housing estates spring up. The lakes formed by removing that clay have become popular for water sports; for craft such as sailing dinghies, powerboats and windsurfers, and other leisure areas devoted to fishing, walking, or birdwatching.
               Many of these activities provide subjects for my photography. From time to time I simply take a walk to capture flowers, shrubs, and insects in the gardens that front the roads of the village, and yesterday whilst capturing flowers in these gardens, I was offered the chance to cross the boundary from the pavement to take photographs within both the front garden and the enclosed garden behind the house.
               It was a treat indeed, for the owner has obviously spent many hours bringing an abundance of beautiful plants, and flowers that provide colour and varied textures to her garden, and the bees were making the most of the bonanza! It was a privilege to be offered the chance to photograph the results of her hard work. I hope the two pages of pictures I was able to capture will give her some of the pleasure it gave me in their taking, and subsequently those who visit this blog. I also hope that my photographs do justice to the hard work that has gone into creating the result I was witnessing; I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to capture the beauty her efforts have achieved. I feel sure that those who visit my blog will share the joy I had in recording the pictures I captured.

Friday, 25 June 2021

One Short Walk With Camera


            
Upon looking at my blog to wonder which subjects were of interest to those who read what I have written, I have observed two surprises that have risen from the depths of my past writings; one such from the earliest days of my blogging, in 2011, and another from 2016. What this indicates is that there are people that take advantage of the search feature, so I decided I would revisit both to gain some insight into what was being sought. One very personal observation was that though the subject matter indicated similar preferences then as now, in the earlier photos my preference for focal length seemed to be in the shorter focal lengths, yet my subject interests persist. 
            The long period of lockdown has precluded many of the activities I would normally have experienced and enjoyed capturing, but it does seem the drought may soon be ending. Earlier in the day, I was out capturing the colours in a garden, but exclusively with my versatile Sigma 60-600mm lens, however, I shall attempt to discipline myself to specifically spend some time with my shorter length 24-70mm lens in the near future.
            I had taken a stroll down River Lane to the fast streaming waters of its namesake, when in the branch of one tree’s bark were threaded a couple of goose feathers. The rest of the images are of flowers and leaves that caught my eye and were captured by my camera’s lens.
            The surprises just keep coming, and I am wondering whether the counter of blog viewings has had a spring break and has just wound the numbers around before expiring as the day’s views have just topped five thousand hits in the last week! Unless something has broken at Blogger’ counting mechanism, that has become the largest number of weekly visits since I started putting up my images and words in the last decade!
            Whatever the reason, anyway here are some pictures taken yesterday during a short walk.
           

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

A Walk by the Fields

          My afternoon walk on this occasion took me away from my end of the village and along the path from the main road that follows the outer bounds of the village, with the currently somewhat overgrown path of the brook. Since Spring is merging into early Summer, some of the leaves no longer have the freshness of early growth, and in some instances have signs of foreign growths on their surfaces, and clusters of larvae. I was however far more interested in young healthy growth and clusters of seeds, and signs of this season’s farmers crops. 
          I spotted a lone rabbit, and remained as still as possible to be able to get some shots before it headed once more for cover. However, there is not much to show for the length of time I spent walking, but I had specifically chosen to walk rather than drive further afield, as it was primarily a walk for exercise, so the photographs were a bonus. Provided the weather holds, my next excursion will be further afield, but the house needs my attention, as does the grass of my lawns, so my priorities must be observed! 

Monday, 21 June 2021

I Walk to the Forest Centre with my Camera

          It was not a day of brilliant sunshine, but it was not unpleasant, and it was definitely good to be outside, and in walking along the main road and passing by the main entrance to the Forest Centre, I headed along the footpath on the opposite side of the road, which in addition to the safety of the path, offered the opportunity to capture images from the front gardens of the houses alongside. As a result, I continued beyond the side entrance to the park, up until the end of the houses, before entering. The preliminary diversion had proved rewarding.
          As I walked along the path within the park, I also climbed the bank at each viewing area to see what the prospects were in the enclosure beyond; noting that the steps were being restored at two of them. I spent quite some time watching a fox family, and from that time onward, I chose to put the Sigma telephoto lens on the camera, in place of the 24-70mm with its macro facility I had been using up till that point. As the fox family appeared to be heading towards a corner and possibly out of my sight, I did not waste further time in adding a multiplier to the long Sigma, since it would reduce the time I had for any shots before they disappeared from view. Now that I know the fox family might be in this area, I will try to visit earlier, with that specific intention, rather than happenstance, even though it might mean no sighting at all!
          The rest of the trip covered the cattle in the same area, foliage I found of interest, billowing clouds of steam at the Waste Disposal site, and some interesting woodland housing structures at various stages of construction, and a fleeting view of a couple of horse riders. Altogether a very worthwhile but short trip with a camera again. Sadly, it would seem it maybe a while before we see the sun again. So, before the rains descend, I will be a mowing!

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Brogborough Lake – Finally Busy!

 
            Warm weather and wind brings a return to a busier day on the lake for Windsurfers and Wingsail sailors. I join the throng and set up my trusty Sigma 60-600mm lens on my recently purchased Canon R6 and mount it on the sturdy and steady Benbo (so-called because it uses a Bent Bolt!) This tripod is very different to conventional tripods, and one of its benefits, apart from being very sturdy, it’s lower legs are sealed at the bottom, allowing it to safely stand in shallow water. I did not need this feature on this occasion, but it can be very useful for low viewpoint shooting. 
            On this occasion, it was its stable footing that was my choosing, as I was shooting from close to the water’s edge. There was another reason for choosing the Benbo, was I was trying to capture sequences when Sam was taking to the air using his wingsail. This was as much a challenge for me as for Sam, as using a mirrorless camera is difficult to keep track of moving subjects. 
            I have extracted some sequences as individual galleries, as I feel they may be helpful in studying the sequences. I enjoy the challenges of capturing such sequences from their start, by watching the telltale initial squat to launch from the water.
            Please forgive me for the interminable wait to recap your time on the water, or simply look at what went on that afternoon, but I have some serious issues to sort out regarding my getting stuff up on the Blog currently.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Sorry for Delayed Gallery!


          Whilst all the sailors of Brogborough Lake await the arrival of the most recent tranche of images from the busiest day on the Lake for some time, please accept my apologies for the forced delay due to Life supervening!

          I was always led to be believe the Captain should never leave his Ship, well I can assure everyone, this image has not visited Photoshop to have the Sailor taken out, I believe he may have done it all by himself, yet the independent craft seems happy to continue sailing!

          Meantime I will crack on with the delayed processing of the numerous shots I took of manned craft! Enjoy the Wait, or take the opportunity to enter any subjects of images I may have taken over my time at blogging – a few suggestions: London from the Air, Heron, Butterflies, Jump, Thames, Clerkenwell, Goodwood, Scotland, Paris, St. Tropez, Luton Hoo, Shuttleworth, Stockwood…

Normal Service will be restored as soon as possible, sorry for the delay

          And I will get on with processing the rest of that day's images, meantime, Enjoy!

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Nature Calls — so I head for the Country!

          Yes, I need relief, but from enclosing walls, where outside, the sun is beckoning. I gather my camera and lenses and a small amount of sustenance and a flask of weak orange juice to guard against dehydration. I head north and the River Great Ouse, to keep body and soul together, and ensure my reflexes and brain get exercise.
          Damselflies, flowers, and fresh air ensures that no cobwebs are woven into the fabric of what I loosely call a brain. Currently my ongoing concern is for a failing memory, something which in earlier times I held with great pride that recall was speedy and accurate, nowadays I often struggle to remember simple descriptive words, the names of friends and places, and worst of all, why I went up or downstairs or for what item! When that happened in earlier times I would laugh at myself, and the block would melt like ice on a hot plate, and the word, thought or name would appear in a trice. Then it was funny, now it is unnerving. However, I do try to avoid getting too stressed over it, but it is tough!
          Already the grass I cut barely a week hence beckons for the mower, but I have more pressing reasons to be out, so it will have to grow some more, as I need my fix, not photographic fixer, but photographic scenes, and challenges, and the exercise of limbs and brain, and on this day blue sky almost edge to edge was the clarion call that urged me to gather my camera, which was already encased with fully charged batteries, spare cards, and a separate case with an alternative lens and spare caps. However, knowing my memory is absolutely fallible, I open the case and double check! When I reach the car, I check not only my tripods, but my monopod with ball head, which is now my main support, the tripod is there for the off chance that clouds appear. I was never a Boy Scout, but the Cubs motto was similar!
          My destination was Milton Ernest, as I can park close by the river and at this time of year birds, flowers and insects abound, so with the trusty support of the monopod and ball head, the Sigma 60-600mm on the EOS R6 is entirely manageable and really flexible, as I keep reiterating. To be visited by the woodpecker, albeit somewhat shielded by the feeder was a delight! 
          I hope that others can enjoy the shots as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Another Nature Walk with a Camera

                At a time when being close to others is fraught with difficulties, getting out in fresh air and carrying a camera come together as not only a good idea, but also a healthy one from a purely selfish perspective — I need to ensure that my brain is active, and being challenged. On this occasion, although I set off in a northerly direction, I did not actually have a specific destination, because to be too specific might result in expectations being unfulfilled. I did however have a preference for subject matter — Nature.

The weather was warm and on my recent excursions had been to cover birds that were of reasonable size whose habitat was both on the water and shoreline. On this trip I found myself close by Oakley and the River Great Ouse. I walked from my car close by the bridge and away from the village and church and the shady path that could lead to the windmill. I could hear the chatter of young voices coming from the far end and heading towards me, and leading from the path several areas had been cut back to give access to the water’s edge, so I took one of these to both avoid close contact, but more to see what might be  found among the reeds.

There were damselflies flitting around, but as there was a fair abundance of light, flight was sustainable, and at their size, I was far more likely to get photos of them when static on leaves or reeds. There were different species of Damselflies, and different body colours — blue, red and gold, and their prevalence certainly characterises much of the content of this gallery. Damselflies have two sets of wings, and whilst observing some of them, they would very rarely, but occasionally flick them open briefly whilst still static, and this presented me a challenge to capture such moments, but my success rate was poor! But frame 16 was a success, but considering that I witnessed this behaviour numerous times and with different damselflies, my reflexes were certainly challenged, thus my success rate of one was pleasing! There were far more challenging times for the damselfly males, as although I saw much activity on the mating front, I only saw a single example of dual flight despite many forays! Another challenge I enjoy is the capture of alphabet shapes — see if you can spot W-A-X? And surprisingly, I have not re-ordered the images for the letters to create the word!

What also amuses me on occasion when I am met outside, I can be asked what am I actually photographing, and this often when my camera is fixed on a tripod — so in the past I have suggested they look through the back of the camera! I was often looking at a small insect that has yet to move, and the viewer had not seen it till looking away after viewing it through the camera!

On one memorable occasion, I was outside with some College Students; studying photography! and I was amazed that all had passed a four seat chair table beneath a crab apple tree that was absolutely overloaded with windfalls on both table top and chairs! And not one had made the observation — I told them later that a photographer had to look in order to see! On that occasion I was not viewing some distant subject with a long lens!

This trip was definitely insect-oriented, but far from creep-crawly, butterflies and moths can be fascinating in their colours and behaviours, so being out with a camera at this season is never dull. And, the end of this foray, I was challenging myself to capture black-headed gulls, and specifically when in prominent places related to the bridge arches, which adds to the challenge, and one pair were very obliging!

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Priory Country Park Visit


          It is some time since I made this specific visit, and it was not too disappointing as I managed to take several images of the natural denizens of the river, swans with this year’s new families being carefully introduced to the world and its possible dangers. The parents are very aware of their charges, and are very protective of their precious young, as a Canada Goose was to become very aware a short time later whilst I was able to witness.

          I also captured another incident where a man and I presume his daughter were generous enough to give some of their bread to help another group of young Cygnets, which has to be some comfort to the Swan community. 

          I saw several damselflies during my walk along the river this day, and even two distinctly different species close by, but so far no butterflies, perhaps it is too early in the season. It was a pleasantly warm afternoon, and very enjoyable to capture several sequences of images of the avian activity in the lives of these birds and brief interlude of what I am presuming was a Reed Bunting, but it was shielded somewhat making it hard to see enough of it plumage and markings to be able to identify without recourse to speaking to someone more knowledgable.

Certainly I enjoyed my time outside and enjoying the fresh air, and I hope others can share in the enjoyment from the images I managed to capture.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Bromham Park Visit

I had not visited this park for some time, and took different paths than walked hitherto. Soon after entering, I took one that followed the lake’s righthand side fairly closely, but there was surprising little avian activity on its lake; the only waterborne birds I encountered were four Mallard Ducks; one female, and three males! Even the chatter of birdsong in the woods was somewhat subdued, all of which hardly bode well for subject matter for the camera.

During my walk with the Sigma 60-600mm on the monopod, I spotted a rabbit at a branch in the path, who obviously had seen me before I saw him, as he moved slightly beyond the cover of the vegetation at the edge of the grassy path, momentarily it was joined by another, before both bounded out of sight.

In the slight breeze small seeds floated in the air along the paths together with midges and other flying insects, and some of these had been snagged by fine threads woven between the heads of two teasel heads, presumably as later food for the spiders who wove them.

This visit was a disappointment in terms of images captured, but beneficial in terms of exercise, and I was able to engage in conversation with fellow humans out exercising themselves and some with canine accompaniment.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Could Someone please contact me from the Blogger Team

 I received an answer from Blogger Community, and despite the hour, I politely typed a response using my iPhone, and had almost completed an explanation and several clear questions, when all my half hour’s typing and polite explanation of the problems I am facing with Blogger, it all disappeared. I have not erased anything but cannot retrieve a single word, and nor can I locate the kind person’s response either, and rather than destroy inadvertently all I wrote, I am trying to reach blogger from my iPad.

Please can some kind soul contact me, and help me find what I wrote and get it to some patient person who can resolve my issues with Blogger.

Rod Wynne-Powell

rod@solphoto.co.uk

rod-wynne-powell.blogspot.com


Bedford Park Visit — Riverside

          I had no visitors coming over, so it was not a difficult decision to take a walk in a park with a camera! On this occasion I made the conscious decision to use the one lens for anything that I decided to attempt to capture, and my decision proved to be the wrong one very early on, as I noticed a few of one of my favourite insects; the hoverfly. And using this bulky lens was hampered by both its weight and inadequate close focussing, but having made the decision, I was now going to accept it! However, because it was still small in the viewfinder, and the insect itself had its own flight plan, that did not involve waiting for a photographer to do his bit, I was also hampered by my puny efforts to achieve focus before it moved off! Also, though it was sufficiently unfazed by my presence, it had no need to keep its eyes on me! So, adding insult to injury it only presented its rear view to me! In order to remind me that I should only consider my macro lens for that type of shot, I decided that despite my dogged determination to keep making attempts, I would display a couple that at least were in focus as an aide-memoire for the future.

One other feature of this set of images was my ongoing interest in patterns made by flowing liquids, especially when these manifest due to restrictions, hence the shots of powerful burbling water at drops in water-level, or the more relaxed ripples, when the flow was more gentle. Dragonflies and damselflies also catch my interest, but they were guarded from my proximity by abundant intervening nettles and a steep bank, but they were not so distant that they were impossible to record in acceptable detail.

At the end of my time by the river, nearby human activity caught my eye, and in particular one boy with his family who was a tad nervous of standing on his paddle board and I felt his lack of confidence was his downfall. Had I been asked, I would have suggested he tried again, but his family seem not to have offered this suggestion! So, I captured his success at creating splashes whilst paddling his board. My suggestion would have been, never be fazed by failure, and try, try, and try again! Avoid accepting defeat whilst learning. But, thank you for giving me some especially pleasing action shots!


Thursday, 27 May 2021

Woburn Park Photo Visit

 
 

I have not visited Woburn Park for some time, and thought that despite it being a weekday, I would likely find it well attended, but I was wrong; the Car Park itself was probably a fifth full, so I was pleased with the prospect, and I encountered very few people during the time I spent there.

I had attached the Sigma 60-600mm to the EOS R6 and mounted the lens to the ball head on my monopod, and only once within woods did I extend the leg. Increasingly I have found this a very handy way to travel comparatively light, yet give myself a stable support whether using this lens at either end of its range. The reason for this confidence stems from this mirrorless body and the avoidance of shutter bounce due to the lack of a mirror being activated. I do not have the steadiest of hands, but the monopod is support enough to give the necessary stability; and I can carry and shoot all day without fatigue.

I took a chance in deciding not to bring another lens along; had it proved a necessity it was in the boot, and I could have walked back for it, but I reckoned, it was unnecessary extra weight to carry, and I never missed it — a testament to how good this Sigma lens is. It is far and way my most frequently used lens, the new Canon camera body, the EOS R3; which I bought a short while ago has made a considerable leap in the quality I am able to achieve from all my existing lenses, yet I am still on a steep learning curve to fully understand how best to use its full capabilities. The difficulty is in finding someone who can help me get the full potential from this new camera’s facilities. I am not helped in my task by suffering considerably from a major deterioration in getting the most from my brain, especially short term memory, and being isolated from my family and friends adds to my levels of stress.

Although my ability to retain new knowledge is severely impaired due to the forced isolation and the stress this has caused, taking pictures, and subsequently working with them is cathartic and calming, for without this my ability to cope would would be further eroded.

One ongoing observation is related to Swans; they do take umbrage with other smaller birds, and on this trip, one individual took a distinct dislike to one, and there are shots here that cover the incident as it chased its smaller resident off the water. It does make me feel less warm towards Swans, despite their beautiful grooming!

I have looked at this day’s images, and realise it needs further editing, but please forgive me, I cannot expend that energy to reduce some of the duplication, so please forgive me — time is short, and too precious. Please enjoy the images, and forgive the lack of further editing. I will try to do better in the future.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Brogborough Short Visit


T
here was little wind on this visit to the lake, and on arrival Swallows were swooping low over the lake, and black-headed Gulls likewise — attempting the challenge of concentrating on the Swallows was not on my radar, but I was at least happy that I was able to have some within the images of Windsurfers. The Gulls on the wing were within my capabilities and with these I did spend some time whilst the sailors prepared their craft for the water.

The father of one boy was preparing both his and the son’s board for launching, and I covered this preparation and launch, and Sam giving a group of novices some guidance before going out onto the lake. This concluded this visit, and I then headed for Bedford and the Finger Lakes and the Main, large one to see what I might find.