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, 21 April 2021

Another Riverside Walk

  I set off from Marston Moretaine, and headed towards Bedford, and the destination on this occasion was the River Great Ouse at Willington, having parked in some shade, I put my 60-600mm Sigma into my rucksack, and mounted the Canon EOS R6 with the 24-70mm + Macro facility on the monopod, and set off past the Dovecote to the entrance to the woods and the river. I carried a spare fully charged battery, as the one in the camera was only half-charged.

  The first image I took simply appealed to my sense of humour in that the dead tree seemed to depict a Klu Klux Clansman with other bleached and petrified stumps nearby. Am I alone in  visualising faces, animals, and other features in the trees as I walk in woods? As trees age, and branches break off and the trees heal, I frequently see heads or other features form animals and birds without human intervention, and later this same day I come across examples of carving that are not simply happenstance as well as a querulous raised eyebrow that was definitely not the result of human intervention.

  I met and chatted to a few fellow walkers at healthy distanced proximity, and enjoyed a pleasant Spring walk with my camera.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

A Lake and a River Visit

           This is a gallery from two different locations; one at the nearby lake at Brogborough, but then moves to the river Great Ouse at Great Barford, on an exceptionally bright day. The early shots at the lake had several shots of the reflections on the water, which handily provide me with background images for greetings cards, which provide backgrounds for messages or for inserting small separate images. I also took various other lake views, and some tulips in my own garden before transitioning to the shots I took at Great Barford.

          Parking was no problem, but I had almost reached the river before realising I had not brought my mask from the car (if asked how do I exercise, it is by forgetting to bring my mask from the car, having walked most of the distance to my destination, and have to return to the car, and make the initial journey a second time!) I find this failing memory extremely frustrating, especially as I seem to have damaged the cartilage in my right knee.

          For the early part of my trip I mainly used my general purpose wide angle to medium length zoom, with its extremely handy button for when I need to do closeup shots. Later, I changed to the 100-400mm for some more distant shots. It was pleasing to find that here social distancing was being observed very well, unlike some of my earlier trips, where the main offenders were groups of inconsiderate cyclists who seemed to consider themselves above such considerations for others.

Sent from my iPad

Friday, 16 April 2021

Milton Ernest Flowers

Every so often, I feel blessed that not only is the sun out, but I am somewhere that really benefits my choice of venue to take photos, and this afternoon at a spot by the River Great Ouse, Spring flowers greet me. My lens of choice for such a situation is the extremely versatile 24-70mm lens with its handy macro facility. The gallery of images displayed on this occasion are taken close to the river at Milton Ernest.

The size of the flowers I captured range from the smallest, a few millimetres in diameter to clusters of full-size variegated tulips, which shows how versatile this one lens can be when used exclusively on the EOS R6, as I was that afternoon. After my long telephoto zooms this is one of my favourite lenses because of this very versatility.

What pleased me amongst these images were the interesting curves that the leaf blades formed alongside the flowers themselves. I rounded off the set of images with shots of the river bank and, as I walked back up the lane, the clouds looked ominous over my parked car, so I captured that as a fitting end to my afternoon.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Marston Moretaine Garden Flowers

  Brogborough Lake had been open, and in good weather that temptation was a magnet, but the sheer number of photos I was able to capture coupled with a computer that is not performing at full speed made my most recent task of putting a gallery of windsurfing pictures up on my blog a real pain to achieve at my normal speed. So, having put those pictures up, I needed the therapy offered by the taking of more photos, but without the same level of urgency, and the new season’s arrival was having a noticeable, and beneficial effect upon the gardens along my road. So, not wishing to miss the opportunity of less energetic image capture, my camera and I, with its general purpose lens and its extremely handy feature offering a macro facility at the slide of a button took a stroll along the main road of Marston Moretaine. 

The houses alongside this road, all featured front gardens to offset the effects of the volume of traffic upon the owners’ peace and quiet and their health; and tended to take considerable efforts to make the most of the opportunity to create a wealth of bushes, flowers and trees, and my walks take advantage of the colour and life that follows. I had paid a visit to both the different Co-ops to buy food, and noted the gardens that offered the greatest potential for images that might later offer handy subjects for cards in the coming months. Upon my return, I offloaded the purchases to my cupboards, fridge and freezer and gathered the camera with the 24-70mm lens with its handy macro facility.

     It was an interesting and rewarding walk up to the main road and back along both sides of the road at times, and was both relaxing and rewarding, and I hope that others can enjoy the fruits of my short trip.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Windsurfing and Other Activities on the Lake

Sorry for the overlong delay in getting any photos up on the blog this time around, but the reason is that the sunshine resulted in my making the most of the time I was down at the Lake, and the sheer volume I had then to work through has meant that even now,  I have decided to get the first half of what I recorded up, so that the pressure is relieved somewhat.

What has also not helped is that my several hard drives have filled, and my new 8TB drive has yet to be optimised for speed! So I hope that the first tranche of shots, at least gave some indication of what caught my eye, whilst I try to get get my house tidied a tad, and then offload a separate set of even more recent shots, before going back to part two of the Brog pics.

Meantime, enjoy these. Sam, Although you caught me a bit off guard, I surprised my self by capturing a higher percentage than I had thought — but I am sorry that you all had to wait quite a while for the results in part two. I feel sure that you’ll not be disappointed! My speed currently is not as fast as I wold hope, but I am running on empty currently and it shows, and my right knee cartilage is causing grief as well; and I am only walking, not crashing the waves! I hope that the wait was worth your patience. Enjoy these as much as I did in capturing them at the time, I hope I did not miss out too much of the less energetic of the folk on the water.

Thanks for providing me with so much to capture — I hope you all feel I have done justice to all that took place that afternoon.

Just a Teaser, The Gallery to Follow

         I am sending this gallery to the blog first partly to say thanks to Sam for lining up so well for this shot, and also to check that I can get these shots up at all, as I have been experiencing serious difficulties with getting anything done to my satisfaction at all, and I apologise for how long this second half of images has taken – it has taken its toll on my Sanity, but hopefully very shortly I will get the rest up to remind you of an excellent Day at the Lake; please be patient and the rest will follow shortly.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Brogborough – Most Open Day for Several Activities on the Lake

                Sorry for the overlong delay in getting any photos up on the blog this time around, but the reason is that the sunshine resulted in my making the most of the time I was down at the Lake, and the sheer volume I had then to work through has meant that even now,  I have decided to get the first half of what I recorded up, so that the pressure is relieved somewhat.
What has also not helped is that my several hard drives have filled, and my new 8TB drive has yet to be optimised for speed! So enjoy the first tranche of shots, whilst I try to get get my house tidied a tad, and then offload a separate set of even more recent shots, before going back to part two of the Brog pics.

Meantime, enjoy these. Sam, Although you caught me a bit off guard, I surprised my self by capturing a higher percentage than I had thought — but you’ll have to wait for the results in part two. I feel sure that you’ll not be disappointed! My speed currently is not as fast as I wold hope, but I am running on empty currently and it shows, and my right knee cartilage is causing grief as well; and I am only walking, not cashing the waves! Enjoy these for now, and I’ll get on with the other half, and also note, I did not miss out on the less energetic of the folk on the water. As some not insignificant actor said: “I’ll be back!”… Rod

Friday, 2 April 2021

Walk around Willington

I needed to be outside in the fresh air, and I decided to go to a spot on the river close to the Danish Camp and the Dovecote Building, but to take a different route from that which I had taken on earlier occasions. I parked my car a short walk from the Dovecote, and with my camera with the 60-600mm on the EOS R6 attached to my monopod, and a camera bag over my shoulder with a shorter lens with its macro facility within I took to a path via a gate that once open fell several inches, making closing it a struggle as it was a bit of a juggle to lift back when closing. Little did I realise I was destined to retrace my steps because my battery was lower than expected, and worse still was my backup battery was also fully discharged! Fortunately there was another back in my car, and that was fully charged. Hardly the mark of a professional! So the walk of Shame was justified. The time lost and energy consumed meant that less time was spent in sunshine.

Although I was hearing birdsong for much of the afternoon, I only occasionally actually was able to catch sight of the songsters, and only to glimpse a speedy low level flight from one bush side of my path to the other. The only bird that did feature was a pigeon, and it kept a wary eye on me and only allowed me a chance to move sideways to better frame it, at the hint of a move closer it took flight! 

There had either been less rain here or recent winds had dried the paths, for the going was the best I had encountered for a couple of weeks elsewhere. The greens were bright here, and the paths were winding making pleasing compositions, and the better weather had brought out canoeists that I was able to capture by moving to gaps in the tree cover when alerted to the sounds of their paddles. At one stage I was able to get a couple of shots of some mandarin ducks, and due to the long lens the chain link fence was rendered out of focus that gave the birds the chance to feel safe and ignore my presence.

On my return journey, I managed to miss the point at which I joined the path, and even had to ask a family group directions back to the Dovecote — I am glad I asked, because without their guidance I might well have taken a different choice and added even further to the distance I travelled to return to the car, and my back was definitely beginning to ache from the camera and rucksack. It was undoubtedly a good choice to use the monopod rather than a tripod, because it was sufficiently stable in the prevailing light levels.

I had enjoyed the chance of the fresh air and the exercise, and felt that the photographs I had managed to take were a good record of the time spent.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

BrogLake Windsurfers Return!

        After a long wait, Brogborough Lake opens to the activities of the Windsurfing fraternity, and the day is blessed with both wind and sunshine. The atmosphere was as boisterous as the wind, nothing could mask the joy felt by everyone that the lake was open, and the most notable change was the number of wing sails that were out on the water. The exhilaration and relief were evident in equal amounts; there was a buzz; it was a shame, I had not learned that it was opening up, as I was definitely arriving late, as many sailors had come in and I learned that I had missed much of the activity!

However, having a chance later on, I mentioned that I would have loved to come over earlier had I known that their lockdown was over. I did my best to make up for lost time, and as I had already mounted my camera on the monopod, I decided it was best not to waste more time in returning to the car for my tripod. I was lucky that we were blessed with almost constant sunshine, so I lived with the monopod, and subsequently spent  a tad more time levelling horizons in ‘post’! At least I had established that in good light, the monopod was adequate, and in part this is due to the new EOS R6 giving me a better burst rate and excellent image stabilisation due to the avoidance of shutter bounce.

Overall, my experience with the EOS R6 has meant I can now consider rationalising my lens collection and sell off those that I will be using less due the gains in performance offered by this camera body, also, keeping on the conversion ring for my. Older lenses gives me the very handy ring for speedy exposure compensation. I do have to remember when I have applied this and reset it after having taken those shots with compensation. Now I have become accustomed to this body, the stopgap EOS R may well offset some of the cost any new acquisition!

I hope the shots taken at the lake on the Windsurfers Return will be appreciated by those who participated and possibly those who did not manage to be there — as I wrote that last sentence, it struck me perhaps some entrepreneurial type might consider opening a hostelry nearby with that name to refresh those who visit this lake!

Monday, 29 March 2021

Two Riverside visits — Oakley and Milton Ernest

I drove to the village of Oakley, which has several areas with easy access to the banks of the river Great Ouse, at this time of year, this is an area with a wealth of different indications of different stages of fresh young growth. This was especially noticeable on the trees alongside the road heading towards the church at Oakley, close by a small park and the river Great Ouse. I had parked up in a small area opposite to the gate to the river bank park that has a gate leading to a path across a green field and also an entrance to the riverside path on the other side of the road bridge across the river.

I was fortunate to have some sunshine in the early stages of this trip, but it was not destined to last. One very noticeable observation I made was just how many large tree branches were caught in the various barrages at the bridges and weirs. From my walks in the nearby woodland paths, I was pleased that it was far less muddy than it had been a few weeks earlier, and that some of the clearings had small stacks of collected fallen branches. The barrages on the river were well-filled and the buttresses of the bridge were holding back some very large tree trunks. Also in the small park that stretches from the bridge to the church there were several cut down trees.

I spent much of my time capturing the different stages of growth of leaves and seeds as I walked along the margins, and also noted that one of the walls at the end of the road bridge had very bad cracks, yet also reasonably recent new pointing. My stay at this stretch of the river concluded by my capture of the fresh new season’s various growth stages, before driving to Milton Ernest where I captured a pair of swans on this stretch of the same river, and more young flowers.

I try to make a point of photographing the information panels as it comes in handy when choosing locations at future times.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Forest Centre Walk

My elder Daughter Catherine pays me a visit, and we take a walk in the Forest of Marston Vale, I use the opportunity to note the advance of the season, taking photographs of the blossom, and other incidentals that caught my eye; the trip was very short as Catherine could only spend a short time before heading back to Cambridge, but however short it is always very welcome, and I love and cherish every moment, however brief – now  that the Vaccination programme is well under way, I am hoping family life can return to some semblance of normality.

                Breathing fresh air and being outside is vital, and I feel blessed in being able to be in the open with a camera and lenses to capture whatever I can that is pleasing and interesting, and hope it is of interest to others; those who follow what I have written and experienced in the Great Outdoors – it has been satisfying to note just how many visitors view what I have put up in the galleries over the last week, I hope that is providing others who may well be more constrained than me, the chance to share in what I have seen and recorded.

                This is especially heartening considering that the content has not been as varied or as exciting as when say, the sailors have been out windsurfing on Brogborough Lake. Purely from my perspective, it ensures I keep learning how to get the most of the new camera body, which has allowed me to shoot unencumbered with a heavy tripod.

                This specific afternoon I had only the monopod for added stability, and the Canon EOS R6 body is able to provide improved images from my existing range of lenses and, for Sporting activity, a faster burst rate, so this recent investment I made in that Canon body has definitely been a good move. Being greedy, I would still like to have more sunshine however! All this afternoon’s images were taken with the 24-70mm, and its handy Macro facility when needed.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Brogborough Lake and Beyond

                I decided that I might take a wander around the lake at Brogborough, what I had not expected just how heavy going it would be. Sadly, because I had not anticipated just how waterlogged the grass would be, I was ill-prepared, so I tended to attempt to find large tough grass clumps or fresh areas of longer grass, which meant my path was somewhat longer and a tad circuitous than when the going is dry. The main, normal path was muddy and puddled, so I tended to keep diverting to areas either side of the main path, thus making progress slow.

On this occasion, I had travelled light and did not have a long lens,  and this decision was based upon my last visit when 100mm at the long end was more than adequate as there were very few birds on the lake, so when a swan took off heading for its mate, the distance was rather too great, but I persevered! At one stage I was close to the shore and got some shots that captured the clear water and the ripples on the surface.

The rainfall this year is having a marked effect on the collapse of the high bank, which is having a marked effect on reducing the width of the path in places. Before moving to another nearby location, the allotments on the corner with the road to the village, I took a look into the roadside bushes, and spotted an odd pile of evenly cut twigs, which I found puzzling. Opposite the junction beyond the lake entrance, there is a small space devoted to a range of varied plants and flowers, which absorbed me for a while before calling it a day, and driving back.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Spring Flowers

                 This gallery of images were taken before the previously most recent group I had taken, but that was during the time I was experiencing problems getting my photo galleries up to the Web, which I am  hoping is now behind me. At least I had taken the pictures when the crocuses were open, and so I am relieved that I am now getting the gallery to see the light of day. It is really pleasing to know that I had captured this stage in the brief life of these fragile flowers.
                 There are two pages of images, yet the descriptive text is a mere two paragraphs, but hopefully the images tell their own story, so I hope this assumption is acceptable and understood, especially as the wind has left few of these fragile flowers standing. The Daffodils with their stronger stems have survived somewhat better. The pictures tell their own story, needing no further description from me.

Friday, 12 March 2021

The Joy of Clouds

                This afternoon’s images are mainly of Clouds — their shapes never fail to hold my interest, and over the years have always added their touches to scenes that come alive and become even more memorable. Blue skies are always enhanced by the addition of Clouds’ power and often, gentle wisps; the random strokes of Nature’s paintbrushes.

               I have watched the soaring of Red Kites in their eddies, with only an occasional gentle flick of a wing to delight in the freedom of the skies, and am convinced they are simply doing this for the sheer joy it gives. There are specific patterns that Clouds form, and can be categorised, but each have their random variations that are pure art, an embellishment to Science, and Individuality. 

               I have no ability to create such beauty with a paintbrush, but feel it a privilege to use a camera to record what I saw, as Beauty. Throughout all the multitude of galleries of pictures I have prepared, there are numerous random additions of Clouds; they have no more purpose than for me to have relished their presence, and recorded this pleasure for others to share.

               I hope these images are able to give others the joy I feel when I come across them whilst out with my cameras.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

A Single Afternoon – Two Locations

Early on on this particular day, I had made a destination decision to visit a stretch of the River Great Ouse, north of Bedford but, as on many such occasions, just short of the planned point, I had somehow taken a wrong turn, and found myself in a familiar village, and surrendered to Serendipity! I had no desire to waste even more of my day trying to find my way elsewhere, as I felt perhaps that Destiny had intervened because I could certainly find satisfying images here.

I had parked my car briefly, opposite the splendid building with a central Clocktower, to take a couple of shots that would anchor the subsequent gallery of images from this village location. It was but a short distance to drive and to where I intended to take further shots — Mill Lane, where I took advantage of the the wide neck of the lane’s junction — with ample space for other vehicles to pass with ease, and put the EOS R6 which had the Sigma 150-600mm already attached onto my lightweight Giottos tripod, locked up and took a stroll down the lane. There were several clusters of various plants and flowers alongside the lane, so progress down the lane was at a very slow and leisurely pace.

I covered the distance to the swing gate that opened to a wider grassy swarm, but on this occasion, I saw no purpose in venturing further and having to encounter the mud within the gate. I have noted in the past that though the return trip is faster, there are still pictures to be found from the altered viewpoint. I encountered no other people until I reached the bottom of the road uphill, when I spoke to a lady by her private drive.

On the return trip, I was close to Milton Ernest, so I called into River Road, where I met up with a man who was hard at work digging the stream deeper to improve the flow into the river and thereby, the road from flooding before reaching the river. I felt his valiant efforts deserved recording within the gallery, as well as the geese calling out presumably in praise of his stalwart work.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

By Bromham Mill & River

  I head for a walk alongside the River Great Ouse, by the bridge on the Bromham side. Whereas the majority of the walkers keep to the path in the open, I choose the path close by the river, and often by the river bank itself. I come upon a lone man relaxing on a seat in the shade, who I learn is an Angler from our conversation, so I question him as to where there might be chances of spotting Kingfishers. It was from this spot I take a few shots of the Bridge and the rushing water beneath its several arches. Once again, I see signs of Spring in the blossom, and the tail end of Autumn in the Thistle heads by the bank.

I hear the sound of a high-revving engine on the nearby boating lake and catch sight of a high speed powerboat as it makes two end to end trips down the lake. My walk along the river was not very fruitful overall, but it did have variety! I retraced my steps encountering little of interest. I then crossed the bridge, frequently taking advantage of the triangular recesses, with occasional bursts of increased speed to seek their sanctuary.

Once at the other end of the bridge, I ventured into the lawn on the opposing side of the road, by the Mill, and crossing the lawn, came to the riverbank where a couple of swans were feeding from the shallows close by the reeds. Trying to get an uninterrupted view meant waiting till the pair moved past the intervening reeds. It was after that that two young mothers with their children approached, and one asked whether I knew one of her friends, but I had to reply negatively, but the one who had asked, happily took a photo of my business card such that later she might view some of the day’s images.

I continued shooting in that location for a while longer before moving back to the long bridge, the sky had become noticeably darker with the low angle of the sun brought wonderfully dramatic lighting the scenes of the river on the opposite side of the road to where my car was parked, and I duly took advantage of the river and fields and wood scenes that now presented themselves to my delight! I then duly packed my camera and tripod into the car and headed back home, with a fairly varied set of images from my afternoon out, and a happy heart.

Monday, 1 March 2021

Life on and by a Bedford lake

                I decided to visit a specific spot on the River Great Ouse where I park close by a Food store and Car Dealership that is a short distance from the river, with generally rich pickings for photography and my luck was in as, soon after walking a short distance along the path and with my camera set up on my lightweight tripod, A canoeist paddles by with an attractive sheet of water streaming from his paddle down to the surface. To be graced with such luck upon my arrival was a delight and not long after another landed equally nearby.

               The rest of that afternoon the subjects for my lens were aquatic birds, with some interesting interactions amongst some Mallard — a particular female with two male suitors, with what I felt was seemingly the chosen one in close, clearly more appreciated, but who felt that having a standby in reserve was a sensible precaution! The trio remained near for much of my time there, and it soon became clear that the more dominant male had sufficient confidence to remain unfazed by the opposition, but nevertheless with no malice or aggression shown to the rival. The status quo seemed to be acceptable for the present; though I suspect the time is not yet ripe!

               This afternoon, I had no need to venture very far for subjects of interest, but there were no unusual subjects amongst those I captured, so it was behaviours that claimed my attention, with the occasional challenge of birds on the wing to ensure my co-ordination was exercised. This camera certainly justified my decision for its purchase, as I was pleased by the improved burst speed, which had a marked improvement on the success rate I was able to achieve with my current lenses, which was particularly noticeable with my very light Tamron long telephoto zoom, which was much lighter than my Sigma.

               The significance of that is that the added weight of the Sigma makes a heavy and sturdy tripod absolutely essential. During the last few months taking a heavy tripod and a heavy tripod attracts opprobrium under the current situation and I have no intention of drawing untoward attention by something considered professional, and the combination of the lighter lens and new body gives impressive results with far less effort even under poor lighting conditions. The tripod is not my most sturdy, but it provides enough stability most of the time, and far better than hand holding it.

               I really enjoyed being outside, in sunshine and getting exercise and fresh air, which keeps some of my sanity.