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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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.

Visit to Oakley & River

                My visit to Oakley was frustratingly short on images due to a long cloud that obscured the much-needed sunshine I had needed to capture the scenes before me. On this trip I was using my Canon R6 with my earlier lightweight Sigma 60-600mm on my lightest tripod.

               The river was high still, but the walk in the fields alongside was reasonably easy going, and on my arrival I anticipated I would have uninterrupted warm sunshine. I should have taken more notice of one particular cloud, as it was wide and just high enough in the gentle breeze to rob me of that sunlight for many minutes. I therefore left the camera inr of  position for that shot in the hopefully short wait for the cloud’s passing, and walked around seeking further viewpoints for when its return allowed me to resume Normal Service!

               During this forced interlude, the only other people sharing this open space were two young women seated chatting at the small table and seats. Eventually the cloud finally cleared the sun, and allowed its rays to capture some shots of the church through the leafless screen of trees. I altered my views to reveal more of the church and to capture the river with the tall weeping Willow, and also the cluster of more distant fine weather clouds beyond the river.

               As I was beginning to gather my gear for my return to the car, I saw a man very obviously heading directly towards me, as he came close enough for conversation he greeted me with: “I believe we have met before when you have been out with your camera…” He continued that he was not absolutely sure until he was closer, and he recalled the location, and I was able to confirm that I remembered the spot, and complimented his recall of the occasion, which was likely around a decade earlier! We continued in conversation and as I had only a single card on me, I suggested he take a shot on his phone so that later he could view the few shots from the day’s visit. We parted once at the road, for him to complete his walk across the fields and for me to return to the car and head for home.

               My afternoon was once again to succumb to Serendipity, for I realised I was close enough to visit a friend at Milton Ernest, so I headed that way; it was there whilst enjoying a cup of tea with a lady whose house is at the end of a road that leads to the River Great Ouse, that she showed me a bottle she had converted to a lamp which rounds off the accompanying gallery of the day’s images.