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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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.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Private Garden Life


I set off in sunshine, with the distinct possibility my hope for uninterrupted sunshine might well be doomed, however, the Gods appeared to have been benevolent on this occasion, as the dark clouds were slow-moving, and seemed to pass by without dropping their ominous load.

In order to keep my distance from the avian visitors to this garden, I opted for my trusty long zoom, Sigma 60-600mm lens on the EOS R6, as I could operate easily to get both close-up detail, and more general views, with minimal moving around, so as to avoid disturbing the myriad birds which visit the garden.

The variety of colours on show was a delight, and I was lucky enough to get a series of shots of one brave bird, who came to bathe in the water, and be generous in moving to different locations to keep my attention! I also ventured to the riverside nearby, but of the three ducks originally close to the bank two beat a hasty and vigorous flapping retreat, the other simply headed off determinedly, keeping its head away from me, but no energy exerted to leave the water!

I will let the images captured tell their own story of an ultimately very relaxing afternoon close by the river.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Brogborough – Fitful Wind


The fewer visits of Windsurfers to the lake has allowed the native avian community to reclaim the lawn in front of the Clubhouse as their latrine. To ensure the humans fully understand their claim they have put down a deposit making our navigation a tad more wary!

From the start I put up my heavy tripod, the Benbo, to give me a firm platform and a level horizon to the images I planned to capture. One sailor I had not seen in a while was Richard McKeating. Sam had alerted me to the diversity of craft the Sailors would be using on this day, and I suspect he also navigated the Three Musketeers Group into position for me to capture ‘The Gang’ — which definitely required skill in the unpredictable wind conditions; so I hope he was pleased that I took note! In return, I hope he appreciated my also capturing his square-on wing shot! — complete with level board! It also gives the impression of a winking girl! Perhaps he’ll consider an A4 print for his Man Cave?!

This visit was not the longest of my recent visits to the lake, but at least it has taken less time to reach the participants than my last recording of the lake’s activity. I commend it to the participants.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Brogborough and Wind


  Brogborough Lake greeted the windsurfers with wind and variable sunshine, and the variations in response, skill levels and what caught the eye of my camera, meant I was kept on my toes all the time. Initially I planned to use my monopod to be able to react speedily, but I soon changed to using my heaviest and sturdiest of tripods. I was helped in this decision by the gusty wind, and also by my desire to capture sequences where some were using their wingsails for airborne excursions beyond the lake’s water surface. As a direct result of this activity, I have created some galleries so the sequence of such events is useful for later inspection, since some such occasions did end unexpectedly.

Another aspect of the enforced closure of the lake caused by Covid restrictions, was that the lakeside lawn was shared by several young families of Canada Geese and Greylag Geese, and also their subsequent, less welcome lack of healthy toilet considerations. Several of these families were there with their new youngsters with their parents in close attendance; naturally I captured some of this activity in addition to the human attempts at flight from some of the windsurfers.

The variety therefore of activities has meant a delay in putting up a record of this particular lake action, but I hope it proves to be worth revisiting once I have it up on the blog. The delay is longer than usual due to the sheer number of images to sort, and the current sluggishness of my computer. I trust my recording of the activity extends the enjoyment of all those participating.

I have extracted the series of shots of a particular jump sequence from Sam Barnes, because he started from the water alongside another Kitesurfer and was in the air with this fellow watching events unfolding behind him! There is a second sequence I have separated out, which due to the angle from which the jump was viewed is more anonymous, but equally useful presumably to show position and height achieved.

Jump Sequence 1 SamBarnesAirborneSequence          16

Jump Sequence 2 BrogLake-DeceptiveAngleJumpSequence 16

Jump Sequence 3 LongerJumpSequence                 16

Jump Sequence 4 Small Jump Sequence                 12

  I apologise for the delay, but I hope everyone who was out on the lake that afternoon enjoys reliving those moments.

Monday, 10 May 2021

Sunny Visit to Priory Park Bedford


The weather was warm and bright, and it had been a fair time since I had been to this place, but I was really looking forward to what it was going to offer on this occasion. What really pleased and surprised me was the variety of subjects. I had been concerned that it might be difficult to keep my distance from the expected numbers of people I would encounter as the weather was so warm and bright, but everything went well, and finding subjects for the camera was no problem at all.

Although the camera kit I brought with me gave me various opportunities, I only put the 60-600mm Sigma zoom on the Canon EOS R6, and attached it to the monopod with a small ball joint head, so I could have a stable support with minimal weight. As I have found from excursions in the recent past, this is kit I can carry all day long with excellent scope for almost every aspect of images I am likely to encounter. Although I did have another lens in my rucksack should I encounter subjects that needed real closeups, but everything that came my way, or I found when deep in the woods never needed any change.

One surprise for me were the zealous swans, as on more than a single occasion I would see one head aggressively towards another at high speed and with much slapping of wings on the water, causing the victim to head away at high speed. Now, I have no idea of the sex of the participants, and whether it was predatory or sexual, but my guess is that it could be related to both. I did my best to cover the encounters which seemed to occur a few times in quick succession, but my observations never settled on a conclusion.

There were times when shots I had hoped to capture failed, one in particular was definitely down to my not spotting a bird a few feet in front of me; it was very close, and only broke cover when I had become a foot away! Another failure was a series of shots where the bird I was panning was flying against the rippled water surface, and the entire sequence held the rippled water in focus, not the bird in flight, surprisingly I had not noticed this whilst shooting, a failure which really annoyed me!

I noticed that I spent longer in the park than the majority, so perhaps afternoon tea drew the majority to their homes. On my return trip back to the car, I closed the monopod leg, considering the afternoon’s shooting was over, when I came across a couple of energetic magpies, only to put the camera back to work for one last time.

I found the afternoon rewarding, and well worth the extra miles to exercise my legs and brain, and I hope that those who take the time to look at the images enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed the challenge of taking them.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Brief Recent Brogborough Lake Visit

        Time is a Commodity that is very precious, and I do my best to fill the hours in the most productive and satisfying manner, which under the present situation, my most valued activity is the taking of pictures. The hours spent keep me occupied mentally and physically and I am very fortunate in that this area abounds with places that provide me with activities that are challenging, such as the windsurfers on Brogborough Lake, and sailing and powerboat aficionados, on Stewartby Lake and, slightly further afield, the River Great Ouse in Bedford which has rowers, canoeists, insect- and bird-life, as well as nearby parks and woodland. All have provided me with subjects for my cameras and lenses, whilst involving both exercise, relaxation, and mental stimulation, not to mention, albeit at healthy distances; interaction with fellow humans, some of whom have shared photographic interests.
        This gallery indicates a small but varied set of images as evidence of my observations and interest over a couple of days, which were vital for my peace of mind as there have been several situations causing me considerable stress, some of which remain unresolved; and unrelated.
        It is reassuring to note that presently it would appear I must be providing others with something of similar interest because over eleven hundred visitors seemingly have spent some time, either looking at the galleries or reading the accompanying narrative. My only regret is that so few readers leave comments (I am not looking for flattery, but reader’s suggestions of subject matter, or locations for further visits that others have enjoyed and succeeded in capturing similar subjects or activities).
        I miss human contact, and variety, so every one of my ventures armed with a camera are of great personal satisfaction, and stress-relieving, but Variety is the Spice of Life, and very much something I seek. Earlier this year, I bought a new Canon body, and it was a difficult decision, but proved to be one of merit; it proved to allow me to spend more time using my Sigma 60-600mm on a monopod without sacrificing quality, because the stability of the monopod alone when using the EOSR 6 meant I could walk with it all day without becoming tired! This means I can even part with some of my other lenses because this Sigma is so impressive.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Maulden Afternoon Visit – Somewhat Random Images

Some days do not turn out as expected, but in the present situation I find myself, it seemed not unreasonable to go with the flow when I found it difficult to find the spot where the map seemed to indicate a lake. The young lady who was engaged in dropping leaflets through letter boxes, seemed the ideal person to ask for help, as I was assuming her local knowledge would provide the answer. She very kindly took a look on her phone, whose screen was far larger than mine, and gave me some directions, for which I thanked her, and headed in that direction.

Sadly, I must have slipped up along the way, for I found no indication of the proposed destination, however, I did spot something that caught my eye — I often see trees that have been the site of an abundance of balls of mistletoe, but never so many as seven different sizes on a single tree. I pulled up and parked on a widened area of verge, and attached my EOS R6 to the 24—70mm lens. I was assisted for part of the time by sunshine bringing some detail to the spherical growth of this parasite.

As a direct result of this distraction, I eventually came to the village of Maulden, where I parked near the green close by where a fellow photographer I used to know once lived. I made a quick call to mention where I happened to be, and surprisingly, he greeted me by name, so he must have recognised my number! We had quite a chat, even though it has to be at least seven years since we last spoke! After the call, I continued shooting occasionally walking to different spots to capture both human and bird activity and various plants I came across that appealed to my eye. Since I had got a shot of a girl walking her horse, and was within hailing distance, I asked whether she minded my photographing her, to which she had no complaint. Although I took a shot of a light aircraft with the short focal length lens, it was a testament to how good both the camera and lens performs as its number and propeller blade are visible. The pigeon on the distant roof ridge were on the 60-600mm, which would not have fared as well on the shorter zoom lens.

Altogether, an enjoyable excursion with pleasing results, and both lenses justifying my choice to have to hand. Obviously, the longer lens had it been attached at the time would have made a considerable difference to the light aircraft shot, but that it resolved the propeller blade was still a testament to both camera and lens.


For the observant among you, I apologise for not correcting the text to the blog gallery text which repeats itself at the end (dittographic error!) but sadly may I just apologise, as altering it at present will give grief to my son in law, who is kindly helping me out… Put it down to falling dominoes in 'anno domini' ! Try not reading the titles, and look at the pictures instead. Note to teacher:  I must try harder, Sir!