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, 26 September 2021

Brogborough – Activity in the Sun

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

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Brogborough Life Mix

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

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Late Afternoon Local Walk

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

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Garden Buddliea Gallery

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

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Harold-Odell-BirdsNBerries

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

Saturday, 11 September 2021

A Walk Along the River Great Ouse in Bedford

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

Thursday, 9 September 2021

An Explanation for Last Several Days

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

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Hiatus Gallery!

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