Derwent valley reservoirs in the Peak District.

Cold and misty morning in the Peak District.

The Derwent valley reservoirs in the Peak District have become a favorite place to visit. Joined to Ladybower reservoir it makes a great walking area. The paths are well maintained and make fairly easy walking. There are much more difficult paths if you want to tackle them. You can find them here. 

The first image is one that I took en route to the reservoir. It was a grab shot which on a cold misty morning where there was a little color in the sky. A long lens was used to compress the image. It is more about shape and form than getting too much detail.  

In the winter I prefer easier routes and leave the more difficult routes for summer. There are numerous parking spots along the reservoirs but I chose the visitor center park, mainly so that I could get a coffee and snack after my walk.  

It was beautifully sunny day as I set to walk along the side of the upper reservoir. My B&W polarizing filter was fitted to take some of the glare from the water. This in turn allows you to get great reflections and deep rich colors. The second image is a general shot of the reservoir but does let you see what lovely day it was and the scenery that I was walking in. Don’t think you could ever regret walking in this area.

Derwent valley reservoir.

The walk was on a wide path, it is quite muddy in places so wear waterproof boots.  It is probably much better in summer. My route was about 8km there and back along the reservoir. You can do circular routes over the hills. Because of a poor winter of walking I need to build my endurance back up so its best to take it fairly easy to start.

When I am walking I will always look for something a little different. The image that I came across on this trip was of a tree. It was in the water and had a perfect reflection. There was very limited space to work in. It would have been great to shoot from a bit further back but you don’t always get to choose. I felt the image was too lovely to miss and decided that the shot would look great in sepia so just took it. It is my favorite shot of the day.

Go out and be creative my friends.

Tree art.

 

River Duddon in the Lake District.

river duddon, lake district
River Duddon.

I came across the river Duddon in the Lake District almost by accident. I had set off to photograph at one place and slightly lost my way. The drive led me over the Wrynose pass. It had spectacular scenery and wild countryside. 

Never be afraid just to follow your instinct, it can lead you to some amazing things in life.

Stopping often along the route to take photo’s allowed me to take in the beauty of this quiet corner of the Lake District. It is wild, it rugged and often breathtaking in its beauty.

As I headed over the pass I came across the river Duddon. The river has beautiful bridges, waterfalls gushing through rocks and bumbling along gently. It really is a quiet corner of the Lake District worth visiting.

There are places you can pull over to explore the river. As you move along the river you will find a constant changing view of the river. Do maker a few stops to explore.

Wordsworth himself wrote extensively about the river Duddon. He wrote a series of sonnets about the river. If it can inspire this man it should inspire other mortals.

Go out, explore and be inspired.

bridge, river duddon
Stone bridge over the River Duddon.

 

 

 

Bronte country near Haworth.

Bronte country near Haworth is one place that should inspire your creativity. Some of the worlds greatest literature was written and inspired by this area. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte certainly left their mark on the literary world. A map of the area is here

I wanted to make a good walk so parked up in Howarth and walked to the falls. There are places to park nearer if you don’t want to walk too far. There are plenty of tourist attractions in Howarth about the Bronte family. My main focus was to get to the waterfalls. 

The walk takes you through the village, along a path at the side of the

Bronte, waterfalls
Bronte country.

road. After about a mile you join a track. It’s a good walking track. You follow the path past the Lower Laithe reservoir, across beautiful moorland to  the falls. It is classed as an area on outstanding natural beauty. You can see why when you look at the views. 

When you arrive at South Dean Beck there is small bridge. This is known as the Bronte bridge. It was rebuilt a few years ago after being destroyed by flash floods. 

The fist image is of the small falls to the left as you approach the bridge. The water cascades down the beck. I used a long exposure on the shot to get that smooth feeling in the water. 

The falls themselves are not spectacular but in beautiful surroundings. The second shot is another long exposure shot. It gave me that smooth water with the sky reflected in the water. It does the image a great feeling of depth to the image.

Be inspired and pay this area a visit, you won’t be disappointed. 

Bronte, Haworth
South Dean Beck.

 

 

 

 

Get planning for the photo trips.

It is the time of year that I get planning for future photography trips. The first item on the agenda is to sort the clothing for the winter. When you are out in the landscape you need to be prepared. 

My walking boots are solid and waterproof so good for winter. Make sure your boots have enough room for 2 pairs of socks,  a thin layer next to skin. A thick pair of wool is the best for the thick outer  pair. I have purchased some heavy weight walking trousers. When you are stood about setting up camera equipment or waiting for the light, you can get very cold. When very cold a pair of thermal long johns will be needed as well. Stood about in freezing weather conditions is not about fashion. 

Layers are what you need up top so start with a thermal vest. A good long sleeved shirt. On top of this should be a fleece. For the outer layer is a good insulated coat. Though I have a good waterproof coat I am adding an insulated down jacket. You do need to retain heat as much as possible.

Hats and gloves are a necessity as well. Most of your body heat is lost through your head, keep it covered. You need to keep the hands warm to work the camera.  

Extra survival equipment is always kept in my photography rucksack which has been talked about previously. 

I am in the early stages of planning a major photography trip for next year. The trip will be  in April next year. My plan is to do what is called the Scotland 500, starting and finishing at Inverness. The plan is to buy a camper van before this trip as wild camping is possible in the area. The route could change a bit by April but I will fill you in on details as plans progress.  

Scxotland, map.
Scotland 500

 

Cauldron falls at West Burton.

The Cauldron Falls at West Burton in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire are very easy to reach. You drive into a small village and park by the green. Be sensible and thoughtful with your parking. North Yorkshire has an abundance of impressive waterfalls and you would need a good holiday here to get round them all.

The falls are part of the Walden Beck which flows down to the River Ure near Aysgarth. 

To get to the falls just walk down through the village along a short path and you reach the falls. 

West Burton Wensleydale
West Burton, Wensleydale.

You reach an old stone bridge first. If the water isn’t flowing too heavy and you are careful you can get down to water level to photograph. It is lovely setting with the waterfall stepped down. There is a narrow ledge to put the tripod on if you like long exposures. It is always my preference with water and worth the time it takes. It is an idyllic setting so there should be no rush to leave.

Just past the bridge is the Cauldron waterfall, it isn’t big but is quite impressive and picturesque.

As always with all waterfalls they are better after some rain. You can get round the back of the fall if the flow isn’t too heavy and you proceed with care. 

If you follow the road down next to Walden Beck there a plenty of spots to stop and photograph. 

For the technical among you I am looking at getting a external mic for my Nikon to add some short videos to the blog. I will add how I go with this in the future. From what I have read the internal mics are just not up to the job. As a result I am at the moment I am studying reviews and studying the technical details of what is required.

Cauldron falls, Wensleydale
Cauldron Falls, Wensleydale.

 

 

 

Foggy days and frosty mornings.

Autumn is the time of year for foggy days and frosty mornings. Because you can’t see far doesn’t mean you cannot come up with images. You just have to be experimental and see what you come up with.

Autumn is great time for color. The variation and depth in the color is frost, bramblesamazing. Add some frost to it and it can become quite magical. Here a simple shot of a fallen tree with some brambles growing round is lovely. The colors in the natural world are stunning. This type of shot can be taken anywhere close to where you live. Most of us have small wooded areas nearby.

When you are doing this type of shot you have to think in more abstract way. Taking parts and making them into an image. Keeping too much in the image can make it too confusing.

When photographing in woodland it can be dark. You can up the ISO to get a better exposure for hand holding the camera. I prefer to go for better quality so carry my monopod with me. I can usually get away with exposures up to 1/2 second with this.

On foggy days, the camera doesn’t see as well as your eyes. That doesn’t mean you cannot come up with great images. I took this shot on higher ground. The fog was laying close to the ground. You could see the tree tops sticking out of the fog.

When the sun rose it lit the clouds above the mist. Don’t be afraid to photograph in any sort of weather. Use your imagination. You can come up with something to be proud of.

Go outdoors create some wonderful images.

 

 

sunrise, fog

 

Walking at Keld in Swaledale.

On a lovely autumn day I decided to do some walking at Keld in Swaledale. When I say walking I mean it fits around the photography. I did some research and came up with a lovely walk taking in a few waterfalls. This area of Swaledale has many to choose from. The walk that I chose is here. I didn’t take in the last falls Kisdon. The photography takes a lot longer than the 10 mins they allow at each fall. I will visit this another day.

The first falls that I visited was Hoggarth’s leap. A lovely multi tiered waterfall.

keld swaledale
Hoggarth’s leap.

It has a large pool in front of it. It is a little limited on where you can photograph from. Definitely worth a visit though.  From here I walked down to Catrake falls. These falls are spectacular but not very good for photography. You cannot get to the bottom of them and the photographs from the top are too limited. Maybe there is a different route here and I will look into it for when I go back.

I will move onto the last part of my walk which is East Gill force. I have done this for reason. You will find out why very soon.  6476The image that I have chosen is where the beck joins the river Swale. It is a beautiful spot which is framed by trees.  I have added two walking poles to my kit and were much needed walking down the path to this fall. I have found the walking poles an invaluable part of my kit. After the accident I had  a while ago they will remain part of my kit.

Visiting Wain Wath Force was the middle section of the walk. The reason for leaving until the end was that I wanted to leave the image to make it the largest image. It is such  well known waterfall. The water flow was quite small. It is set in such spectacular scenery. It is a must if you are in this area of the country. I love the colors of the autumn trees. I have used a 30 second exposure at f22 on the shot to get the smooth look to the water.

Go out into the countryside and see a wonderful world. Go photograph it.

keld swaledale
Wain Wath Force.

 

Blue is the color.

Blue is the color that I want to talk about in this post. Your images should create an emotional feeling to yourself and the viewer.  Different colors have different emotional effects on us. Blue does have some negative emotions, cold, distant, sadness. It also gives some positive emotions, harmony, faithfulness, confidence. By many people blue is regarded as their favorite color which says so much about it as a color.

I am a big believer in having a feel for an image before raising the camera to the eye. See the image and reflect how it feels in your final image. My photoshop skills are basic but I will happily play with the sliders in Lightroom until I get the image to look and feel how I want. Whatever my end image, it must project my feelings of when I took the picture. However your image finishes do not be frightened to be different. No type of art will be universally liked and it should push peoples emotions.

I was walking round the marina at Riva del Gardo whilst on holiday at Lake Garda in Italy when I spotted this shot. It was a calm peaceful scene, which is how I felt at the time. The haze gave the light an overall blue tone and the scene just had that feeling of harmony. I have increased the blue in Lightroom but hopefully kept the original feeling of the image. The jetty and the island give a sense of scale. The angles of the mountains create harmony.

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In a local park.

You do not have to travel miles to get lovely landscape photographs. The image that I am showing here is from a local park about 3 miles from where I live, it is at Nostell Priory which is owned by the National Trust. It was shot one afternoon on a public holiday, I tend not to travel far on public holidays as the roads are very busy. I went to the park later in the afternoon when I knew the crowds would be dwindling. The light that day was very good so I headed to a part of the park that was fairly quiet. It really is worth getting to know your local area well as you learn when the light will be good and what will look good.

I wanted a gentle stroll so reduced the equipment to just camera and my standard 24 to 85 zoom. The sky was beautiful blue with lovely white clouds. As I walked down to the little pond which is really a drinking pond for cows, I could see that the scene was reflected beautifully in the pond. I usually shoot at 100 iso but but when out just to see what I can come up with the iso is set to 400. The camera was set to f22 for the depth of field, this gave me a shutter speed of 1/2ooth, fine for hand held shots. The tripod is used below 1/60th to be certain to get sharpness in the image.

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Out on the trail.

As I have moved more into landscape photography, I decided I needed to put a little more thought into how I was doing things. Often I am walking solo in very rough terrain, often the trails are strewn with rocks where tripping and breaking a leg or worse is very possible. Often no mobile signal is available so especially as I love photographing waterfalls which tend to be in very inhospitable places. I have decided to put a little more care into the way I was doing things.

The first thing that I have done is purchase a Manfrotto rucksack where the top part is for personal goods and the lower half is for the camera gear. A must is a good tripod carrying facility which this bag does well. I am concentrating on the top half here, first in goes my waterproof coat. I have also purchased a pack of mylar blankets and a safety bivvi bag to put in. In case of emergency these will be invaluable and very cheap to purchase. A few other bits like a torch, a whistle, water and some snacks to eat.

I cannot leave you without an image so as I am talking about safety I have put on a waterfall which made me think about that safety. It is Thomasson Foss at Beck hole in the North Yorkshire moors. The path to it is treacherous with rocks  surrounding the waterfall but the beauty is outstanding and worth the trip.

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