A winters stroll at Ladybower.

Reflections at Ladybower in the Peak district.

I decided to take winters stroll at Ladybower reservoir in the Peak district because we had a light covering of snow. You will find it here. It was a beautifully sunny day with a little snow laying on the ground. Now please be patient as here in England 25 mm of snow can bring our country to a standstill!!

There are a few places to park around Ladybower reservoir and you have plenty of options where to go. There are paths around the reservoir to walk that make walking easy. You walk through beautiful pine trees that always make me feel elated.

The countryside was looking stunning and the colors were vibrant. The reflections were just divine. This turned into one of those days that dreams are made of. Rather than relying on luck for those dream days plan to have them. Look at the weather forecast. Look at the direction where the sun will come from to get the type of shots that you want. Do not underestimate the amount of planning that goes into making your images successful.   

Vibrant colors do make me feel happy. To get the colors that I got here, I picked a sunny day where I knew that I would get great reflections. A graduated neutral density filter was used to balance the exposure between the land and sky. 

An exposure of 1/100 th sec at f22 and iso 400 were my camera settings. Because I like plenty of depth of field in my landscapes I use F22 a lot. The shutter speed of 1/100th gives me a sharp hand held image. Much slower than this I will use a monopod or tripod.

Rather than trying to see too much of this reservoir in one go plan a few trips. It is a large reservoir and has the Derwent and Howden reservoirs linked to it.

 

Ladybower, Peak district.

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.

 

 

 

 

Sunrise over Lake Garda.

My new post which is sunrise over Lake Garda in the Italian lakes is really aimed at insomniacs everywhere. I have to admit that I tend to take more sunrise shots than sunsets. The reason for this is I like to be in bed early but up and about early so I have lots of sunrise shots and only take sunsets in autumn and winter when the it gets dark early. There are probably many out there who work the other way round but the advice is the same. With this shot I was waiting for the sun to appear over the mountains and I knew it would glisten on the water.

As with most landscape shots I used f22 for the depth of field. Really what my advice in shots like this is to take notice of the light which you should always do as a photographer. Take notice of what is reflected on the water, there will be more than your eyes can take in, you can pick this up later in post production. Experiment and see how you like the image. Remember that you should be creating an image rather than just recording so make the image something that you like.  Just be wary that the sun isn’t too bright and you damage your eyes looking through the viewfinder. Use your live view facility on your camera the sun is too bright.  As a photographer or artist then train your eyes to see the light.

If you would like a trip to Lake Garda then I can highly recommend it. Not only are there some beautiful places on the lake but the Dolomites, Venice and Verona are only a day trip away.

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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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Reflections of Fountains abbey.

I am a great lover of reflections, they seem to give an image extra life, though if you know what to look for they are easy to find. Bright sunny days are where they stand out best. The shot that I have put on here is about 100 yards from the abbey so you don’t have to be too close to the thing that you want a reflection of. Sometimes it is a matter of searching out where you will find a good reflection. The problem that I had with this shot was that it was a breezy day creating a ripple on the water. The ripple was spoiling the refection that I wanted so I put a 10 stop neutral density filter on the lens. When using something like this it is better to put the camera in manual, set everything up and work out the exposure then put the filter on the lens. The filter in this case gave me an exposure of 30 seconds at f22, I needed a small aperture to give a lot of depth of field. The effect of the long exposure on the image was to smooth out the water creating a better reflection. Often with filters like this you will get a slight color cast, depends on the image whether you adjust in post processing or keep it in. Also with reflections I often give extra saturation to my images in lightroom to make them stand out more.

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Tree art.

I woke very early on a lovely morning with the sun rising. I set off along a local for a quiet walk. The path meandered alongside a golf course. The light was beautiful casting long soft shadows. As I walked past a small lake, there was dead rotting tree that had fallen into the lake. The shape of  the tree intrigued me, I do find the shapes that trees create quite fascinating. The reflections of the tree  in the water made the shape even more fascinating to me. I photographed the scene but knew that with some extra processing in lightroom I would be able to make the scene even more interesting.

In lightroom adjustments were made to add contrast and take some of the detail out of the image. The focus of the image had to on the tree and reflection. The image appeals to me very much and fits in with my view of what art should be. You are inspired by something and interpret in your own way. The great ability for anyone involved in visual art is to be able to see the way light works and what you can do with it. Understanding light is far more important to you than what camera make you use.

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