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.

 

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.

Plumpton rocks in Yorkshire.

Plumpton rocks in Yorkshire is a beautiful 30 acre parkland. The opening times are limited so it is best to check the web site here if you plan to visit. Plumpton rocks can be found between Wetherby and Harrogate.

It has had a lot of restoration work done in recent years to restore it to its former glories. It does come with great credentials, Queen Mary described it as Heaven on earth and Turner painted it. A recent version of Swallows and Amazons was filmed there. 

Choose from a variety paths to walk. The focus of walking is round the lake. 6400 The lake is man made with a dam at one end. You will walk through woodland and between the impressive grit stone rocks. The rocks around the lake are beautiful and have wonderful names such as Lovers leap and Lions den. Finding your way round the paths seems like walking through a maze. 

Some of the Yew trees growing are just beautiful and seem to grow through any gap in the rocks.

Rather than having too much of a plan, it is best just to go and explore. 

The lake isn’t big but is a beautiful setting and the rocks look magnificent.  Go there for a lovely day out and explore.

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Clumber park in Nottighamshire.

I had a lovely afternoon at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. It’s a place which I am familiar having visited many times over the years. It is run by the national trust so does cost to get in unless like me you are a member. I do visit many national trust places over a year so it is worth joining. I would encourage anyone to join. 

This particular afternoon was sunny with light clouds and plenty of blue

clumber park
Clumber Park, Notthinghamshire

sky. I decided to walk round the lake. It is an easy walk of about 3 miles and the paths are good and well laid out. The scenery changes a lot due to a mixture of mature woodland and open parkland.  The beautiful bridge here is one that you walk over on the route. With the light as beautiful as it was it gave a wonderful mirror image of the bridge in the lake. 

There is plenty of wildlife to photograph as you walk round the lake. As a result I did stop a couple of times to put the long lens on and photograph a few birds. 

My main aim was to return to the visitor centre before sunset. I wanted to capture the sun setting on the lake. The best laid plans of mice and men!! When I got back I took a few shots as the sun was getting low on the lake. I quickly realized that I was too low down, the sun was setting behind the trees.

I quickly jumped into the car and drove up to the main entrance. It is up on high ground looking down an avenue of trees, not quite the lake I would have liked but a spectacular fiery sky.

Go out and create some great images.  

sunset, clumber park
Sunset at Clumber park.

 

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.

 

Walking in Padley gorge in the Peak district.

Back for another visit to do some walking in Padley gorge in the Peak district. Just a place I love to visit. Any time of year it is just beautiful. The times that I love best is when the sun is shining through. When the sun shines it gives a beautiful dappled light effect.

It is quite a dark place as there are a lot of trees blocking out the sun. When the sun comes out it just turns magical. As it is quite dark I was carrying my tripod with me. It is needed if you want high quality images.

When I park at the road side I usually walk down the left bank looking downstream. On the way back I cross over a bridge and walk back up the right bank of the stream. It just gives a different of the terrain.

As I walked down Padley gorge I spotted this scene. I set up the tripod and fitted the camera. I try always to use 100 iso for the best quality images.

The technical details for those interested are the camera was set to f22 with a shutter speed of 1.5 seconds. The focus was on the rocks on the nearest part of the falls. There is good focus through the image.

Dappled sunlight gives a great depth to an image. It gives an image a 3 dimensional effect. The effects and colors on the water vary greatly. The flow of the stream through the image leads your eye through the image.

What matters most with any image is that it holds your interest. This has that magical feel of the light that I saw on the day.

There are many beautiful parts of the Peak district. I believe That Padley gorge is one of the best. Go visit and take some beautiful images.

padley gorge, peak district

 

Janets Foss, Malham, Yorkshire.

One lovely day I took a drive to photograph Janets Foss, Malham, Yorkshire. Malham is a rather lovely village in the Yorkshire dales. You can park either in the village or drive up towards Goredale scar and park at the side of the road. Wherever you choose to park, there is a path to follow close to Goredale beck. From either way you will reach Janets Foss.

Foss is used in the UK to mean force but is a Nordic word meaning waterfall. Guess this comes from the times we were overrun by the Vikings.

It is a steady walk but I would recommend a good pair of walking boots. When you reach the waterfall there are limited places to view from. You get more viewpoints if take the footwear off and go paddling. Ok if you don’t mind very cold water.  On a busy day it can be difficult to get a people free photograph. Choose a quiet time if possible. As always with waterfalls it is best to go after rain so you have a good flow of water. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. It is not too far a walk  to Goredale scar from here.

The image itself I would have preferred to be slightly different but will go back at a quieter time to get it just as I want. I prefer a longer exposure than I could get this day. The light was difficult as it was quite contrasty. There was dappled sunlight coming through the trees. I did a little work on it Lightroom to get detail in the shadows. The exposure was 1.5 seconds at f22. Obviously the camera was on the travel tripod and weighted by my camera bag.

Go out and photograph, there is beautiful world out there.

 

janets foss, Malham, Yorkshire

Gadget technology.

Being of the older generation I tend not to keep up with the latest gadget technology. My photographs are processed on my desktop pc. When I travel I have tended to use to use a laptop but as this was coming to the end of its life I started looking for a new one. Someone mentioned to me that one of the latest tablets may do what I needed. Obviously when travelling this would make life easier. The main reason for it was just to process some RAW files whilst away and put them onto social media. I would leave the bulk of work for when I got home.

After looking at the possibilities I purchased the latest ipad pro. Obviously it could connect via the cameras wi-fi. Using the Nikon WMU app I could view the images I had on the camera and download a couple to process. I have downloaded the Lightroom app to work on the images. It also has the added bonus that when out photographing I can check the images as they are taken. This is such a bonus to me as much of my work is based around long exposures and I can check them easily and quickly. A much better way to work than looking at the back of the camera. The tablet goes with me everywhere now and I wouldn’t be without it.

Enough of the technical side its images that matter. I recently visited one of my favorite spots for  photography, Padley gorge in the Peak district in Derbyshire. A beautiful afternoon with dappled sunlight coming through the trees. A lovely walk through the trees and I settled on a couple of spots to photograph. One where I could do close ups of the water flowing round the rocks but the one chosen for here is from a bit further back. It shows more of the flow of the stream flowing through the rocks with an amzing range of colors.

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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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