Join me on the 20th June to explore the limestone dales, valleys and hills of the South White Peak. June can be a tough time for any landscape photographer with long daylight hours and harsh light but the South Peak looks its best at this time of year with foliage on the trees and everything full of colour.
The South White Peak is a small area stretching from Ashbourne, following the A515 across to Hartington. You have the fantastic Dove Dale just outside of Ashbourne which is one of the biggest tourist honey-pots in the Peak District but seldom visited by the photographer. Further down, you have Wolfscote Dale with the fantastic Wolfscote Hill being the highlight, offering one of the only limestone pavements in the Peak District, even if a miniature one.
Another fantastic spot is the mighty Thor’s Cave in the Manifold Valley. The cave is huge and is both awesome on the inside and viewed from afar. Finally, we have Roystone Rocks and Minninglow. Roystone Rocks is a weird and wonderful place, with dark limestone fissured rocks growing out of the ground and lone trees often grown in between them.
We will meet around 14:00 which will give us plenty of time for the day. Initially we may stick to the bottom of the dales, taking in some of the more intimate details and also practising use of filters, composition and other camera techniques. Another potential option is to head a little further north to Lathkill Dale and visit the tufa weir to practice long exposure waterfall photography, providing that I feel that the waterfall will be in flow.
We will break for some food around 17:00 and if there’s time, we will look at an introduction to post-processing in Lightroom, using some of my own images from the day, We will then potentially head to Thor’s Cave where we will go inside the cave to capture a view to the world. In the early evening, the sun is usually low enough and in the right place to be seen outside of the aperture.
For sunset, we may choose to shoot Thor’s Cave from afar from either one of the overlooks or from Ecton Hill.
What if the weather is poor? Don’t worry, unless it’s torrential all day, I have plenty of locations that suit a variety of weather and with my experience, you will still get to the best locations possible and you will still get some great images, for example waterfalls are brilliant for those overcast days. As we are in the UK, we see more grey than we do yellow and I am well adapted to getting us to the best spots if we need to change itinerary. This may even include chasing the light, with my knowledge of how the weather works in certain areas and using forecasts, webcams and other tools on the day to help us make those decisions, which I will share with you. We will spend a lot of time working on technique and composition and most of the day is designed to work up until that hopeful sunset so you have the skills to get the best you can at the end of the day. So even if we don’t get the weather or even that sunset you will have learnt a load of new skills, even if you are a more advanced photographer which you can take away with you and use on your next photographic outing.
For this day expect walking of up to 30 minutes each way for each location with rests in between in the car/cafe. Some locations may be shorter and easier. This workshop should be fine for most people and we will take a steady pace.
Upon booking you will be provided with a questionnaire to fill out which is a requirement of attending. I will also provide a recommended kit list and what to bring.
However, the plans are not set in stone and we may look to visit other areas nearby following the weather and the light. We will always try to stick to the limestone dales though.
Sunset is around 22:00, so the workshop will end shortly after returning to our cars.
Throughout the day we will look at techniques such as focusing, use of filters vs exposure blending, composition, working with the light and more.
I am more than happy to discuss other more advanced techniques on 1-2-1 basis as well as to the group, depending on what is beneficial.
The day is tailored around you as much as possible and I strive to give each of you on the course for that day the best day possible. At the end of the day, you will have hopefully learnt new techniques and taken away some imagery you will be proud of. I am a friendly and relaxed tutor and I welcome you to keep in touch with me after the course to ask me any questions you may have looked over on the day. I have also created a Facebook client area where you can keep in touch, share your photos and keep in touch with other attendees from the day.
There will be a maximum group size of 4 meaning there will be plenty of 1-2-1 time. I will be on hand throughout the day for any questions and my focus will be on ensuring you have the best day possible.
Below is an explanation of the difficulty for the workshop. It will also largely be dictated by your own perception and previous experience in this kind of landscape. The rating is a rough guide and in context to the type of workshop e.g. a hill-walking workshop moderate is different to a standard day workshop moderate. I have tried to explain more about the day in the description above also.
This workshop is listed as easy/moderate. Most locations will be approx. 15 to 30 minutes from the car with returns to the car between locations. However you may be covering some steep ground over mixed-terrain. Some footpaths may be paved, however please also expect natural trails of a stable surface where you may encounter natural and unavoidable features such as rocks, tree roots, mud etc. It is unlikely we will be off the beaten track and these paths will be well used and popular. Once we arrive at our photography location we may be off the main path and as such extra care must be taken with any potential hazards. I will advise if I can see any hazards and if you are unsure, please ask. On these workshops, while the locations are easy on their own, we will inevitably walk a fair distance over the course of the day and you can expect to walk anywhere between 3 and 6 miles in a day.