Landscape photography can sometimes be very challenging and disheartening, you may not believe it but there are plenty of images you don’t get to see and many return visits to a location to get an image I am happy with. In fact, it’s an art form sometimes to discard images when you’ve been to a location say three times and got a half decent sunset…you have to recognise it’s still not what you set out to get. I’ve been to one location since September a total of 6 times and still not got what I want. But, on the other hand there are some nights that are just perfect like my evening on Parkhouse Hill which happened to be a sunset that I am sure I will remember for many years to come, a sunset I will use as a reference point to how good other outings are.
So yes, I am on about the sunset the at the very end of November that saw even none photographers exploding with phone shots filling up the newsfeed on Facebook!
I met up with another photographer, Harsharn Gill to have a mosey. Being my favourite part of the Peak District, I had been here many times before and I just love the profiles of Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill. I already have many shots here and didn’t think I’d need any more for the porfolio, but it wouldn’t hurt taking some with the new Sony A7R. Plus it was a good chance to catch up, show Harsh the new camera and test some of his lenses on it. On arrival it was pure crisp air with blue skies and as I hadn’t shot Chrome Hill at sunset I decided it would be good to walk up there. We set up from Hollinsclough and made our way up to the infamous oak tree at the style to grab some shots there. While still early, we fired some shots off and then noticed behind us a high layer of constant cloud. If we stayed on Chrome Hill we were certain we would be shooting into clear skies, something in landscape photography which can be surprisingly frustrating. We made the decision to switch hills and head up Parkhouse Hill instead, we were already within golden hour and knew it’d be a sharp climb up. With Harsharn setting the pace, we managed to get from Chrome Hill to Parkhouse Hill summit within 15 minutes which is highly impressive.
This turned out to be a very good choice to make, the cloud built up even more leaving just a small gap on the horizon to let strong side lighting peep through. I kept saying at the time, the skies were ripe to light up once the sun had gone down. As ever though, you shoot while you can and even at the start I was ecstatic with the quality of light. The following images tell more of a story about the sunset unfolding as Parkhouse Hill is a small summit with limited compsoitions and photo opportunities, I was just glad I was there to shoot it. Being on one of your two favourite hills looking at your other favourite hill getting light like this doesn’t get much better.
Click on any of the images to view them larger.
These first two are when the light was still quite bright but still very rich:
The next one is actually a panoramic shot, but turned out being more of a standard ratio once I had stitched them together:
The next one was taken from the summit, the light was still good but had started fading on Chrome Hill:
It is very rare I will shoot into the sun, but with conditions like this it had to be done:
The next shot is the less seen view, looking from Parkhouse Hill down the Dove Valley to High Wheeldon with some nice soft warm light:
Next is an abstract shot of the great sky that was unfolding, more of a record shot for my own personal archive if anything:
And here is the shot that is so rare, an amazing sky over an amazing landscapes. Shot’s like this in the Peak are tough with hardly any water to reflect the colours and light meaning the landscape can look a little dark but I think this one works. It’s a panoramic shot consisting of about 7 images:
Thanks for reading. I doubt it’s a very long time before I see an evening like this again.