Well the weather here today is boring, thick overcast clouds and no wind to blow them on. With not a hint of light around I’m sat here bored wanting to go out with the camera but alas I decided I’d make use of my time and finally catch up with website updates I’ve either not had time for or been putting off.
Since my last post I’ve done a little bit of work in the White Peak and also been abroad to Greece, the latter taking up two weeks of my time…not that it was a bad thing!
For this summer, at least until the heather season starts I’m doing my best to stick to the White Peak. It often gets ignored by a lot of photographers preferring the higher dark peak but for me it’s around the same distance to both and I believe the White Peak has it’s charm and a lot of areas remind me of my childhood. So if the weather is better there that’s where I aim to go.
Here are the images I have taken in the last few weeks:
Sutton Scarsdale Hall – Oil rape seed fields in rural Derbyshire are a common sight in April and May. This shot was taken at Sutton Scarsdale Hall, an abandoned hall from the same architect that built the infamous Chatsworth House.
This next image is of Middleton Top engine house. On the High Peak trail it’s a distinguished icon of the trail with it’s large shapely chimney rising above everything else. On a very rare clear night we had at the start of May after a sunset shoot I decided this would be the perfect place for star trails. Not only could I park the car next to the camera to keep an eye on it but the uniqueness of the building along with the fact I think industrial buildings make good star trail pics made me choose the location. This shot was roughly 250 images taken over a period of 2 hours. In the last frame I used a head torch to ‘paint’ the building to give a little detail.
Next are two images from Dovedale. Like I was saying people seem to stray away from the White Peak photographically and that includes from what is probably the busiest spot in the Peak District. Whether or not photographers avoid Dovedale for that reason I don’t know but it’s a place with charm and great opportunity. In summer after tea time the crowds go home and you can enjoy the place to yourself. The first image is from in the valley itself looking to Thorpe Cloud as a calm River Dove reflects it. The second image is taken a little later from the top of Thorpe Cloud looking over to Bunster Hill.
My next shot is from Blake Mere AKA Mermaids Pool which is a little pool between Buxton and Leek. After two weeks away in Greece (more on that later) I was absolutely knackered, knowing I wouldn’t be able to climb a big hill I opted for somewhere I could literally get out of the car and take photos. That’s not my usual style but you can’t help but admit there is many locations like this you can get out of the car and get such a cracking view. With views over to Shutlingsloe , The Roaches, Ramshaw Rocks, Hen Cloud, The Cheshire Plain, Staffordshire and the white peak behind it doesn’t get much better. On a clear day you can see the Wreckin and the Berwyns. However, days like this image are rare. I first visited here in November 2010 when I had the inversion day and it was a perfect day to visit, however I did manage to catch the whole view on camera with an image I was proud of so have since returned twice when the winds have been hallowing and you could literally lean down the hill and still stay stood up. Third time lucky then (since my first visit) and while exhausted I couldn’t help but be excited about the scene presented before me.
The next image is of Thors Cave in the Manifold Valley. I hadn’t been to this location before (tut) and made a concious effort to go. I arrived in plenty of time to have an explore and went inside the cave itself. While its hard to get a sense of scale from the image below the exterior of the cage is huge and it certainly towers, I was surprised. No matter how early I arrived I spent a long time finding a suitable place to shoot from, I got back in the car and kept going up and down the road to find a suitable location. I parked back up at the bottom and walked back up the single track road and managed to get this shot just before the light disappeared with sheep providing great foreground interest.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier in this post I had the pleasure of going to Greece for two weeks at the end of May. However, it was not a photography holiday – the camera just went with me with the intention of getting a few shots. I went to Rhodes – more specifically the party destination of Faliraki. I really didn’t get much chance to get out with the camera…I blame it on the all inclusive dinner being at 7 and sunset at 8…honest! Anyway, here are two shots from the last two nights.
This first shot was taken from the man made pier/harbour in Faliraki. The sun set behind Faliraki and with a big crane in the way it wasn’t the ideal shot. This shot was taken looking into the Aegean sea across the far side of the town.
This next shot was taken on the last night, a couple I had met on holiday recommended the walk up the near by hill. I gladly plodded up it and the views were fantastic, allowing you to see a lot of mountains of the island as well giving you a sense of how big the town really is.