29/05/2012

Rockit

Just a very brief entry regarding my current location. I'm temporarily based right on the edge of the Peak District in a place called Glossop, in the county of Derbyshire. Whenever I visit an area for more than a week I like to have a few excursions so that I can get my bearings.
In the past I have had some great experiences climbing mountains and peaks all over the U.K. Now residing at the foot of the Peak district's highest point, Kinder Scout, I was looking forward to adding this summit to my collection.





My first ascent began at Bowden Bridge car park in Hayfield and almost replicated the exact route taken by the members of the 'Mass Trespass' in 1932. During the protest working class ramblers from Sheffield, Manchester and the surrounding areas, defied private landowners and climbed the peak. Thanks to this group, of determined revolutionaries, the area was subsequently designated a national park, making it possible for future generations to explore.




The route to the top takes you past the impressive Hayfield reservoir, which looks stunning at first light. As the reservoir narrows, so does the pathway and the ascent becomes much steeper as you approach an area called 'William Clough'.  It's a pretty tough climb, especially when you have a dead weight on your back. I decided I would get the DSLR out of hibernation for this excursion. My rucksack contained the camera body, accompanying lenses, filters and the three pronged, sapper of energy that is my Gitzo tripod - of all the gear I have this is the most difficult to transport when climbing. Eventually the terrain levels out just before the signpost of 'Mill Hill', turn right here for the final steep ascent to 'Kinder Plateau'. This is the area I was most looking forward to visiting as I wanted to photograph some of the huge rock formations which are said to have influenced many artists, including the sculptor Henry Moore.




The further you walk across the plateau the more impressive the stonework. Huge boulders, carved by the elements over centuries, resemble distorted caricatures that appear to melt into the landscape.
Since my first visit I have returned to this spot several times, arriving from a variety of different routes. All of my excursions have been very early in the day (just after sunrise) and I've been fortunate enough to enjoy good lighting conditions. The mono images shown here were shot using a Canon EOS 1D mark III with a 17mm-40mm wide angle zoom fitted and a Hoya circular polarising filter attached. In post production I edited using Adobe CS Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex Pro software. I specifically went for high contrast images with deep, dark skies as the area is known as 'The Dark Peak'.




If you would like to visit this area and learn how to take better photographs, I am now offering a landscape photography workshop at this location. More details regarding course content can be found at f22workshop.com. For availability and bookings please email me or give me a call on 07429 906922