Boulders of Burbage Brook

Landscape Photography

Padley Gorge

Wireless Remote

I picked up my 17-40mm from H Lehmann in Stoke, and they replaced the seal. It turned out I was not the only photographer from Sheffield that morning, some one got there before me at 9am. I was now back up and running,  cleaned sensor from Monday and a serviced lens by Saturday.

Boulders of Burbage Brook is a long exposure using the big stopper, down in Padley Gorge along Burbage Brook. I like the way the boulders have become defined in this frame, the slowed motion of the water has become secondary. I was testing out my new Pholsy Intervalometer, a remote wireless piece of kit, and it is great. My older Neewer cable one is a bit worn out around the attachment to the control, which has worried me a little.

The Pholsy is brilliant. The receiver has a cold shoe to which you attach it to the hot shoe and cable that directly to the camera. Then you have your remote control and the freedom to have a sandwich and some swigs of coffee from the flask, while waiting a few minutes for the exposure to take place. You can actually turn it off on both the receiver and remote. You keep the receiver attached to the camera which means no more fiddling around with the jack plug when setting up after moving from one spot to another, and you can stand well away from the camera before you press play, which means a reduced risk of camera shake from disturbing the ground around the tripod etc.

A big thank you to my brother for the voucher that helped towards this new purchase.

Too many things to carry

I have contemplated a remote intervalometer for some time. I ponder about making things easier whilst out on a shoot. I always feel like I have too much stuff. I try to carry little as possible, however when you try to minimise post processing, or wanting to be creative – you end  up with stuff, just in case………..

I have my filters in a designated pouch bag, my camera and lens (and maybe one other) in a slingshot edge, which just about holds the filter pouch, the filter holder, my rocket blower, some lens cloths and there is very little space for the packed lunch and flask. I usually take the filter pouch out and strap it over my shoulder.

The tripod, I attach it to the sling shot only until I get to my first spot do I remove it from the bag, however the tripod has its own strap and it gets slung over my shoulder too. Then there is the lost walking pole (very useful when traversing rocky slopes along a river), which I left when I wandered through Bole Hill Woods near Grindleford, eying up the silver birch.

Silver Birch

These lovely slender trees rising well above 20ft, that belay a hidden quarry that the stone from here was used to build the Derwent dams. I was walking up a particular steep climb in these woods, in which I had a chat with a local man; he told me that the incline (almost vertical) was the pulley track that fed the trains taking the stone to build the dams. I was in need of a breather, I had base layers, tops and leggings, lined waterproof trousers, a waterproof jacket, woolly hat and scarf, and it was a mild spring like afternoon, after a rather soggy start to the morning and I had wandered by the river for a while. The sun came out and I thought ‘let’s get to the woods and then up to Lawrence field for sunset and my favourite tree’. The hawthorn tree is a bit of a fave of mine and that will covered in another post.


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Hope Sunset

Landscape Photography

Hope Sunset

My last post of the weekend. The scene after the sunset whilst on Mam Tor, looking back to Hope and the cement works. It was the dusky pink and purple hues that took my attention from the slippery slopes. Just by the gate next to the road I took my last shots of the day,

Hope Sunset

Edale Lenticular

Landscape Photography

Edale Skyline Derbyshire

Lenticular cloud formation above the Edale Skyline. These clouds form at around 6500 to 18000 feet

Edale Skyline

Landscape Photography

Derbyshire Peak District

Moving towards sunset the clouds are reflecting the warm sunlight, and the ridge is casting its shadow over Barber Booth and reaching out to Kinder Scout


The Great Ridge in Winter

Landscape Photography

The Great Ridge Edale

With the 50mm STM lens, I took this image on the north face of Mam Tor. I wanted to capture the ‘meringue’ peaks that sit on the lower slopes of the Great Ridge. The clouds were looking a little ominous, with some adjustments in Lightroom I got the desired effect. The sun had passed its solar noon, and begun its journey to the horizon.

This is another hand-held photograph, me without a tripod is rare. I used to be fearful of a tripod, now its like an appendage. 1/320 seconds at f11 using auto focus. I find auto focus juices the battery out. The battery did go down quicker than normal due to the temperature and wind chill. It was a good job that I brought another two with me. I had meant to keep them in pocket on my fleece to keep them warmer, to give them extra longevity.

This one below I have called Approaching Sunset, taken on Mam Tor looking west. I wanted to capture the contours of the land the setting sun was creating on the landscape. It has a much warmer feel to the landscape, even though the temperature had begun to drop quite rapidly at this point. I have kept the sun out of shot, however it was quite strong, I still managed to blow the highlights, they were very easily rectified in Lightroom

View out to Sparrowpit

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Behind the Clouds

Landscape Photography

Derbyshire Landscapes

On Monday of this week I had taken my camera to Stoke on Trent for a sensor clean, and dropped off my 17-40mm lens for a service. I discovered some fluff or something sitting somewhere in the frame, looking like finger just poking in the from the right. The lens is due to be collected tomorrow, earlier than expected. Hopefully I can combine another Peak District shoot on my way home.

As I took the Monday off work, I wanted to take advantage and brought with me my 50mm STM. The sensor clean took a couple of hours so perfect to do something in the afternoon. I headed up to Mam Tor in Edale on my way back in the early afternoon. It had snowed over the weekend. My first real chance to get some snow. It was bitterly cold. Mam Tor is very windy place especially on the north side, it may have risen above 0 degrees Celsius but it felt like -10. Plus there was plenty of people about, realising it was half term and everybody and their dogs were out and about too.

I am not used to my 50mm lens for doing landscapes, the crop sensor on my 550d makes it more like an 85mm lens, I found framing and composition a bit of a challenge. Still I persisted and here is a hand-held view of the setting sun behind a cloud, the beginnings of crepuscular sunset that did not fully materialise. Looking out just beyond The Great Ridge towards Sparrowpit.

I will be posting up some more pictures from Mam Tor over the next few days

Sunderland Bridge Reflections

Landscape Photography

Sunderland Bridge

Something taken on boxing day last year


Over Owler Tor

Landscape Photography

Over Owler Tor

I have had a play around in Lightroom, trying a couple of grad techniques that I read about on The Creative Photographer. I subscribe to his blog as he uses Lightroom and it is his main topic of the blog. I use Lightroom 90% of the time and occasionally dip into CS6 for tweaking things I cannot do in Lightroom.

Over Owler Tor

The graduated filter, I usually drop the exposure when using this tool, and he was using the highlights set at -100. This is a good technique, as sometimes the exposure can look ‘over cooked’. This may depend on the look you want to achieve for a black and white finish. I aim for an Ansell Adams style. I sometimes use the graduated filter upside down to bring out the foreground, using the exposure, his suggestion is to use the clarity slider and boy does that work. I set it to around 25, and there was no need to use the exposure slider.

Another useful tip I picked up from the blog is that you can shift and double-click on your tone panel for blacks whites etc.(on the writing part) and this automatically averages for that tone.

Mother Cap

Just for a splash of colour, Mother Cap in its landscape.

Mother Cap

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A Splash of Peppers

Studio Work

Pepper SplashA Splash of Peppers

After I rigged up a small kiddies fish tank filled to just over half way with cold water, with two studio lights diffused from either side of the tank, and a Speedlite on the right side of the tank aimed below the water line, I persuaded Reuben, my partner, to be my assistant. Taking him away from the man cave cellar where he makes lovely little things with wood, to help me for an hour or so. For which I am eternally grateful. He was a superb assistant, apart from he did not make me a cup of coffee when I said a wee coffee break….

We managed to take a few shots, not too many thankfully.

A black back drop and black material over the table. The back drop was about 4 to 5 feet from the tank’s front face (the face that is facing the camera). I used my 550d (set on f11 at ISO100) at about 4 – 5ft from the tank on a tripod; 100mm macro lens, cable release, and a transmitter for the Speedlite. I protected the Speedlite with a food bag from the splashing water.

Reuben assisted me by placing a slice of red pepper at the water line (this colour was easiest to focus on); I focused in manual just above the water line on the pepper. This particular shot I set the camera exposure to 1/500th of a second with the flash on high-speed sync ETTL, with -2/3 for exposure compensation. Reuben then dropped the peppers from about a foot above the tank.

We kept changing the water when it became a little cloudy, and used paper towels to dry off the inside above the water line and outside of the tank. A spirit level was useful and some black card to make sure we had a level surface. Old houses have wonky floors..

After a couple of trial and errors here are a couple more that were successful


A Splash of Peppers 2

Pepper Splash in WaterA Pepper Splash

I have sourced my inspiration from around the internet and wanted to give it a go myself, to broaden my skill base. I decided to slice the peppers up as they would not be as heavy as whole pepper. I discovered I need a bigger tank for such large objects, like the quote from Jaws, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”. I used a green, red and yellow pepper for the contrast in colours.

The post processing, was mainly done in Camera Raw, and CS6, with some finishing touches in Ligthroom. I had to use the brush tool in CS6 to darken the excessive splashes, and I carried out some cloning to remove the more brightly annoying splashes. I also added a high pass filter at around 2.6pixels, plus then used the hue/saturation to de-saturated before overlaying the layer. This helps with excessive halo when carrying out high pass sharpening. Note this is not done as a smart object. I find that you cannot carry out the de-saturation if you convert to a smart object for high pass filtering.

This was my first attempt at this fun activity. I am pleased with the outcome. Thank you for stopping by my blog today.




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