Snow is falling

A trip into the Peak District this week showed just how cold it’s been.  No real snow where I live, but a mere few miles, and a touch of elevation, and the temperature has dropped like a stone.

First Snows
First Snows

It’s been good to get out though, after so much work on this month – and though this post is brief…. it’s made me remember why I love photography so much.  It’s the getting out and doing it.  I could never be an ‘armchair photographer’, one of those who say, “I’d love to get a shot like that” – well the answer to that is, you can….. you just have to get off your backside, and get out and shoot it….  Enjoy the weather………

Higger Tor

Peak District Magic

I live on the borders of the Peak District – and have done for many years – but it seems that only in the last 3 or 4 of those years, have I actually started to look around more.  Why is it that you don’t look on your own doorstep so much, but feel you have to travel to another County, or even another Country to get those spectacular images.

The Peak District has been photographed to death, to the point where I reckon there are tripod holes in the ‘best’ places.  Having said that, it’s not been photographed by ME, and so I’ve been making every effort to get out there and shoot, and this at stupid times of day, but when the light is at its best.

So – one morning towards the end of July – we arose from bed at 2.45 in the morning – having seen what looked like a reasonable weather forecast – it had been cool overnight, but dry, and the morning was set fair….   mist was intermittent as we headed off – and by the time we arrived at Calver, and Curbar village, the fog was really thick – we started the climb to Curbar Edge, and climbed out of the cloud inversion – what we saw was incredible…

I have never seen such a sight in the Peaks for a long time – Sometimes you have to forget the images, and just enjoy the view… Once we turned around though, we saw what was happening on Froggat Edge


The sun was just starting to come up – sunrise scheduled for 5.10am, with a hint of pink in the sky, it was just amazing.

The last shot for this blog is one I took of my better half, with the dog, shooting into the sun along the back of the edge…. a truly amazing morning.


I’m still working on the new blog layout – not had much time this month, but I’ll battle on… keep watching.

Mother Cap

Just above Millstone Edge, on Hathersage Moor, in the Peak District lies Mother Cap.  It’s a place I visited in the winter with a couple of photography friends, and I had an image in mind ever since.  Today, I woke up early, and with an unmitigated amount of enthusiasm.  It was 2.45am….

My other half, stuffy with sleep, actually agreed to come out with me, but when I said “well, lets go then”, I though he was going to just turn over and ignore me.  However, by 3am, we were up and about, with a confused dog, who wondered why breakfast was coming in the middle of the night – by 3.20 we were on the road, and by 4am we arrived at the Surprise View Car Park (gosh, I wonder why we were the only car there……?)  The hike up to Mother Cap was easy, and although it wasn’t cold, there was a stiff breeze.  Dawn was timed for 4.50 – but it was actually 5.05 before the light got over the hills, and onto the rocks.

Mother Cap at Dawn
Millstones on the Edge
Silhouette before Dawn
Poppy on the Rocks

It was so good to be out and about so early – not another soul in sight – and although we know the day is setting out to be another hot one – we had the coolest time, the greatest light, and a second breakfast when we got home.

Time for a nap me-thinks…..

More Winter Landscape

It’s been a fabulous week weatherwise….. I’ve been able to get out and about with the camera whilst on a weeks holiday.  The snow has been perfect, and though we’re predicted lots more this weekend, so far there has been just enough to make things interesting.

I Had to go out towards New Mills in the Peaks, and so whilst I was there, carried on up to Mam Tor (The Shivering Mountain) the tops were beautiful, with enough snow for effect, but not too much to make things difficult.  We walked up the cycle track at the back of the Tor, and came back down the steps to the car park.  Right up on the trig point were some hang glider folk, waiting for the wind to drop before they set up to fly.

For me it was hard enough getting the camera stuff to the top of the Tor, never mind all the gear that this chap had with him.  He said he was off back down the hill to wait for the wind to lessen.  This means – from my point of view, that he’d have to lug it all back up again later if he wanted the chance to get airborne; and with the temperatures hovering around -5 it must have been much colder up there….. I wished him good luck and went for hot chocolate – much more civilised.

Winter Landscapes

It’s been a while since my last proper blog post, mostly due to workload, and then as usual home life took over in the gaps in between.  My trusty 24-105 lens failed, but thanks to the Canon CPS service, the repair was done, and the lens returned to me within 6 days, which included a weekend.

So yesterday – and just before a major shoot, for one of my clients, I decided to head out and give it a road test.  We headed out to the Peak District, and one of my favourite locations – Higger Tor, which is not far from Stanage Edge.  The rugged landscape is beautiful, and with a bit of winter sunshine in late afternoon it was superb.

The grouse were constantly calling, and the wind was fierce, which resulted in some images being a little blurred – I wanted to keep the ISO low, but it was impossible to shoot more than a handful of shots at lower shutter speeds.  However, the long shadows, and golden glow more than made up for it.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !

I made what I think will be my last foray to the Peak District this year – though if it does snow again, I might just venture back if I can.

With a whole week to myself, I’m looking forward to sharing some great photography with some great photo friends.  On Sunday – we ventured forth to Curbar Edge, which is in the heart of the Peak District – we arrived just before sunrise, and just before the snow flurries blew in.

Having sheltered from the snow under rocky crags, we waited for the wind to blow the cloud cover over, and were rewarded for our patience with a bit of blue sky, and tiny shafts of sunshine.  We could have shot all day, the light changed so fast, and so we stayed on the tops till nearly 11am, which was about 3 hours from sunrise, and almost 4 from when we first arrived.

Although Curbar Edge is easy to get to, and fairly easy to walk along, the high winds, snow (and some fog) can make it treacherous – so if you do venture up there – make sure you are well equipped with waterproofs, a good OS map, and a compass.  It’s easy to climb up to places, but there are 364 different ways down.  Some of them sheer drops.

We were rewarded back at the car park with hot Earl Grey Tea. And although we were wet through with the snow and very cold, it was a worthwhile treck.

More images will be uploaded to my Personal gallery/landscapes in the next day or two.

In the meantime, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year…. take care.