Cavedale to Back Tor


Back Tor and Loose Hill - Original unprocessed image

Location: The trail can be inspected and downloaded to GPS from http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?&id=336870 alternatively go to the EveryTrail site at the bottom of this post.

Camera Work: Nikon D80,
RAW(12 bit), ISO 100, Exposure: F6.3 at 1/60sec. Focal Length 65mm with
UV Filter.

Technique: The aim was to shoot Back Tor, but I was lucky to have a glorious day (to start with) and I was able to get some unplanned shots of the Hang Gliders off Mam Tor.



However the delay on Mam Tor was just long enough for the cloud and gloomy weather
to close in by the time I got to Back Tor.


Back Tor and Loose Hill - Post Capture processed image


Post Capture: Processing in Nikon Capture NX2:


  • Camera Setting Adjustments: High Sharpening and Enhanced Saturation

  • Quick Fix Adjustments: a very slight tweak to Curves to improve mid tones

  • Other adjustments: minor crop, an increase to contrast and reduced brightness to a selection overlay over the top half of the frame, i.e. over Back Tor and Loose Hill (this served to increase the separation of background from foreground, giving an improved perspective).

Inspiration: From this point Loose Hill seemed to be miles away and paled into insignificance against the stark face of Back Tor. I thought that if I could achieve the depth of field I would be able to give that same feeling of distance by creating three layers, i.e.


  • foreground layer with sharp detail of the drystone wall and the eroded path

  • mid layer with the dark towering face of my main subject - Back Tor

  • background layer of Loose hill fading into the distance.

I did think of waiting until the walker disappeared beneath the next rise but decided instead to include him to provide a better sense of scale to Back Tor and added perspective.

Style: Organised Landscape


You can see the photos I took, their precise location and view the route, here on the map below (just move your mouse over the blue waypoints - click for a larger view) or view on GoogleEarth by following the link below.

Cavedale to Back Tor at EveryTrail


Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Gradbach to Three Shire Heads

One of the less crowded moments at the Three Shires Lido


Location: The trail can be inspected and downloaded to GPS from http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=336867 alternatively go to the EveryTrail site at the bottom of this post.


Technique: My intention on this walk was to capture some really good shots at Three Shires Head. Unfortunately it was a very hot day (31C) and when I got to the location I was dissapointed, but not surprised to see that the pools had been transformed into an open air swimming pool and picnic spot. Although I had lunch, waited and waited it was clear that the place was never going to clear of people long enough for me to even snatch a handful of snapshots, so.......

I was left with a couple of snapshots of Shuttlingsloe (that once again!!! could have done with a UV/Polarising filter - to get rid of some of the Haze).

The drystone wall lends some compositional interest to the shot but the reason I took it was because I thought the sheep added something to the shot. Scale? Yes; but also you can see that they were a bit skittish and not used to being disturbed - I think they give the scene a sense of disturbed solitude.



Path to Shutlingsloe from Gradbach - Original RAW image (no processing)


Camera Work: Nikon D80, RAW(12bit), ISO 200, Exposure: 1/160sec. F/13 Aperture Priority, Focal Length 90mm.


Path to Shutlingsloe from Gradbach - After post capture processing


Post Capture: In Nikon Capture NX2 -

  • applied Vivid Picture Control (with a slight reduction in brightness & saturation);
  • adjusted curves to increase midtones and brighten highlights;
  • added black & white control points
  • added several colour control point to bring out the sky detail, and
  • finally adjusted the D Lighting

Note - Picture Control and colour control points would not have been required had I used a polarising filter.


Style: Organised Landscape


You can see the photos I took, their precise location and view the route, here on the map below
(just move your mouse over the blue waypoints - click for a larger view)
or view on GoogleEarth by following the link below:
Gradbach to 3 Shire Heads at EveryTrail


Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Chrome & Parkhouse Hill Trail


Location: The trail can be inspected and downloaded to GPS from http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=317143 alternatively go to the EveryTrail site at the bottom of this post.


Style: Just a bunch of snapshots - no post processing - taken on a very pleasant walk in the Peak district. I'd love to do the walk again on a sunny summer evening.

You can see the photos I took, their precise location and view the route, here on the map below (just move your mouse over the blue waypoints - click for a larger view) or view on GoogleEarth by following the link below.

Chrome & Parkhouse Hills at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging


Top Tip: even when there is only a slight breeze it gets VERY windy on the exposed edge of Chrome Hill - be careful. It's easy to get blown off your feet.

Curbar & Froggatt Edge

Don't jump Andrew!

Route: Day 3 of our long weekend and we decided to give up on the Lake District - the weather was dire, but much better over almost all of the rest of the country. So we decided to head back to Andrew's home in Sheffield and give the Peak District a try before I left and went back to Norwich.

Andrew decided to be gentle and take me on an easy trail where he often does Mountain search & rescue training - along Curbar & Froggatt Edge's. The trail can be inspected and downloaded to GPS from
http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?&id=308937 alternatively go to the EveryTrail site at the bottom of this post.

The gritstone escarpments of Curbar & Froggatt lie on the eastern rim of the Derwent Valley, and give one of the easiest but entertaining and picturesque edge walks in the Peak District. I'll no doubt return to the area with Barbara with the aim of also covering the nearby Baslow, Birchen and Gardom edges.

Andrew taking a photo of me, taking a photo of him
(to the side of us both was a queue of people all waiting to do the same)

Technique: This place is crowded - more like a Sheffield park on a Sunday afternoon so it was quite difficult to keep unwanted figures out of shot. Nonetheless there were some interesting shots to be had. Just like the Lakes the light was difficult and I had to play with the white balance on all my shots to overcome the blue cast - I swear its the last time I make the mistake of leaving my UV & polarising filters behind.

The colours were great - take a look at the 1st shot "Dont jump Andrew" the shades of green in the fields and the mosaic of colours in the woods below. Even in the photo below the new buds on the trees cast a purple heather shading in the mid plane of the photo. Hmmm... would a UV filter have reduced the impact of the purple buds?

Vision: Then of course there was the ever present disturbing sense of vertigo all along the edges. This was the emotion I wanted to convey in all the photos.


A tight crop of Curbar Edge




I think Andrew wishes he had his climbing gear




As if to rub it in there were climbers on Froggatt Edge




You can see precisely where the photos were taken and view the route on GoogleEarth by following the link below, or just move your mouse over the blue waypoints.
Curbar & Froggatt Edge's at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Alternatively the trail can be extended: see http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=332063 or

Curbar, Froggatt and White Edges at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Lingmoor Fell & Blea Tarn


Bleatarn House and Side Pike

Route: It's the second day of our long weekend in the Lake District and the cloud is still covering the high fells. So, Andrew agreed there was no point trying to do the Bowfell route again - so we headed for the relatively clear Lingmoor Fell. (To investigate the route and/or download it to GPS follow the link to http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?&id=298588 )


Despite the relatively clear conditions, compared with yesterdays Bowfell walk, every photo had the problem of low cloud in the background and; as we climbed higher the mist increased.


The problem is that the cloud and mist are composed of large droplets of water that diffuses and scatters the light, making exposure and white balance tricky. Each photo had a blue cast and the cloud had a subtle pink glow (see pre processed photo above) - nothing like the real thing!


The UV content in the air made the distant cloud blue - a UV filter would possibly have helped but I didn't have one to hand as I always make the mistake of thinking UV = bright sunny conditions.


However, although the mist & cloud hides detail, colour and crispness it can produce some wonderfully evocative scenes. In the mountains it can help create a sense of menace.





Vision: As all mountain walkers know that the cloud/mist can fall suddenly & quickly lead to problems, e.g. cold, disorientation, etc. The vision here was to replicate to some degree that feeling of menace.



Post Processing (in Nikon Capture NX2): The big problem was how to get rid of that blue cast. I could have made a Hue adjustment or altered the colour balance but both failed to adequately improve colour contrast.





In the end I decided to adjust the grey point in the White Balance setting, using a marquee sample in the cloud area.


To help find the appropriate area I first adjusted the exposure so that the sky area was perfectly exposed (not forgetting to reset the exposure before applying the marquee).



OK the Vision fails completely on this one






You can see precisely where the photos were taken and view the route on GoogleEarth by following the link below, or just move your mouse over the blue waypoints.



Lingmoor Fell & Blea Tarn at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging





The Band to Three Tarns (at base of Bowfell)

The Langdale Pikes are almost all below the cloud line
which is more than can be said for The Band

Route: Andrew and I had planned a long weekend camping at the National Trust Langdale Campsite. As our first walk/photoshoot we planned to climb Bowfell from the Band and the Three Tarns, then return via Ore Gap and Rossett Ghyll - the full route is available for inspection and/or download to GPS at: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?&id=299446 - as you can see from the picture above, (taken on route to the start of our climb at Stool End Farm) the weather was poor with the cloud line at 400m. So there wasn't much likelihood of getting any good photo's - unless we managed to climb above the cloud!

In the end we were beaten (OK Andrew - I was beaten), by poor visibility and several bad falls on route. Andrew cooked up a Lancashire Hot Pot at the Three Tarns in a futile attempt to revive me, but we decided (reluctantly) that it was too dangerous to continue in the snow and poor visibility (yes there was still snow - even Andrew managed to find himself waist high in snow on the last bit of the climb).

Below is the only decent picture to come out of the walk.

Just a short while later as the trail veered to the Oxendale side of The Band and I clambered up a bank to take a last look of the Langdale Pikes, the wind caught my rucksack and caught me off balance, so that I fell backwards and over onto my camera. Although shaken I wasn't hurt - but more important my trusty Nikon, which had taken the full impact of my fall was still in one piece. I took the photo below just to prove to myself all was well - Nikon sure know how to build their cameras!!!! I also have to give credit to Leki as my walking poles, which had bridged the track and also taken my full weight across their length, showed no sign of damage.

This was however the last photo I took on the trail as soon after this we walked above the cloud line and visibility deteriorated so much that we abandoned the walk at the Three tarns and turned back the way we came - next time!

P.S. here is an old photo taken from the Three Tarns back in the late 1970's

Bowfell Links

You can see precisely where the photos were taken and view the actual route walked on GoogleEarth by following the link below, or just move your mouse over the blue waypoints.


The Band & Three Tarns at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

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