July- pt 1

Derbyshire peaks

July and I was itching to get out with a camera, I love Derbyshire, it's pretty much on my doorstep but infuriatingly-BIG. I had been reminded of the UFO-like overflow structures on Ladybower reservoir so thought it might be a good idea to stop there and see what I could capture and then carry on to Stanage Edge to shoot the storm I knew was coming later that afternoon and use the abandoned millstones as a point of interest and connection. Believe me, leaning over the reservoir wall with a heavy camera and lens clipped onto a tripod at 45 degrees looking into a black water void far below is not for the feint-hearted but I thrive in these situations. A 120-second exposure smooths the choppy waters and creates strange patterns in the background scenery, I have a feeling I have done what I came here for. The scenery around this part of Derbyshire is fantastic.. I am always on the lookout for old buildings, abandoned houses and farms, for me they have an indelible atmosphere of sadness.
Further on and the crags, cliffs and the odd strange black pyramid greet you on either side of the valley and after a steep drive up you find yourself at Stanage edge. I was surprised at how accessible it was and the fact that, if you know where to look, you can see the millstones left on the side of the hill. From here it was impossible not to notice a dark menacing storm rolling in from the west, just enough time to capture that creeping mass of cloud for a minute with the shutter open and then the imminent deluge hit us like a colossal wet blanket, sheltering under the lip of a rock only made things worse and running back a quarter of a mile to the car in just a tee-shirt and shorts in driving rain with all your gear is not something I like to do everyday thanks very much, though I have to say it's an exhilarating experience... especially as the reward was the excellent chippy in Bradwell ( which was the most unlikely of places to advertise a "lovely leather evening" at the local community centre... each to their own! ). On the way back we were cheeky enough to drive into Hope cement works and managed to walk around for 15 minutes without being stopped by anyone, our cheek paid off and an invite to the control room ( akin to Homer Simpson's Springfield Plant ) was on the cards. We even got the chance to photograph the works for a few minutes and even had an invite for a future tour of the huge lime kilns... one for the future, noted in the journal.
Every now and then people do stupid things just to get that shot, or in fact just because a location is closed and "closed" when you have driven all this way to photograph ( in this case ) Peverill Castle means "you might want to risk death and climb the steep valley wall at the back of the castle whilst being totally ill-equipped for climbing"... 2 thirds of the way up it suddenly dawned on me that photography is NOT worth risking your future for, or indeed your life.. but I bet there are thousands of other photographers out there who do ridiculous things everyday in the quest for whatever it is that floats their boats...
Finally, in true "whacky races" style, we chased the setting sun from Chapel-En-Le-Frith to Charlesworth and got two shots before it sunk under the horizon... it's good to get out again... who ever said landscape photography is easy...?

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