peak district photography workshop
A whole host of new and exciting wildlife and landscape photography workshops and tours can now be found on my website here.
I’ll be replicating some that were very popular last year including the Bluebell Photography Walk, Heathland Sunrise and Kent’s Wildlfowers as well as amending the Lady Orchid workshop to make it a half-day instead of a full day which, as the Walks have proved, are both easier on the commitment (just 3 hours instead of 6) and pocket!
Tours new for this year include Northern Gold – Lapland in Autumn, Bison of Bialowieza- Poland in Winter, Prague and South Bohemia in Autumn and Dark Peak Landscapes – Peak District in Autumn. Below is a brief description of each and the link to take you straight to that page. The Lapland tour already has 4 of the 6 places filled the Bison tour is proving particularly popular with the first of two dates in 2013 already fully booked! I’ll be leading a tour there in just three weeks and cannot wait to go back there! Thermals at the ready
Northern Gold – Lapland in Autumn
I have visited Finland 6 times now and in autumn twice and I have to say, this is my favourite time of the year here. The colours are just spectacular with the yellow of birch and aspen and vibrant red of northern bilberry. And, if this wasn’t enough to whet your appetite how does photographing the northern lights sound?! 2012 is The Year of the Northern Lights and should we have clear skies, there is a 50/50 chance of witnessing them and, of course, photographing them!
Just 2 places remaining!
To find out more about this tour, click here.
Bison of Bialowieza – Poland in Winter
Those of you that follow my blog may, or may not recall, the piece I wrote about my trip some years ago to photograph Europe’s largest mammal, the Bison or Wisent, in the primeval forests of Bialowieza. Well, in partnership with acclaimed Polish nature photographer Marek Kosinski, I shall be leading a 6 day photography tour to this amazing place with Marek as our guide. There is simply no-one better to guide us. Marek, who lives in Bialowieza itself, has been published worldwide, and received many honours.
To find out more about this tour, click here.
Dark Peak Landscapes – Peak District in Autumn
Over the last few years the Peak District has become my favourite location for landscape photography in the UK. Indeed, as a result of those images I took on my first visit, I had an article published in Outdoor Photography magazine and subsequently held 5 workshops to this region, such has been its impact.
The reason I am doing this workshop during the week and not a weekend is that some of the places we will be visiting are very popular. By holding it mid-week, we will have The Peaks to ourselves!
3 places remaining
To find out more about this tour, click here.
I look forward to welcoming some of you along on either the workshops or tours and if you prefer to talk to me in person regarding these, do feel free to drop me a line on 07939 117570.
Once again I found myself in the Peak District ready to give a landscape photography workshop. This was my fifth in the last 18 months concentrating primarily on 3 Edges. Stanage, Curbar and Baslow. Although, on previous occasions, I had explored much of the Dark Peak (North) area, there was still a number of places I wanted to visit, not least as I am planning on holding a two day workshop in the autumn of 2012.
I arrived at the campsite late in the afternoon, 2 days before the workshop. It was raining. That incessant, drizzle where you can see no end in sight. I got out of my car and surveyed the site looking for a suitable place to pitch my tent. The site was on a slope so clearly the lower fields were out of the question since these would become progressively waterlogged and, of course, somewhere flat! Most importantly of all was not to be too near to other tents but there was no fear of this as on the whole site there could have been only around half a dozen. I found where I wanted to pitch, got back inside the car and again, waited. It wasn’t going to stop so, with a sigh, I got on with it. There is no fun putting up a tent in the rain especially when you have one where the inner has to go up first! Who, in their right minds, designs a tent where you put up the inside first?!
I don’t camp often, perhaps only a few times a year (mainly in the early spring and autumn, when campsite’s are most quiet and the countryside is at its most photogenic) and, although it may seem like a cold, inconvenient way to spend 6 days, I am always glad I did. You not only save yourself a fair bit of money but you can eat as and when you please and not endure finding somewhere to eat after you’ve had a long day shooting. Instead, I can return to my tent, prepare dinner and put on the radio or read a book. The best part, if you have chosen your campsite well, is that you can just lay there and listen to nature. I always choose those sites with the most basic of amenities and far from shops etc. This invariably stops families with children, barking dogs and teenagers and attracts hardened hill walkers with a respect for their fellow campers. I may sound like an old misery but really, who wants to spend the night in the tent in earshot of chattering families or hoots of laughter at 2 in the morning! Instead, I had a pair of vocal tawnies and pheasant in the adjacent woodland.
On my first morning, I headed for Curbar Edge in the hope of shooting a misty sunrise. I arrived at dawn and spotted a stag and hind just 50m away. It was still too dark to take pictures but wonderful to see, all the same. The sun did appear, at intervals, and the mist/fog cleared and thickened for the next hour or so.
I scouted a couple of other locations and that evening walked up to Higger Tor. It was a relatively clear evening and shot until dusk. I also bumped into a couple of other photographers and chatted about the kind of things photographers talk about, cameras and the weather!
The following day’s workshop went very well with, unfortunately, periods of more cloud than sun! As we met, we were greeted with the sight of a lenticular cloud overhead. It was a great day and the group were really good fun.
The morning after, I returned to Higger Tor in the hope of a decent sunrise but the fog put pay to any landscape work. Places such as this, in this kind of weather, take on an otherworldly character and as I wandered amongst the heather and boulders, I took this image of a carrion crow.
The fog didn’t look as though it was going to budge so waterfall and woodland photography it was going to be! I drove to the north east of the Dark Peak region where, earlier in the year, I stumbled upon an incredibly photogenic area where, it seemed, not too many others were aware of and this is where I stayed for the next 3 hours. I was looking for something different other than the usual waterfall shots so I turned my attention to this pool which had “captured” fallen leaves that slowly swirled within. It was barely visible to the eye but with the aid of an ND filter and resulting shutter speed of 8 seconds, the motion was exaggerated. With images such as this, it really is a matter of trial and error to get the desired effect. How time flies when you are immersed in photography as I spent close to an hour and half shooting these three compositions.
I rarely change the WB, preferring to do this in the post-processing stage but, on this occasion, I tweaked the setting in cloudy to accurately replicate the colour of this dark, peat-stained water.
Wanting to reach another site some distance away, in time for sunset, I slowly walked back to the car and noticed the play of light on the rocks and water produced by the late afternoon sunlight on a distant hill side.
I then drove to Curbar edge and enjoyed an hour of glorious red light.
Once the sun had set, I laid on a soft patch of heather, with not a soul to be seen, and took in the silence. The sound punctuated, only, by a Train of Jackdaws flying overhead.
The following day was forecast as being cloudy so once again, into the woods I headed. This time it was to be Padley Gorge. The colours of the beech were amazing and I spent an enjoyable few hours shooting foliage and waterfalls.
On my final morning, with clear skies forecast, I visited Mam Tor which has wonderful views across the Hope Valley. I arrived in the dark, stars overhead and walked to the summit full of optimism. But, as dawn broke, I breathed a heavy sigh as the landscape was clothed in heavy fog. I stayed an hour in the hope it would clear but alas, it never did completely.
I headed back to the car and began the drive to the campsite to pack up when I noticed this view. I was drawn to it by the graphic lines of the stone walls and subtle shades of autumn colour. A nice end to a thoroughly enjoyable and productive trip.
I will be leading a 2 day workshop in Autumn next year to the Dark Peak region, taking in some of the places mentioned here. If you would like to attend, please register your interest by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 07939 117570. Numbers will be limited to just 6 participants.
Having arrived a couple of days prior to the workshop, I thought it would be good to check on a few new locations. One of which was a stream with quite a substantial waterfall. Well, substantial it was not due to the dry weather we had been experiencing. It looked pretty pathetic and certainly didn’t warrant any pictures but in autumn and after heavy rain, I’m sure it would be a gem!Well worth a look when I return. One of the locations which I take my clients to is Curbar Gap which aside from 2 stunning edges, Curbar and Baslow Edge, there is a marvellous stone-walled National Trust site at it’s base. I arrived at dawn in the hope of getting a sunrise shot of Baslow Gap which, with clear skies and a sharp frost, looked promising, only for the clouds to roll by and give me seconds of red light.
From here I walked down to it’s base to shoot the stone walls, taking advantage of Nikon’s self-timer function!
The other place I wanted to check-out was Derwent Edge. There didn’t seem to be a “short-cut” to the top so after a fairly lengthy trudge with backpack and tripod, I found myself looking over the most exquisite view. I arrived a couple of hours before sunset to familiarise myself with it and decide upon a suitably photogenic outcrop.
As is so often the case with this kind of work, you spend long periods of relaxation and contemplation waiting for the light, only to dash around like a blue-arsed-fly when it’s at it’s optimum!
A new Peak District landscape photography workshop date has been added onto the workshops page on my website. The date will be Saturday March 19th 2011 and as on previous occasions we will start at Stanage Edge and then, after a nice pub lunch, head onto Curbar and Baslow edge. Should the weather prove too inclement for part of the day, we will head down to a nearby gorge and shoot woodland scenes and small waterfalls. This will be my fifth Peak District workshop in just one year, a testament to its popularity. One space has already been filled with just 5 places remaining. To book your place click here which will take you to the relevant workshop page.
Just a couple of images before heading off on a break for a few days (40th birthday celebrations!) taken the day before I led a photography workshop in the Peak District. As ever, the weather was as inclement as ever making for very moody, evocative images. Both of these were taken at the base of Stanage Edge and it doesn’t matter how often I visit this site, I am always finding new angles. Coming from the south east, where the landscape is quite flat in comparison, driving a few hours to the Peak District refreshes the landscape photographer side of me. Perfect blue sky weather just doesn’t suit this landscape, as one of my workshop attendees pointed out. How right he was.
A more extensive posting will be added when I return. In the meantime, chec k out the latest (December) issue of Practical Photography in which I have written a rather extensive article.
About Robert Canis
Robert Canis is a professional photographer specialising in the natural world.
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