1. Peak District workshops

    10 days ago I returned from spending 6 days in the Dark Peak (northern) region of the Peak District where, since 2011, I have been leading both 2 and 1 day workshops shooting this wonderfully scenic part of the country. The weather was a little fickle (to say the least!) but that is what you have to kind of expect in the UK in Autumn! Venture out in your waterproofs and with an open mind and you’ll never be short of images to capture.

    Both groups were absolutely fantastic! Lots of fun and always smiling – even in the most trying of conditions. Thank you for that!

    I arrived a couple of days prior to the arrival of my first group to allow me to venture out alone and, perhaps, check out a new location or two.

    It’s a bit of a slog reaching the top of Derwent Edge but well worth it once you reach it! This was taken in, quite possibly, the windiest conditions I have ever worked in but the upside was that the light was changing by the second. As a result, I was having to push the tripod onto the ground to not only keep it steady enough to get a shot but to stop it from toppling over!

    View from Derwent Edge

    View from Derwent Edge

    Shortly after, a bank of low, dark cloud moved in and so I began the descent upon where I noticed this small waterfall. The light was rapidly fading and I had just enough time to make this image before it started to rain.


    With a clear morning forecast, I headed to Mam Tor. It wasn’t long before I was joined by several other photographers who, all, headed in the same direction – following the path and down the other side, towards Hollins Cross. My instinctive reaction to this is always the same, to not follow suit and try and seek an alternative angle.

    Mam Tor's trig point and crescent moon

    Mam Tor’s trig point and crescent moon

    The morning was just too clear for my liking but it was nice to be there watching the sun rise nonetheless.



    The following days, as mentioned at the beginning, were a mixture of conditions and my 2-day guests were lucky to experience both a wonderful sunrise and sunset. The image below, however, was taken on a heavily overcast dawn. Regardless of forecast, you’re out at dawn on my workshops(!) as there are always images to be had in even the most unlikely of conditions.


    Abandoned millstones

    Abandoned millstones


    View from Stanage Edge

    Stanage Edge

    Stanage Edge

    Stanage Edge at sunset

    Stanage Edge at sunset

    At dawn, the following morning, we headed for Curbar Gap where we enjoyed the most glorious sunrise……..


    …..for, around, 20 minutes……..

    Curbar Edge looking towards Baslow Edge

    Curbar Edge looking towards Baslow Edge

    Baslow Edge

    Baslow Edge

    …….before fog closed in, reducing the visibility to just 20, or so, metres. Cue breakfast!


    The following day I held a 1-day workshop. It was so windy, at times, that we had to abandon certain vantage points in favour of those that gave a little more shelter and, although the day was largely overcast, we did enjoy fleeting moments of sunshine – which is all you need – isn’t it?!

    View from Baslow Edge looking towards Curbar Edge

    View from Baslow Edge looking towards Curbar Edge

    I’ll be leading the same workshops next year with the 2-day one being held from Wed 29th – Fri 31st October and the 1-day on Sat 1st November. For full details, please click here to take you to the workshops page.

  2. Peak District

    Just under 2 weeks ago I returned from a week in the Peak District, more specifically, the Dark Peak (northern) region, leading 3 workshops. A 2-day residential and 2 one-day workshops. Over all, we had good weather in that, prolonged spells of rain were absent. You never know what Mother Nature will throw at you here and, I guess, that is what draws me, and others like me, back there time and again. Also, as a “Southerner” it makes a welcome change from the flatness of North Kent! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore photographing the North Kent Marshes, but everyone needs a change, right?!

    Arriving 3 days prior to the first workshop gave me time to explore new locations and reacquaint myself with the familiar.

    View from Baslow Edge at sunset

    Sunrise. Higger Tor.

    Sunrise from Higger Tor.

    I stumbled upon this scene when returning to my B&B in Hathersage and, remember at the time, thinking it would make quite a pleasing black and white image.

    Burbage Brook

    Oak tree panorama

    Last leaves of autumn

    Whenever I lead workshops I rarely take pictures for my own purpose. Clients, after all, have paid me to spend time with them and be on hand whenever they require advice. I am forever amazed when told storied by guests of workshops they have attended where the photographer shows them how to set  up a picture then disappears, some distance away, to do their own photography or of a lottery system to decide who captures sunrise at the water’s edge and who stays in the minibus. Incredible!

    Having led countless workshops over the last 20 years (with, and thank you all, a significant percentage returning) you do learn when to approach and when to leave alone. No-one wants someone looking over their shoulder all the time and as a tutor, it’s important you give the attendee time to explore and experiment and then for you to guide and advise. It is on these occasions that I keep my eyes open for an image that I can set up, leave to discuss something with a client and return again. More often than not, it will be a close-up or detail and the image, below, is a case in point.

    Nikon D300, 28-105 @ 48mm, iso 200, 13 sec. f16, polarising and ND filter.

    I came across this wonderfully picturesque scene when scouting new places to take my guests, prior to their arrival. It’s always a great feeling when you happen across such a location!

    On the final morning of the 2-day workshop we were fortunate to have a very nice sunrise.

    Sunrise over Curbar and Baslow Edge

    That evening, with a relatively clear sky forecast, we headed to Higger Tor. Extremely strong winds forced us from our first-choice spot to the eastern end which provided a little more shelter. At least our tripods remained upright!

    Sunset. Higger Tor.

    Workshops gusts shooting the sunset.

    A very obliging herd of highland cattle provided great subject matter for the first group of my one day workshops.

    The morning after my final workshop, I arranged to meet one the guests for a sunrise shoot on Curbar Edge. It was a beautiful crisp morning and a great way to end a week in the Peaks.

    Curbar Edge

    Workshop guest, and friend, Phil Drury.

    I shall be doing the same again next autumn so should you be interested in attending, please contact me at rmcanis@msn.com to register your interest.


Be among the first to hear of new workshops and tours

Search Blog

Blog Archive

December 2018
« Nov