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  • Chris Nowell


Gardoms Edge

Gardoms Edge

I am pleased to welcome you back to my blog. It seems like it was just a few days ago. In the spring, I always looked forward to the blooming of the bulbs. Birds singing in the morning as they nest for the upcoming spring season. Despite the visual signs of spring through the new buds on the trees, I find it difficult to believe that we have already stepped into May. Time is a constant and never changes, but perhaps I have reached that stage in life where everything just seems to run away with you when the time comes.

What did I have planned for my landscape photography in April? The truth is that I have very little time as I am still concentrating on our new puppy. Furthermore, the weather forecast combined with my ability to get out seems to be quite limited. However, I was watching knows Country fields for the signs of that bright yellow rapeseed. I knew my feature with the Hope Valley journal would be up soon. And any other Photography adventures would be most welcome.

Let's take a look back at the month of April.

Coal Aston

To begin, I met up with a friend just outside Dronfield and kept things local. Coal Aston is a small village located just outside of Dronfield. Providing some of the same styles of lush, green countryside, landscape photography. I only needed to be fortunate with the weather.

It was unfortunate that the so-called morning mist did not appear. However, I was still very happy to be outside and feel the chill on my face.


Rape Seed

I do not change my smart phone every year when the latest technology is available. As I have said before, I do not have a grudge against people who do, I just try to keep things simple and stick to what I have. However, with my contract expiring a few years ago and Apple offering a new one, I decided to treat myself to a new smart phone and watch.

Again, I have turned down the Apple Watch for many years, believing that I would simply not be able to use it correctly or that it was just a gimmick. Having used the watch for a few weeks now, I may have been mistaken. With it, I have been able to do a lot more exercise on a spin bike and I am very pleased with it.

Since I am still a landscape photographer, the first thing I wanted to check was the image quality on the iPhone 14 plus. A 45 megapixel camera is an impressive feature of the iPhone 14 pro. Perhaps that would have made more sense, but at the same time I feel it takes away something from my landscape photography. I am considering using a smart phone. However, that does not mean there aren't ways around it or that I haven't seen some fantastic images taken with smart phones because I have, and it works incredibly well. For me, setting up my tripod and camera is an essential part of my photographic process. That is something I do not wish to take away. Let us, however, take a closer look. Here are some images and test shots taken with this smart phone. As a result, I can now use it in square orientation, which is something I really enjoy these days.

The imagery.

Unfortunately, when I decided to give this a test, the weather didn't necessarily play along with my plan. Sadly we had slightly grey flat skies. However, the imagery did work surprisingly well capturing the exposure pretty much correctly. This is definitely an improvement from the smart phone I had, which was very out of date.

To begin, I decided to keep it simple with a nice wide angle 16.9 photograph. The images have not been touched in anyway, showing the bright colours very well in this pleasant yellow rape seed field.

Square shape photo

Next, I made my way further up the field to frame a stunning old Oak tree, then capture this in square one by one. Which is definitely my favourite style of photography since I've been using the Fuji film, XT3. Again, I was pleasantly surprised with the exposure on the horizon, the bright colours, and the sharpness of the photograph. Apple have clearly made improvements because before this, I did not believe that the iPhone could be used for landscape photography. This is clearly not the case anymore for both this iPhone the iPhone 14+ and the iPhone 14 pro. With the iPhone 14+ offering a fairly decent 12 megapixels, compared to the 45 megapixel of the iPhone 14 pro. Of course, it would be great to compare them both but for now I'm just sticking with this for extra imagery for content like this. Oh my blog and a few extra social media needs. A smart phone will never take away a camera for me because it is part of the whole process, but at the same time I have definitely always got my phone or watch on me. I can't actually say that about my camera because sometimes it is left at home.. ......

Exploring the field

photo orientation
image size


it was good to compare the image sizes such as 4.3 square or 16.9. All offering great content and easy to use.

Although I am surprisingly impressed with this smart phone, and I can only imagine it getting better in the years to come. It's a great tool to have in my pocket, the smart phone, but it will never take away a Mirrorless camera or digital SLR, but this is just my opinion and my style of landscape photography.


Hope Valley Journal

back in the new year I was contacted by Kate of the Hope Valley journal, About having a feature on the exciting and stylish looking journal. The Hope Valley journal supports businesses and artistic individuals in the Peak District area on a regular basis.. therefore, I was honoured to be featured in this wonderful journal.

Also, I met up with Kate one morning to do the interview and this was a very enjoyable event. Luckily Kate had the majority of the information about myself already online. Therefore we just had to fill in the spaces out in the Peak District and you can now pick up your copy of this journal or any other back issues by clicking on the photo of the sheep above, which is the front cover for issue number eight..



Wire Wool
Test shot

One weekend when I had a bit of spare time and it was raining like a beast I put the message out for a few of my friends and said let's have a go at doing the Some Steel Wool Photography. . I am no expert but it's something I've done a few times over the years and something I would highly recommend. It may look quite difficult, but actually it's very easy and just with a bit of practice tying down a few things you can achieve some fairly decent imagery without much effort.

Obviously, there are a few things you will need, but they are quite reasonably priced and easy to pick.

Number one steel wool. Also known as wire wall and you can get things like this from most DIY stores and I picked it up from my local shop. Jeffs in Dronfield for a couple of quid. Secondly, a dog lead then finally a whisk, simple bacon whisk nothing expensive because it will probably get damaged anyway.

Then you just simply put this all together, set a find a location and shoot away. Nice and simple and a good thing to do on a dark night when there's not much else going on.

Always good to have some water in hand, if needed pick a safe location and be careful to be responsible with the fire. And finally pick a safe location to avoid getting to any trouble or damaging property.

The image is a nice 14 second exposure of my friend down the tunnel, swinging above his head, showing the longer exposure of an exciting.

Wire Wool
Andy Evers on Fire


Back to Yellow

At the very end of the month, the rape seed field was even better and one evening I had to return. At last, the weather forecast offered some fairly decent conditions, and by now that the yellow sun colour was very bright and almost blinding. In fact, I visited twice once with the puppy to give her a run out and secondly, the following day was the old dog to capture this early sunset photograph followed by a sunrise a few days later returning once more.


Rapeseed field


Rapeseed field

As always THANK YOU all for taking time and viewing this my latest Blog.

Up next Bluebells and you can still book via the Dronfield Hall Barn and join me on a Group bluebell workshop. 14th May Stubbing Wood Dronfield 9am - 12pm

Chris Nowell Photography


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