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  • Chris Nowell

Best of 2022


Waiting for the sunrise at Ladybower Reservoir
Snowfall Ladybower

With the Christmas season officially kicking off this is a great time to look back at my favourite images of 2022. Not always the greatest imagery but mostly the adventures or journey during these times. These are the things we remember meeting up with friends, that incredible light or a funny moment the photo just makes you think about it and almost transport you back to that time. Stead of boring you with all the imagery of the year I would just bring it down to my five favourite images of the year.


The image above is not one of my favourite images of the year it is just a recent photograph capturing that winter scenery.



Whispers


As the majority of you will be aware my journey into photography was born from my injuries in Afghanistan. Then the journey continued with my rehabilitation both receiving help from home and blind veterans UK as well as NHS support. When I first began I was using a Fuji film bridge camera which for a short period was fantastic. However it didn't take long for me to realise landscape photography was the path I wanted to take there for the bridge camera at the time just wasn't suitable for my needs. Step up the workhorse of a full framed Canon camera which I was using for almost 10 years.

As my photography has progressed technology has increased and with that the cameras have also improved for many reasons. In one way is the weight of the camera and this is where the Fuji film X T3 became an ideal camera for me to use. Camping and walking to these locations with extra weight with camera gear looking in the weight of about 4 to 6 kg was not ideal and this is before you are adding any of the camping equipment such as tent food water it all adds up.


So when I had a issue with the full framed camera due to some damage it was time to do a bit of research and look into the mirrorless market. That on its own was something I was trying to avoid for many years however on reflection it was quite a silly mistake. Not only is the weight of the Fuji film XT 3 ideal the imagery is also fantastic and put that together with the focus peeking capabilities it is fair to say I'm having a lot of fun using this camera. Let's go back a little bit however and look at the first morning out using this camera. I was very happy that it did not take me long to navigate my way through the menu and the settings. Of course this is made a little bit easier due to my experience using cameras and the time of landscape photography. I familiarise myself through the menu and set it up accordingly in no time and it was ready to kick off.

And here we are the first morning out using this camera.


Early March and the Sun is rising through the diffused sunlight. The wide angle of a 10-24 Lens is used perfectly for this image. The white balance was easy to adjust from auto through other settings and with the focus peaking I could easily fine-tune the sharp focus needed for this pleasant morning out. Definitely a morning and a photograph I will never forget for many reasons.





Overnight.


Next was a quick overnight stay in my local Peak District area. I met up with my fellow Peak District photography friend James pictures and we grabbed some imagery in the area of Carl Wark. Followed by a quick trip to a local pub before setting up the tents just outside a woodland near Gardoms Edge.

This was during one of the warmer periods of the year and walking up to this hillside in the evening you could still feel very warm ground everywhere. We are both not stupid and we don't bother with fires or anything like that it was just a quick set up of the two tents and a few hours sleep before heading over to photograph this tree. Of course this image isn't perfect and in fact I wanted some morning mist or some fog around but the colour of the heather and cloud works okay.

One special moment about this photo however was just before shooting this image when I emerged from my one man tent there was a barn owl perching on one of the wooden posts. I remember watching the owl possibly about 5 feet away from me quickly looking left alright scanning the open moorlands before silently flying away. Overall that is why this photograph is special because I won't Forget moments like that in a hurry.





Living on the Edge


Simplicity is the key word for this image. This is not the greatest photo ever taken on Baslow edge nor is it the photograph I will be remembered for in the years to come if any. However it is a good image in my opinion because Baslow edge is quite a difficult place to photograph. There is simply just not much there but if you get incredible light and fantastic conditions you can make anything work. For this occasion however I was just really happy with a simple classic Peak District photograph.

Even now when I look at the image I can fill the fast breeze with quite a chill hitting me in the face. I can see the movement ever so slightly in the heather and long grasses. I can remember the decent cloud cover both on the horizon and high cloud above. Then finally I can remember looking down on the landscape rich in green colouring. It is definitely not the best photo ever taken but it is a very classic and simple Peak District image.

The first chills of the year
Baslow Edge sunset


Skeletons


A very popular composition these days. A photograph or a location that has been shot to death you could even say. However not a location I've had much luck with over the years which is why I am pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this one.

This is the composition I wanted for many years but the light or leaves just didn't work for me. Until quite recently with just the right amount of thick fog and empty trees I was very happy when we visited this location recently and I came home with this image.

For some people it would be more photogenic with a full tree of leaves however I quite like the emptiness in this image and how the trees look like skeletons.

This was quite recently when the temperature started to change and the cold mornings really started kicking off. A silent morning with zero wind and amazingly no other photographers apart from myself and Andy Evers. Limited with time but the knowledge of where to shoot in this location I compose this image perfectly and came home with something that I will be happy with for sometime.

Foggy morning through empty trees
Skeletons


Time


Now this is not the most perfect photograph I could come home with. Although it is nice and I'm very happy I do however just wish there was a bit more going on in the sky but unfortunately for this occasion once we got above the cloud it was just clear skies beyond.


This is another image from quite recent when Andy and I got up very early and headed over to Mam Tor to photograph the sunrise. Especially good towards the end of the year with the Sun position being much further to the right giving me the most perfect side light. On arrival however I was very worried we was still in the cloud somewhat but only a few steps up the hill and we emerged above the cloud and made our way to photograph this gate. Luckily for this occasion getting up early really made the difference after all we was the first ones here with about 20 minutes to spare.


I definitely would prefer to have a bit more interest in the sky perhaps a few more colourful high clouds but that's just me being picky overall I'm very pleasantly surprised with this image.

Life above the clouds
Mam Tor


As always I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who takes the time and checking this out your continuous support is always grateful. Early plans are in motion for a trip to Wales next year and hopefully the Lake District so if you are a big fan of Snowdonia and some Lake District mountains watch this space.



Still available at Vanguard Photo UK is a 20% discount of everything. Click on the photo to guide you to the Vanguard website. This is a Christmas offer and will be unavailable after this time.

Chris Nowell Photography. Merry Christmas



Landscape trees sceneries
Chris Nowell photography

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