top of page
  • Chris Nowell

Photographing a classic

Classic Derbyshire Landscape
The Best View In Dronfield

Peaks and Woodlands are often considered the best type of landscape photography due to their large vistas, mountainous scenes, and epic views. However, it is equally important to focus on local areas close to home to enhance your craft. By exploring the countryside nearby and familiarizing yourself with the surroundings, you can be prepared to capture stunning images when unique conditions arise, such as fog, mist, snow, or interesting flora in the fields. This approach to photography has been a significant aspect of my work for over a decade, leading to memorable moments like the time in 2019 when I captured what is probably my favorite image of all time, just one mile from home.

Derbyshire sunrise
Drone Valley

August 2019

I stumbled upon the photo during a solo morning walk in the summer of 2019 after previously exploring the area multiple times. Motivated to capture the scene, I embarked on an early morning journey with just my camera gear and dog, surrounded by the peaceful ambiance of chirping birds and warm sunlight. With only a short walk along a road and country path, I reached the location and set up my tripod to patiently compose the perfect shot while I enjoyed a cup of coffee from the flask and watching my dog play in the mud.

The light was optimal for photography, prompting me to capture several images before packing up around 5:30 I savored the cheerful chirping of small birds and distant calls of geese, but what truly stood out was the serene silence enveloping me. With a plan to return for more photos in the future, I left the tranquil moment behind and headed home.

Classic Derbyshire landscape photograph
The drone valley full of morning fog

September 2019

Upon returning to the location a few months later, I came across the most ideal weather conditions and solitude. As I prepared to capture the sunrise, a scene that I believed no one else had photographed. While setting up, a surprise encounter with a horse startled me momentarily. After regaining composure and greeting the horse, I then resumed photographing the picturesque landscape. The lighting was perfect, casting gentle shadows and highlighting the autumnal Colors and morning mist, creating an ideal setting for the photography session.

Portrait orientated landscape photograph
The autumn gate

The style and gate framed the image beautifully, while the pathway up the hill served as a perfect leading line. This photograph stands out as one of my all-time favorites, capturing a perfect moment on a fantastic morning that will be etched in my memory forever.

Classic Derbyshire landscape
Leading line

As I made my way home, I was extremely pleased with my results. It was one of those special quiet and relaxing mornings that I will always remember. Sadly, however, the world was about to change as the next year would bring the pandemic and a large change to the landscape was on the way.

After the first lockdown, everyone, including myself, was out enjoying the countryside. In this case, it was one of those small little views that encountered a great deal of traffic. In addition, we experienced over 40° of heat in the summer of the following year, which was followed by heavy rains and mud. The scene will never be the same again. Although this is sad since it does not appear the same, it makes my experience with this photograph even more personal.

Snow Day

March 2023

In mid-March 2023, a significant snowfall transformed the landscape, sparking excitement in me as the photographer. Despite my usual inability to drive, I made my way to the peak districtto the location to capture the local scenery. The snow-capped trees and the untouched beauty of the location added to the allure, despite some footprints marring the pristine snow. The changes in the landscape since 2019 made this scene particularly special, highlighting the beauty of the moment.

Muddy pathway looking down the valley
The shine is gone

The location exuded a palpable sense of sadness today, devoid of any sugarcoating. Had I encountered this place for the first time today, the beauty of the landscape would have eluded me. The valley, where mist gathers at dawn, and the harmonious morning chorus would have gone unnoticed. It would have been a challenging location

I am optimistic that in the future, the location will be restored to its former glory, if not improved. Rebuilding the magic will require time and effort, but I am willing to preserve my memories and images on the computer for now to reminisce about that period whenever necessary.

Chris Nowell photography

Kit used hi

Vanguard tripod and camera bag

Kase Filters

Canon 5D mark three camera

Fuji film XT 3 camera

Buffalo special six shirt and mitts (especially when it was snowing)

As an ambassador of Vanguard photo UK an affiliate code is available for all Vanguard products Cnp10.

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page