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  • Chris Nowell

(Blog 1) 2022

Sometimes in landscape photography it just does not work. In fact overall the ratio to win and loss is not very achievable. The reality is just in one week for example you could go out with your camera morning and night and you're not guaranteed a portfolio style photo. Of course you could be lucky but overall it is a waiting game. Waiting for the light waiting for the right conditions location scouting it just doesn't always work. When it does however it fills just fantastic and for a few days you are set to 0 once more full of optimism.

This is why calendars work for example, as previously mentioned it doesn't always work and even when you think you've got a winning photo there's always something better just around the corner you're always searching for more. Plus the longer you continue with this game the more you want to achieve. Returning to well-known locations for example you'll never be fully happy until you've got that perfect photograph.

One such area in the Peak District National Park more specifically the area of Matlock is a well-known and photographed line of trees along a public footpath. About five years ago now when I first visited this area the pathway was half the size. It wasn't very well-known compared to how it is now plus there was only a small handful of images and photographers on a daily basis. These days however you'll never have the location to yourself and I definitely don't have a portfolio style photo but this is where the story gets a bit sad.

You say I won't neither will many other photographers due to changes in the pathway after I met a local farmer if not the farmer who owns the land. That well-known location with almost perfect compositions is set to change in that the wall which acts as a perfect leading line is set to be taken down and replaced on the other side of the trees. As well as this gateways for Deer are set to be erected making it more animal friendly. The trees themselves have already been severely chopped making them half the size that used to be. All in all slightly disappointing but it's not my land at the end of the day all I can do is look back at the imagery I have achieved over the years and just accept that this is one that will probably get away. Not to say I don't believe in what the land owner is doing in fact it makes perfect sense. Swapping the wall and tree line around will protect the wall which then means it should not have to be rebuilt on a regular basis. As well as that making access for wildlife again is a brilliant idea and I totally understand it so for that well done sir.

Perhaps we'll get lucky before the wall is changed with those perfect conditions however I think time will be against me for now however let's have a look at some previous trips to this location over the years.

The area was first made popular to those visiting Darwin Forest country Park. Visitors would have a very nice and relaxing break plus enjoy time spent in the great outdoors mostly enjoying the pine forests with links to the Peak District and beyond. Then this location was highly photographed with images shared on social media. Including ourselves always being respectful as always however just really enjoying a very nice and almost perfect area of woodland. On a foggy or misty morning the location and trees around it are always full of landscape photographers enjoying some of those perfect conditions. Looking down every now and again gives you more macro style photographs with an abundance of mushrooms and toadstools especially between September October November time. Although it's technically only around however the local wildlife should've had most of it before long.

The surrounding landscape is full of decent high views and glorious farming land meaning there is lots of compositions in and around the woods.

Pine forests are not my favourite especially small Woodlands like this however there is no denying that perfect separation and glorious conditions on a foggy morning work just fine.

Image taken about four years ago

Canon 5D3


F/11 ISO 50

It is not always about the fog and misty conditions they just work very well in fact they work the best when it comes to woodland photography. However you should not limit yourself to just those locations looking great in the fog it also works just fine with the right light used correctly on a peaceful Derbyshire morning.

The well-known tree line of perfect wood is an extremely easy location to achieve and explore. Nice by the side of the road parking followed by a gentle two minute walk. The location has been featured on hundreds if not thousands of social media photographs and that of landscape photographer of the year with a stunning snowy and fog photograph.

Once upon a time this pathway was half the size with more tree branches leaning into the pathway soon as I mentioned it is set to be swapped around with the wall being on the other side of the trees to prevent wall damage. Perhaps it will still work and even more perhaps it will improve it however we will not know until completion of the work all I know is it's a very nice photograph and I look forward to seeing the Final completion.

My last adventure here did provide very good conditions however in the end the light didn't really come as bright as we had hoped. There was only one other photographer there as we were leaving meaning we had the whole place to ourselves and flexibility to just relax but the fog began to lift and Finn out plus with the lack of good light it just wasn't right.

Hopefully I'll have enough time to achieve my goal and try again or perhaps this one just got away.

Chris Nowell Photography

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