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  • Chris Nowell

Workshop complete

Landscape photography workshop

Last year I discussed plans with the dronfield hall barn about putting together a landscape photography workshop. Hosted by the barn and organised by myself.

At the beginning of November this plan came alive as the workshop began. After all of the walk-throughs planning sessions and practice set ups it was finally time to begin with one client and myself to spend a day out in the Peak District National Park in the area of Padley Gorge and upper owler tor.

The client was called Ken and the day began with a quick chat followed by checking that Ken knew how to use his camera and more specifically understood the menu. Funny enough Ken was quite knowledgeable with his camera already however did not know the Peak District that much so this became a Location guide above learning how to use your camera. Kicking things off we began photographing the bridge at the beginning of Padley Gorge. Before moving further down the gorge and photographing some more exciting looking waterfalls. The rain had been good for a good few days meaning the rivers were nice and full a perfect way to begin this workshop.

First composition
Padley gorge

As we made our way further down the gorge the colours intense nicely and the sound of the river increased massively. As predicted the rain had been very kind to us the days before meaning the rivers were very nice and full and with the slightly grey skies this meant we could really keep the shutter speed down extending the length of photograph needed. Everything was looking very promising as this workshop began.

Because I had completed a number of walk-throughs needed for this workshop already by the time we made our way down to the waterfalls we were able to pick out a free space away from other photographers. Of course everyone is welcome to the Peak District and photograph these waterfalls I just needed to have one or two spots where myself and a client could spend some time on getting the best out of the camera. We picked out the compositions made our way to the spot completed the imagery and scrambled back up on the path before heading over to our next location.

Photograph looking uphill towards the gate

Waterfall at Padley Gorge

Surprise view
Top of Bole Hill quarry

As the afternoon began the weather took a slight turn however for now it wasn't raining it was just picking up in windspeed so we continued on enjoying our time. Making our way from Lawrence field towards Bole Hill quarry we were gifted a few moments of nice dramatic light and the odd spot of calm windspeed therefore we made the most of this moment and captured some good imagery.

Down at the quarry I advised the client on a number of decent compositions, although by now the moments of light were very minimal and the wind was increasing rapidly there was still the odd moment which aligned perfectly however it really didn't take long and we moved on for the next stage.

Which was something slightly different for me and the client was very excited about picking out some macro style imagery with the mushrooms toadstools and fungus of the area. The fungus in this area is always great to the damp conditions I also quite enjoy looking for compositions when it comes to the piles of leaves around. Of course this can be very difficult especially when it's windy but when it's a little bit wet it works even better adding a little bit of a glistening look to the leaves. So initially I decided to join Ken down on the ground after giving a little bit of advice with my "imagery I captured this mushroom and then moved on to some leaves.


Fallen leaves

Frustratingly we had to finish the workshop early however luckily it was only the last hour before sunset which we had planned to go for some of the higher ground and do some real classic landscape photography imagery. Not much you can do unfortunately when the weather decides for you.

Overall Ken was very happy I had picked out a good amount of compositions for him and he had a great time photographing some new locations which is what it's all about. Spending the day out with nature enjoying the great outdoors and coming home with some photographs for memories.


This was the first collaborating workshop with the Dronfield hall barn, however a second workshop is planned for the 10th of May. All the information will be available for this soon but this workshop is designed for those wanting to photograph the bluebells and local Woodlands. Those wanting to attend will make their own way there and I will meet you all in the morning of the 10th of May. It is a local woodland in the area of Apperknowle and hopefully by then the bluebells and the trees will be nice and colourful. Is also aimed at photographers beginning their journeys or those wanting to just refresh a few old skills however this is also a small woodland and I have picked out a few decent compositions already therefore it is more designed at a friendly get-together workshop.

As always thank you to everyone who takes the time by checking out this blog you're continuous support is very much appreciated

Chris Nowell Photography


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