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Richard Wheeler Peak Photos

Blog Posted on 18 Mar 2011

Peak-Photos: An introduction
For those who don’t know me (and I believe that will be most of you!), let me introduce myself.  My name is Richard Wheeler from Peak-Photos.  I am a landscape photographer who lives in Sheffield just a stones throw away from the Peak District.

Over the last 5-6 years I’ve been wandering around the Peak District on the weekends or evenings, either very early in the morning or at last light enjoying the Derbyshire countryside.

Silly O’Clock
Early mornings are my favourite time, even though it means getting up in the dark and cold, feeling sleep deprived and a little grumpy.  I always try and get to my location with half an hour to spare to capture any pre-dawn colours so this can mean setting off 2 ½ hours before sunrise. In summer, it’s sometimes hardly worth going to bed!  This is quickly offset once I get in the car and out into the countryside.  You can often tell what kind of sunrise it’s going to be dependent on the cloud coverage. A clear morning means my shoot is going to be short lived as the light goes harsh quickly. I normally concentrate on the pre-dawn colours and the actual sunrise, normally pointing the camera towards the sun or at 45 degrees to it to capture the colours. A cloudy morning normally means having more patience but generally a more productive day. Initially, the golden colours of the sun rising often get swallowed up by the clouds. However once the suns up, capturing the sun breaking through the clouds is very satisfying, creating beautiful light and shadows on the landscape.

Ideal conditions
For me, my ideal conditions are a mix of both, some cloud coverage with breaks on the horizon is perfect with some wind to help blow away any stubborn clouds.

The photo...
One of my favourite areas is around Edale.  It’s a long and steep walk up and around but well worth it.  I usually head up onto Grindslow Knoll first and walk around the top of Grindsbrook, then down the other side past the Ringing Roger rock formations.  The scenery from up here is excellent with distant views of Mam Tor and the Great Ridge and the winding river leading back down to Edale village.

The sunrise was initially disappointing as there was a heavy bank of cloud stopping any light coming through. After ¾ hour, the sun had risen enough to break through the clouds, creating a spotlight burst effect onto the ground below. I fired off a few frames on my camera, and then quickly moved on realising the sun would very soon get over the thin clouds.  As I’d been up here before, I knew where I wanted to be so could quickly move on knowing I’d got one shot in the bag ready for the next.

I got to this location after a couple of minutes of fast paced walking, put the camera on the tripod again, metered and got the ND grads in place just as the sun broke through the clouds. It created a beautiful glow over Grindsbrook. Out of breath, I checked the histogram to make sure everything was correct and sighed a big sigh of relief!  I’d made it! After that, I slowed down to a more leisurely pace. I managed to bag a few more shots from around the other side of the river and headed back down to the car for a rest.
In future blogs, I plan to talk more about equipment, ND grads, processing photos and a lot more. If you have any questions or have suggestions, please feel free to drop me an email:

This blog has been brought to you by Richard Wheeler


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