I’m not going to wax lyrical about the historical background of Ladybower reservoir. Or shall mention the tenuous connections with famous Dambuster flights. I’m not even going to talk about the thousands of man ours dedicated to creating this feature in the Peak District landscape. I shall merely mention that this has to be one of the most photographed views the Peak District has to offer. Sited as it is across the road from a well used burger van layby the view captures all that the Peak District has to offer; trees, hills and a lot of water.
Years ago I was privalaged to know one of the presidents of the Royal Photographic Society. A fine fellow by the name of Arthur Downes, who helped coin the phrase ‘standard tripod holes’. Many who have been involved with the photographic industry will relate with the phrase, especially when seeing this view. It relates to a view that has been captured so often that the very ground that photographers have stood on to get it now bares the scares of thousands of tripod feet, not to mention those of the photographers themselves. Indeed the very place I stood on to get this shot now offers tours of the caven dedicated to the lensmen and women who have stood before.
I have brought this very shot before you now for three very good reasons. Firstly, as a warning to think before you take you next shot. A warning that states that before you press the shutter ask yourself, “am I capturing something new or just being a photocopier?” There’s nothing wrong with wanting to add a shot to your collection for the heck of it, so that you can say you were there. But if you want to hold up your work and say, “hey, look at this terrific shot I took”, be aware that your chosen audience might just have seen it before. Especially if the view is the one they see every day going to work,
Secondly, I live just around the corner in Bamford and couldn’t resist showing off! You see a shot like this is great for illustrating a point, but will never win you any prizes. Usually you’ll find that you have to apply a treatment to make the picture more appealing altogether. In this case I have added a little graduated tint (via Picasa) to the top of the picture to knock down the brightness of the sky. I have exagerated it a little here but the technique is great for concentrating the viewers eye on the important part of the picture.
Thirdly, I have popped this shot before you becase it wasn’t taken with a posh Nikon camera. It was taken with a little Fuji camera borrowed from my beloved’s handbag. Standard tripod holes apart, there is another fallicy about photographers that is also true...we don’t always walk around with our camera kits at the ready...some of us forget them, leave them at home and suffer a smirk from a beloved who knows they have ‘One Uped’ the ‘great photographer’.
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