Thursday, 9 March 2017

Curbar Edge - Photography Week 7 (2017)

When I first started digital landscape photography, I had many competing demands which meant that a photography trip to the Peak District was a real event. Largely, I was unconcerned about the conditions and any brief bit of light was pounced upon with pictures taken until it was dark. Back at home I would use software to pull every ounce of impact from these images hoping that something dramatic and engaging would emerge.

Walking on Curbar Edge during photography week 7 was a reminder of those times. It was the only opportunity to get out during the week and the conditions were grey and dull. Recognising that standard wide angle landscapes where not going to work, I looked for alternative intimate landscape and detail compositions. This is something that I wouldn't have done in the early days as I tended to stick to 'rules of thirds' compositions - foreground interest on the lower third and the horizon on the upper third.

These days I am more prepared to push my photography and produce images that are visually challenging. In doing so, I recognise that this may divide viewer opinion. In some ways, the standard landscape is a safer option and less likely to provoke a negative reaction (assuming it is captured and presented competently).

For this visit, I chose two principle subjects: the trees below Balsow Edge and then some close ups of the gritstone rock.

The trees, which I think are mostly silver birch, are quite dense in patches and although there are a few distinct branches the rest seem to merge together giving an almost painterly feel to the final images. To provide context to the compositions I was keen to include either some scattered rocks or part of the gritstone edge:

The detailed rock studies include patches of lichen, colours in the pancake layered strata, and some wider angle compositions with grasses and heather plants:

Right at the end of the afternoon, some brightness appeared on the horizon and it seems that old habits die hard. I couldn't turn away the opportunity for a full landscape shot or two - one which I cropped and converted to black and white:

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