The Unfortunate Reality of Being Sensible

A few weeks ago I shared my cunning plan, it was clever, and devious and exciting!

And it didn’t happen.

I wanted to go the Peak District, leave the beaten track, wild camp near some gorgeous location (of which there are many) and photograph a stunning and private sunrise. Sadly though the Great British winter decided to actually arrive, and put a stop to it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about cold, cold is OK, I have the equipment and clothing to deal with cold. The problem was rain. We do rain quite well here, but the trouble is we’ve had really rather a lot of it. It has been a terrible few months for far too may people, especially in the north of England and Scotland.

I have a very dear friend who lives in one of the worst hit areas, and the tales of devastation are quite extreme for the UK!

So, when I saw that on the days on my intended adventure, there were going to be several inches of rain, the unfortunate, sensible reality was that I had to abandon my plan. I could have gone anyway, of course, but the problem with going wild is that no one knows where you are. So if something happens, you’re on your own! Now generally if you are sensible and cautious, you shouldn’t really come to too much harm in the UK, it never gets extremely cold, or extremely hot, we don’t have bears or lions (though a badger could give you a nasty nip, and wasps are rather annoying). However, when several inches of rain are going to fall on already saturated ground, going off into high ground, alone, where no one knows where you are, is really asking for trouble. And trouble tends to find you when you ask for it.

So, boringly, but sensibly I stayed home.

The adventure is planned, and ready to go – I have food ready, and my kit is essentially packed, waiting for the off! All I need is the weather, and a free weekend.

It will come.

In the meantime though, I did manage to get out for a walk with some friends and my partner, she isn’t such a fan of camping, but does love the walking! So, one weekend when it was very cold and wintery, but quite lovely sun, we went to the peaks on a day walk.

Naturally I had to take the camera, and although I took a few pictures I’m quite pleased with, I must admit I did just spend most of the time wandering with an irrepressible smile, trying hard to just soak up the place. I really do love the Peak District, and it was quite wonderful to be there, if only for a day.


There are a number of lakes and reservoirs in the Peak District – I forget now whether this was Ladybower or not, let’s pretend it was…

I loved the soft colours in the sky of this scene, and the old brown bench seemed to fit so well with the brown covering of trees on the far bank. I worked quite hard for my composition – I wanted to get a horizon-based symmetry reflection in the water, but also wanted the balance from aligning the bench and the meeting of the two hills. I’m pleased with this picture, it feels right, and almost has a texture of its own.


Just before Lost Lad is a wide open moor, the kind of place that really calls to me

I find it difficult sometimes to write about my own photos, it feels terribly self-affirming, but I can tell you with all honesty, that I love this photo. I could just look at it for a very long time, and I’m so very glad I took it. From a technical perspective, you could question the composition – if I had placed the sun lower and to the left (of course, if I could move the sun I would probably not be sat here…) then the image would comply better with the rule of thirds and have a more harmonious feeling about it. But that isn’t what I want to feel. I want to feel like the path leads off into the distant hills (which it does, actually), and I want to feel like I can go there right now! I deliberately broke the rule of thirds (which I probably rely on a little too much) to introduce just a little tension to the photo – the sun is almost in the most harmonious place, but just not quite, and because of that I just can’t stop looking at this picture! I feel like if I take a couple of steps along the path, I’ll find the perfect view! Interestingly, there is what appears to be chromatic aberration from the aircraft trail – that was actually there! I suppose that I got the angle just right, and the camera was able to record the refraction of light through the water. I didn’t remove it because I actually saw it.

So my adventure is planned and ready, just waiting for some thunderbirdesque initiation!

Until then, I am going to sit here, drink tea, and stare off into those hills.

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