Channeling Ansel – or not

So, here I am up in the High Peaks area of Derbyshire, with some pretty epic scenery all around. Having been fired up by the Freeman book, I decided to scale Eccles Pike, yes, as in cake, which has a 360 degree view all around and wait for the sun to get low in the sky for a nice view of the surrounding hills and valleys. I was also armed with a Velbon tripod courtesy of Evil Dave.

Observation 1: Ansel had thermal underwear, gloves, scarf and hat.

Yes, despite it being August, it was frickin’ cold. Then I waited for the light to do interesting things: break through the cloud giving shafts of light maybe; or for the golden light to light up a valley side interestingly.

Observation 2: Nature doesn’t do what you want.

I started setting up the tripod, anticipating some f/8 goodness as the light failed, only to find that it was missing the baseplate. Bad Dave, no beer.

Observation 3: Dry run your kit before you climb a mountain.

OK, hand-held and rock-perching it was to be. If you know me, you know I have a thing for sunsets and the very occasional sunrise. This time was no exception. The shot below is straight out of the camera. I have variations on this from 12mm with a pinpoint of gold with illuminated clouds fading to darkness to full 200mm frame-filled gold. This is in the middle at 70mm with plenty of gold and some cloud and some silhouetted trees and hills.

Observation 4: Don’t fight nature. If it gives you sunsets, take them.

I have some landscape shots and I’ll play with them as soon as iPhoto finishes. Not convinced though. As soon as it stops raining, I’ll have another bash.


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