Long exposure photography at Padley Gorge Peak District

Long Exposure Photography in the Peak District

Do your research!

I’ve always had a desire to spend some time photographing the gorgeous countryside and lakes of the Peak District. During the cold dark months of January, I concluded this was the year to do my research and have a day shooting landscape photography in this beautiful area of England.
I did what most people do, took to the internet and browsed to Amazon to discover a helpful reference book to start my research to make my day as fruitful as possible. I looked for a while before ordering this book Photographing-Peak-District-Location-Guidebook, what a great choice it was to be.

First Stop ‘Ladybower Reservoir’

The first location was to be Ladybower Reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley. I wanted to go and check out the two 24 meter outlet plug holes to the south of the reservoir; both are required to take the floodwater away safely to avoid any flooding or damage to the dam in the event of heavy rain.

Manual settings, ISO 100, F11, 25 sec’s exposure

After travelling for nearly three hours, I arrived at the reservoir under what happened to be the only 30mins of sunshine of the day; I was very fortunate.
After walking to the south-west corner, I located the first outlet plug hole and set up for the first shot of the day.

Canon 6D mkii
Canon 17-40mm F4 lens
Lee Filters Big Stopper
Lee Filters 3 Stop Neutral Density Grad filter.

Onto Derwent Dam

The second location was the very historic Derwent Dam, from my interest in aviation I had a great interest in seeing this magnificent structure and imagining the flights over the dam by the famous 617sqn in preparation for the legendary bouncing bomb raids known as Operation Chastise. The wait was well worth it; the view was breathtaking.

Finally Padley Gorge

After lunch, I made the 30 minute trip to the National Trust owned Padley Gorge. A photographers paradise with a desirable stream flowing from the top of the gorge and surrounding moss on the rocks. What a place to set up for some long exposure photography with my trusty Lee filters Little Stopper and Circular Polarizer.

Long exposure shot from Padley Gorge. ISO 100, F11, 30 Sec using 6 stop ND filter

Long exposure shot from Padley Gorge. ISO 100, F11, 30 Sec using 6 stop ND filter

Further reading

Interested to see more of my landscape photography images, then check our Landscape Gallery.
Like to learn more regarding long exposure photography to take images like these or yearn to take charge of your camera settings, then take a look at our Photography Courses or Workshops.

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