The Viaduct

Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District National Park, UK.

Been trying to have a clear out of ‘rubbish’ images on my computer’s hard drive today. I say trying to because I kept finding pictures that I wanted to edit instead of finding ones to delete! This one of Ashopton Viaduct is just one example of my procrastination. I bypassed this image when it was taken back in December but finding it today made me realise that it had potential. I’m probably not the only person to have around 2TB of ‘rubbish’ lying around on my hard drive. Do you?


The Day After (Storm) Doris

Kelly Hall Tarn, Lake District National Park, UK.

This image was taken on Friday (24th February 2017) just after sunset. I was quite surprised to see the water so still as there had been a ‘weather bomb’ less than 24 hours earlier!


Into The Distance

A57, Peak District National Park, UK.

This image was taken on Saturday whilst I was temporarily waiting for the fog to clear at Snake Pass in the Peak District. The fog had become so thick that I had to pull my car over into a lay-by as only five minutes before I took this picture I couldn’t even see the end of my bonnet!


Peak District Fog

Derwent Valley, Peak District National Park, UK.

Just before Christmas 2016, I headed to the Peak District National Park as the weather was forecasted to be foggy and I certainly wasn’t disappointed! These are three of the images which sum up how the conditions and the bitter cold felt at the time. 


The Barn

Near Castleton, Peak District National Park, UK.

An iPhone shot taken on a very wet day in the Peak District which led to a lovely moody atmosphere.


Happy World Photo Day

Happy World Photo Day! Just want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has followed me, shared and liked my posts in this past year, you make my creative journey worthwhile! Here’s my most popular post on Tumblr this year 🙂

laura-hacking:

13/52 Standing Alone.

A trip to the Lake District resulted in me capturing this weeks image of the infamous lone tree at Buttermere Lake with Fleetwith Pike in the background. Due to the high winds that day I was unfortunate to find that the surface of the water was moving far too quickly to capture reflections of the surrounding hills in the water but think that this has led to a more mysterious image.

To edit, I simply converted the image to monochrome and boosted the contrast a little.


Hen Cloud

The Roaches, Peak District National Park, UK. 

This weeks image was taken in the Peak District National Park, England. Before I left home that day, I checked the weather apps and saw that mist was expected in this area so decided to head there to see what I could find. Once I arrived, I began taking pictures of a lone tree but found that the mist was creating huge water droplets on my lens so had to literally point, shoot then dry the glass. I then found this little spot near my car and couldn’t resist the composition above. After taking a few shots, I headed back to the car as I was happy with the ones I had and having to constantly wipe the lens was getting a little tedious plus I was rapidly getting wet.
Editing was very simple as I just desaturated the colours then used the clone stamp to remove tiny distractions such as small white stones in the foreground.


Tracks

Bury, Lancashire, UK. 

Disclaimer: These are tram tracks in a park and were not in use on the day that I took this photograph. #safetyfirst


Nine Stones Close

Near Stanton Moor, Peak District National Park, UK. 

This weeks image was taken near to Stanton Moor in the Peak District National Park, England. The four Bronze Age stones that remain were once part of a circle of nine, the fifth has been moved and now forms part of a wall behind where I was stood and the location of the other four is unknown. However, in 1847 it was recorded by antiquarian Thomas Bateman that seven stones stood in this location. The stones are quite tall, standing between 1.2 and 2.1 metres tall and so they are the tallest in the Peak District and they certainly are an imposing sight. This stone circle (or rectangle as it now is) is surrounded by myths and legends and has been nicknamed ‘The Grey Ladies’ as they have supposedly been seen to ‘dance’ at midnight on certain days of the year. Being at this location was quite strange in that I felt rather uneasy about being stood in the field and that I should walk around the perimeter rather than through the circle. Whether this was due to it being a farmers field and not public land, because of the historical nature of the location or whether it was due to mystical energy in the area could be a worthwhile debate! All I know is that it was not somewhere that I felt very comfortable so I took a couple of shots and left.
To edit this image, I desaturated the colours and then set to work dodging and burning areas to improve localised contrast.


Before The Blizzard

Stanage Edge, Peak District National Park, UK.

The conditions at Stanage Edge on Thursday were extremely changeable and cold. When I got out of the car I could see rain developing over Mam Tor which is to the right of this image (and a few miles away). I thought that as it only just looked as though it was building up, I would have plenty of time to get to the millstones, grab a few pictures and get back to my car before it came my way. How wrong was I! Needless to say, the fine yet heavy hailstone and ice cold winds soon had me retreating back to the warmth of the in-car heating! Luckily, this is an area which I have visited before so had the composition in mind before arriving. This image was taken in the five minutes that I was at the location!
Editing was quite simple for this image. I used the heal tool in Photoshop to remove a few parked cars on the horizon and a bit of sheep poo that was distracting! I then desaturated the image and used the dodge and burn tools to boost the contrast. A slight vignette and crop finished the picture off.


The Valley

Monsal Head, Peak District National Park, UK. 

This week I was travelling through the Peak District when I was surrounded by thick fog. It became so thick that I felt that carrying on driving on the winding country roads would be too dangerous so I pulled in at the nearest parking spot. As the fog lifted and I gathered my bearings, I realised that I was at the top of Monsal Head, a well known beauty spot. Before leaving, I grabbed my camera and found the best place to shoot from. I decided that a panoramic image would work best due to the 90 degree view. Working from left to right, I fired off 9 frames which I later stitched together in Adobe Photoshop. I then converted the image to black and white and used the dodge and burn tools to add selective contrast. A 16:9 crop completed the editing.


Flux

Dovedale, Peak District National Park, UK.

A couple of shots from the Peak District National Park found deep inside my archives.


Tu Hwnt i’r Bont

Llanrwst, North Wales, UK.

On the edge of Snowdonia National Park, this listed building is currently owned by the National Trust and used as a tearoom. I have wanted to take a picture of this building for a while but the conditions were never right. Luckily, I planned this weeks visit just as the clouds rolled in!

To edit, I cropped the image to a 16:9 ratio to even out the composition. I then desaturated the colour and boosted the contrast.


Three

Castleton, Peak District National Park, UK. 

Three trees stand on the side of ‘The Great Ridge’ engulfed by mist.​ This image was taken on a very windy and wet afternoon at the beginning of February. As ‘Storm Imogen’ was beginning to hit the UK coast, I decided to visit the Peak District National Park to find this weeks image. Upon arriving at the base of Mam Tor, I could see that the weather was creating an amazing atmosphere over the hills. After steadying myself against the car door, I managed to take this image before my camera (and I!) got too soaked to carry on. I edited the scene with the sheer brutality of the conditions in mind so reflected this in the darkness of the image. A simple monochrome conversion and a slight boost in contrast is all that was needed.


Win Hill vs Lose Hill

Castleton, Peak District National Park, UK.

This weeks image was taken in the Peak District, UK. As we very rarely get snow at home and the roads had begun to clear, I decided to head to Castleton to see if there was anything worthy of shooting. As I pulled up on a car park close to the bottom of Mam Tor, I decided that I liked the contrast between the two hills which are similar in height and close together. Win Hill is the peak topped with snow, which looks barren and inhospitable yet Lose Hill is the opposite. Using a tripod, I took three images of the scene which were later combined into a panorama in Photoshop. This allowed me to be able to crop the image whilst retaining a high image quality. Editing the image was quite simple as I only used the dodge and burn tools along with a sharpening layer and a monochrome conversion.


Llyn Ogwen

Llyn Ogwen, Snowdonia National Park, UK. 

This week saw me driving to Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. I’ve always loved it here and knew that having a drive around the park would inspire me. I decided to enter the park from the Anglesey side and make my way home down the A5, stopping when I could. Shortly after leaving Bethesda I saw a small weir on my right so pulled in at the first opportunity as water is my favourite subject. Upon grabbing my kit and leaving the car I saw the building (boathouse?) and tree and could not resist setting up a shot. Using my 10-18mm lens, I captured a series of images which would later be stitched in Photoshop. I experimented with using different strength filters and exposure times as I wanted to capture movement in the clouds but not too much in the tree which is always a challenge in windy conditions! After around 10 minutes I was very cold so decided to get back in the car and see what else I could find, although this subsequently ended up being nothing as the light had dipped too low behind the mountains. Once I was home, I stitched 6 images together in Photoshop to create the foreground and used a wider long exposure image to create an even sky and water surface. I used luminosity masks to achieve this along with the clone stamp. This was definitely one of my more edited shots as I never normally edit an image for longer than 5 minutes but I felt that to do the location justice, a more heavy processing technique was necessary. I chose this image to use as my entry into this weeks WPOTY competition due to the length of time I spent getting it perfect and am pleased to announce that it was shortlisted! This image has become my most popular on social media networks (especially #Instagram and #500px) in less than 24 hours!


Ribblehead Viaduct

Batty Moss, North Yorkshire, England.

Unusually for me, I found myself drawn to a non-water/seaside based subject as I was travelling past Ribblehead Viaduct a while back. The freight train was waiting at the end of the viaduct so I quickly grabbed my camera and crossed the road to grab a shot as it went across. The sky was really dark and it was about to rain so it was the perfect weather for me. I feel that this is one of the rarer shots of this well photographed place.


Derwent Reservoir

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Derwent Valley, Peak District National Park, England.

Sometimes I like to go to very quiet places away from everything and just sit there listening to nature.


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