Gardom’s Edge, Derbyshire
A weekend trip to Derbyshire had me up early this morning for a walk around Gardom’s Edge and Brichen Edge, near Baslow. I recently reacquired a copy of a lovely little book entitled ‘Peak District Natural History Walks: Case Notes of a Nature Detective’ (having somehow lost my first original copy). I’d done a couple of walks from it some years before, but that was before I had my own transport and before I was as interested in photography. The book provides a treasure-trove of local knowledge on the smaller natural history subjects, such as mosses, ferns, and lichens, as well as geology, and as such is actually very much suitable for those of a nature photography bent. The walk around Gardom’s Edge interested me both for the interesting diversity of photographic subjects (classic landscapes, intimate micro-habitats, standing stones, natural textures and tones in bark, rock, bracken, oak and birch) and also because a little research showed me that the area is also favoured by some of the country’s most well-respected landscape photographers. I spent three hours here between 6 and 9am, and came home with some shots I’m pleased with.
I took my D800E hooked up to the 200f4 macro, primed for whatever macro opportunities presented themselves, and also had my trusty D300/18-200VR travel combo in tow for shots and angles of landscapes to experiment with and test my focal length options with a possible view to expanding into landscapes. I’m glad to say that both combos came home with some nice shots, and I can thoroughly recommend the place – I’m sure I could have spent many more hours there (if the soft morning light had held up), because I kept finding more subjects as I went around. Shots I didn’t get but may well go back for in future are shots of the bracken and the birch trees, both of which looked lovely with greens, silvers, and golds in late summer, but will also most probably look stunning in autumn or even winter. It was nice to see the Silver Birch leaves falling because the gold colours were so distinctive among the greens and greys of the bracken, rocks, and lichen.
The shots I took were macro shots of intimate scenes as well as details in tree bark; the landscape-type shots I took with the D300 were of a fantastic multi-coloured and multi-textured Oak in one of the millstone delves just below Gardom Edge.
The shots I’m quite pleased with are as follows (all taken on tripod):
ISO 100 10″ f/18
Full frame, in-camera 4×5 crop mode
(maybe the gold of the leaf is a little bright, though the full-size shot reveals all the detail well enough).
Some different views of the fabulously textured oak:
Nikon D300/18-200VR @34mm, polarizer
ISO 200 1″ f/16
A closer view, cropped to 4×5 from vertical
Nikon D300/18-200VR @ 82mm, polarizer
ISO 200 1/2″ f/8
And, finally, shots of another oak, with an interesting face seemingly peering out from the bark:
ISO 100 0.6 f/16
cropped from horizontal
ISO 100 1/5 f/9
cropped from horizontal