Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Lost Amongst Trees

(Remember, as usual all these photos can be purchased on request at www.matrobinsonphoto.co.uk)

This year I've found myself getting fixated on certain locations or ideas at various stages - only moving on when I feel I've done the initial thought justice. I spent the early part of the year chasing a Mam Tor inversion, followed by an early summer really acquainting myself with Kinder Scout, then a long period around Higger Tor and Over Owler Tor chasing the heather, finishing(?) on an autumn spent in Padley Gorge.

The reason for the question mark after 'finishing' is because I'm not really sure I have finished here. Autumn is ending at that location but I'm not sure I can say that I'm fully satisfied that I completed what I set out to do. There's nothing that I know of that is as difficult to photograph as woodland due to it's inherent complexity, so to me it presented a challenge to see how far I've come in the last couple of years. If I could simplify the 3D mess that I see in front of me into a pleasing image to be shared in 2D then I'd be a happy man - and whilst I think in a number of instances I've come tantalisingly close to doing so, I've not taken that stand out photo that makes me step back (mentally, as I'm sat down) and think "bugger me, I've done it.".

I feel I've very much grasped (not that there isn't more to learn) the idea of landscape photography in terms of wide vistas with beautiful light - I look at my photos of these moments and often find very little I'd change about the image. But, inspired by the constant stream of work coming in from both my Twitter and Flickr contacts I felt that I still needed to focus on something more low key and personal, what some call (which I really don't like) 'intimate landscapes'. I will forever be in the camp of the wide views and spectacular scenery (and love nothing more than a well thought out 17mm photograph) as to me, a landscape photo should convey the feeling of being somewhere - and what better way to do that than grab as much of the scenery as possible and shove it into a wide angle photo (whilst still being well thought out and drawing the eye!). But in order to pass judgement on the smaller scale landscape it is definitely necessary to learn to do it myself.

I've learnt many things, and still have a long, long way to go in terms of perfecting this style of photography but one thing that has stood out so far is how it's changed my perception of certain situations - as even in very harsh, glaring light on Gardom's Edge the other day - thanks to the many weeks I've spent amongst trees I managed to rethink my approach and come back with a set of images I'm very pleased with. I now almost have two completely separate sets of rules in my mind when taking photos, compared to the limited set I had before - which ultimately has to be a good thing!

Anyway, here are the photos - I don't claim that any of them are anywhere near perfect, but from 4 visits to Padley Gorge over a few weeks these are a selection of what I found. I'll leave my personal favourites until the end.

So, I hope you like what I've found in this popular Peak District location!

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