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blanket of heather on Edale, view from Losehill

Two Great Places to Visit in the Peak District.

The Peak District has some of the most stunning scenery in the Midlands. Wedged gently between Manchester, Sheffield and Derby it really is a true wonder to come across. It’s steep valley and rising hills make it a haven for anyone who enjoys spending a summer’s day walking through the English countryside. Edale, a small village in Hope Valley, marks the start of the 267-mile long Pennine way, stretching all the way up to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. I’m not going to promise that I will cover this route anytime soon but I can imagine it provides some lovely scenery.

My first visit to the Peak District was in 2016. It’s a much shorter car journey than the one to the Lake District or Snowdonia and the walks are just as fantastic. I’ve put together a very short guide on two great places to visit while in the Peak District. I’ve only been a handful of times so this is by no means coverage of the two best places as there is still so much to explore but they are definitely a good place to start!

Castleton & Mam Tor

Castleton is a bubbly little village in the heart of the Hope Valley sitting in the shadow of the ruins of Peveril Castle. It’s full of great places to eat, quaint gift shops and spectacular walks. One of the most famous in the Peak District is the circular Mam Tor Ridge walk.

Starting in Castleton you walk west towards Winnat’s Pass a deep Limestone valley created after an old cave system collapsed. There is still evidence of these caves around the Pass including Speedwell Cavern that offers tours of the underworld.

You can climb the north side of Winnats pass and walk across the grasslands towards Mam Tor, also known as the shivering mountain, and the tallest hill in the High Peaks standing at 517m. Once at the top you are treated with spectacular views of Edale and the Hope Valley. The ridge takes you along the north side of Hope Valley towards Lose Hill and then you can drop back down into Castleton. It’s definitely one for the summer as the high ridge can get extremely windy! We visited at the end of August, just in time to see the blankets of heather that annually cover the fields.

Blue car travelling east through Winnats Pass

Flock of sheep on Mam Tor ridge

View of Hope Valley

Fence and path leading along Mam Tor Ridge

Path up to Losehill

blanket of heather on Edale, view from Losehill

Edale valley from lose hill

Padley’s Gorge & Stanage Edge

This circular walk starts at the Longshaw Estate, a National Trust property about 3 miles south-east of Hathersage. There’s easy parking and great walks around the estate if you don’t have a lot of time, it even boasts a lovely cafe if you need a pick-me-up. You can find out more about the Lodge here if you wish.

From the car park you can walk through the grounds of the Lodge and follow the path across the road to the Burbage Brook, this marks the start of Padley’s Gorge. Heading south through the trees you can follow the bank along the gorge down to Upper Padley. Turning left at the bottom of the trail will take you past the famous Totley Tunnel to the Gindleford Station Cafe if you need some refreshments.

Heading right will take you north along a trail past various cottages, churches and farmland. You may even see the beautiful cat we came across! We followed a route that took us north-east along the bottom of the Stanage Edge cliff. Taking the path to the top, we were faced with amazing views out towards Hathersage. There’s no coincidence that this place is also known as Surprise View.

We also visited Stanage Edge at the end of the summer when the heather was blooming across the moor creating a blanket of purple hugging the birch trees along the route.

autumn landscape shot of padley's gorge, peak district

fluffy cat and pair of legs

the view from stanage edge in winter.

birch trees behind a blanket of heather

Birch tree in heather

camera for the copyright of images blog

And copyright goes to… the photographer!

Who owns the copyright of a photograph is a major topic in the photography world. It comes up almost every time you take on a new job, contract or commission and many people out there don’t fully understand the concept of copyright.

A lot of the time, when I’m asked by a client, “Will you give me the copyright to my images”, I don’t get angry and start yelling about how they clearly don’t understand the value of my work. Instead, I take a deep breath and prepare myself for a well-rehearsed monologue.

Unfortunately, no, I will not give you the copyright for the images as this would mean I am practically signing my life away. I would no longer be entitled to all the lovely opportunities your portrait or wedding photographs may offer me. It would also mean that the client (or agency) would be free to do whatever they like with those images, without batting an eyelid.

Obviously, this isn’t the best idea as a photographer, however, after explaining that although they will not own the copyright but can sign a usage agreement that includes being able to print and share their photographs, many clients will agree, they don’t need the copyright. Or if they still want it, they are prepared to pay a hefty sum.

In simple terms, it doesn’t matter who set up the shot, who’s camera was used or even who edited the final photograph – the copyright belongs to the person who pressed the shutter. Copyright can get very messy when misunderstood, and maybe businesses and organisations ‘forget’ that crediting a photographer isn’t enough when copyright has been breached. Exposure can only get you so far, so when an image is used without an agreement, you can expect an invoice.

With the rise of image sharing platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram it’s very easy to get caught up in copyright arguments. Sharing and tweeting your favourite photographs from Google to accompany your post seems like a harmless venture, but be warned, someone out there took that photograph and wants credit for it and you can only assume, including their logo won’t be enough.

Luckily there are many websites out there offering royalty free images for personal and commercial use. www.pexels.com is just one of many offering fantastic photographs for everyday use.

There are, however, many Instagram accounts which ‘feature’ other photographers work. A lot of these will state in their bio a hashtag to use to get a feature. If you, therefore, use this hashtag, they will assume you are happy for your image to be shared for free in exchange for further exposure. This is a very easy way to get your photographs to a wider audience.

The thing that brought this subject to light for me today, was the news story:

After a 6 year long legal battle, David Slater, eventually won copyright to the image taken by a monkey in the Indonesian Jungle. Since the beginning I backed the photographer, understanding the amount of work that would have gone into getting this close to these wild animals. Although I truly believe animals should be treated with kindness and respect, I was never in favour of the idea that they could own the copyright to a photograph. If a human didn’t press the shutter (similarly when using motion sensor technology) the copyright should belong to the person who had the most influence on the shot.

I’m glad Mr Slater decided to donate 25% of further profits to charity and believe this was definitely a win for the fight for copyright.

Until next time…


P.S. The cover image was taken from Pexels.com

Have you ever seen such a thing?

“Until its discovery by Europeans in the early 1636, it was thought that all swans were white in colour.” (Ponnamperuma)

Well it goes without saying that yes, there really is such a thing as a black swan. Not just ¬†movie title but an actual bird, cruising the lakes and waterways of Britain. Fortunately for me, I came across a pair of these stunning creatures this week. Whilst out trying to capture images of ‘reflections’, the theme posted by a local photographic page for the month, I ventured out towards a little village named Blatherwycke, just a few miles from my home. Sadly the morning sunshine had disappeared behind light cloud and the wonderful water reflections I was hoping for turned out to be less than average. However stumbling across these to beauties made the morning even more special.


black swans on lake in england


Ponnamperuma: http://panique.com.au/trishansoz/animals/black-swan.html