Another Drought


Low water in the reservoir. Sony RX10. See text for details.
Low water in the reservoir. Sony RX10. See text for details.

I had intended to get out yesterday for a long walk (about 20 miles) as I find it helps to clear my mind. In the end the 24 hours of torrential rain and quite severe thunder storms put an end to my hopes.

Today was much better though and despite not having the time for a 20 mile hike I did manage a drive over to the Peak district and a clocked up 12 miles over the hills.

The first thing that struck me when I arrived was how low the water level was in the reservoirs. Above is one of the images I shot with the Sony RX10 and it makes me wonder if we are heading for another drought with all the nice weather we have been having.

As a side note for those of you wondering about my use of the RX10, I have tended not to use it much as I don’t find the images anywhere near as crisp and sharp as my Micro 43 cameras. Despite that the camera has a lovely feel and is a joy to use.

For this particular image I didn’t use the usual Nik sharpening tools but opted for Focal Blade. This is an excellent although quite complex sharpening filter which I have been using on and off for a number of years. I don’t know why but it appears to achieve better results than Nik Sharpener Pro with the Sony images.

The other thing I did was apply Contrast Master which is a contrast adjustment tool from the same people who produce Focal Blade (PhotoWiz). I was reasoning that the images from the Sony seem to lack contrast and pop which is easily corrected in Contrast master. Having just printed this image at A3+, the detail is excellent. It also has a very nice quality to it, very much like film.

I just thought I should try adding some grain and making another print. I’m off to experiment…

8 thoughts on “Another Drought

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  1. I have used nik sharpener from time to time but have never used Focal Blade. Really like the textures in this shot, although i always find low water levels worrying.

    1. Pleased you like the shot. You should try the trial version of Focal Blade if you are looking for an alternative sharpening tool. It’s very good. I’m not sure quite how low the water needs to go befoe it’s time to get worried. I was just shocked at how much it seems to have dropped recently.

  2. I am not sure which reservoir you photographed, but apart from one out of service for repairs, the majority of Peak District reservoirs are still almost full – not even Yorkshire Water are worried about a possible drought!

    1. The image shows the banks of Upper Derwent Reservoir. Howden was also very low; particularly noticeable at the top end. I’m sure there isn’t anything to worry about. I was just shocked by how quickly the level had dropped in a couple of months.

  3. I am totally surprised to see these conditions after the weather we have had this winter as ponds, lakes & rivers in the south (the hottest area of the UK) are still above normal winter levels currently. I would suggest that as the water level is so low now then that reservoir must have some sort of a leaking problem. If it does not then The Peak District use water in excessive quantities.

  4. It is usual for these reservoirs to drop low at this time of year. It is the same for many of the smaller water supply reservoirs in Pennine areas South and West Yorkshire, as it is much cheaper for Yorkshire Water (who have preferential rights to take from the Ladybower reservoirs (ex Sheffield Council – now Severn Trent) to use these compared to the much more expensive trunk main supply from Elvington in North Yorkshire. They all rapidly fill when it rains in the autumn and winter.

    Another good spot for late afternoon/sunset shots is from Bamford Edge, which overlooks Ladybower from above the Heatherdene car park. Afterwards, they serve good real ale from the Yorkshire Bridge pub.

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