Heading Out With A Purpose


View across Dovestones, Saddleworth. Fuji X-T2 10-24mm lens, ISO200, f/10.0, 1/55″, 0.9 ND Grad filter

At the weekend, I did something I haven’t done before. I headed up into the hills behind Dovestones reservoir for photography. Now I need to qualify that statement as I have taken plenty of photographs in the area. The difference this time is that I was heading out for the purpose of photography and nothing else. Usually when I take photos here, I’m out walking and happen to have a camera with me.

The problem when you’re out walking is that you have a different primary purpose. You may pause for a few seconds or even minutes to grab a shot, but it can’t compare to dedicated photography. The most noticeable difference for me this weekend was that I would leave the path regularly to find the right viewpoint as well as the best angles and composition. This probably seems obvious but I hadn’t previously realised how wedded to the path I was when walking.

The image above, which is one from the weekend is a good example. To reach this you need to leave the path and scramble over some rocks. You would never achieve this view or vantage point by keeping to the path, even though it’s only around 100m from the path. What it’s made me realise is that whilst I have always maintained that this is a difficult area to photograph, the problem was my approach. I’m now wondering how many other good locations I have missed because I had the wrong primary purpose.

I should also say a big thanks to Dave who was the reason I ventured up to this location in the first place. He had wanted to photograph the Trinnacle rock for a long time (that image is still to come). Although I was never keen to photograph in the area (because I thought it was difficult and I live here) I said I would take him as it can be tricky to find. If it hadn’t been for this I would possibly never have opened my mind to the possibility.

I now can’t wait to get back up there.

6 thoughts on “Heading Out With A Purpose

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  1. Very beautiful photo. I just found your site this past week end. Fantastic photos. I love the composition. I find it difficult to get the great foreground and distance like you do without my tilt-back film cameras or my view camera. Great work. I’m just starting my exploration of digital imaging.

    1. Thanks Bill.
      There is a secret to the foreground and distance shots with a standard camera. Use a wide angle such as 20mm and sit down so your closer to the ground. You can then keep the back of the camera more upright which seems to open up the scene. Just be sure to pick a good focus point depending on your aperture and check your depth of field after the shot.

  2. Nice photo, Robin. And I entirely agree with you: when one is out with a clear journey in mind, and only shoots photographs from the path, one misses a lot of opportunities! Unfortunately the opposite is also true: if you go out to shoot photos and wander in and out the path, you usually cannot cover a meaningful journey. Something that often happens to me is that I discover nice places while out for a journey, take some photos from the path, and then come back to selected spots to explore them more thoroughly. Thanks for sharing your images! Andrea

  3. Beautiful light in that image, Robin. Strange how I was saying exactly the same as you about photography and walking in a Post earlier this week. Walking is all about reaching an objective, Photography is about waiting. They don’t make easy companions. It’s when you slow down that you see things that, as a walker, you miss.

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