Sunrise at Higger Tor

Rocks on Higger Tor at sunrise, The Peak District. Fuji X-T3. See text for technical details/settings.

Yesterday morning I managed to drag myself out of bed at 05:00am and drove over to the Peak District. I had been watching the weather for weeks waiting for the right conditions. It had been warm during the day but then the temperature was forecast to drop overnight, with only thin cloud cover and no wind for the next morning. The conditions were perfect for Landscape Photography and all being well there would  be mist/fog in the Peak District.

As I drove past Ladybower on my way to Higger Tor I ran into a few fog banks. I could also see the mist rising off the surface of the reservoir. As I passed the fishery, the high cloud was turning pink and reflecting on the calm surface of the water. I decided to stop and shoot a couple of frames, but I’ll save that for another time once I’ve processed them properly.

When I arrived at Higger Tor, the sunrise was in full swing and unfortunately, I think I missed the best of it having stopped at Ladybower. This shot was my second frame, the first being a reference shot to check the camera setup. As the sun was now just above the horizon and starting to catch the ground, I found this position where I could capture the light on the rocks and still retain a good sky.

Capturing a good shot was relatively easy as the sun wasn’t in the frame, but I still needed to use a ND Grad filter on the sky. Without it the ground and rocks just became too dark. I also took the opportunity to shoot the image with exposure bracketing. This would give me 5 frames from which I could select the best exposure to work with and if necessary, do some exposure blending.

In the end, the best image was a single exposure without any exposure compensation. This had a nice sky, but the rocks were a little too dark. I was able to correct this during my RAW conversion in Capture One. I’m now a huge fan of Capture One for processing the Fuji RAW files and swear by it.

Following RAW conversion, I applied additional adjustment using the Nik Collection and a little Dodging and Burning in Photoshop.

I shot the image using a Fuji X-T3 and the newly released Fuji 16-80 lens. This gives a focal range of 24-120 in full frame terms which is very useful. I like the lens and have a few observations to make in a future article. I had the camera set to ISO160 which is the base ISO. The aperture was f/11.0 which gave a shutter speed of 0.7”. I had the camera mounted on a tripod for this and used a Kase 0.6 (2 stop) hard ND grad on the sky.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

8 thoughts on “Sunrise at Higger Tor

  1. Truly beautiful picture, Robin.
    I hope that you rewarded yourself with an extra fried egg!

    1. Thank you. It was double crumpets rather than an extra egg. Wait until you see the boat image though. That’s worth an extra sausage and egg.

  2. excellent shot, particularly like the sun on the rocks just hinting that its on its way. looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the new lens. i got impatient in the summer and bought the new 16mm f2 prime instead but still hankering after this 16-80. However the prime is another tiny gem and makes the xt3 very walkaroundable (if thats a word). back in the dayt i used a canon ae1 with a 24mm prime most of the time and its like going back.

    1. Thanks John. I too was wondering about the 16mm prime as well as the 14mm about the time I found out about the 16-80. I used to have a Sony R1 which has a fixed 24-120 lens which I found to be excellent for landscape work. I’ve also had the same focal range on a Nikon and found it a great all-round lens which is why I went for Fuji. I now need to complete my prime collection. By the way, if you haven’t yet tried one I can recommend the Samyang 12mm. Excellent quality and reasonable value providing you’re happy to focus manually. Forget that, you don’t need to focus. Just set it to f/11 and infinity focus.

      1. Thanks Robin, i was considering the 14mm but lack of WR put me off, maybe they’ll turn that into small prime next. I have the Samyang, in fact it was the second lens I bought for my original XT1 and have used it a lot up in scotland and also for milky way phots for which it is excellent and as you say dont have to worry about AF, once its set up it just stays where youve set it.

      2. Good point about the WR for the 14mm. I guess it’s not too much different from the 16mm which is probably the next on the list for me. Great to hear you’re doing Astro work with the 12mm. That’s why I bought it but haven’t really had the chance to use it for that yet.

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