Sunset at Mam Tor in the Peak District can be spectacular, from the pictures I have viewed on the internet!! Its now late November 2012 and ive now been “attempting” landscape photography for 8 months.
In the initial few months I couldn’t get out as much as I would have liked to because of my wife’s work schedule which resulted in me taking the kids to and from school. I’ve always known that the best light for landscape is sunrise and sunset and didn’t really want to go in the middle of the day to get shots that disappointed me. im a bit of a perfectionist at heart really.
I live an hour from Mam Tor so when I have opted to try and shoot a sunset I have always stayed within 30 – 45 minutes maximum simply because im still learning and couldn’t justify driving for an hour, walking into a location for another 20 minutes to simply take poor photos and return home unhappy, so at least if I stayed local I could keep trying until I got better.
This last week I have been able to venture out all day for 3 days consecutive with the weather holding out all but one morning, on one of these days I decided to go to shoot a Sunset at Mam Tor in the Peak District as I had never been to the summit or even got out of the car there. I had been though the gap or saddle ( Winnats Road) that takes you from North to South and visa versa on my bike many a time and have never thought to stop and climb higher.
I had been out all day and went to Curbar Edge for sunrise, but planned it rather badly to be fair as the sun rose from behind me and left me with not much to shoot at so I didn’t come away with any pictures to share of any great importance. I decided to go up to Mam Tor at 14:00hrs as I had heard great things about it and was excited as sunset was at around 16:00hrs.
When I arrived at Mam Tor I decided to walk the back way up the hill and arrived at the summit after just 15 minutes and at the top there were para gliders waiting to catch that perfect gust of wind, so I managed to get a few photos of them before having a look around the summit for some good photo spots.
To be honest I was also rather disappointed a little in some aspects, I was standing on the 10th tallest hill in the Peak District and the views to the far distance were breathtaking, but there was no foreground interests other than the triangulation pillar and the para gliders so I was scratching my head thinking of things to make a good composure with, this defiantly brought out the amateur landscape photographer in me!!
I had studied the map and knew there was a ridge to walk along from Mam Tor to Back Tor over to Lose Hill but I didn’t want to miss the sunset and decided to stay put for today.
As I waited the sheer traffic of people coming over Mam Tor was very impressive, none stop in fact and it was a Thursday afternoon as well. I got chatting to a few people including the para gliders and it was nice to relax and just watch the sun change the sky and cast some great light down onto Edale and Hope Valley, I was still concerned though by the lack of foreground and eventually when the sun started to drop below the horizon the light changed quickly and I tried a few different things.
I’ve attached a few images taken from the day at the bottom of this article on Mam Tor, but from the visit this is my pick of the day as im heading home I manage to catch the cars coming up the winding road.