Winter Landscape Photography in Lathkill Dale

Saturday December 5th – 10.00am to 5.00pm. Cost £95.00 per person. 

This course will be limited to just four photographers, so everyone will receive plenty of individual attention and get their questions answered – and also to allow for adequate social distancing. Please contact us if you would like to be sent a booking form.

Peak District landscape photography course in Lathkill Dale. Photo © Chris JamesJoin us at the start of winter for a landscape photography course in one of the jewels of the Peak District. Lathkill Dale (most of which is a National Nature Reserve) has a wealth of subjects for us photographers – from the numerous weirs used to manage the water levels on the river, to waterfalls, woodlands, caves and impressive limestone cliffs. It has also been the scene of industrial activity for hundreds of years, and the remains of the two largest lead mines are today a Scheduled Monument for their significance. One of them still has the parts of a large steam engine house standing, while the visible remains of most of the other features have been made more attractive for photography by being reclaimed and softened by nature during the 170 years since mining here finished.

Winter landscape photography in the Peak District. Photo © Chris JamesThe valley is beautiful at any time of year, but autumn and winter has a special charm – with the colourful carpet of fallen leaves and the bare outlines of the trees. Water dominates the valley, and provides the perfect subject for practising using different shutter speeds. A tripod will be needed for this (but we have some that you can borrow if you don’t already have one of your own), and we also have some sets of filters that you can borrow for use with the moving water to enable you to get some nice long exposures to blur the water. 

Water dominates the dale, and after heavy rain, it often floods – which provides even more opportunities for photographing reflections in the still water. Later on in the afternoon, mist may form over the water as well, creating an eerie atmosphere which lends itself particularly well to black and white images. Here are a series of images taken by a client on one of our previous winter courses in the dale.

Further up the dale, there are also fine views to be had when the impressive limestone cliffs catch the late afternoon sunlight. The course will run until 5.00pm, which will also allow us to photograph the sunset if conditions permit. Because the valley is long and narrow with few Winter landscape photography in the Peak District. Photo © Chris Jamesaccess points, there will be a bit more walking involved than usual on our courses, but it will still not be much more than a mile or two, and it is mostly easy walking on good tracks or footpaths.

As we will be outdoors for the whole day, appropriate clothing and footwear for the time of year will be necessary. For lunch (coronavirus restrictions permitting) we may be able to go to the nearby Lathkil Hotel, or you can bring a packed lunch if you prefer.

As this is an intermediate – rather than beginners’ level – course, it is important that you are already familiar with the basics of photography and how to use your camera in other than the “all-automatic” mode. If you are not confident about how to use shutter speeds, lens apertures and ISO to control exposure, and how to focus your camera, please come on one of our beginners’ level digital photography courses first, where we teach those skills.

The course is suitable for any type of digital stills camera that allows you to control the settings – particularly shutter speeds and apertures. The most suitable are digital slr or mirrorless cameras that have interchangeable lenses, but compact and bridge cameras may also be suitable (though some have certain limitations due to their small sensor sizes, and whether or not filters can be attached to them). Please contact us for advice if you are unsure whether your camera is suitable.

Subjects covered on this course may include:

  • composition for picture impact
  • creative use of lens apertures, shutter speeds and different types of lenses
  • how and when to use different types of filters on your lenses
  • how to get the colours looking the way you want them in your photos
  • tips for shooting in RAW format for maximum quality
  • shooting in fully manual (M) mode
  • correct use of tripods

Please contact us to request a booking form, or if you need any further information about this course. 

We also run landscape and beginners’ level courses in other local areas. See here for details of all our other digital photography courses near Sheffield and in the Peak District.

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