Last of the Summer Heather

06th September 2011


It has been a hectic few days. I have been trying to cram in as many visits as possible to the Peaks to catch the heather before it disappears for another year. Last Sunday (28th August), I was filming with Araam of Visit Peak District and a few fellow Destination Photography Partners, for a feature video that will soon appear on the Visit Peak District website. After interviewing us all individually, Araam followed us along the edge capturing what turned out to be very fleeting light.

Friday morning saw a very early rise and a trip out to Hathersage Moor for sunrise. I'm pleased to say that this resulted in the most vibrant dawns I have seen for some time. The heather, for which the area around Winyard's Nick is famous, although now slightly past its best still had enough vigour to colour the moors purple. The sun struggled to break through the clouds and only managed a very brief appearance but it was a wonderful morning with the moors entirely to myself for a couple of hours.

This Sunday evening looked promising, so I took a trip to Upper Burbage Valley. It had been a long time since I was last there and though it was about time to give it a bit more attention. Being a fine evening, the edge rang to the shouts and clatters of numerous climbers. It is only when you get away from the steep rock faces that quite once again descends. I captured sone nice light and shadow as the clouds scudded across the valley until about an hour before sunset, when a large bank of dark cloud moved in from the west and blotted out the sun. At this point the wind also picked up and Burbage Edge was quickly transformed from a lovely late summer evening to wholly more threatening atmosphere. That however is how landscape photography goes. The weather is the one thing that you can't control and it is just as likely to send you home with nothing, as it is to reveal the most wonderfully atmospherics that we all chase.