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Richard Wheeler - Firey Skies Over Owler Tor

Blog Posted on 24 Mar 2011 

This photo was taken in August when the Peak District typically looks its best.  The heather is in full bloom, nestling around the grey gritstone rocks and adding a real punch of colour to the scene. Most of the year  the heather is a brown colour with no real interest but for these 2 weeks, I always try and get out as much as possible to capture the display it puts on.
One of the best places for this is around Millstone Edge, parking at the Surprise View car park and walking up to Over Owler Tor. The start has you walking through a purple carpet of heather with views over Hathersage village over the face of Millstone Edge.  Reaching the top, it has a completely different feel to it and the plateaux of rocks are unusual in shape which have been weathered by the wind and rain over time.
On this morning, the sun was rising rapidly over a pretty clear sky. I knew the sunrise wouldn’t last long so I wanted to concentrate my time on capturing the dawn colours. Using my Lee ND grads, I tried to balance the massive difference in the bright sky and dark foreground.  The gritstone rocks were picking out the hues and these were complimented by the patches of heather scattered around.  Just as the sun crept over the horizon, I fired the shutter to capture the rays spreading over the distant ground.  A couple more seconds and the sun had risen too high to photograph it in the scene so I concentrated on shooting at 90 degrees to it for the rest of the morning.

This blog has been brought to you by Richard Wheeler

Make of Camera: Canon 5d
Lens: Canon 17-40L
Aperture: f16
Shutter Speed: 2 sec
Focal Length: 17mm
Filter: Lee Filters (approx 7 stops of grad)

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