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Richard Wheeler - A Windy Winnats Pass

Blog Posted on 19 May 2011

My quest for new locations started off well this year.  So far I’ve managed to find some new bluebell woods and am in the middle of scouting new locations in the Peak District to shoot from.  This led me to having a ‘reccie’ on Winnats Pass one evening.
After checking the sunset position, I thought it would be worth an evening stroll on there.  I have driven up Winnats Pass  a fair few times and always am impressed with the high banked walls of limestone.  I parked at the top in a layby and headed out along the ridge.  My first impressions were good although I was surprised how high it feels - if you think it is steep looking up, try looking down!
The weather was looking promising and after 30 minutes of scouting locations, I settled in an area that had two excellent compositions.  The weather was just about perfect and had the right amount of wind to keep the stubborn clouds moving yet not too windy to blow me off the top!

Winnats Pass Landscape

As the sun started to drop, it created a lovely light spilling down into the valley below.  Metering was tricky as I was shooting so close to the sun being in the shot.  6 stops of graduation filters was needed to balance the bright sky and ground and angling them was tricky to avoid obvious darker lines on the distance hills.
A quick rotation of the tripod allowed me to get a portrait shot too:

Winnats Pass Portrait

From here, it was mad dash to the next composition to get the last rays of light coming from the sun. I set the tripod up again and waited....once the sun had gone half way under the low bank of light, it was time to hit the shutter and get those lovely sun rays spilling over the horizon.

Winnats Pass Sunset

From a one off ‘reccie’ I got very lucky and bagged 3 shots that I’m really happy with....the only problem is I don’t need to go back anytime soon!
....anyway onto the next location!
All three shots are available to purchase off my website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email:

This blog was brought to you by Richard Wheeler at Peak-Photos

Make of Camera: Canon 5d Mk 11
Lens: 17-40L
Filter: Lee ND Grad Filters (approx 6 stops)

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