The Secret Valley

With a very busy exam and deadline season over, it was finally time to pick up my camera again and get out into the peaks! I had a lot of social plans post-exams, so fitting in some time to get out with my camera was a challenge, but eventually I found a morning that was free. I was hoping for an evening shoot since the sun rises at an obscene 4:45am, but I just had to surrender to sleep deprivation and set my alarm to 3:20am. A time I’m more used to seeing coming back from a night out! After some deliberating I decided to head to Castleton and concentrate on photographing the sun rising over the Secret Valley, a steep picturesque valley nestled behind Peveril Castle.

I had walked through the valley once before so I at least knew what to expect on arrival and could imagine the sort of shots I wanted. While driving to Castleton the skies were overcast, but by the time I got there much had cleared, and after scrambling up the very steep sides of the valley I was treated to a pretty spectacular sunrise!  I handled the difficult exposure situation and dealt with flair by merging two shots, one exposed to the sky and the other to the land, and used my finger to get rid of any flair (if you don’t know what I mean by that, check out this little guide).





Peveril castle castleton dawn D7100 nikon

For a few shots I decided to take off my ultra wide-angle Nikkor 10-24mm and swap it to my telephoto (Nikkor 70-3000mm), and use the extra focal length to close in on certain aspects of the landscape. This first shots is actually a vertical panorama of 3 shots.
castleton peak district nikon d7100 sunrise secret valley

Nikon d7100 back lit tree sheep silhouette

Its not often I convert shots to black and white, but the drama in this craggy valley side, with the shining path way and sunrise made this a perfect candidate!


After taking a little more of a wonder round, it wasn’t too long till I decided to head home again since I was pretty knackered due to the early morning, and the very late night the night before! But not before I grabbed a quick shot of this cute little lane bordered by rows of wild garlic.

castleton wild garlic

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: