This shot of Higger Tor is one of my favourite ever photos (I’ve got a thing for places with peak in the name!). It was taken on a mid-summer walk through the Peak Districta few years ago. I particularly like this one because the composition seems just right, almost perfectly fitting the rule of thirds, with an interesting (not pure blue) sky and good tonal range in the foreground.
Of course I didn’t just rock up, grab this shot and leave! Our walk took us towards the Tor from the South West, up and over it and completing the rough circle by travelling South East.
On our approach I was trying to give an impression of the Tor as a weathered hump of rock in the far distance by putting more exposed stones in the foreground using the path to point to Higger Tor. I’m a big fan of using wide angle lenses in portrait for photos of landscapes to increase the depth in a photo. However, in this situation it wasn’t really working, as you can see from the above shot, the sky doesn’t have enough interesting features and occupies far too much of the frame.
Up on the top of Higger Tor is a relatively good view, but because its a high point for a few miles around photos from the summit tend to make everything look a bit flat as shown by the above shot.
However, when we descended on the South East side things got a bit more interesting. This was a good start, getting the path pointing towards the summit and the light/dark contrast of the foliage, but the foreground is still a bit plain.
Moving further South you climb the other side of a valley with lots of cool rocky outcrops that gave some nice foregrounds, the above is a bit more like what I had envisaged. Clearly Higger Tor has a”best side”!
Just a few paces further on the path we get to the spot where everything falls into place on the landscape stretching out from the vantage point towards Higger Tor. The path starting in the bottom left and working its way up the hillside, rocks in the foreground to give a bit of context for the gritstone characteristic of the Peak District, and finally Higger Tor itself rising from the middle of the frame. By this point in the day some cirrus cloudshad rolled across the sky playing nicely with the deep blue mid-summer hue. I do love the colours of the original at the top of the post, but I also think the tones and shapes work well in black and white like you see above this paragraph.