Rod Dunn.....Travel and Landscape Photographer

Rod Dunn lives in Darley Dale on the edge of The Peak District National Park. For the past 30 years he has been walking, photographing and conducting environmental surveys in The Peak. These experiences led to the publication of Walk The Peak (2007) and Walk The Peak 2 (2011) by Scarthin Books. Both volumes being full-colour hardback. The images reproduced here are from these two guides.

“For Walk The Peak I used a Nikon F65 fitted with a Nikkor 28-80 zoom lens and Fujichrome Sensia 100 slide film. Dent's then scanned the images to disc so that I could incorporate them into Publisher 2000. By the time Walk the Peak 2 was underway, I had converted to digital and used a Canon EOS 400D with a Canon EFS 17-85 zoom lens. This lens was later replaced with a Sigma 17-70 Macro HSM. For my projects, digital is more appropriate as, 10 minutes after arriving home, the images can be uploaded to the PC and inserted into my work.

“I have a website of my current work and Dents produce my prints”

“Although you can’t beat experience to acquire the skills of a trade, here are some tips I’ve discovered over the years” :

Once you’ve composed a landscape shot, keep the camera still and look in the four corners of the scene to see if there is an unwanted telegraph pole, crisp packet, car reflection or whatever. If so, slightly adjust your position to remove (or hide) them. Birds in flight are seldom spotted when filming but reproduce as unsightly spots in the sky. Software can, of course, remove them.

If possible, shoot at 90° to the sun to maximise polarized light. A circular polarizing filter can increase the colour saturation but you may have to adjust the shutter speed or aperture. The light for photography is best a couple of hours after sunrise and a couple of hours before sundown. If the scene looks hazy in the distance before you set out, save your petrol.

It is exceptionally hard to photograph flowers and woods in full sunshine and achieve a true image. Try on a cloudy but bright day.

For close-ups, subjects such as butterflies with open wings have a short depth of field and can be taken on an automatic “flower” setting. For subjects such as mushrooms that require a much greater depth of field, you will have to increase the aperture setting to f16 or higher and use a tripod if your lens has no optical stabilizer.

If it’s a digital SLR you use, always use a skylight filter. For reflections, a neutral density filter ND4 or above will give a more equal tone to the sky and water. However, you may have to alter the aperture and/or other settings.

Sub note from Dents Photo

Rod highlights some useful tips in landscape and close-up/macro photography. If you require any further advice on Rods technique and some of the equipment used then Dents staff would be happy to advise. We stock a good range of tripods and filters as well as a variety of lenses to suit all budgets.

Please call in and see us, we will be happy to help.

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