PoTM 2011 August: Reservoir Dogs(Trail Riders at Derwent)



The Peak District National Park has a huge number of fantastic trails for walkers and riders alike. Amongst the most popular are those around the ‘dam buster’ Ladybower, Derwent and Howden reservoirs. The three reservoirs provide great backdrops for hiking and riding and the surrounding woods give welcome shelter in iffy weather. Thanks to the efforts of Seven Trent Water and the Peak Park the trails around the reservoirs are very accommodating and hence they are (justifiable) very popular with walkers and riders of all ages and abilities. Those looking for a more challenging day can join several loops together whilst those content with shorter walks or rides have the pick of several shorter loops.


I was out recently for a bike ride en-famille but I couldn’t resist pulling over and grabbing a few shots of the riders that were hacking past. The day was a bit mixed and although it was fairly bright, the sky wasn’t exactly shouting out to be included in any of the shots. I didn’t have any strobes with me either, just a body and a ‘go anywhere’ lens so my options were limited. I could have pumped the ISO up to freeze the riders but the background was (photographically) dull and hence I figured that this wouldn’t have produced any decent shots. As an alternative I thought that a panning shot or a pulled zoom shot would be a better option and as there was no shortage of riders I had plenty of opportunity to try a few different ideas.


In the end the shot above was one of that caught my eye during post (processing). I used a slow shutter speed/small aperture combo and threw in a bit of panning to blur the riders to accentuate their speed as they hacked past. By panning and using a slow shutter speed I deliberately blurred the riders and the dull background too. If I’d had some strobes with me and more time I could have thrown some flash in there too for a motion blur but I was out on a family bike ride and not a photo-shoot! There’s always next time though…


Capture Notes:

Nikon D300, 18 – 200mm AFS VR @ 55mm, ISO 200, 1/10 secs @ f22 matrix metering in aperture priority with -0.3 EV compensation



Peak District National Park, trail riding, mountain biking, Derwent Reservior