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Images of Isolation

The hills and moors of the Peaks provide a great place to get physical exercise in the outdoors. Walking, cycling and climbing are common place. There is however a bleaker side to the Peak District.

Visits to the great Houses and Halls of the Peaks (Chatsworth, Haddon and Hardwick Hall to name a few) have become a 'must do' part of any break to see where the other half live and see for real the locations for many TV and film period dramas.

In winter the Peak National Park (along with all areas that are out of the way) can be an isolated and even dangerous place. Freezing winds, heavy snow and thick mist cover the wilder parts for much of the colder months.

If you venture into the wilder parts of the Peak National Park in winter be sure to be prepared.

Isolation on the Moor

These images were captured during a trek on the moor during a snow storm. I had seen the first of the trees from the roadside as I had travelled past in previous months.

Peak District Photography | Images of Isolation 01

The opportunity to capture the fascinating shape of the wind swept tree, almost bowed down to the elements, was too hard to resist.

Making my way across the moor I realised that the normally hard surface of the grassland had become boggy. If I stood still for long enough then I started to sink! In fact, when looking at the images I took, each is taken from a slightly lower standpoint as the tripod dug in.

Peak District Photography | Images of Isolation 02

Once I had finished with the first tree I noticed the second. This was not the moist sensible thing I had ever done, as the dullness of sound and vision with the falling snow made returning to solid ground less likely. It is very easy to get disorientated on the moor in a thick mist or snow storm.

GPS is all well and good, but your smart phone does not work well in snow and rain. Your fingers are just too cold (out of gloves) to work the menus.

Peak District Photography | Images of Isolation 03

Sound is deadened in snow. The crunch of your boots in the marshy grass is all you can hear, plus the biting wind.

Peak District Photography | Images of Isolation 04

Each of these trees evoked in me the feeling of utter isolation. Exacerbated by the deadening silence, the bitter air, the disorientation of the moor and the uncertain footing.

I hope that you have enjoyed this short series of photos.

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