Picture perfect - four images that capture Derbyshire in all its glory
PUBLISHED: 11:52 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:52 24 July 2020
Award-winning local photographer Robert Falconer talks through some of his favourite images, captured across our beautiful county.
Photography is a life passion for which I have to thank my father. He would take me to see steam trains at an early age and I soon wanted to emulate him - he would often take pictures on our trips.
He was treasurer of Bolsover Camera Club and, at the age of thirteen, I also joined. I found the meetings inspirational; listening to all the advice given and looking at as many pictures as I could. As well as photographing trains, I also developed an interest in landscapes as well as aircraft and nature.
After school I studied photography for four years in Sheffield and Blackpool, finishing with a Higher National Diploma in Photography. I was a member of Bolsover Camera Club for twenty five years and have been a member of Clay Cross Photographic Society for the past seven, where I have learned new computer skills with the new technology.
I have won a number of competitions over the years and had many pictures published in magazines. I have been all over the world taking pictures but it is Derbyshire that is a special place in my heart to photograph; living next to the Peak District certainly gives me great places to aim my camera at.
There are some beautiful locations in Derbyshire that you never tire from visiting. One of these is Mam Tor - sunrise looking down the Hope Valley in early morning light is always magical.
At the end of January 2019 I encountered conditions I had never seen as good before. The magical combination of a cloud inversion in the Hope Valley with snow-covered hills set off in golden early morning light is a scene I will never forget. Lose Hill rises majestic above the mist.
Sometimes you need some luck and after a chance drive over the Derbyshire hills, just after lockdown was eased in June, I saw a barn owl hunting. I have spent quite a bit of time since watching him from my car but at the start of July, with a lovely sunny evening, he came within ten metres of my car and hovered.
A few seconds seemed a long time as I took as many pictures as I could.
A cold and icy dawn tempted me out early in February 2019 as I made my way near Robin Hoods Stride in the Peak District and I was drawn to this frozen puddle and the patterns created.
The misty atmosphere and cloud formations made the scene very photogenic. With the benefits of digital, I converted to black and white which emphasises the textures and coldness of the scene.
Derbyshire is blessed with some great railway heritage and one of the most recent additions is the opening of the line between Duffield and Wirksworth along the Ecclesbourne Valley at nine miles long.
Here, visiting No. 52322, built in 1895, departs Duffield during Easter 2019. The start of the climb up the valley is a good place to get the engine working hard. Taken from a foot crossing.