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Locked out, scary dogs and the drone

23.08.2017

The very final location in 'Peak District - Through the lens' is Sutton Scarsdale Hall & Lodge Farm. It's quite far into Derbyshire and quite a drive from our home in Leek. This location was a bit of a last minute decision, we hadn't done anything in the way of preparation, we just got in the car and drove there. Our lack of research tripped us up as soon as we arrived, it was closed, the gate was locked. Oops! We checked the book and if we had read it carefully we would have known that before we left. Never mind, the book pointed out that there is a public path which takes you to the rear of the hall, we decided to follow that.

 

Public paths are almost always obvious, well trodden and easy to follow. This particular public path lead straight into a farmers yard. The yard was filled with typical farming equipment and machinery, it didn't feel right that we were there. As we cautiously walked down the yard we suddenly heard "BARK BARK BARK!" There were about 5 massive Staffordshire Bull Terriers chained up to different parts of the farm yard. It stopped us in our path, "surely this isn't the way?" We didn't dare to continue, we turned around and looked for an alternative path. There wasn't one, we had to go past the dogs. 

 

They really were barking loudly, it was intimidating and genuinely scary. The chains were solid though and not that long, we could easily get past if we were careful. We did just that, we walked around the corner and were greeted by not just Scarsdale Hall but also Jason Riley! What an amazing coincidence! Jason was one of the photographers we met at Curbar Edge the previous week. The three of us shot the location together, it was great. We had plenty of time too (for a change) so I got the drone out. I hadn't ever tried to take photos on it before, I set the drone to manual and went for it. It was more difficult than I expected but we got some nice results from it:

 

Tracy took some really nice shots too (again), this one is my favourite, she has a better eye for it than she thinks!

 

The only shot that I took on my own camera was this one, it's quite nice but I should have brought my filters for a long exposure like Jason did. Still, mustn't grumble as it was a super evening with lots being learnt about the photography side of the drone. That's not quite where the story ends though... we still had to get back to the car. We started walking back towards where the car was, we were a bit apprehensive of the dogs but they were chained up so that wasn't a problem, right? NOPE! They were no longer on the chains! They ran towards us, it was very scary! All of a sudden the farmer drove to us, he could tell we were scared, he reassured us that the dogs only barked. He was right, they turned out to be loud and scary looking but actually very nice and well tempered. We spent a couple of minutes talking to him and stroking the dogs. A nice ending to a pleasant evening. Thanks again to Jason Riley for his help and companionship, this was the image we took on the DSLR:

 

 

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