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Deer, sheep and rivers at sunrise

Chatsworth House and its surrounding grounds are one of the most iconic locations of the Peak District, unfortunately, unless there is an event on in the grounds you can't access most of it at sunrise/sunset because of the opening hours. The river Derwent runs along side the grounds and can be accessed without worrying about the time, part of the river includes a delightful little weir which at sunrise (with some nice cloud) can make for a great photo.

We were accompanied by Glyn and Claire from Willfield Camera Club (the awesome club I belong to), they even picked us up from home at 4 a.m. which was a very nice change from us having to do all the driving. We arrived in plenty of time and located the weir almost immediately, the weather was on our side, it was fairly clear but with just enough cloud for some interest and colour in the sky. The only thing we didn't have was the atmospheric morning mist, not to worry though, it still looked promising.

We explored the local area for a short while and then set our gear up, it was now just a matter of waiting for the sun to rise enough to light the clouds up with colour. It happened a bit later into the morning than I expected and when it happened it only lasted for a few short minutes. We all started snapping away to take full advantage of the colourful clouds and their reflection in the water. This photo was the better out of the 10 or so we took:

Once the colour disappeared the shot no longer worked so we started to look for alternatives although it had been worth the trip just for those few short minutes. We were soon joined by what seemed like 200 or so sheep. They casually walked past us, Tracy took this shot of them:

What we hadn't realised was that they were all heading to an area of the grounds that was occupied by a herd of deer. The sheep disturbed them which alerted us to their presence. I didn't have any of the long lenses with me and probably didn't have the time to change them anyway. I grabbed the other Nikon which had the 24-105 lens on it and ran for it (all this walking is doing wonders for our fitness). I caught up to them just as they started to cross the river. The first shots I took were awful due to the camera settings, I quickly changed them to what I thought would work and got this:

It's a shot that documents what we saw more so than being an inspirationally crafted masterpiece but we were happy just to get something. It had been a great morning with an unexpected (but phenomenal) ending. We finished the morning with a few oatcakes (a local delicacy consisting of predominantly bacon, cheese and sausage) for breakfast and then got some sleep.

Thanks again to Glyn and Claire for the company and all of the support they have given us over the weeks, we wouldn't be where we are without you!

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