Plug Holes

General, Photographs

Sorry I have neglected the old Blog for a few weeks but I have had other things going on in the world of Ellis Imagery Ltd. Like, we are now married!

We did get the opportunity to escape for a few days afterwards for an all too brief break that saw us visiting the Peak District in Derbyshire. A place we have been to before a couple of years ago but then we got snowed in on our first day and were unable to get about due to road closures etc.

This time we did see most of what there was to see but became fixated on the reservoirs and dams at Derwent and Ladybower. If you have never been to this area before I can well recommend a visit. The views are lovely and the dams and spillways quite hypnotic. We were lucky/unlucky to get some weather while we there. Unlucky in the fact that it rained quite a bit but lucky that this rain meant the reservoirs and dams were at their most spectacular.

The evening and mornings were covered in cloud and therefore the golden hours were non-existent for us. If they had been there the resulting photographs would have been pretty spectacular. It is a strange dichotomy however in that you need bad weather for the dams to overflow but good enough to grab some decent light. Anyway, even without the required light the shots aren’t too bad and are a testament to being prepared to maybe process slightly differently to achieve a good shot when the original light is a bit on the flat side.


The above shot has been only tinkered with in levels using layers for each section of the image. The sky separate to the water which in turn is separate to the hills behind. Using this simple method allows you to bring out the features in each element.

There are two of these ‘plug holes’ or ‘Spillways’ at the southern end of Ladybower Reservoir and they maintain the level of the water at any one time. The result is a quite unusual and slightly surreal effect.


This shot is of the other spillway on the west side of the reservoir. Again this was processed in layers and then converted to black and white to add a more dramatic effect to the overall look. The water ‘whitens’ out in the spill itself as in real life it was quite brown.

My final image is taken quite normally, always using a tripod and maximum depth of field (well, slightly less than maximum which is more in the lens’ ‘sweet spot’). However, during post I decided to to add a ’tilt and shift’ effect that I particularly like. It is always worth experimenting with points of view as often the obvious isn’t the best. I particularly like the hole being incomplete and in the bottom right. The eye is drawn to the ‘in-focus’ area which is the main point and leaves the viewer with an element of doubt as to quite what they are viewing.


I hope you enjoy these images and of course there will be more posted onto the website  shortly.

Also listen out for some really exciting news coming from the house of images in the next few days. Take care. Rich X