Peak through the Lens
Pictures by some of the finest Derbyshire photographers are featured in a new gallery highlighting the special qualities of the Peak District National Park
Up the stairs at Bakewell Visitor Centre in the Old Market Hall, a new gallery is showcasing the Peak District National Park’s finest views including iconic landscapes, farm animals, wildlife and plants. The new, permanent display space has been created by the Peak District National Park Authority not only to highlight the beauty of the area but also to support a newly formed group of local professional landscape and wildlife photographers in selling their work.
Set up with the help of a £1,500 grant from the Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, the photographers are: Ian Daisley, Graham Dunn, Karen Frenkel, Chris Gilbert and Alex Hyde. Don Symonds, who manages the historic centre, noted, ‘The gallery has transformed our display area. They say ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ and these fantastic photographs each tell a story about different aspects of the Peak District. We hope visitors and residents will enjoy exploring the seasonal collections and perhaps discover something new about the area from a different perspective. People might be inspired to visit some of the less well-known corners of the national park and find out more about its special qualities.’
Photographs feature breathtaking scenes of natural beauty, close-up shots of characterful cattle, artistic takes on wildflowers, and much more. Don added: ‘The joy of the gallery is that if people see a view they like, they can buy it and take it home to enjoy and relive their memories.’
Award-winning photographer Karen Frenkel said: ‘We are all passionate about the Peak District National Park and that’s why we have been out there in all weathers, at all hours, to capture its wonderful diversity. We are excited to be working with the national park authority on this project and hope people will feel that our images do the place justice.’
The gallery is a new joint business venture for the national park authority in order to generate income following changes in public sector funding. It builds on the centre’s growing reputation for showcasing the work of the National Park’s finest artists and craftspeople and the authority will receive a share of profits from sales.
Easily accessible, the gallery has been laid out to make the most of the visitor centre’s upper floor space, with informal seating and an activity area for children. It’s also planned to put on a programme of activities, events and ‘guest’ photographer displays.
An official opening by the Duke of Devonshire is planned for 16th March. The gallery is open daily (except Christmas and Boxing Day), 10am to 5pm. For details call Bakewell visitor centre on 01629 816558 or see www.peakgallery.co.uk
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Ian Daisley's keen interest in photography was inspired by his father. For years he spent most weekends in a darkroom processing black and white prints while persuing a career in data communications. He made the change to full-time photographer in his mid-forties and for the last five years has established an excellent reputation. Ian concentrates on capturing landscape and natural history images of Derbyshire and the Peak District, endeavoring to show the special qualities of our local environment in a way that viewers can relate to and also relive in their own memories. He runs a photography studio in Bonsall, on the south-east edge of the Peak District National Park. Ian also specialises in family portraits, commercial products, private tuition and more recently, creating beautiful images of cherished and custom motorcycles.
Graham Dunn originally studied medicine and specialised in ear, nose and throat surgery before making the change to a life behind the lens. He has been photographing full-time for over six years. With a great passion for landscape photography, Graham is constantly inspired by the British landscape. His deep affection for the Peak District began ten years ago when he moved to Sheffield. Since then, he has continually explored and photographed the area, persevering throughout the seasons and the Peak’s dramatic weather variations. A self-confessed techie, Graham is a great believer in the digital era although he adopts a traditional approach of producing images that recreate the landscape as remembered at the time of capture. Graham has won regional and national competitions and has twice been commended in the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. His book Peak District: a landscape guide, the first in a series of fine-art landscape photography books, has enjoyed favourable reviews: ‘...a truly remarkable and beautiful book...’ The Duke of Devonshire; ‘I think it is marvellous. The most evocative and honest pictures of the Peak District that I have ever seen...’ Matthew Parris. Graham also enjoys sharing his passion with others and offers one-to-one and small group workshops as well as lectures to photographic societies. www.grahamdunn.co.uk
Karen’s interest in photography and wild places started in childhood; at the age of 12 she was given her first SLR camera. She would follow her parents around the mountains of northern Britain, then watch her father process her black and white film back in the garden shed.
After a move to the Peak District, inspired by the scenery she quit her job in chemistry in 1996 to become a full time landscape photographer. She is one of the few professional female landscape photographers in the country, respected for her knowledge of the Peak District and her ability to get the most out of its varied locations throughout the changing seasons and light. Her goal is to try and create photographic images that look like paintings. To do this in the field with a minimum of computational ‘fiddle’ usually requires her to seek out unusual light or weather conditions, which she does with a passion. She considers time on the computer as life wasted so does as little manipulation as possible!
Karen’s work has been published in books, calendars, tourist brochures and magazines throughout the country, including Derbyshire Life, where she has been a regular contributor of both written articles and images. She runs her own greetings cards business and has recently written and illustrated two award-winning books, published by Frances Lincoln Peak Landscape and Light – A Photographer’s Guide to the Peak District and The Coast to Coast Walk. She is a member of the Outdoor Writer’s and Photographer’s Guild and has been a landscape tutor for a number of years giving both private and group tuition. See www.karenfrenkel.info
Chris Gilbert lives in Cressbrook. His background is as a landscape artist and he made the switch to photography in 2004. Since then he has tramped the countryside making up for lost time. In 2012, Chris had two pictures short-listed for the Beautiful Britain competition and was commended in the Take-a-View Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. Last year he was commissioned to do a public art installation at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital as a part of the Health in Arts initiative. Chris’s photography is strongly influenced by painters, particularly the works of WM Turner, W Heaton-Cooper and Edward Hopper. www.ravenseyegallery.co.uk
Alex Hyde is a renowned professional landscape and wildlife photographer based in the Peak District National Park. Since childhood, Alex has used photography as a means of connecting with the natural world, never tiring of exploring its beauty and form. Over the years, he has come to understand the diverse and intricate landscape of the National Park, allowing him to capture compositions that are both breathtaking and elegant. Working through the changing seasons, he enjoys the contrasts that this special landscape provides, from bleak frozen moorlands in the depths of winter, to the steep-sided limestone dales in summer, bursting with life and colour.
Alex’s work has appeared in top newspapers, books and magazines around the world, including publications such as The Times, National Geographic and BBC Wildlife magazine. He maintains an extensive online library of natural history and landscape images and is represented by several leading agencies including the Nature Picture Library.
Teaching is an important and enjoyable part of Alex’s business. For the past six years he has lectured in Digital Imaging and Natural History Photography on the prestigious MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging course at the University of Nottingham. He also runs photographic tours and one-day courses, details of which can be found on his website www.alexhydephotography.com