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The night I decided not camp out on The Roaches

The night I decided not camp out on The Roaches

The next photography club competition was looming and this time the subject was ‘Scapes’; Land, Sea, City, Sky, River, Town, etc. Well, with the weather having been so unexciting over recent weeks, I decided to look back over my image library for suitable entries; I’m so glad I did it reminded my of The night I decided not camp out on The Roaches.

It began with a set of images I captured a year ago up in the Roaches in the Southwest corner of the Peak District. These are images I downloaded from the camera and was so disappointed that I didn’t do anything with them. I’d taken them in mixed lighting conditions; it was either too flat and dull, or too bright and contrasty. I didn’t have my grad filters with me so just had to make do and hoped for the best. When I got back home and downloaded them I wasn’t feeling inspired and forgot all about them until recently when I began post-processing them in Lightroom.

The night I decided not camp out on The Roaches

Last year, when I traveled over to the Roaches, I had this crazy idea of camping out in the car for the night and getting up early to catch the sunrise the next morning. My family were away, so they weren’t going to miss me, and it’s the least any dedicated photographer would do.

However, I’d casually ignored the fact that in early Feb the nights are about 15 hours long, and the night temperature was forecast to drop to about -8 degrees. As the sun went down, and the temperature plummeted, I soon gave up with that idea and spend a couple of hours wandering the moors before lack of daylight and the cold encouraged me to go home.

In hindsight it was probably a good thing; about 6 inches of snow fell overnight and had I stayed out I would have been caught out in it. Added to which no-one really knew where I was or was expecting me back. Maybe one summers night when the nights are shorter I’ll try again.

Anyway here are a few shots I captured towards the end of the afternoon. These were taken while the sun was fighting a loosing battle with the clouds.

The Roaches

The Roaches is a wind-carved outcrop of grit-stone rocks. They straddle the parishes of Leek, Frith and Heathylee in the Peak District National Park. Traveling from Leek it’s about 4 miles to the north. Alternately, from Buxton, head south towards Leek and it’s about 8 miles.


  • Canon Eos 5D mk III
  • 16-35mm EF 2.8 USM lens (I had another lens but couldn’t find anywhere sheltered enough to swap them)
  • Lightweight tripod


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The night I decided not camp out on The Roaches

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