I have lived on the edge of the Peak District National Park for twenty years, and enjoy its uplands and valleys, but for years as a teenager and in my early twenties, I paddled kayaks and canoes, mainly on the estuaries and creeks around the Essex and Kent coast, with forays further afield, offshore in the North Sea, and a few white water trips inland. Moving inland to study at university lead me away from paddle sport and into climbing. The lure of the hills replaced the tidal rhythms I had grown up with, and I explored many of Britain’s uplands on foot or by mountain bike.
Years pass, and though I still hill-walk and climb, I now find myself returning to paddling, but combined with a love of landscape photography. On most trips I take my camera, and have found a canoe to be the perfect platform for making images of what are really better described as ‘water’-scapes than ‘land’-scapes. Sitting almost at water level affords a point of view not available to more terrestrial photographers, and of course, I am not bound by the wading depth of my wellies.
My canoe, and sometimes my kayak, have taken me and my camera to otherwise inaccessible inlets, islands in the middle of Scottish lochs, and those far shores that beckon enticingly, but would take many hours of walking to reach, as well as opening up a new world on smaller rivers and canals. More of my outdoor photography can be found at www.northpeakphotography.co.uk. This blog is about the paddling, the places, and the people as much as the photography.