Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Low Bradfield to Dale Dyke reservoir

I had a day off work last week and decided to go for a hike and make some photographs. I took my Yashica Mat 124G loaded with a roll of Fomapan 100 (plus a roll of HP5+ in case I needed more shots), and the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 loaded with a roll of 2003 expired Ektachrome E200. I carried the cameras and other bits in a shoulder bag and the tripod in my hand. There aren’t any of the Zeiss shots included here bacause a) I haven’t had the developed negs back yet and, b) they might be rubbish as I suspect I might have overexposed them all!

I decided to drive to Low Bradfield, a village on the northern outskirts of Sheffield. Above (and below) the village are a series of reservoirs – Strines; Dale Dyke; Agden; and Damflask. My walk took me up the valley to Dale Dyke reservoir (famous because it catastrpophically failed in 1864, killing 244 people in what was known as the Great Sheffield Flood), then across the valley bottom below the dam wall. From there I climbed the northern side of the valley and dropped down to Agden reservoir on the other side, following the eastern edge of the water and descending back to my starting point. The total distance is a little under 8km.

All the photos featured here are from the first half of the walk – from Low Bradfield to Dale Dyke. There are others from this sequence that I’ll probably post in future.

This is the second shot on the roll. It’s on the first footpath I took out of Low Bradfield.

Forming part of the wall

A structure close to the edge of the reservoir, possibly some sort of pumping station or water testing facility.

A place in the trees

A view across the spillway bridge and the dam wall with the northern side of the valley in the distance. The spillway bridge is a nicely decorated iron affair and I’ve seen some attractive pictures of it. However, as it wasn’t obvious as to how I would find a suitable vantage point, and as the spillway was dry, I didn’t take any photos of it apart from this one.

At the dam wall

A series of stone steps that descend down to the water at the base of the spillway. I used a wider aperture here to narrow the depth of field (most of the other shots – apart from the last – were shot at f/11 – f/16.

Descending through trees

The next  is of the calm waters a little downstream from the base of the dam wall where low hanging branches dip down towards the water. The result wasn’t quite what I envisioned, but there’s something about those leaves at the top of the frame that I find really attractive.

Branches reflected at water's edge

I’m still getting the “dust” problems with the Fomapan 100 that I mentioned previously  here. This roll used water as a stop-bath which, while making some improvement to the situation, hasn’t resolved it completely, so it still took quite some time to clean up these images in Photoshop. I’ve not had issues with lab-developed Fomapan 100, so I’m wondering if it’s something else in my developing process, or perhaps an iffy batch of film?

Yashica Mat 124G & Fomapan 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 22 June 2020

7 thoughts on “Low Bradfield to Dale Dyke reservoir

  1. My favorite is the second to last frame with that scissory vanishing point. My instincts tell me it shouldn’t exactly work as a b/w monochrome but somehow it does which tells me my instincts and opinions are unreliable and so I should work this out in my own head 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I agree that woodland shots are sometimes leddened by a lack of colour. I think my preference for B&W has let me down in this regard on a number of occasions. Sometimes they can work ok thouh, and sometimes really nicely if you can get the right composition and light.


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