on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End frame: Reclaimed | Padley Gorge , The Peak District by Matt Oliver

Phillip William Jenner chooses one of his favourite images

Phillip William Jenner

Phillip William Jenner

Phillip William Jenner is a Landscape Photographer and Wedding Photographer, Passionate about Nature and the Outdoors, Based in Derbyshire, The East Midlands.


It wasn't until just over six years ago that I had not even heard the words 'Digital Single Lens Reflex'.

'Digital Single Lens Reflex, what? what does that even mean?'

The Apple iPhone 4 had just launched in 2010 bringing revolutionary specs to the handset:

Backside-illuminated 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with a 3.85 mm f/2.8 lens with LED Flash.

A true step forward for smartphones. I was very fortunate to own one. The brand new Apple iPhone 4 - white with 16GB of memory. It was mine, my prized possession and I was excited.

An application called Instagram was entirely in its infancy, having just launched the same year on the Apple app store. Word was spreading that it is going to be the next big thing since Facebook.
For me, I truly think this was where my passion for photography began. It was the very fact that I was able to take a photograph, edit it in the app with sliders and then finish it with a personal touch ( that being a film like a border which everyone was doing at that time ) to then upload to this social media application via 3G...It was liberating.

I could express myself via a 5MP digital image ...it was apparent anything was possible with the device I had in my hands.

My best friend of twelve years now - I owe an awful lot to. Ryan Introducing me to The Peak District in Derbyshire. I had known of The Peak District however I never really had the desire to visit only being just over an hour's drive.

One evening over a beer and a burger, he did an excellent job of talking me into walking Kinder Scout. A moorland plateau and national nature reserve in the Dark Peak of the Peak District. The location sounded fanciful - too good to be true.

As both Ryan and I made our way up Grindslow Knoll, through the moorlands both being overwhelmed with every step - memories were captured with each press of the digital shutter button on the screen of our iPhones. They were secured and those photos were ours forever. To show everyone where we had been and what we had discovered.

That was it, landscapes and photography was all I wanted, needed.

Three years later, our knowledge, passion, and desire for hill walking - mountain climbing and the outdoors, in general, had converted us. No longer did we want to spend our weekends in pubs, clubs, and cities - it was the mountains where we wanted to be. Quiet with solitude.

Various mountain paths conquered on Snowdonia and The Lake District, all captured with my smart device. After extensively using the camera on my iPhone for three years - I began to understand it's limitations. I wanted more control - more creativity and to improve my photography. I was ready for the next step.

Fast forward to the present day. Landscape photography and photography, in general, is huge - it's massive. Instagram is the second biggest social media platform after Facebook. We also have Flickr - 500px & Twitter which is also fantastic to share our images online - converse with fellow friends & like-minded people.

And of course, not forgetting YouTube. YouTube is used by 1,300,000,000 people. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. YouTube gets over 30 million visitors per day. Each one of us uses Youtube if we want to know something? reminisce? be inspired?

Being inspired is important. It drives us, motivates us - it is what makes us as photographers get up at a ridiculous time in the morning to see the day start and have it all to ourselves whilst everyone is still sleeping.

For some time now I have been watching the likes of Thomas Heaton, Ben Horne, Simon Baxter and more, for education, entertainment, and inspiration.

Whilst they are firm favourites, professionals who go to the best locations with the best gear and sometimes capture images that you can only dream of, it can be a little doubting and unrelatable.

''Oh, I am never going to be able to afford to go to Patagonia?''

Out of the blue whilst browsing on Flickr, I discovered the work of Matt Oliver. I was instantly drawn to his account. I found myself scrolling through his images frantically. One thing I had noticed straight away was that he photographed in The Peak District. I had now fallen in love with The Peak District after numerous visits time after time in all weather conditions with a greater understanding.

If I wanted to see heather in The Peak during the summer, Matt had nailed it. If I wanted mood and drama during Autumn, Matt had nailed it.

It was becoming clear time had been spent with the subject Matt was photographing by really studying the landscape - using his foreground effectively to draw you in immediately.
It was becoming clear time had been spent with the subject Matt was photographing by really studying the landscape - using his foreground effectively to draw you in immediately. Beautiful light splashed against the far distance to make the image come alive. These images were taken, they weren't just a quick snap for a meaningless upload to Instagram for likes, the image had story and heart behind them.

Matt Oliver's work is fantastic but why? Personally, for me, this is the one image I find myself coming back to. One glance and I am instantly transported to Padley Gorge in Autumn. The millstones that have been left behind years and years ago are now 'Reclaimed' by mother nature. The vibrant green moss and what looks to be dead bracken slumped next to an old stone wall barely supported. As a viewer of the image, I have so many questions but I don't want the answers, I'm transfixed by the mystery.

Which brings me to my final thought, my final emotive feeling. I am instantly spired to pack my camera bag to head to The Peak the following day, not because I want to copy this image - not because I want to try to do better than Matt, simply because it is accessible, it's relatable, it's my very own Patagonia.

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