Picture Perfect Derbyshire

Derbyshire Life|March 2020

Picture Perfect Derbyshire
A selection of stunning county sights photographed by Ashley Franklin

Given the opportunity to choose my favourite dozen or so images from my 15 years with Derbyshire Life led to hair-tearing anguish. For one thing, my shortlist… er, wasn’t. Never has the phrase ‘kill your darlings’ hollered so loudly in my ears.

In another sense, though, this whole process has proved a perfect pleasure in that I’ve been reminded of the breadth, variety and beauty of our county. Also, when I embarked on this series of town and village articles in 2004, it made sense for me to cover the area around where I lived, so there is a measure of pride in being able to largely focus my lens on the special delights of mid-to-south Derbyshire.

Most of my agonising was over which images I had to leave out from the many favourites taken in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. There will be more torn hair when I have to settle on which images will be going into my first ever photo book of the Derwent Valley in 2021, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Heritage Site status.

What this feature has also crystallised for me is that I would not be a professional photographer without Derbyshire Life, so many thanks to my lovely editor Joy for keeping me in beer and ciggies.

POPPY FIELD, HAZELWOOD

This is probably my favourite photo to make it to the front cover. It was taken in June, a month after I had taken a photo trip to Tuscany. My wife, Francine, spotted this blaze of red in our neighbouring village and, arriving home and informing me of this rich photo opportunity, couldn’t resist saying: ‘To think you went all that way to Tuscany to take pictures of poppy fields and here they are virtually on our doorstep!’

AUTUMN SCENE, LADYBOWER

This is my favourite image from my book Derbyshire Ramblings – Walking in Circles down the Derwent Valley – which started as a series of articles in Derbyshire Life. This atmospheric image, with the autumn colours glowing in the sun and a background of mist and smoke, tells you why Visit England lists Ladybower as providing one of the ten best autumn walks in the country.

GUILDHALL MARKET

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March 2020