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Mow Cop Castle in the Frame of an Amateur Photographer

I live in Staffordshire, England, where I enjoy the pastimes of real ale, photography, camping and good days out.

Mow Cop Castle (folly) falls within the Gritstone trail. Car park opening hours are as listed in the image. It can be a very busy place during spells of fine weather and securing a parking space locally may be difficult.

Mow Cop Castle (folly) falls within the Gritstone trail. Car park opening hours are as listed in the image. It can be a very busy place during spells of fine weather and securing a parking space locally may be difficult.

How to Find Mow Cop Castle (Folly)

The mock tower, known locally as Mow Cop Castle, is located in the civil parish of Odd Rode in Cheshire, England, UK, and rises 355m above sea level. It was built as a summer house in 1754 by Randle Wilbraham, local Lord of the Manor at Rode Hall, situated some three miles away.

This tower is visible for miles around and is a major landmark visited throughout the year. The tower gives almost unlimited 360-degree views of the Cheshire plains and The Potteries. The Jodrell Bank radio telescope can easily be identified on the Cheshire plains.

The location is easily accessible by road, though near to the tower, the roads steepen considerably, and when there is lying snow, then access by motor vehicle may be impossible.

Opening hours are listed in the photo above, and car parking is free but with limited spaces. The site of the folly is managed and maintained by The National Trust.

There are no public conveniences or other public facilities at this site.

My DSLR Camera Kit

My primary kit consisted of an Olympus E-400 DSLR with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens attached, which I purchased some years ago because I was attracted by its small size and lighter weight than regular DSLRs.

Accompanying my DSLR, I always have my Apple iPhone 7plus to hand for taking snapshots, but it was not used on this occasion. I slung the camera strap around my neck and put a dusting brush and spare battery in my pocket; I had no need for the holdall and other accessories. When photographing on location, or for that matter whenever I'm outdoors, I always wear cargo trousers. With their additional generously proportioned pockets, I'm never without a place to store my equipment along with other paraphernalia.

I left my tripod in the car as I found the need for one was unnecessary as the weather was mild and quite bright with only a slight breeze, I felt I could readily manage shutter speeds as low as one-sixtieth of a second if I maintained a balanced stance and a firm hold onto the camera. The second consideration being that the ground is very uneven requiring rock scrambling in places and I concluded a tripod would burden my mobility.

I photographed all the images in the Olympus RAW image format (.orf) which applies either no compression or lossless compression and no image processing. As RAW image files are not compressed to the extent of JPEG files, the file sizes are much larger. The file size is worth it, since shooting in RAW offers the most control by allowing you to adjust exposure compensation, white balance, sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color space as you convert the image with capable PC software to a file format such as TIFF or JPEG. All the images in this photoset have been edited and enhanced.

I consider myself an amateur photographer with a passion but quite a low skill base. I believe I'm knowledgeable in most areas of creativity with this digital platform but a master of none. I conclude that most of my images are due to chance and not a hard skill set.

EXIF Information

EXIF information for each photograph in this article can be found by clicking on the source link listed below each image. Once on the source page, scroll down.

Metering and Exposure

Exposure for each image of the photoset was either spot or multi-segment metered with the camera set in manual mode. Then the exposure was taken if I deemed the end result would be blur-free. Some of the images were hastily shot in auto mode, as in one or two instances, I was perched perilously close to cliff edges, and I didn't really want to be there. In most instances, I wanted full depth of field and stopped down to f/16.

More About Mow Cop Castle


Marco Arista from Italy on September 14, 2017:

Wow what a place. Also nice pictures, good job, keep up the cargo trousers-trekking/shooting work!!! About your poll,even my phone shoots in raw format, it's incredible how good some cameras have gotten in phones in the last few years