I'd pretty much given up there being any kind of sunset here today as it was very overcast and raining on/off, just driving about I ended up near to here and decided to shoot the pier on Derwentwater, as I got there over the wall there were already 2 photographers there waiting for a break in the weather so with 3 being more than a crowd I decided scrap that idea and come up here instead hoping there wasn't anyone else about, and just chance waiting it out for just a bit of decent evening light.
Amazingly there wasn't another soul about here, which is pretty rare, and after setting up and waiting for a while I even got a decent break in the weather as well, it usually doesn't work out like that but if you don't try you don't get.... about 10 minutes after this image a huge storm blew over with torrential rain, which I took great pleasure in watching from the comfort of the car :-)
Pre dawn at Ullswater, a bit a a break from the Icelandic images, ironically this was a heck of a lot colder than Iceland was!
Last week Myself, Geoff Moore, Mark Waidson, and Mike (Muddyboots) headed off to the Isle of Skye for a few days in what turned out to be a fantastic trip where the weather somehow played ball for us everyday.
On the way up we decided to stop off here for a sunrise shoot, it had been several years since I shot this location and I've never had conditions like this here, it had been down to minus 10 on the way up over Shap and this made for some great ice and frost around the lake giving some different foreground options.
This one was shot pre sunrise, we got some great light when the sun came up over the hills too but I really like the cold, still feeling to this image.
The forecast was for rain, but I decided to work with what I get. Sunlight peaked through a gap in the clouds to the east creating some wonderful colours at sunrise. I was also the only person at this magical place, presumably due to the bad weather forecast.
Dawn breaks at the North end of Ullswater over the boathouse situated near to Pooley Bridge, a lot shorter expsoure than the last shot at just 23 seconds, the light having increased considerably now, a lovely still morning unfolds over the misty Lake.
3 stitched together by my fair hands.......ok Lightroom...
The Lake District, waiting for sunrise, that never really
happened.....bit of a reoccurring theme when I scrape my backside out of bed at silly o'clock............
Still it was worth it to listen to the 'expert' telling his mate/student on the perfect composition.....for 30 bloody minutes......do us a favour mate, stand out of hearing distance next time, me and the cows were not interested!
Ullwater, just after sunrise, a perfectly calm morning and load of low lying mist, magic.
I'd spotted this boat earlier this morning on the way to photograph sunrise further up the lake, I could only hope that the low mist would still be around by the time I got back here, as it happens it was as although the sun had risen it had yet to clear the top of the mountainsides here.
You can imagine just how peaceful the scene was here, you could literally hear a pin drop, the odd bird making a noise but literally complete silence, that was until there was a strange screeching sound further down the lakes followed by what sounded like an enourmous explosion, almost jumped out of my skin!! we both looked at each other to say what on earth was that!! no sign of anything at all, the noise stopped and that was that....
about 20 minutes later we were driving towards Brothers Water and we came to Glenridding village, on the outskirts was a completely smashed to bits car wrapped around the metal fencing on a bend with a guy stood on the roadside with somebody else with him, that will be that then!!
We later learned (from the guy that was with him) that he said he had 'swerved to avoid something', I had a 'bit' (lot) of doubt about this bearing in mind the noise we heard, it was a 30mph road, and the absolute state of his car told another story...
A beautiful little secluded rocky waterfall within dense woodland, found this hidden away little place on a walk and decided to set up and have a go at composing a shot, it looked pretty straight forward from the side, in reality it was anything but...
Getting into the water is always tricky but the water levels seemed to vary widly from one inch to the next coupled with the fact there was fallen branches everywhere I had to be really careful.. no sooner had I got into positon and set up I went to begin to set the camera up but in my haste I hadn't secured it with the lock on the tripod ... and off it came! freefalling towards the water.. anyone watching would have got a real treat as after some horrendously slapstick but lucky 'camera juggling' coupled with some fairly loud swearing saw me catch it after about 3 failed attempts about 1 inch above the water..... one of those heart stopping moments closely followed by extreme relief... followed by thinking you idiot...
It wouldn't be me if I didn't have some sort of mishap when I'm out and thankfully this time I lucked out and it didn't end up with a smashed up, wet, ruined camera and lens.
This was taken a while afterwards when the heartbeat had got back down under 200bpm :-)
Another visit to the lakes for a few days and another visit to this great spot on Derwentwater, the water level was a lot lower today than last time and a as result had retreated quite a way up the shoreline, I'd got here late this morning due to a malfunctioning toast machine in the hotel, that apparently takes 30 minutes to warm up! (I'd be getting a new one I think...) anyway when I got here I was fifth to arrive, 4 other photographers already set up at the location (good to meet you).
As it happens I didn't end up taking anything for about 20 minutes so waiting for my toast turned out to be the right plan, rather than go hungry.. some nice light this morning, just added a 6 stop to smooth the water right out and a grad to keep the sky and the snowy mountains in check. A classic location and one I cant see myself getting fed up with as it's just beautiful, just need to get that one killer sky!
I've been posting some very colourful photos, a number of which I took during a sunny Autumn week in the English Lake District. However, it wasn't always about colour. On my last day there, it was very grey, wet and miserable, and my photos of the Coniston jetty were nothing like I had hoped. So just for the sake of some colour, I added my umbrella!
Editing some older images this morning I came across this one I had already edited but never posted up and it was just languishing away in the folder so I decided to share it on here, and may get a print done while I'm at it.
A gorgeous morning on Derwent Water with a pastel sky and great serenity across the water, the water level being the perfect height to use this fence and get good reflections as sometimes it can be hardly visible.
Catbells to the rear is catching the first of the mornings sunlight.
Tucked away in the grounds of Rydal Hall and it's huge gardens, right at the bottom is this great little waterfall and viewing building, it's no secret where it is but it does feel like a secret area by the time you've walked through all the sections of the gardens to get to this spot, a nice dry cool morning was the ideal time to visit on this Autumn day and there was hardly anybody about.
I've posted an image from here already stood right below in the water with a really low perspective, I couldn't decide which one I liked better so I thought I'd share this one too taken from a lot higher up on the bridge which runs over the beck.
Bit of waiting involved with this one as I wanted water movement but didn't want the trees blurring through the exposure so I just had to wait for breaks in the breeze, hardly a problem as just sat here on the bridge waiting with this scene in front of me was hardly making me want to rush anything, a truly beautiful place made even more so by the warm Autumn colours.
I was determined this year to make sure I get a good few days up in the Lake District during Autumn as it just didn't work out last year for one reason and another, so it was great to get a few days away here, as usual the weather wasn't the best I could have hoped for but to be honest these days I kind of expect that, and anything else it just a bonus...
This location wasn't really on my to do list on this day I'd planned to shoot the boathouse at Rydal but fot the second day running I found myself in a car park with not enough change for the extortionate ticket machine, knowing how long I take shooting a location and not fancying getting my car clamped or towed off I decided to change location and came here instead.
There are quite a few options for shooting here in terms of where to position yourself, this one seemed appealing and was definitely getting done after I spent a few minutes tumbling down a rather steep, slippy, muddy bank to get to it, grabbing onto a few trees and plants on the way down to stop myself going for an unwanted swim...
Had a good hour or so shooting along this bit of river, which turned out to be really productive. On the way back I decided to wade through the river instead of going back up the bank from hell again, even with wellies on got soaked feet as the water poured over the top in one unseen deep part, I'd like to think it was worth it though, if I don't come home soaked or covered in mud I probably haven't got anything on the camera worth keeping!
The harsh, rocky hills and the soft, boggy marsh around Wast Water in the Lake District.
The lake is almost 3 miles long (4.6 km) and more than a third of a mile (600 m) wide. It is the deepest lake in England at 258 feet (79 m), and is owned by the National Trust. It is one of the finest examples of a glacially 'over-deepened' valley.
The Wasdale Lady in the Lake, Margaret Hogg, was murdered and her body was disposed of in the lake. She was found after eight years, with her body preserved like wax due to the lack of oxygen in the water.
...but on a lighter note...
In February 2005 it was reported that a "gnome garden" complete with picket fence had been placed in the lake as a point of interest for divers to explore. It was removed from the bottom of Wastwater after three divers died in the late 1990s. It is thought the divers spent too much time too deep searching for the ornaments. Police divers report a rumour that the garden had been replaced at a depth beyond which they were allowed to dive. PC Kenny McMahon, a member of the North West Police Underwater Search Unit, said "Wastwater is quite clear at the bottom, but there's nothing to see. At a depth of about 48m, divers had taken gnomes down and put a picket fence around them. But several years ago there were a number of fatalities and the Lake District National Park Authority asked us to get rid of them. We went down there, put them in bags and removed the lot. But now there's a rumour about a new garden beyond the 50m depth limit. As police divers we can't legally dive any deeper so, if it exists, the new garden could have been purposefully put out of our reach." - Wikipedia
A fab morning out on Buttermere with Terry Roberts, I think we spent just shy of 3 hours down here waiting for little windows of the 'right' conditions, a few people came and went in that time.
The lake was rippling over quite a lot at times and we just had to wait and hope for light and mist to be present when it cleared again, I think in all I've come away with 4 maybe 5 shots from this morning that I'm really pleased with which is more than 1 an hour so I really can't grumble at that ratio !
It was still really gorgeous as we left but I think we had both got what we wanted so decided that a change of location was on the cards, seriously hard to tear yourself away from this place though...
Nikon 70-200 f/4
NiSi landscape Cpl
Fotopro T-74C tripod
Fotopro LG-9R ballhead
At last a day off, and another very early morning trip to the Lake District. A very misty / foggy day today, the sunrise didn't happen, well it did but you wouldn't have known it apart from the dwindling exposure times.... after shooting dawn at Rydal I headed off towards Elterwater, on the way I saw this out of the corner of my eye and it played on my mind as I went along.....so I turned back for a second look, glad I did as this turned out well, little bit of morning mist, no wind, and with the lovely Autumnal colours really coming through now made for a really pleasant place to spend 30 minutes or so, this being my favourite image from the visit.
One from the back end of last year, another sunrise trip to the Lakes, 0730 in the morning (far better than current sunrise time...) sunrise as such didn't happen but this location was just about perfect weather wise, glow of the first light illuminating the dense fog/mist and seperating the lone tree from its background in the still lake, this was about the last of the Autumn colours. I was there again last week and the tree is looking pretty gnarly and sparse...
I love this location and had hoped for a decent sunset, I'd arrived almost 1.5 hours before as I wanted to scout out a few more areas and compositions and not be on the last minute for once, I'd even remembered to bring my wading wellies this time too unlike the last visit.
Once I'd got set up and did a bit of 'gardening' (removing bits of rubbish out of the lake) it was just a matter of waiting for some decent light to appear (or not as is usual), there's another part of the stone jetty out in the water here so it makes a great spot to put all your stuff down like a work bench...
Anyway, I'd started watching youtube videos to kill a bit of time with my legs dangling in the water (fur lined wellies a must for this in Feb!) the lake was really peaceful so I was pretty relaxed, the noise of the Keswick Launch Boat broke the silence as it passed by in the distance, I watched it scurry past and carried on watching my program.. now I know it's basics physics but when a boat moves along on water, that water gets displaced and needs to go somewhere.. I'd totally not cottoned on to this and about a minute later was hit with 2 good sized waves that were making their way into the shoreline at a rapid rate of knotts... amazingly the only thing that got soaked was my tousers as my bag protected the camera gear and the camera stood firm on the tripod, remarkably my phone stayed bone dry as well.
You've got to laugh as it's such a daft mistake to make when you look at it! It won't happen again... by the time sunset came the stone jetty had dried off, unlike my trousers, but with the light becoming quite intense I wan't really concerned, and getting a free bath in the lake had been more than worth it.
I can never resist a visit to this location, although I hadn't planned to shoot it today I couldn't just pass by while the light was nice and the lake was still, I'd never really managed to get a full reflection of the tree in the frame on a still lake, it's harder than it sounds as you need the right conditions, the right angle, and ideally the right time of year where the tree has leaves to make it stand out from the background (or ideally a really misty morning).
There was a little mist about this morning which always helps, but to a full misty morning would have put pay to the Autumn reflections behind the tree, there always seems to be a sacrifice somewhere! There was one other photographer down here this morning, a Scottish guy, who I was talking to who like me had returned here numerous times in search of something special - (I'd like to see your stuff if you end up reading this), I'll continue to do the same as well, I just really really enjoy seeing the scene unfold through the different seasons, even if you come away empty handed, there's a lot worse places to be standing around at the beginning of a day it's that stunning a place.
Following on from the last image inside the bothy on the fell side....
It's not often you actually want iclement wet weather on a shoot, infact I think this is the only time I have welcomed it, ever. But for what I wanted it was pretty much perfect, I'd like to shoot this in different conditions too, but to show a weather shelter doing it's job ideally it needs to be during adverse weather conditions, no amazing golden light today, just rainclouds, fog, rain, and plenty of it...
The problem with this is though unless it actually stops at some point it's more or less impossible to shoot in.... unless you're inside, like the last image.
The other photographer from Durham had gone out in the rain and got a shot and had gone back down the hill, the sky had been really featuresless though so I decided to wait it out up here for a bit to see if there was a bit more drama to be had before going out and setting up.
Not long afterwards although it was still raining there were a few breaks in the clouds and the mountains to the rear became visible once more, just remained a case of getting set up and keep wiping the lens to make sure there was a nice sharp image with no rain spots on it, thankfully didn't take too long as no filters needed to be added on a day like this.
We wondered wether to wait around a while longer but to honest I was happy with the image and probably wouldn't get anything better so we headed down, great that we did and it just got worse and worse visibility wise, and would actually rain non stop for the next 20 hours... guess I should be careful what I wish for ...
October 2020 and the very first visit to the Lakes this year due to you know what...
It was so good to get back up here again as I've really missed it, the Autumn colours are just starting to turn and even though it poured down for a large part of the day it didn't matter.
This was our first stop off point on this day and the water levels in the lake were absolutely perfect for this, the last time I came here you couldn't even see the old jetty beneath the water, the timing on this was really lucky too as pretty much as soon as I had got this shot it started to rain...
Huge thanks to Mike Tonge too for letting me borrow his cable release to get this portrait version, seeing as mine was playing up, that's now been whizzed into the bin...
Anyway, great to be back, and a couple more images to come.
The new little boathouse on the opposite side of the water is a welcome new feature.
As you enter the main chamber it is pretty spectacular and the acoustics are superb, with every tiny (or loud) sound amplified many times, the other thing that strikes you about it is that it is a total nightmare to photograph if you want to include the 'window in the shot due to the extreme contrast in light, for example I had to use a headtorch to set this shot up as I couldn't see the camera manual lens settings or the tripod adjustment levers without feeling them.
The last time I was in here I had shot from the other way round with the window to my back so while long exposure times were still needed, and there was high lighting contrast, the window didn't pose a problem at the time, but what's a Cathedral without a window...?
After managing to light the tunnel shot last time I wanted to have a go at this one, showing the detail inside the cave with the light coming in from the window, a very overcast day was needed ideally to go some way to balancing out the light - forget it in bright conditions, thankfully overcast days in the Lakes are never too far away..
Needless to say it isn't one exposure, it's nigh on impossible to shoot this in one image, in fact I can't remember exactly how many it was or what I used in the end, I think I shot 9 that would have been in 1 stop increments, but I won't have used them all in the final image.
Definitely a spot to return to time and time again to get different compositions in different lighting. The large stone pillar appears to hold the ceiling up, thankfully it's doing a great job! - I'll post another image from here coming up showing the pillar more isolated from the background.
**Edited to say - For those who haven't visited there is a second opening (much bigger) just to the right of the window in view which serves to illuminate the roof area, you can see how the light falls in from an unknown source that you can't see.... just that one viewer (understandably as you can't see it) thought the roof was all done in post processing with no light source, which isn't how I like to work.
We had walked to hear with overcast skies, (which isn't a bad thing for this area) but as we got near to the rock faces it started to blow a gale and poured down, managed to shelter for a while between some of the larger rocks until it had passed then got up onto the tops again.
I managed a few images from this location, a few of us had kind of ended up in the same area after spreading out and doing our own thing, this lone tree was a great point of interest and the colour of the springtime new tree just below it was irresistable to include in the frame.
The rain, although a nuisance had left a great wet coating on the rock which I love as it gives it loads more drama and texture.
Not long after thise was taken the weather closed in again and started pouring down with wind again so we all decided it just wasn't happening today as it was getting near on impossible to shoot in and walked back to the start point to dry off and get some food.
Although the poor weather eventually forced us back, the shots I did get were definitely all the better for it. Although I was working on a a tripod the ISO was pushed up a bit on this one as the wind was blowing hard, so I needed a much faster shutter to make sure the small tree and the tree in rear were both sharp and not moving. Worth viewing large and having a zoom around.
Although not technically the hardest place to get to, this was probably one of the hardest shoots I've had this year by far.
It had taken a while to scramble down the extremely steep and slippy bank here, but amazingly I managed that without incident, anyone who knows me knows that things like that don't usualy go to plan.... I'd taken a while looking around and then setting up until I was happy to start shooting.
All was going well until this point, the shots I was getting all had some sort of what looked like an over exposed area at the top of the frame, no matter what I did it kept happening, it had to be condensation I guessed, I'd taken the filters off I was using and cleaned those, cleaned the lens, put it all back together (really not easy while stood in the middle of a river) and went again... same again!! grrrrr. Dismantle everything again, same again!! and this went on for about an hour in which time I'd dropped my polariser into the river along with all my lens cloths, I'd even ended up sat in the river while bending down to see through the camera.
I've never had this problem ever before and the temperature difference wasn't that great from my camera bag to the outside so no idea what was causing it, really really frustrating, I swapped camera bodies as a last resort thinking it may have been in the camera body itself and that did improve it but not totally, swapped lenses, and even filter systems to a smaller one, I just had to keep going, and keep cleaning until I got what I wanted, I got 2 shots over what I reckon was around 2 hours here, this was the first I was happy with, bit of a nightmare really but if it had taken all day then so be it, not being beaten by a bit of lens fogging, (although I very nearly did give up). It was really nice walking away from the place wet, but knowing I'd got something after all the hassle.
After a complete non starter in the morning, getting up at 0330 and driving to Rydal, where the sunrise just didn't happen and was about as flat as it could be, I had a few results during the morning that followed but nothing of note really, after scouting a few locations for the following mornings sunrise I decided to climb Fleetwith Pike and try for a possible sunset looking down the valley over Buttermere.
I got to the summit about 1830 and just waited it out with a beer, taking a few images as the sun dropped including some stuff over to Dale Head as that was nicely illuminated, at 2030 the sun still hadn't gone down and it was getting pretty cold.
This was the last bit of sun just before dipping behind the hills casting its rays down though the valley below, a truly beautiful place, and a fantastic place to watch the sun set. After packing up I managed to get a good move on and got back down to the car in Honister in about 30 minutes before it was fully dark.
A fantastic morning on the River Brathay towards Elterwater, the forecast looked good for misty conditions the previous evening so Myself, Brad Eide, and Terry Roberts decided to meet here for sunrise.
The misty conditions were great and the water really still apart from a couple of ducks swimming about feeding, the light really didn't last long at all, as soon as it had got good it chnaged and dissapeared very quickly, just a case of working quickly while you had it there and also checking both directions to see what was happening behind you too.
Definitely worth getting up early, really pleased with some of the results from this morning.