The best laid plans

March 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment



Having a good plan is always a good approach to getting the best out of the location your intending to visit. I am starting to venture further afield in my photography, as we have such a beautiful country to explore. I had been wanting to go to the Lakes since my last visit to Wastwater a couple of years ago. As usual things and weather get in the way, but this year I have made a promise to escape the confines of Derbyshire and get out to some of my planned locations.

So with a decent weather window I had pencilled in the Langdale Valley, and a disused slate Quarry as my preferred locations, it would suit the sunrise time and the view of the Langdale Pikes are perhaps the most iconic in the Lakes. A 3.30 alarm call got me up and out the door by 4am, and I made good time up the M6 feeling happy with my choice the weather was looking fantastic. An hour into my journey I saw the dreaded motorway closed sign, and proceeded to divert off the M6 due to a lorry fire. This cost me an hour in time, racing up thorugh Windermere and Ambleside I finally made the location well after sunrise, but hey ho what can you do.

As it was the Pikes were under some brooding clouds, I set up shop at Blea Tarn and waited to get some light on the scene in fornt of me. I had opted to shoot some really long exposure frames, but the weather for that first hour was bloody horrible, with strong gusts of wind bringing in a few rain squalls, fortunately I had brought along a rather large brolly which kept the kit dry. The couple of long exposures I shot were trashed as over a preriod of a few minutes light drops of rain found the front of the filter. I was beginning to think that the journey up was going to be a washout. I was getting deeply frustrated, and also a slip on a rather wet bank left me with a soaking wet backside.

The sun then appeared round the back of Lingmoor Fell and the whole valley was lit with this gorgeous light, I was once again a happy camper. Taking advantage of this I moved around various viewpoints looking for good compositions. I was satisfied with what I had managed to capture. I went on to recce a couple more spots for a later visit. Then headed off to find the Quarry.

The Quarry was a fantastic place to visit, and concentrating on getting some abstract images I was not disappointed, the light was getting rather flat though and bt about midday I headed into Castleton to grab some lunch and a brew. The whole of the Lakes was bathed in glorious spring sunshine, and a fantastic blue sky, but for me the day had ended, I like my light a bit moodier. Making tracks back to the M6 i thought I would be home for around 4pm, except the southbound section was closed and the jam I was trapped in would take another 8 hours to clear. I finally got home at 10pm totally spent.

All the images taken, were shot using the Mamiya 645df, using the 35mm, 80mm, and 210mm lenses. The images are 16bit raw files processed in Adobe CC and Lightroom. I used the following filters nd grad .6/.9 and a colour polariser.


First light Langdale Pikes, Cumbria


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