Monday 21st October 2019
When we had finished we said goodbye to Steve and Adam and I headed for the mines at Tilberthwaite. Adam thought they would make a good subject for my hand of man project and I was keen to check them out.
I’ll be honest I am not sure about including quarries and mines in the project. It is supposed to showcase the positive impact that man has had on the Lake District and to many they are little more than scars in the landscape.
I have become concerned recently about my shot selection.
My approach to landscape photography is to research a location thoroughly so that I know my preferred composition before arriving on location. However, if conditions are not suitable I lack the flexibility to deviate from my original plan and end up producing mediocre images for which I have been criticised.
So this week I thought I would try my hand at some more intimate compositions.
Today, with its blue skies and harsh light, was the perfect opportunity to have a go.
✓ – The opening to the mine is a clear primary subject that acts as a strong focal point
✓ – The rocks provide context placing the entrance in some form of mine/quarry
✕ – Oh my god! Could this be the most boring photograph ever taken?
My problem with the shot that I got last week was by trying to include all of the stone circle in the frame the stones themselves were too small.
This time I decided to isolate just a few of the stones in order to make more of their form and texture.
✓ – Despite isolating just a few of the stones they still appear to have been placed very deliberately and are a clear example of the hand of man
✓ – The shallow depth of field reduces the impact of an otherwise distracting background
✕ – Photograph doesn’t show off the surrounding area; it doesn’t show how the stone circle compliments the surrounding landscape
I definitely want to include paths in my project and so I decided to return this morning to see if I couldn’t get a shot.
✓ – Low angle of view makes the most of the stones in the foreground…
✕ – …however, a higher view point would have shown more of the pattern that the stones have created
✕ – Er, it’s a bit boring isn’t it..?
For the first time since going full-time I didn’t make it out for sunrise.
When I woke up it was grey and uninspiring and so I went back to bed.
When I did finally make it out I headed for the Whinlatter Forest. I was hoping to get an image of the arrow straight lines of trees you get in man made woodland.
Unfortunately I could not find one no matter how hard I looked. Eventually I settled for a long lens shot of Skiddaw.
✓ – Makes the most of the autumn colour, not easy to find in one of our man made (and therefore mostly evergreen) forests
✓ – The mountain of Skiddaw provides a strong background and added interest
✕ – Not sure it is a particularly intimate shot
Once I had finished I set off in search of something a little more intimate. Perhaps a little more like my original idea.
However, after much searching I eventually ran out of forest. Not wanting to retrace my steps I carried on, finally reaching the summit of Grisedale Pike.
At the summit I was delighted to find more evidence of the hand of man. One to return to in future?
One of the features of the Lake District that will definitely feature in my hand of man project is the Haweswater Reservoir.
This morning I set out to get a shot of it’s famous water tower. The water tower was made from the remains of the church at Mardale which was destroyed when they flooded to valley to create the reservoir.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get close enough to the water tower. The permissive path that runs alongside the reservoir is closed at the moment and all of the gates leading to it are padlocked.
I have decided to get in touch with United Utilities to see if there is anyway of getting closer to the tower.
As I wasn’t able to get a shot of the tower I had to settle for one of the dam.
✕ – Very little to like about this photograph
✕ – No creativity. Little more than a record shot
✕ – I hate it!
Creating intimate shots of the landscape is much harder than I thought it was going to be.
Overall I am very disappointed with this week’s shots.
The only thing that I can think to do is to try intimate composition more often in the hope that I will improve.