Monday 6th July 2020
An early start this morning. My original plan had been head up the Kirkstone Pass to get a shot for my Hand of Man project.
As I drove passed Ullswater it started to rain. When I arrived at the top of the pass it was still raining.
I know from experience that just the conditions can vary hugely from one valley to the next. So I continued on towards Windermere and then north in the direction of Keswick in search of a break in the rain.
Eventually, as I approached Thirlmere, the rain eased. I love his place, it is one of my favourite locations to shoot. The view from the northern end of the reservoir is magic!
I have to limit the number of times I shoot here a year.
The valley is so steep sided that to stand on that beach almost feels claustrophobic. The perfect location for those moody, heavy skies.
I enjoyed last week’s shoot on Beda Fell so much that I was keen to return to Martindale as soon as possible. I made it to the top of Steel Knotts just in time to watch the sun rise over Ullswater.
On my way there I have to drive past 2 large campsites. I was surprised just how busy they seemed to be.
Normally I avoid the Lake District during the summer months. It is just a little too busy for my liking. But after the confinement lockdown I am taking every opportunity to shoot that I can.
Perhaps this is why the campsites seemed to be so busy to me. But it left me feeling very uneasy.
I am deeply concerned that the country is heading for another lockdown. If that happens and I loose the autumn (my busiest time) I am going to be screwed.
My third 02:30 start in a row and for once I wish I hadn’t bothered.
Wast Water is a 3 hour round trip for me but at this time of year the sun rises directly behind ‘Britain’s favourite view’. It is also a scene that I have yet to capture. The last time I was here the whole scene was shrouded in mist.
And once again I was to strike out.
The forecast was for no wind and a cloudy sky. The forecast was wrong. I arrived to clear skies and a howling wind.
Without the clouds the dynamic range in the scene was just too high to cope with. I took a couple of long exposures but the foreground was far too dark while the sky was burnt out.
That is just the way that it goes in landscape photography sometimes. You win some, you loose some.
I have had a few enquires about the first talk that I have written for camera clubs.
I haven’t actually started marketing it yet so I have found this very encouraging. So encouraging in fact that I have decided to write another one sharing my favourite locations in the Lake District.
As with ‘Living the Dream’ I am aiming for 90 minutes but I may trial a shorter version as a webinar. Let me know if you’d be interested.
After wasting my time at Wast Water I haven’t felt particularly motivated for the past two mornings. Time to catch up on some sleep.
When I did eventually get into the office I spent a bit of time preparing for filming the next episode of On My Watch List.
This is still a very new thing for Jules and I and so it takes a little more work than my other videos. And it’s easier for me because it is Julian that has to pull the whole thing together in the edit!
Sam Bose was our guest presenter for episode 3 and I feel that the three of us gelled really well. I have high hopes.
Views for On My Watch List have been pretty low so far, about half of what my other videos get. But that is not why we are doing it. It is our attempt to give something back to the community that has given us so much.
After 2 days in the office it felt good to get back out with the camera this morning.
Well, it did for about 2 minutes!
As I drove passed Ullswater heading for Brothers Water I saw that all of the parking areas were crammed with cars and camper vans. And when I arrived at Brothers Water I was saddened to find some people had decided to camp beside the lake.
Wild camping is illegal in the UK but largely tolerated here in the Lake District if out of sight of the majority of people. This generally means up on the top of the fells.
It is something that really annoys me.
I am not someone that breaks the rules. I have too much respect for other people to do that. So when I see someone else doing it so blatantly it really pisses me off!
I had just enough time to make my way to back to Silver Bay on Ullswater for sunrise.
When you work for yourself you don’t really get weekends off.
So I was out of the house again at 03:00 this morning; my destination, Low Rigg. At this time of year the sun rises between Blencathra and Clough Head.
What a morning for photography! I had a fantastic time.
Although low cloud snuffed out the sun rise I still had some beautiful light once the sun was a little higher in the sky.
I took the opportunity to test out some new grads that I have been given by the folks at Zero Filters.
They are 2/3rds of the price of my Lee Filters grads and are supposed to be more colour neutral. My first impressions are pretty good.