My girlfriend was going on her friend's hen night, leaving Carnforth on the edge of the Lake District at 5am on Saturday morning and returning late on Sunday evening. It seemed only logical to turn the weekend into a photography expedition. I had some company in my father who was once a professional commercial photographer and who was testing out his latest purchase, a Fujifilm X10 (more about that in another post in the near future).
We left out hotel at 4.30am Saturday and dropped Vicky off with her friends at Carnforth. I'm not the best in early mornings normally but when I have an adventure like this to do I manage, it did however feel very early.
From Carnforth we made our way up into the Lake District. Our first stop was Grasmere, I'd hoped for a nice sunrise but cloud and a thick mist meant that wasn't going to happen. Instead I found a spot looking across Grasmere and was going to go for a low contrast landscape. I climbed down a small cliff and got my father to lower my gear down to me. I'd just got my tripod set up and was setting the camera up when my dad shouted down to tell me to look to the left. Out of the gloom and mist rowed a solitary boatman, totally silent. I grabbed the camera off the tripod, quickly changed the settings and took one shot:
The low contrast landscape I was planning turned out to be too low contrast, it was merely a variety of shades of grey so we moved on. We stopped in a little parking spot near to Thirlmere Reservoir. I got a couple of shots:
Next off we moved along Thirlmere, it is a man made reservoir to serve drinking water for Manchester, an 84 mile aquaduct runs to the city. The sun had by this stage made a welcome appearance.
Moving a little further down the reservoir I had to once again scramble down a banking, the weight of my camera and tripod makes for quite an exciting time on steep surfaces!
A quick lunch in Keswick and chance to buy an OS map (a really good investment, whilst satnav tells you how to get somewhere you've got to know where you're going) and we were on the road again.
A run down Derwentwater saw the weather really improving, it didn't feel like March in the North of England, I was working in shirt sleeves, not even a fleece required. Derwentwater was absolutely flat calm, I decided the best way to treat it was in a panorama. I took 12 individual shots and stitched them in Photoshop, the file got to a rather large 1.37 Gb, even on a fast Macbook Pro it took several minutes to open. I was really pleased with the results, I hope you like it.
A little way down Derwentwater at Borrowdale I spotted a wooden jetty, a classic shot of the Lake District. Unfortunately I was too engrossed in working out how to photograph the jetty to see the obvious steps down to it and instead took a rather daring 8 foot jump onto the beach. Oops! Shooting at wide angle a polarising filter wouldn't be the best option so I used a graduated ND filter to underexpose the sky slightly and retain the deep blue of the sky.
As the day came to a close we went out to St Bees. Living on the East Coast I am used to having to be up early in the morning for vivid colours over the coast. This weekend being on the West Coast it was a luxury to have the vivid colours of a sunset over the coast at a reasonable hour.
The day drew to a close and my dad and I retired to our hotel to catch up on a pub meal and a welcome sleep. We would be off very early again the next morning.
Day 2 to follow.