Having moved back to York I am finding it quite a bit easier to get out to different locations. This morning I went to Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District. I left at 4.30am, was in Keswick by 6.10am just around first light.
On arriving at Castlerigg I got kitted up in cold weather gear, the outside temperature was -4 degrees Celsius and there was quite a frost on the ground. At times like this I wear a pair of neoprene fishermans gloves which allow the thumb and forefinger of each hand to be revealed making camera controls easy whilst keeping the rest of your hands warm.
I set up my first shot with the sun to my left, which was still well below the horizon. At times like this I really should use my spotmeter to work out the shutter speed required but to be honest you get a feel for it and I tend not to bother. This shot I gave just less than 3 minutes which worked out right.
For my next shot I moved around so that the sun was coming up behind me, its first light illuminating the stones and the tops of the distant snow capped peaks. Full moon was only a couple of days ago so it was still large in the sky. Normally elements are better positioned on the thirds of an image but with this one I thought having the moon centrally above would work. As Castlerigg is such a mystical place the presence of a nearly full moon seemed to suit it.
Finally I always try and find a different angle, in a location as picturesque as Castlerigg it would be easy to get absorbed with the stones themselves and miss other shots. A short walk across the field brought me to a dry stone wall overlooking a misty valley. I used the wall to lead the eye into the photo and the vivid sunrise colours gives the shot a nice relaxing feel.
Whilst out at Castlerigg I met a few other photographers, which is always nice to meet likeminded people. I hope you all got the photos you wanted. One chap I met was Duncan Heavisides who has a good website, have a look here
Finishing up at 7.30 the sun was now too high in the sky to get the best light. I took the decision to get home and catch up on some sleep, in a location as good as the Lake District is would be easy to spend the rest of the day wandering about ruing the lack of good light. I preferred to get home, catch up on some sleep and get processing the shots from the day. I will be back again to the Lakes, there is no point, in my opinion, wasting the day trying to work with poor quality light and wasting such an amazing location.
I set off back to York and was home by 9.30am, stopping off at my mum's house to say hello, she made me the finest bacon, sausage and black pudding sandwich which was the perfect finish to a good morning of photography (thanks Mum!).
Depending on my schedule, and of course the weather, I think Ullswater is on the menu next week.