No Heather but Lilly turned up


Late Summer on a Fell who’ s name originated from the Old Norse for Heather. Surely my desire to shoot a carpet of pinks and purples will come to fruition. I had looked forward to this all year. The weather was good, the light was in my favour. I visualised what I wanted as I climbed Lingmoor Fell in the Central Fells of The Lake District.

It didn’t take me long to climb to this relatively small fell. At under 500 metres and no technical scrambles I managed to bag the cairn in well under an hour from setting off. This included me vlogging of course, filming a message of hope and intending to excite the viewer into sharing what I had visualised. It didn’t take me long to discover I had been too late.

The UK had seen an unusually long hot summer. I am no horticulture expert but the Heather had blossomed early due to the amount of sunshine we had this year. Albeit for the occasional patch of purple blossom, it was now clothed in a dry brown dead looking hue. I was disappointed but as a landscape photographer who doesn’t give in, I continued my journey into finding something that was to heal my wounds.

Lingmoor Tarn was pulling me in and I captured a decent shot with the Langdale Pikes as a backdrop. The light was good with splashing contrasting patches on the Fells.

I was fairly pleased with the composition but not fully content. I wanted more and wasn’t prepared to leave without further adding to my session. As I wandered around the Tarn, I was interested in the Lilly Pads displaying their glorious paddle like leaves on the surface of the water. The Langdale Pikes we’re in view but the angle was wrong for a shot of the Lilly Pads as foreground interest, the Pikes as a backdrop. It was time to get intimate. There it was. An isolated patch of wonderfully organised Lilly Pads with its leaves pointing in different angles and its stems bent in such a pleasing way that I was gripped. Out came the telephoto lens, on went the Circular Polarizer filter to take away the reflections of the clouds that interfered with the composition. I waited for the light and it didn’t disappoint me. Heather eluded me, Lilly invited me.

4 thoughts on “No Heather but Lilly turned up

  1. As usual James, you made the most of the situation and came up with something very nice. Not long ago, I went to Provence on a lavender hunt—something I’d dreamed of for years—and was rewarded with perfect conditions. Purple lavender and bright yellow sunflowers everywhere I looked. Given my luck with conditions lately, I fear I may have used up a lot of my good weather karma in one go! Nevertheless, I persevere. Looking forward to your next vlog. And blog. Cheers, Jeff


    1. Thanks Jeff. I just can’t go somewhere and come back with nothing. I can the Provence scene in all its glory. I’m sure it was beautiful. You just never know when luck is on your side and the weather is your friend. So important to keep going and adapt. Thanks for your continued support Jeff


  2. I love the lily pad shot mate. I love the contrast between the vivid green of the pads and the inky blackness of the water. Flexibility as a photographer is still something that I am trying to teach myself. I have become very good at pre-visualising a shot, know exactly what I am after, but very back a adjusting when things don’t go my way.


    1. Thanks Chris, it is a favourite of mine and will be added to the ranks of my portfolio. Thorough planning is my problem and taking note of what my photography friends have previously captured in the area. To echoe my school report ‘James must pay more attention…’ My glass is half empty though and accept that on occasions, the landscape doesn’t provide what we want


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