Positively Wet – All Weather Photography

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As I only have a small window of opportunity with getting out for photography and videography sessions, occasionally it’s a matter of getting on with it when the conditions are not favourable. I was prepared for the ‘spitty spatty’ rain and ensured I had 3 wiping cloths to hand to clear my lenses. I was in hope of an image to please my visionary desire. I had already decided it was going to be mono with some lovely atmospheric clouds framing the main subject. My glass half full attitude tied my boots, zipped my jacket, gripped my walking poles and off I set.

The image I had in mind was that of Lake Buttermere and Crummock Water, taken from my intended fell summit of Fleetwith Pike. I had visioned the lakes surrounded by the fells either side, clothed in some nice atmospheric clouds. The weather was holding up and at the start my visibility was pretty good. I was not fully confident however. After around an hours walk which involved some off piste clambering up some old slate mine, slipping along the way and rerouting several times in order to find an accessible route, I finally reached the top of Fleetwith Pike. I looked around and there was my intended composition, the reason I had climbed this short ,not too testing hike. The composition however was somewhat very different to what I had envisioned. Visibility was poor, the features to make my photograph were hidden behind a thick band of cloud. It was time for a flask of coffee and a handful of my fruity favourites, Jelly Babies. Plan B was forming, perched on a rock, sipping and chewing for the next 10 minutes.

Occasionally there was hope as now and then a very small opening of visibility appeared to show Haystacks and High Stile. Both Buttermere and Crummock presented itself. I found a rounded patch of Heather which made a mediocre effort of becoming my foreground interest. I set up low and waited but as I waited the rain slowly increased. The rain also invited its companion, wind. Both rain and wind went out of their way to make me not feel welcome. I was getting soaked. My water protected jacket was losing all hope of valuable investment as the water found its way to my underlying layers of clothing. I began to taste the rain and the sting of its wind fueled bite against my face. Still I clung to my remove cable release in hope.FleetwithPikeHeather1809080001-2

I managed to get the image above which was more of a trophy of my endevour rather than an inclusion into my portfolio.

I had spent far too long perched on the side of Fleetwith Pike. I needed to finish my vlog but had very little content. I headed back to where I had come from, surely this cannot lead to a failure. I was not prepared for that. Many a vlogger/photographer would call it a day and drift into their mind sets that failure to capture anything worthwhile is an acceptable conclusion to many landscape photography sessions. This is very true but not an option I was willing to take. I adventured on.

Walking was heavy going but greatly improved with my trusty walking poles. There was plenty of interest in the form of foreground including the occasionally clump of nicely formed grass and a number of small tarns scattered throughout. A path which lead up and around into the distance that had a couple of prominent crags had caught my eye and so I obliged to capture it successfully, still with the aid of my cloths which had lost all hope of keeping dry a long time ago.

Detail was slowly being painted in the clouds. Lighter areas were building up a drama was slowly forming. The background was being created, I needed something that lead the eye into the journey to show such beautiful moodiness in the sky. There it was, a small tarn that I had passed earlier when my mind was more occupied in discovering my intended view. This tarn was near perfect. An almost tear drop shape, angled like a mirror to this forming cloud, creating a diagonal in the middle of the frame. The Tarn had a small island of grass which broke up the contrast of the water around so wonderfully. This was in fact the final element needed in my composition. I set up and shot directly into the wind. I had taken several shots in the hope of capturing one that was not smothered in water droplets. I was pleased and all thoughts of wet and cold had disappeared for that one moment. Another pleasing day on this continued conquest. Here is that image.

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One thought on “Positively Wet – All Weather Photography

  1. Hey James, I’ve been on holiday for a couple weeks and just now catching up on some vlogs, blogs, etc. As you mention, with a limited window to work with, you are going out, conditions be damned! As a viewer, I really enjoy watching the ones that turn a bit pear shaped. You always make the most of it and remain positive. It also illustrates that it is hard work and the great images are hardly just a result of showing up with an expensive bit of kit. You are a very talented photographer and a fantastic story teller.
    On my recent visit to the Lake District, Chris Sale helped me by recommending a few sites to visit, including Buttermere. After a hectic few days, I decided that I would finish my last day with a leisurely stroll around the lake. I started with a shot of the lone tree (cliche, yes, but I had to) then began to make my way around the lake. As it happens, the rain began to fall and my leisurely walk turned into a double-time trot. I was soaking wet as I completed the loop, at which point of course, the rain stopped. Cheers, Jeff

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