I recently released a vlog which I filmed from Yew Tree Tarn. A beautiful little body of water situated just North of Coniston Water in the Southern part of the Lake District. I had planned my trip to park near the Tarn as close by were both Holme Fell and Black Fell, two fells I had yet bagged in my conquest to climb all the 214 Wainwright’s of the National Park. I had also arranged myself to arrive early, sunset in fact. That’s my planning done, it was time to discover and enjoy this new location.
It was mid Autumn and the seasonal hues were on display. The light was good, not too harsh and just enough to have some impact on the surroundings. There was plenty on display to get myself busy with creating compositions. Various trees of different shapes and sizes lined the banks of the Tarn which were momentarily lit from the low angled Autumn sun. There were pines and erm…smaller ones, middle ish size ones etc etc. Botany is not my strength. I didn’t need the knowledge as all I wanted was to come away with a good selection of landscape photography images. I didn’t plan for this, the time delivered it to me and it was up to me to make the most of it.
Every now and then as landscape photographers we discover a composition that would work better in the right conditions, whether it be sunrise, sunset or a moody, dark day for a black and white image. We find the right foreground that matches the background and creates exactly the right mood we are looking for. There is however that added ingredient of light that would just put the candle on the cake. This is where good planning is a benefit. We cannot create the right conditions but we can arrange to be at the right place, right time based on the predicted weather forecast. This is where I struggle. My time is restricted due to other parts of my life, work and family. So Is there any point if I can not meet these requirements? Of course there is, it may just take several attempts to get the image you are really after though.
I make a point in the vlog that if we plan, we create an expectation. That expectation often however does not turn into the required result which then leads to frustration and disappointment. We can examine all the available weather apps and establish what angle the sun is going to rise and set the exact day when the right added ingredients will be on a offer. There is nothing wrong with this. I simply can not rearrange my life to meet these requirements. For me, I want to know where I am going and at what time and search for what works and decide what does not. It is important to enjoy photography and not put added pressure on yourself. A relaxed mind often results in better output. My message here is to arrive at a location and enjoy what you see. Avoid the frantic rush around, it will still be there tomorrow.
I usually work with what is put in front of me and if the conditions are right, whether it be the light, positioning of the clouds, the right amount of colour in the sky etc etc then I am very pleased. I accept this cannot be the case all the time and so I move on to another day or alternatively try something else.