For a photograph to stand out among the crowd, it has to have an instant appeal. This is obvious and relates to all art. Composition including a good balance of the elements within the frame often become lost if the lighting is poor. There is not a given rule however that good composition leads to a photograph that is individual and has that wow factor. More often than not, the light and weather conditions falling onto the scene make an image pop and result in that instant satisfaction. Mood is a main contributor to a satisfying image but what is mood?
I had planned this walk pre lock down, around early March 2020. This was a hike that would include Englands 2nd highest peak and one I was very much looking forward to. Then came the uninvited guest which lead to a stop to all hiking in the Lake District. Since the ease of the lockdown, I had already returned with a more gentle hike, detailed here in another post ‘Lakeland – The Return’ On my 2nd return to the National Park however, it was time to face the big one, Sca Fell. The majority of the walk seemed quite gentle. Maps however do not give any idea of what faces you in terms of the weather conditions. This is the story of a day where my confidence diluted the risks.
It had been 2 months nearly to the day when I finally hit the road and headed back to the National park that had brought me so much fun, solitude, adventure and creativity. As a Yorkshire man it pains me to say that this place has an edge over the Dales. Mountains, lakes, weaving paths and rolling hills has attracted me to The Lake District for several years. This was the day I returned.
There is no question, 2020 will leave a lasting memory for the majority of the people on this planet. As I write this article, there is no indication when society will get back to a normal way of life. Lockdown measures are still in place. Social distancing has become a natural behaviour for many. In the UK, our daily exercise is something to look forward to. It is no longer a chore but an escape from your homely confines. For many people with a passion for landscape photography, an opportunity for a slice of normality.
Landscape photography is about capturing the world around us at any given moment. How we choose to capture it is based around a number of factors including skill, a good eye for a composition and an emotional connection. The ability to relate that emotional connection on to a sensor/film is important for the photograph to work. The choice of location also has a large influence of what emotional state the photographer is at that moment. This story is about a little place in the Yorkshire Dales. A place where I feel at ease and in my comfort zone. A place where my creativity flourishes.
I will not be the first to suggest that landscape photography is a soothing tonic when life throws you setbacks. Yesterday I posted a video which touches on the importance of living your life with the mindset that whatever hard times get in your way, it is always important to remember the good. To reflect on what you have and the simple things in life that bring you joy. Bereavement of a loved one will play a part in most of our lives and we choose our own way on how to cope with it. My hike and landscape photography day in Eskdale in the The Lake District certainly eased my soul and reminded me how good life can be.
It is often found that black and white landscape photography is an alternative option when things do not go to plan. This maybe down to the weather conditions being overcast or that elusive sunrise not painting the sky with its pink, orange and magenta hues. This option mainly comes into consideration in the post processing stage with the mindset of trying a black and white edit before being discarded to the bin. Occasionally it works but what if we set out with the premise of purely shooting black and white?
UK weather can be so varied and unpredictable. I thought that this Winter was going to be a case of very cold temperatures and lots of snow. A time where the UK would come to a stand still. It usually does after a couple of centimetres of the white stuff to be honest. I wanted deep layers of snow dumped on the Mountain tops and snow drifts creating patterns for me to point my camera at. Here we are however in late January and I’m still waiting.
When or if it does come then no doubt it will be mid week and by the weekend, when i’m ready with my camera, a warm front would have arrived and melted away any hopes of bagging a good iconic shot of snow capped mountains. If I was to get a taste of any snow this Winter, then I had to get up high. This is a short story of my adventure up to Dow Crag and Old Man of Coniston. I was pleased I got my shot.
At the time of writing this, 2020 has just started and it is at this time of the year where a lot of us reflect on the past 12 months. We question what good has come out of it and what could we have done better. For a while, we sense a wave elation as in the new year, we know we can put wrong to right. Resolutions maybe short lived but if we remain disciplined, who knows can be achieved.
I wasn’t working on Friday 18th October so I planned to head up to what has become my second home, the Lake District. My intention was to start the day exploring Borrowdale, hoping to video and photograph the early Autumn colours and then hike up to Glaramara and Allen Crags. My days often include a hike as I am currently on a mission to complete all the Wainwright fells by next year. Based in Yorkshire, the drive is usually around two to three hours so I wanted to make the most of my visits.