Buttermere Morning

Sometimes it's just pure luck when you arrive at your destination and the scene in front of you is so similar to the dream that kept you awake the previous night. In reality, it's probably more that you have been here so often that you were due a classic after so many duds. Then you have the dilemma, which one or two do I process, the sunrise at it's most colourful or just before with those delicate pinks. But what about those just after and of course there's the long exposures that created the mood. Well I thought for this blog why not show the mornings progress and some of my thoughts.

I arrived well before sunrise but was far from the first here and met some new togs in Mike Smith, Stu Meech and one other who's name I've now forgotten (old age sorry). It's not always the easiest scene to capture as the light especially at this time of year when the light can be quite challenging. I think it was Mike who mentioned using a reverse grad for the water here which to me made sense. All of these shots were taken with a Lee 0.9 ND Hard Grad on the sky and Lee 0.6 ND Hard Grad reversed on the water.

It was a lovely scene with the lake perfectly calm with some interesting clouds in the sky and also hugging the fell tops of Fleetwith Pike & Haystacks. I dropped the ISO down to 50 and upped the aperture to f16 to make this shot below which gave me a shutter speed of 6 seconds. I wanted to capture the enormity of the scene so the lens was fully zoomed out at 16mm on a Full Frame.

The next shot was taken only a couple of minutes later when the sky had developed a touch. All the settings were the same except I'd added another ND filter to slow down the shutter speed to 10 seconds. In the mean time we'd been hit by a plague of geese, who thought that it would be fun to swim up and down in front of us just out of reach. One of the party (no names mentioned) did ask them to leave but used words that I feel shouldn't be repeated here. As you can see they spoiled our perfectly mirrored image a touch.

I did take a few other shots which were a close up of the trees and bothy with a long lens but those haven't been developed as yet. Back to the trusty 16-35mm for the shot below but zoomed in to around the 27mm mark. This was around 40 minutes after sunrise and I was hoping to capture the mood with the cloud moving slowly across the fell tops. With just the Lee 0.9 + 0.6 grads mentioned before I was now getting an exposure time of half a second at f10.

Although I was pleased with the results above when looking at the back of the camera, my love of long exposure photography was on my shoulder whispering - 6 stop go on do it...

With the Lee Little Stopper in place I had to up the aperture to f11 to get the 30 seconds that I wanted.

Although I was pleased with the results I thought to myself, you'd be silly not to try the Lee Big Stopper. Using the Lee APP I calculated that I would need around 4 minutes if I changed the ISO back to 100. I changed the camera to bulb mode and took the shot below which was 234 seconds.

So which do you post to social media? I think that my favourites are the first as the sunrise was just developing and the last as I do love a long exposure.

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