What I did this Summer

Summer, it's never my favourite time of year for photography and my enthusiasm takes a nose dive around the middle of May and starts to return somewhere around October, just as the weather starts to change and the colours return to the fells. The Lakes take on a look of being just green and with sunrise and sunset being so far apart with harsh light between no wonder most landscape photographers hibernate through this period. I suspend my Lake District Workshops and 1-2-1's throughout the summer, how can I motivate others when I have little myself.

Looking back through the images that I've taken in July, Aug & Sept this year though, it has given me a pleasant surprise, maybe I should try and get out more in the summer months, maybe even the odd half day workshop? But maybe its just with having such a poor summer this year that the conditions have been quite different and therefore at times workable.

This Summer

From back in early July and a trip to a new favourite place Deepdale, was the following moody image with the low cloud hovering over Greenhow End adding just enough to the scene. It's a good 45 minutes walk here and in wellies it feels such a long way. The colours should be changing now so it should be a good time for a revisit over the coming months.

Deepdale Beck Falls

Next up was an overnight trip with the van to Crummock Water which in the main was a social occasion, Claire and I had a lovely evening on the shore with a few glasses of wine watching the sun go down behind Mellbreak Fell. The next morning though brought with it a thick covering of cloud and a 04:00 alarm, not sure which depressed me more. Quick decision and it was a longish walk across the fields to Buttermere's lone tree, for once I was alone, was it because sunrise was at 05:00? A slight showing of colour seemed to bleed through the clouds adding to an already moody scene.

Buttermere Lone Tree Sunrise

Next up was a road trip over to the North East and around the Bamburgh Castle area, although I captured a nice sunrise there my fave from the trip came from a small waterfall at Roughting Linn. I must admit I do love a good waterfall and after recent rainfalls this one will take some beating. You could easily spend a few hours here in the Summer and Autumn with the lush green scenery reminding you of something more like the Amazon than Northumberland.

Roughting Linn Waterfall

Next up came August and after a morning spent under a midge head net (not a good look) and sunrise at the lone tree on Buttermere, I decided that a visit to Warnscale Bothy was in order. Although I'd got my jacket ready I failed to attach it to my bag when setting off, I only realised this when I was half way across Fleetwith. This is a great location for a bit of Long Exposure photography when there's a good covering of cloud around (73 seconds), the addition of a bit of colour from the heather was a bit of a bonus.

Warnscale Bothy Long Exposure

I got so cold that I even went inside the bothy to shelter from the wind and try to warm up, seemed a shame not to take a quick one while in here.

Warnscale Bothy View

One of my favourite views in the Lakes is from Hallin Fell down towards the valley's of Martindale & Boredale with Beda Fell separating the two(normally an Autumn shot for me). I spent quite a changeable morning here with my friend Paul Bullen. There was some lovely early morning light, a few showers, great clouds and to top it off a glimpse of not one but two rainbows in the valley.

Boredale Rainbows

Next up in August was a couple of trips to Little Langdale where I've been exploring Side Pike since the start of the year and wanted to catch the heather in full bloom. This place seems to be at its best when the weather's a bit gloomy and the threat of rain is imminent. This was a later start for me just after the rain had almost ceased, shot from underneath an umbrella, the conditions in my opinion adding to the image.

Low cloud over the Langdale Pikes

As August came to a close I saw myself back here on a 1-2-1 with a new client for what was a lovely morning of photography. After a lovely sunrise the mist formed in Great Langdale and rolled along the valley bottom creeping up the sides of the fells then over towards Little Langdale and Blea Tarn. This was from quite early on in the proceedings when there was still some texture and colour in the sky.

Mist in Mickelden Valley

September brought with it quite a lot of rainfall and some high water levels around the Lakes, this gave me an excuse (not that I really needed one) to visit Crow Park to see the new gate and railings. What caught my eye more though, was the footpath between Crow Park and Isthmus Bay, with the path being underwater and snaking into the distance, the trees and their reflections seemed to give it a spooky feel.

Towards Isthmus Bay

My first workshop of season saw a return to Side Pike & Blea Tarn, where I managed to capture some fleeting light over the Langdale Pikes. Glad to see the colours are slowly returning with the bracken slowly dying back adding to the scene.

Returning Colours Side Pike

A later sunrise at this time of year gives you the option of darting out when you wake early and the conditions are looking favourable. Ullswater being my closest lake was the destination here, I was looking for some promised misty conditions which ceased about half a mile beyond the boathouse. Being the first place I arrive at, the Duke of Portland boathouse probably gets more attention than it should from me but looking like this it would be criminal not to stop.

Duke of Portland in the mist

My final trip out over the 3 summer months saw me back at Ullswater and the return of the conditions that I had been looking forward to with a calm and misty lake. After a lovely couple of hours I found myself at Brothers Water, thinking that I'd missed the best of the conditions here as the sun was quite strong by now. Instead it highlighted the small copse at the start of Goldrill Beck while the fells behind were shrouded in mist and low cloud. A long exposure gave the clouds a softer feel and helped with the bring out the best of the reflections.

Brothers Water Copse

Well that was my summer, more productive than I had expected but I'm still yearning for the return of Autumn and Winter when the fells resume their colour and character.

My workshops and 1-2-1's have now restarted if you'd like to join me, message me via the contact page. Workshops are priced at £85 for 8 hours of tuition while 1-2-1's are £165 for 8 hours, this is currently reduced to £140 for a new midweek booking until December.

If you managed to get this far, thank you for reading and I hope that you enjoyed this little blog, Phil

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