Lake District Landscape Photography – Part 1

Further to my earlier blog entry here is part one of my weekend in the English Lake District.

My first stop on the way over was at White Scar in the Yorkshire Dales. I had planned to get here as the sun was getting low in the sky but was running a little later than I would have liked. By the time I’d made the twenty-minute or so climb up onto the scar the sun had disappeared below the horizon and the clouds were in the wrong place for any exciting colours. I couldn’t turn round and walk back down the hill without having a little explore though and made this in the after light. I might not have got the photograph I wanted but a useful scouting mission for a location to revisit.

The Milky Way.

After checking in at the lovely B&B where the warm welcome made up for the chilly temperatures we headed out to what I hoped would be a dark spot near Keswick to make some exposures of the sky. Just after this was taken and the camera firmly back in the back I spotted a bright glow in the sky quite low to the Easterly horizon. At first I thought it was a plane but as it got closer passing about 60degrees above the horizon t
o the South of us we realised it was breaking up and could surely only be a meteorite. I’ve seen numerous shooting stars but this was nothing like them – it felt so close and was extremely bright. Of course it would have nice to have caught it on camera but sometimes it’s just nice to have the full experience of watching something incredible without the distraction of looking at it through the viewfinder.

For the camera buffs amongst you this photo is taken at 24mm, F1.4 and ISO 1600 with a shutter speed of 30 seconds. That is a LOT of light (or very little light depending on how you look at it!)

The next morning it was up at 0530 and in the car to drive round to the far side of Dewentwater. I had planned a pier that was nicely lined up with he direction of sunrise but the closer we got in sight of the lake there was a thick layer of mist covering it. It may well have made for a nice shot of the pier but I’ve always been keen to get above conditions like that and look down on them, so with a quick scan of the ordnance survey map we decided a hike up Cat Bells was in order. This panorama was made about halfway up. I was drawn in by the mystical looking islands reminding me of adventure books from when I was a laddie.

We carried on up towards the summit and I stopped to take in this group of rocks just catching the first rays of sunshine as the sun was bouncing off the top of the mist over the lake.

Finally reaching the summit around an hour after sunrise just as the sun was burning off the last of the low level mist. We had the hills and the views all to our self until we got back down to the car. A breakfast well earned and all before 0930.

This last image for this instalment is the Lodore Falls to the South-West end of Derwentwater. They are quite spectacular and a little different in that they are very closely surround by trees so that the water appears to cascade amongst the tress rather than as part of the river.

York Floods September 2012 – Urban City Photography Yorkshire

The last week in September saw the highest river level in the Ouse for 12 years. Damage to properties was pretty much limited to those known to be at risk of flooding during exceptionally high river levels. York’s flood defences are designed to cope with the river at these heights but there are still a number of homes and businesses that were inundated with water and I’m sure for those effected it was a very difficult few days.

I took a couple of walks around the city to document what was happening.

Skeldergate contains quite a number of river front flats. Nice views of the waterfront and all that. Most of them have car parks underneath which flood a few times a year meaning everyone has to move their cars elsewhere. Usually that’s the only inconvenience and occasionally in higher floods they have to use gangways to access their flats. The height of the river this time meant they were completely cut off with the gangways underwater. If you were in, then you were stuck if you weren’t then you’d be needing somewhere else to stay for a few nights. I also counted 4 cars in the various garages here so owners obviously hadn’t been able to move their cars in time and were up to their roofs in water.

The Millennium bridge in Fulford was cut off at one end meaning a 3 mile round trip for cyclists and walkers needing to cross the river Ouse here. On the plus side the high water does allow for reflections not normally possible.

The A19 at Fulford under a couple of foot of water. This is one of the major roads out of York and its closure caused considerable traffic chaos throughout the city.

Skeldergate from a side street. There should be a road in the foreground

There are many lamps at various levels of submersion. Shame they couldn’t be turned off to save a bit of electricity as I doubt the ducks have much use for their light.

Walk past these houses on Friars terrace on a sunny afternoon and you would probably think they are among the best houses in the city. I don’t know if they were flooded this time as access was impossible but they certainly looked precarious

A drain attempts to swirl up the retreating floodwater on Alma Terrace

The River Foss is protected from flooding by the Foss Barrier which pumps out the water from this basin into the Ouse to prevent flooding from this normally canal like river.

From Clifford’s tower’s mound you can see the flooding on tower street and in the distance St George’s field car park

Clifford’s tower developed a moat

Ouse bridge (the location for the feature shot) makes a great place to view the floods from

Kings Staith in flood including the famous ‘Kings Arms’ pub which is well used to a watering from the Ouse

From the other side of the Ouse bridge these waterfront building usually have a less prominent riverside view

The Lake District – Landscape Photography England

Before these lashings of rain arrived over the country I planned a trip to the Lake District for a stictly photographic weekend.

It’s been a while since I’ve done so much shooting in such a short space of time and I’m rather aching and tired but the conditions were wonderful and I’m very happy with the trip.

There will  be more  posts to follow in the coming weeks so keep a look out.

In the meantime here is one from Sunday’s sunrise.

Derwentwater Pier at sunrise.




Ron Cooke Hub – University of York – Architectural Photography

Part of the University of York’s expansion into their Heslington East Campus, this flagship building is the Ron Cooke Hub. At a cost of £20million its purpose is to provide a gathering place for students, lecturers and the public to meet and share ideas.

This time of year, with most of the students on holiday, makes it far easier for me to get the shots without having to avoid loitering students.