Duddon Valley

Duddon Valley
Duddon Valley

The Duddon Valley is in the south-west of the Lake District, running north to south just to the left of Coniston. It isn’t popular, perhaps because it doesn’t have any big mountains, but it’s one of the most beautiful valleys of Cumbria. Spring is a good time to visit because of the blackthorn and hawthorn blossom, wild garlic, bluebells, and the delicate bright green of new leaves.

The road climbs very steeply for half a mile as you enter the valley and as soon as it levels out you give an internal “ooh” as you see the view. The fields, walls, barns and hills are laid out just so and the trees look like they’ve been chosen to make an arboretum. This is one place where the view is better down near the road than from the hill tops.

The rain that started at lunch time wasn’t just a shower and eventually I gave up early and retired for a cuppa at an empty cafe in Broughton, a very pleasant little market village close by.

Swaledale

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Route map on plotaroute.com

Joy and I did a wonderful walk around Swaledale yesterday. Despite a less than good forecast it was perfect walking weather, cool but bright and calm. We were there visiting our friends Richard and Polly at The Old School Gallery in Muker. They’d had their second open evening, which was a great success, and I’d also taken some new prints to put into stock there. Continue reading

Barmouth Views

Mawddach Estuary
Mawddach Estuary

Some weeks ago I took a trip to the Mawddach estuary, with the seaside holiday town of Barmouth at its exit to the sea. Although part of the Snowdonia national park the hills around here are never crowded. This is good for those of us that make it there because the views are truly wonderful. This was my second trip and I still haven’t managed to do it justice. I took these shots as the sun dipped near the horizon.

Mawddach Estuary
Mawddach Estuary

Shooting almost directly at the sun is always a challenge, especially with two neutral density filters in front of the lens. You’re asking to get flares in the picture, which I have. Anyway, here are three shots that show something of the place but I really need to keep going back and trying again.

Mawddach Estuary
Mawddach Estuary

 

Skiddaw and Helvellyn in the blue hour

The Helvellyn range at last light
The Helvellyn range at last light

These are some shots I took a couple of weeks ago from a place I haven’t been before, St. John’s in the Vale in the northern Lake District. There’s a place called Low Rigg, a pretty modest little hill with a great view. Many of these shots were taken after the sun had gone down behind the hills, hence the lovely blue-purple colours. I’d thought at first that I was getting a good view of Skiddaw but checking the pictures and the map the peak I’d thought was Skiddaw is actually Little Man, a secondary top about a mile in front. You can just see Skiddaw summit peaking out behind it in some of the shots.

My main site updated

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Calderdale

I’ve updated my main web site – artoflandscape.wordpress.com – and chosen new portfolios to represent my work.

The main improvement is no adverts any more. I hadn’t realised how intrusive these were because I don’t usually see them myself. Using Chrome’s “incognito” feature means I can see my own site anonymously, as others see it. I didn’t like the adverts so I’ve upgraded both the main site and this blog site to a paid-for subscription which means no more adverts.

I’ve taken the opportunity to update the main site’s theme and choose a new set of portfolios as my main show case. Please have a look, I hope you like it.

By the way, the photograph shown above is Calderdale, above Mytholmroyd looking south. It was taken on a walk a few years ago and I think I published it at the time but I’ve cropped it to a panoramic format and I think it looks really good.