On top of the world

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Atop

This symbol is used on Ordnance Survey maps (the best maps in the world, IMHO) to indicate a viewpoint.


A full circle, like this, indicates a 360 degree view. Partial views use partial symbols.

Here is the actual spot.


It’s a low top called Latterbarrow, only about 250m high. The views are, as the map promised, panoramic. The Coniston range, the Langdale range, Helvellyn and Fairfield, Windermere and way off to the Howgills. This view looks towards Crinkle Crags and Bowfell, which have an easily recognisable skyline. The Band, the main route of ascent to Bowfell, is easily visible. The monument doesn’t really lean like that, it’s a consequence of tilting the camera up with a wide angle lens.

The learning point is about finding locations that might give good results. When I go out for a photo shoot I get the OS maps out and pore over them. I’m looking for the direction of sunset and how the terrain might get in the way. Sunsets in Cumbria are often difficult to shoot because of the shadows cast by the mountains. The viewpoint symbol is a useful aid. It usually means an easy to get to spot, not too high, that has a much better view than any other spot in the locality. Obviously the mountain tops have great views but these don’t have these symbols. Unless I’m intending to camp out overnight, I don’t want to be on the mountain top at sunset as I’ll still have to get down again in the dark. Viewpoints marked with this symbol are usually much easier to get down from.

I’ll post the full set of shots when I’ve done the processing.

A tender embrace

In response to the Daily Post challenge A Good Match

This is a one-off shot, taken at home on the coffee table. It was one of those days where you get the camera out and just point it at things to see what you can see. I liked the way these forks seemed to clasp each other so tenderly. It’s always worth keeping half an eye open for odd shots, sometimes you can make really good work in unexpected situations.


Something from nothing

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Shadow

I like the way the low sun comes in through the window sometimes and makes strong, long shadows. Ordinary things suddenly have interest because of the shadow shapes they make. This fork turns into a scythe in shadow. I like the way the real and the shadow touch so delicately at the point of the tines and the shadow then curves back so elegantly.


Continue reading

The best view in Wales?

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Solitude

…in which we discuss how you can find one of the best views in Snowdonia with a minimum of muscle power and far from the usual madding crowd.

I went on a photo trip to Snowdonia yesterday. I’d met a man on top of a welsh hill on sunday and we were chatting about the distant views to the Snowdonia mountains and the amount of snow we could see. The chat wandered, as it does, and he told me about the Moel Siabod cafe, in Capel Curig. That was enough to give me my starting point for the day. From there I wasn’t sure but once out of the cafe my feet wandered into the wild lands behind. This path will take you over to Trefriw and Llanrwst and the Conwy valley if you let it but I didn’t wander far. I started to tramp through the pathless heather and scramble up the many rocky knolls and hills that I knew would have good views up and down the valley. I wasn’t disappointed, these views must rank among the finest in Wales and with a very modest outlay of effort._igp8765 Continue reading

The ambience of a real fire

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Ambience

Last christmas-but-one we spent some time at my brother’s house in the New Forest. He and his wife have a lovely rambling cottage that they’ve restored over many years. It’s a small-holding with, at various times, sheep, chickens, horses, cats and a dog. We don’t often see them but we always have a good time when we visit. This time we spent an evening outdoors enjoying their outdoor pizza oven. Leona’s a good chef and made lovely pizzas and we sat shivering and enjoying beer underneath the dark sky, staring into the dancing flames and feeling content.


Finding Names

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Names


I wasn’t looking for names today. I just came across it by accident. I went out chasing the sunset at a beauty spot outside Macclesfield called Tegg’s Nose. It’s a high spot right on the edge of the Peak District escarpment and faces out across the Cheshire plain with amazing views. Shooting conditions were “challenging”, with very high winds making it difficult to stand up straight, let alone hold the camera still. I walked around the hill looking for the best views and some shelter. On the lee side I found this piece of industrial heritage next to an abandoned gritstone quarry.


The blue machine is obviously a crane. The smaller cream/white machine is a stone cutting saw. The shapes and colours would make an ideal subject for an introductory photography workshop group but it was the name that caught my eye. I didn’t have anything to submit for this week’s Daily Post challenge and this was a very obvious candidate.

There’s a fair bit of information on-line about John Smith, Makers, Keighley. Just put that into Google and you’ll get some interesting results. The particular machine seen here is intended to cut large blocks of gritstone into thin slabs. It wasn’t originally sited here but someone (the council perhaps) has gone to the expense of installing this machinery by the quarry here as a sort of museum installation piece.

Tiny Jewels

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Tiny

I took this a couple of weeks ago while waiting for a sunrise. In front of me was a mirror-finish lake and a riot of autumn colour, if only the sun would shine. Behind me, a wall topped with grass. I was there for about an hour waiting for the sun to appear, so turned all around me looking for something to do. I took this shot hand-held. I didn’t have to crouch down or stretch, the high wall had brought ground level right up to my eye line.