I just found this post in my Drafts folder in WordPress and realised it had been there since early summer and never posted. I think I held it back because the trip hadn’t fully worked out and I didn’t get many shots from the morning sunrise. Looking at it now though, there aren’t many shots here but they’re nice ones so here’s the post, to remind me of summer wild camping trips.
After a good night’s sleep in warm, calm weather I eventually awoke to my alarm from a deep sleep at 4:15 am. The sky looked very promising and there was an almost-full moon on the other side of the valley. I got up and got ready and hid my camping stuff out of sight so they wouldn’t be seen in any shots I took.
I got increasingly excited as the clouds started to catch with orange light. However it was clear that the sun was going to come up right behind the highest part of the hill beside me – something I could have found out easily if I’d checked my compass. More to the point there were enough clouds in the way that the initial promise soon fizzled out. Just like my Eskdale trip of a few days before the sunrise was to disappoint and leave me with unfinished business. So – not many shots in this post but hopefully I’ll be back.
I’m still catching up processing the shots of Holme Fell I’ve been taking over the last few weeks. The autumn colour is now largely gone and we’re getting into winter scenery but in these shots there is still plenty of orange and gold.
On this trip I started at the quarry. There is a lookout on the edge of all things with a great view of the Langdale Pikes, those hills of unmistakable shape. Then I explored upwards, going out onto the open fell for more spectacular views. This was when I realised the panorama that was available, taking in the Pikes, Fairfield and Helvellyn, Coniston Water, and in the distance the Howgill Fells.
I still have more shots to come from this place and I’m sure I’ll be back as the season changes, especially if snow comes. For now I hope you enjoy this latest batch.
Tarn Hows is one of the most beautiful lakes in an area renowned for beautiful lakes – the Lake District. In the Lake District there are Lakes (e.g. Bassenthwaite Lake), Waters (e.g. Coniston Water) and Tarns (e.g. Angle Tarn, Sprinkling Tarn). Tarn Hows is, presumably then, a tarn – don’t ask me the difference.
From the small knoll at its side you can see Wetherlam, the Langdale Pikes and the Fairfield/Helvellyn range. It is also surrounded by very colourful trees, making it a must-visit destination in autumn. It was no surprise then that I saw so many other serious-looking photographers, though at no point did the place feel crowded.
One of the joys of Tarn Hows in autumn is the growth of larch trees that turn bright orange in autumn but unfortunately they’re being badly affected by a fungal growth and the landowner (the National Trust) is clearing out large areas of larch to try and control the spread.
It’s a very easy location to photograph as there is a car park right next to the lake so once the sun has set you’re back in the car within a few minutes. Despite several visits over the years I still don’t feel I’ve been able to do it justice so I think many more visits will be called for.
I had an overnight trip to the Yorkshire Dales last week, camping in mid-Wharfedale above Conistone. I’d previously scouted this area and figured it would be a good bet. It’s a beautiful spot with the stone barns so typical of the dales. Continue reading →
The welsh tourist town of Llanberis, at the foot of Mount Snowdon, is not dominated by the highest mountain in Wales and England, nor by the other impressive peaks lining the Llanberis Pass, but by a vast slate mine and its spoil heaps.
The mine was one of the largest in the world. Its heyday was the 19th century but it didn’t stop working until the 1960s. If I were to be critical I’d say I couldn’t decide whether the natural mountain scenery would be improved more by the removal of the slate mine or the removal of Llanberis. However the mine is undoubtedly eye-catching and worth photographing.
The northern coast of the Lleyn peninsula in North Wales is a wild and (relatively) quiet place. It’s well away from the tourist hot-spots and difficult to find down winding single track roads without any signposts to help. The coastal scenery is very beautiful, with rocky headlands and sandy beaches and narrow coves. It bears comparison with much of the north Cornish coast.
I’ve done wild camping trips to this area before, staying on the headland above Porth Or, or Whistling Sands as it’s known. I already knew that beach but this time wanted to find somewhere new. I arrived early to explore up and down the coast, trying to find the most promising photogenically-interesting beach. I specifically wanted a combination of sand with interesting rock textures.
The beach was practically deserted when I got there and by about six o’clock it was completely empty. I would have liked bigger waves and some more interesting clouds to add more interest to the shots but nature doesn’t always provide.
As the sun went down colour started to arrive and I saw more and more textures in the rocks and ripples in the sand. It’s always worth staying around for fifteen minutes or so after the sun has gone below the horizon because you can get some really interesting colours then.
I found a lovely spot in the grass above the beach to spread my bivvy bag. It was an unusual treat to be warm and still enough to sleep with my head out of the bag. Alarm set for 4:10 am, shots of the sunrise will appear in part 2.
Drive from Caernarfon towards Beddgelert on the A4085, past Llyn Cwellyn, and you arrive at Rhyd Ddu. It’s a hamlet with pub and cafe and is the starting point for one of the paths up to Snowdon from the south-west flank.