Swaledale flower meadows

Friend and erstwhile market stallholder Richard and his better half Polly have moved up to better things and opened a very nice gallery shop in Muker, at the west end of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales. We went to visit over the weekend, to see how the other half lives. Nowadays, when I’m at the market in wind and driving rain, I think of Richard all warm, dry and safe inside his gallery and I curse him. Continue reading

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.

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

Here is the actual spot.

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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.

Finding beauty in less obvious places

Yesterday I went walking around the waterside areas around Frodsham. This is a small town near the inland end of the Mersey estuary. The areas around Frodsham are a mix of countryside, rivers, canals, and industrial. The River Weaver flows into the Mersey at Frodsham and the Weaver Navigation (i.e. canal) flows alongside it.

I don’t usually go looking for subjects like this but I do like them. I’ve driven past this area for years as the M56 goes right over it on a flyover. I’ve seen it many times in dramatic light or weather, usually early or late on my way to or from the welsh mountains. Each time I see some dramatic light or mist I think I should go and take a look. Yesterday wasn’t dramatic and I couldn’t wait around for the sunset but it was a beautiful day and I really like the mix of industrial, waterside, and rough green land. I’ll definitely go back and look for more dramatic conditions.

 

Tarn Hows

I’d made a trip to the small Cumbria lake of Tarn Hows last autumn. What I didn’t realise on that day was that if I walked about two hundred metres in any direction I’d see the most amazing views. I found out today though, albeit without the amazing autumn foliage colours of last autumn.

The views are panoramic and include the Langdale Pikes, Wetherlam, Coniston Old Man, Windermere, Fairfield and Helvellyn, and Ambleside.

OMD-EM10 vs K20D – Olympus vs Pentax

My Olympus OMD-EM10 is out of action at the moment. I think the lens is broken but the camera has gone haywire because of it. I’ve gone back to using my Pentax K20D as my main carry-anywhere camera.

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K20D vs OMD-EM10

It’s interesting to compare the experience of using the two. I’d been using the Olympus is my carry-anywhere. If I went out specifically for a photography trip I’d take both but I’d use the Olympus more often during the day. I tended to use the Pentax when I needed to use filters, for which I don’t have the necessary adapters for the OMD.

Although neither camera is current, the comparison would still be relevant to a choice between any modern DSLR and mirrorless alternatives. Continue reading