Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lake District Day 1 - Part 2

After getting what I could of the sunbeams piercing the distant clouds, above the looming fells of Buttermere, I moved to the skeletal tree that sits on upon the mere’s northern shore and did what I do best. Actually that’s a lie, my twerking prowess is only unleashed within the hours of darkness and at very select locations, instead I did what I do passably middling, and that was good enough for me.

No visit to Butters is complete without a shot of this old man

After breaking out the tea and coffee we headed over to Ashness Bridge. That ├╝ber-iconic packhorse wonder, that is, I would imagine, the most photographed bridge in all of Christendom. Once we arrived, we could see it was going to be a struggle to get any pictures as another photography group were already there, so we took the opportunity to have some lunch, which was spoiled for me by the fact my sandwich harboured a repugnant fugitive that goes by the name of mustard.

I won’t even begin to fascinate you with why this is so unacceptable, let me just say, if a sandwich has mustard in it, then it should be made glaringly obvious on the front of the pack, not hidden away in the capacious list of ingredients on the back. It should say in big letters on the front – THIS SANDWICH CONTAINS MUSTARD. IF YOU EAT IT YOU WILL VOMIT. Take note FSA, I will accept nothing less.

Once that unpleasant business was taken care of, and I had cheered myself up with an orange flavoured Club chocolate biscuit, we walked down to the bridge, which by now was a lot clearer. I decided to release my new 50mm lens from the camera bag and see what I could spy in Ashness wood.

These two colourful scenes were actually taken with the 24-70  lens.

These two were the product of my 50mm, with its lovely shallow depth of field.

The quintessential packhorse arch itself, with a glimpse of Derwentwater in the distance and
the mound of Catbells rising above.

After a spot of shallow depth of field goodness and required shot of the bridge itself we found ourselves heading to Castlerigg Stone Circle, that Neolithic, megalithic, prehistoric, boulderific beauty that attracts people by their thousands. And I imagine it’s just as popular on the other days as well.

We set up the cameras to capture the stones, the rugged, brooding fells behind and the sparkling sky above, along with quite a few other photographers, and a couple of film crews who were doing something involving the stones. We then waited for those who preferred to shoot the monument with members of their family draped all over them to tire and leave.

This took quite a while, as there was a perennial succession of people who wished nothing more than to place their children, pets and/or grandparents in amusing positions over these ancient artefacts, and click away on their camera phones as though it was the most worthwhile and hilarious thing a human being could possibly do.

I realise I sound like a bit of a photography snob, looking down on these oiks as they befoul the landscape with their brightly coloured cagoules and their toy cameras, whilst I, with my photographers spirit, look out across the complex vista before me and suckle it to my nourishing optical-bosom. Looking to teach and heal mankind, as much as capture and revere the image.

Well OK. Basically I couldn’t care less what people do or don’t do, as long it doesn’t damage anything, or anyone, and what they take their pictures on is of no concern to me either, I use my phone almost as much as my camera. That being said though, I just wish they wouldn’t do it while I’m around, is that too much to ask?

While I was waiting I amused myself by getting some pictures of the cloud formations that were emerging and dissipating above me. I always enjoy photographing clouds, just for the sake of photographing clouds, especially when they are nice chunky ones, gallivanting across a clean blue sky. 

After a while, as the day grew shorter and the number of people grew fewer, it looked like we might have the view we had been waiting for, that is until one of the film crews, who let’s remember, had been grumbling as much as anyone about waiting for people to leave, set up shop right in the middle of the stones to do their business.

In the end I settled for getting a few identical shots of the stones, so I could merge them later and use pieces from each one that were sans humans. 

A fairly standard shot of the stones, but for all the waiting around, I had to get something.

After that it back to Derwentwater for the sunset, such as it was. By now there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, which wasn’t that conducive for a beautiful sunset shot, but we soldiered on regardless and got what we could, looking over the calm water to the warm salmon pink fells in the distance.

Well no clouds was a slight overstatement, there was a little one, and a very nice one it was too.
This long exposure was taken looking into Derwentwater. The light patch at the top was made by a couple
of ducks splashing about, but because of the length of the exposure they have disappeared. Just leaving
the ripples behind.

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