Just before Christmas, I went over to the Lakes for a couple of days with my father. This has been a tradition for us over recent years, usually staying in Ambleside at our favourite B&B.
Pop is a painter rather than a photographer, so he tends to take pictures with the intent of using them as sketches for something that is to be painted onto canvas. Nevertheless, we both love pottering around a location with our cameras looking for pictures that will interest us.
Usually we are treated with great weather - several times we have had the first snow falls of the year. This time it rained heavily virtually the whole time.
That didn't deter us as we spend a lot of the time scouting. The first day was excellent, driving down the Duddon Valley. We found a number of interesting places to stop and get out our cameras.
I think this valley has a lot of potential. It is one of the wilder, less known parts of the Lakes and is in many respects quite like parts of Scotland. I made this image more as a marker than anything else, but it does evoke something of the atmosphere of the valley.
Further down the valley, we found a couple of excellent spots. At the first, the River Duddon is forced through a dramatic narrow channel.
It is certainly an interesting place, but the image I made (between the showers - a brolley wasn't feasible where I was setup) whilst fun, doesn't really do it justice. Another place to return to.
After lunch we found an excellent spot even further down where the river goes through woodland. In the fading light I found some really interesting trees that I couldn't resist. Focus was a nightmare and as a result I think it was getting on for a 1 minute exposure but I am quite pleased with the result.
'Streams of Light'
I love the balance and the quality of light in this image, which has translated beautifully onto Provia.
For the remainder of the trip, I scouted several great locations around the Langdales and, on the second day, in the Northern Lakes.
I have walked in the lakes for nearly 20 years, climbing most of the summits, many of them several times. I love the place. When I visit there, I find it easy to relax - usually from the moment you catch those first views of either Blencathra or Windermere.
Never having photographed there seriously before, I am still comming to terms with how I want to photograph the area. This was a fun start and I have a couple of more trips planned in the next few weeks. Here's hoping for the ice to last.
(c) Jon Brock 2009