A Short Autumn

I think I mentioned in an earlier post how promising autumn was looking. Well, that could well have been a case of the commentator's curse. We're now at what should be the peak of the autumnal colours, but a poorly timed series of events has turned it into somewhat of a non-event.

Ophelia and Brian - A Match Made in Hell

The storms may be uncomfortable and destructive, but they do offer some incredibly dramatic light once they start clearing.

The storms may be uncomfortable and destructive, but they do offer some incredibly dramatic light once they start clearing.

Emma and I returned from our honeymoon in Tuscany late one Tuesday night. We had a fantastic time in probably one of the most beautiful locations imaginable (trip report to follow at some point) and visited some of Tuscany's best locations. Anyway, back to England, and we returned to the standard deluge of rain in the early hours of the morning.

As we approached the Lake District I noticed a lot of leaves on the road. Looks like the wind had been busy while we were away. Oh well, still plenty of leaves left in the trees. Or so I thought...

Later that week Ex-hurricane Ophelia blew into the area. We got off very lightly compared to the disastrous scenes in Ireland, but the gale-force winds made light work of the turning leaves. Ophelia was almost instantly followed by Storm Brian, which seemed intent on taking off any of the leaves that Ophelia had carelessly missed. Fast forward a week and autumn was over, with the trees all over the Lakes almost bare.

Ophelia-3.jpg

In fairness the storms did provide some decent photographic opportunities thanks to me living on the coast. The Irish Sea was a sight to behold, but the problem I have is that I despise the wind. I do photography for the enjoyment, and unlike some other brave souls bracing myself against gale force winds and constantly wiping salt spray off my lens isn't enjoyable in the slightest for me. Still, it would be rude not to take some shots, but it's certainly not the same as a dawn trek up a fell to capture the autumnal colours.

Despite the gale-force winds being insistent on blowing me over I braved the weather for an hour or so to try and capture some more abstract images of Ophelia. Ended up with quite a nice little series.

Despite the gale-force winds being insistent on blowing me over I braved the weather for an hour or so to try and capture some more abstract images of Ophelia. Ended up with quite a nice little series.

What Remains of Autumn

There are still little pockets of autumn lying around that the storms managed to miss, but the gorgeous swathes of oranges and yellows never got a chance to materialise. Instead, us landscape photographers have to turn to the other benefits of the latter months of the year. Mist and light.

Once the winds had died down the trademark autumnal mist came out to play, and continues to do so. Not only that but the ever-changeable Cumbrian weather is now combined with light that you can shoot in all day. I was up Holme Fell this weekend and found myself shooting through the entire morning and into the afternoon without the light becoming too harsh at any point. Now is the time for all day shooting, something which just isn't possible in the summer.

Early morning light perfectly hitting this elegant gathering of silver birches on Holme Fell. 

Early morning light perfectly hitting this elegant gathering of silver birches on Holme Fell. 

This comes at a perfect time. I'm helping out on a landscape photography workshop with the talented Clint Singh and showing them around some of my favourite places in the Lakes. The autumnal colour might be gone, but the weather looks perfect for the weekend and we should definitely be able to make the most of the light.

Despite the disappointment of autumn I did manage to capture one of my favourite images of the year the other week. Yes, it's the cliche of the Buttermere Sentinels. It may be massively overshot but I think the flock of feeding birds add something extra to the scene. It's also overshot for a very good reason - Because it's absolutely gorgeous in the right light.

The iconic Buttermere Sentinels catching the first light. On a calm day they look incredible, and the flock of birds add a little extra dimension to the scene.

The iconic Buttermere Sentinels catching the first light. On a calm day they look incredible, and the flock of birds add a little extra dimension to the scene.

Honing In

One thing I've been concentrating on recently, along with a couple of the more well known scenes, is honing in on little details in the landscape. There are some locations that are just perfect for this, and after dozens of visits you get to know exactly what the light will do. That's the benefit of constantly revisiting locations and trying to get the absolute best out of them.

My fascination with trees means that they've been my main subject in this little project. The images might not be to everybody's tastes, but I love the contrast in them and the exclusion of the sky is something every landscape photographer should try. It takes away that "need" for a colourful sunrise and instead forces you to focus on perfecting composition and capturing pockets of light.

HolmeFellLight.jpg

2018 Lake District Calendars

The one and only order for my Lake District calendars has been placed, and barring any more DPD Delivery balls-ups they should be with me very soon. If you've already ordered yours they will be sent out next week, and if you haven't already ordered yours remember I've only got a limited amount!

2018 Lake District Calendar
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2018 Lake District Calendar is now available!

After the unexpected success of my 2017 Lake District Calendar I've decided to follow the same design again this year. The images show a few of the shots you can expect to see this year and a photograph of last year's design.

Once again it will be an A3 size calendar printed on high quality 170gsm silk art paper with the front and back covers on laminated 350gsm paper. They come packaged in silicone wrapping and include my 12 finest (and seasonal) landscape photographs from the past 12 months. 

Stocks are extremely limited after so many pre-orders so order quickly if you want to avoid disappointment!

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