Trip Report - Fortune Favours the Forgetful

Wastwater is a location I tend to visit frequently, and not just because Wasdale is one of my two favourite areas in the Lake District (Langdale is the other, in case you were wondering.) There's drama in abundance, it works in absolutely all weather conditions, and if you don't fancy a long walk to start the day off there's plenty to be had just a few minutes from the car.

Wasdale is one of those places where it's very difficult to take a bad photo, although it rewards you even more when you work for it.

Wasdale is one of those places where it's very difficult to take a bad photo, although it rewards you even more when you work for it.

It had been a while since my last visit, so with that in mind I set my alarm and headed off up the coast. With breaks visible in a fairly heavy covering of cloud I was hopeful of some light, and in the end the morning certainly didn't disappoint. It could have been a premature return to the duvet for me though.

The Idiot Arrives

It's happened to the majority of us photographers. We've headed out without a memory card (happened to be multiple times), left a useful lens at home (again), or forgotten to charge the battery.

I hadn't forgotten to charge the battery. In fact that battery was fully charged. On my desk. At home. Bugger.

In fairness that's the first time I've ever completely forgotten my battery, but after getting up at 5am and driving up to Wasdale on a promising looking morning it did sting quite a bit. Determined not to completely waste the morning I set about searching for compositions using my phone, possible ones for my next visit.

It was then that I bumped into the fine Stuart McGlennon (Check out his website, you won't be disappointed) who visits the shores of Wastwater frequently. He happened to have a few spare batteries that fit my D800 and he was kind enough to lend me them for the morning.

The Drama of Wasdale

A composition I'd been eyeing up for a while was made possible by the high water levels, and the dramatic downpours in the distance show exactly why the water levels were high.

A composition I'd been eyeing up for a while was made possible by the high water levels, and the dramatic downpours in the distance show exactly why the water levels were high.

The view of the three great mountains at the end of Wastwater was voted Britain's favourite view a while ago, and it's very easy to see why. As somebody who visits frequently I can honestly say that it never grows old, and the changeable conditions mean it's never quite the same.

It's usually a dramatic sight though, but this morning took it to a whole new level for me. It started off looking like a fairly standard morning, with the water levels unusually high after a period of wet weather (Okay, wetter weather than usual.) This allowed me to finally capture a composition that I'd been eyeing up for a while. All I needed now was the light.

Eventually the light started to break through the clouds, illuminating the slopes of Great Gable in the distance. Then came the rain, with torrential downpours blowing overhead before reaching the end of the lake and blowing into the path of the light. Each squall was fairly brutal, but every time one came we knew it was heading directly for the light. For those of you that aren't aware: Light + rain = magic. That's why I shoot in 'bad' weather often, because it brings something extra to the mix when the light finally gets through.

Rainbows and Downpours

A full double rainbow appears over Buckbarrow. It was a rush to find any usable composition in the foreground but overall I'm fairly happy with the shot.

A full double rainbow appears over Buckbarrow. It was a rush to find any usable composition in the foreground but overall I'm fairly happy with the shot.

Everybody loves a rainbow, although when I said that to Emma she just laughed at me so maybe it's just me. Either way, it's a fine sight in the morning, and when one appeared behind me I scrambled up a few rocks and desperately searched for a composition to include the double rainbow and Buckbarrow. If I'm honest I'm not that happy with the composition in the foreground, but I'm fairly pleased with the overall shot and it was definitely worth the mad dash.

Eventually the light at the end of the valley was snuffed out by the thick clouds that had been blowing over all morning, but with those thick clouds came some added drama. More downpours followed to add even more drama to the steely grey of the lake surface and the squalls in the distance look phenomenal in monochrome. I passed over this image on my first look through, but after a few looks at it and a play around it's turning into one of my favourites from the morning.

And It Poured - The brutality of Wasdale illustrated perfectly. Those are raindrops on the lake surface, with the previous downpour hovering around the distant mountains and dumping what looks to be an ungodly amount of water on the residents of Wasdale Head.

And It Poured - The brutality of Wasdale illustrated perfectly. Those are raindrops on the lake surface, with the previous downpour hovering around the distant mountains and dumping what looks to be an ungodly amount of water on the residents of Wasdale Head.

Obligatory Calendar Plug

Orders are coming in fast for my 2018 Lake District Calendar now, and there's only a week or so before my pre-order date closes. After that I'll be placing my one and only order for them. I will be getting some extras on top of my pre-order amount, but anybody that hasn't pre-ordered won't be guaranteed a copy. Find out all the info you need here.

2018 Lake District Calendar
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