I always try to visit the Lake District this time of year to photograph the autumnal colours and have a wander about. My last visit in spring was cut short due to the lockdown and so was this one! Fortunately, my last full day wasn’t a washout, like all the others.

Surprise surprise I took some shots of Catbells (above) which overlooks Derwentwater and Keswick town. The difference between these shots and others I’ve previously taken is where I took them from. All these images were taken from Castlehead, somewhere I can’t believe I’ve never ventured up before. It only has a prominence of 184 feet (feels more with a heavy bag!) but provides greats views of the surrounding area.

Keswick panoramic

The panoramic image below was taken on one of the rainy days. This was the best light I saw all day and it lasted about 5 minutes. The ever-changing light and weather conditions are what makes the Lake District such a great place to photograph, but it’s nice if you get more than 5 minutes to capture it! Luckily there were some beams of light on the left of the image and some sun hitting Catbells on the right, this helped balance the image.

Walla Crag from Castlehead

Walla Crag is south of Castlehead and Great Wood is easily visible beneath the crag. These images are all about colour, texture and light. Even though it was way after the golden hour, the cloud, low sun, and steep-sided crags made for some interesting photos.

Shepherd’s Crag

As with Great Wood, it was the light and texture which drew me to this composition. Situated at the south of Derwentwater I’m keen to visit it for some shots; as most of mine are taken from the northern end.

Castlehead wood

Having taken in the views from the top of Castlehead I took a wander around the back of the hill. It was here I found a small cliff. Perhaps only 45 feet high it was the precarious nature of the oak tree perched on its edge and the other trees growing out of its cracks that caught my eye.

In bad light it wasn’t worth photographing, I know, I tried. But after consulting The Photographer’s Ephemeris I could see there was the chance of the sun illuminating its face the next morning … that’s if there wasn’t a rogue cloud (clear skies were forecast) and the surrounding trees didn’t block too much light. By ‘clear skies’ the forecasters really meant cloud and drizzle. There was the odd break and I could see clearer skies slowly approaching, so I set-up in anticipation. By the time the break in the cloud arrived the sun had moved around the hill and I had what turned out to be about 3-4 minutes to get the shots.

This is the beauty of being prepared (for once). I knew the two shots I wanted, so it was just a case of some minor tweaks, once I had seen what the cliff actually looked like in good light. The close-in shot is simpler and holds more of the detail and texture, the wider shot I liked for the foreground interest and how the leaves looked like they were spilling over the cliff edge.

I also lugged around my camera slider and drone, so I have some video footage of Castlehead to edit together and to add to my video library of Derwentwater.

Hopefully, we won’t have to have another lockdown, but if you want to know when it is, just ask me when I’m going to the Lake District again!