Jetty Hunting in The Lakes
I have to start this blog by admitting that although the Lake District is on my doorstep, I only shot here for the first time a few weeks ago, who knows why but I am told that this happens to lots of travel photographers, you never really notice the beauty at home and go abroad searching for it – well not this year – I am determined to shoot all the amazing sights the UK has to offer!
For any readers not familiar with the Lakes, here’s a snippet from Lonely Planet:
“For sheer scenic splendour, few places in England can measure up to the outlandishly beautiful Lake District, where Wordsworth, Coleridge and their Romantic compatriots famously sought their poetic muse in the 19th century. The landscape of the Lakes is as breathtaking as any you’ll find in Switzerland or the French Alps – a sweeping panorama of humpbacked mountains, razorblade crags and scree-covered hillsides, strewn with mountainous tarns and some of the largest natural lakes anywhere in England.”
I decided to start my Lakes shoot in one of my favourite places – Coniston. For me this particular lake holds the most beauty; there is very little development around the eastern shores and you rarely see another person, let alone a photographer. I do intend on going to all of the other lakes at some point but only the weather knows when!
After a very long search, and the realisation that although Google maps are great, they don’t know about all the small country roads up here in the North, I found my way and found what can only be described as “the classic Jetty shot”. The following images were taken using my new best friend, the LITTLE stopper. Many of my readers will have heard me talk about the BIG stopper and this new toy is its baby sister. Rather than the 10 stops of the original, this new addition offers 6 – so less in terms of lengthening exposures but more in the fact that it is much simpler to use – I can’t put into words how great it was to be able to use Live View rather than fiddling around putting filters on and off – I LOVE IT! If you fancy getting your hands on one or if you want to know more have a look here – http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera/bigstopper
Almost as if making me prove my love and worthiness, I was faced with a tricky decision during this shoot – in or out. I’ll start by telling you that although I say I prepare for every shoot thoroughly, on this particular day in my haste to get to my location, I took the wrong filter adapter with me. Basically, I had nothing to hold my filters to my lens… Rather than give up however I made the decision to “balance” them on my lens and hold my hand beneath them in case they should decide to fall. Well. They did fall. And no my hands were not quick enough. Not at a convenient location in the shallows did they go on their trip, but when I was standing at the very end of the jetty. Down and down they sunk, hundreds of pound of gear slowing but surely heading down towards the lake bottom. What made the situation even worse was that I could still see my filters (all thanks to how clean this lake is) – but being able to see them made it worse. Perhaps if they had disappeared and hidden in the darkness it would have made it easier, but their little glinting faces were looking up at me, begging to be saved.
To cut a very long story short, off came the clothes and in went the photographer. Thankfully there were no witnesses to my skinny dipping rescue attempt and after several dives I rescued my filters! I imagine this would be quite a refreshing swim in the summer but the water was absolutely freezing, and diving that deep only made it worse. Even though hyperthermia was now setting in I decided to continue my shoot, fully clothed again, as what would be the point in saving my gear if I didn’t get the shots I went for – now who said travel photography was easy?!
And what Lakes shoot is complete without some canoes? I had actually returned a few days later (after trying to warm back up again) to shoot a different Jetty but came across a group of canoes tied up, so I parked up and the shoot began. I decided to stay quite late into the night to capture the same subject in various lights, this may seem a little odd but as a stock photographer you need to present your clients with a wide range of images to choose from, the more variety you have the bigger the chance that someone will use your work!
If anyone has any questions, either about my images or my new best friend, please leave them as a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.