Mountain Photography – the great outdoors

Mountain Photography, Hiking in the Scottish Highlands
Being based in Newcastle I’m somewhat spoilt when it comes to Mountain Photography. Venues such as the Lake District, Scottish Highlands and the more local Cheviot Hills are all within easy reach. Luckily for me, Rebecca and Barney the dog also love being out in the mountains and most weekends that’s where we’ll be. Along with my cameras of course.

There’s something very special about being out in the mountains, the freedom and natural beauty of these remote corners of the UK is something I’ll never tire of. Scotland in particular is a special place for me and the car can nearly drive itself to the Cairngorms, Skye and the Torridon mountains. I just love the West Coast of Scotland.

The Lake District however is a close second to the Highlands and is only a couple of hours drive away. Easy to get to for walking, scrambling and climbing trips at the weekend. Below is a shot of Rebecca climbing Cam Crag Ridge below Glaramara in the Lake District.

Climbing in the Lake District

The shots below were taken last weekend in the Lake District. The route was the ridge, Hartsop Above How that leads to Hart Crag & Fairfield. It was a great day for Mountain Photography but unfortunately it had to be cut short. Barney with his short legs kept falling through the snow that hadn’t been consolidated at all. Being 15 inches tall is a distinct disadvantage when there are drifts of 2-3 foot of powder snow in places. He had snow balls where no dog should have them, poor fella! So, a couple of hundred metres from the top we had to turn around, but that didn’t stop us from from having a great day out. Of course, I managed to pick up a few images along the way as well.

Mountain Photography. A photograph of a hiker and their dog resting on the summit of a mountain.

Winter Mountains

A hiker making their way up a snow covered ridge.

Lake District Mountains in Winter.

Single Malt Whisky, a day shooting shots!

Single Malt Whiskey
Photographing some of Scotland’s finest single malt whisky sounds like it should be a fun day out in the studio and it was, creatively that is. As with most food and drink photography though, the produce is not necessarily at it’s best by the time we have fiddled around with it in order to make it look at it’s best for the client.

To photograph Scotland’s finest spirit, I was using the Sony A7rii along with the Sony FE 90mm Macro lens with various Strobes, Yongnuo flashes and remote triggers. The Sony FE90mm macro lens is incredibly sharp and is superb at picking out the detail in the ice.
Tumbler of single malt whisky
Lighting was handled by a strobe that was positioned to shoot through a 2 1/2 inch hole cut into the table top. This results in the single malt drink becoming the light source with minimal light spill to the surroundings. Some shots required some additional feathering of light which came from another strobe on a very low setting with a snoot attached pointing directly at the single malt whisky.

The Sony A7rii was attached to a Manfrotto Magic arm that was itself mounted to a rig that comes down from the ceiling. This helps keep floor space clear and allow quick and easy repositioning of the camera. If you’re looking to buy one yourself, go for the friction version, Manfrotto 244N, rather than the lever 143A version. It’s more reliable and easier to maintain.
Pouring a single malt whisky
Using the right equipment is essential to getting the right shot. I find being able to get around the subject quickly and freely is just as important as the camera and lens you use. It not only makes our job easier, it also saves time and that saves our clients money. Always a good thing I believe!

Lake District – High Street & Pasture Beck

Hiking in the Lake District, UK.
A series of photographs taken in the Lake District while on a circuit of Hayeswater, The Knott, High Street, Thornthwaite and back down Pasture Beck. It was a nice bright day for landscape and outdoor photography, as well as hiking of course! This view is of Rebecca and Barney as they drop down from the summit of Thornthwaite towards Threshwaite before dropping down into the valley to Pasture Beck. I was carrying two cameras that day, as is often the case. The Sony A7rii with the Sony FE 16-35 f/4 & a Fuji X-T1 with the 50-140 f/2.8. All the shots attached here were taken with the Sony. It was a wide angle lens day!

Hayeswater Gill, Lake District, UK.
Looking down the track that leads up Hayeswater Gill from the carpark at Hartsop. You have to get there early for a space, but I guess that applies to most places in the Lake District.

Fell running in the Lake District, UK.
A fell runner descending The Knott and heading towards High Street. Thankfully Barney resisted the urge to chase him! The amount of detail the Sony A7rii is picking up on that stone track with the 16-35 lens is incredible. I just wish it was as weatherproof as the Fuji X-T1 I also carry. If it was, it would nearly be the perfect camera. Hopefully the A7riii will be!

Hiking in the Lake District, UK.
A hiker, Rebecca, making their way to towards High Street & Mardale Ill Bell. For some reason, we took the trail to the right instead of the left. If we’d taken the left one there’d have been some lovely views of Haweswater & Blea Water. Like this shot of Rebecca descending towards Blea Water.

Hiking in the Lake District, UK.
Here we are hiking through the boulder field that’s halfway along Pasture Beck and not long before we’re back at the car and the 1.5 hour drive home again! Worth every minute of it!

Hiker on Littledale Edge in the Lake District

Hiker descending Robinson along Littledale Edge in the Lake District.