Tag Archives: Adult

Wild camping on the summit of Place Fell in the English Lake District.

Mountain landscapes – Place Fell, Lake District 

Back in spring we promised ourselves that the summer would be filled with wild camping trips to remote, beautiful places, where long evenings would be spent exploring deserted mountain tops and photographing spectacular golden sunsets.  Unfortunately, life has a habit of getting in the way of such plans, and with autumn approaching we were failing dismally.  The problem is that on a Friday evening after a busy week in the studio or out shooting, its far easier to chill in front of the TV with a glass of wine than make the effort to pack a rucksack, sort through camera gear, drive for a couple of hours and walk for another few hours, before pitching a tent just in time for sunset.

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But a few weeks back when faced with a perfect weather forecast and a free weekend we decided to leave the paperwork behind to get back to the mountains  and doing what we really  love.  So on Friday afternoon we headed west to the Lake District and the shores of Ullswater.  Starting from Patterdale  we left the crowds of tourists behind as we climbed against the flow of walkers who were returning to the valley and the comfort of their hotels.

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High above the lake we found the perfect camping spot on the grassy summit of Place Fell with fabulous views in all directions.  The best thing about being in the mountains at night is the solitude and complete sense of calm; aside from a couple of evening fell runners we had the summit to ourselves.

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Dusk soon approached with its warm light and lengthening shadows, and as the valley was engulfed by shade we watched lights come on in the villages far below.  The mountain tops were still bathed in light though,  and it was warm enough to stay outside until sunset. With mugs of hot chocolate and homemade flapjacks, we watched the sun dip behind Glenridding, bathing the mountains in a peachy, red light.

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We had a reasonable night’s sleep, or as good a you can expect when two people and an excited dog share a small tent, and woke early to a chilly dawn.  By 8 o’clock we were walking again, downwards along Scalehow Beck to the shores of Ullswater.

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The day soon warmed up and we took our time, enjoying the peace of the early morning as we passed the first groups of walkers heading out for the day.  The path wound it’s way along the lakeshore back to Patterdale past trickling streams and through lush damp woodland,  giving  superb views across the still water as the paddle steamer headed out for its first trip of the day.

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Photographs taken from the mountain summits give a different perspective on the landscape and allow you to convey its expanse and beauty in a unique way.

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Reach For The Skye Cycling Event

When first approached about photographing and filming this event, I jumped at the chance to be involved. It sounded like a great project to be involved with, a lot of fun while presenting plenty of challenges to overcome. A 24 hour cycling event riding from Newcastle Upon Tyne to Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, nearly 400 miles (643km) with approximately 6000 metres of ascent, and to make things even harder a lot of this ascent comes in the final third of the ride. Rather them than me!

The six riders had a number of charities that they were keen to support and this seemed a fantastic way to collect some money for these great causes.

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Shooting an event like this takes careful planning and attention to detail, as I’m sure the riders wouldn’t have thanked me for asking them to repeat a section of the route because a shot was missed. It had to be right first time or not at all, and that was not an option after all the training and effort that had been put in. The guys and their support team did a terrific job in planning out the route, stops and timings, so we were able to plan the filming around this. Prime roadside locations were identified in advance, so we were able to get sufficiently ahead of the riders to set up in time to capture them speeding by.

The most important thing for me was to capture the atmosphere and changing emotions, and for the film to portray the journey from start to finish. Although technically challenging the night time footage was key in getting across the camaraderie of the team, as well as the hardships suffered in the early hours when temperatures dropped and the heavens opened. Castle Eilean Donan is always beautiful, but arriving there as day dawned was an extra special experience.

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A lot of the filming was done from the car boot where I was harnessed to the framework, with everything I needed clamped, tied or strung up around me. All equipment had to be secured, even lens filters. I found that attaching Velcro to filter cases and sticking them to the roof of the car worked well, the same with Power Banks. Of course, any 24 hour event cannot take place without plenty of cans of high energy drink. We were lucky, we nearly had 2 hours of sleep in the front seat of the car….the riders had none!

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Gear wise, the DJI Osmo held up well for a lot of the action footage. Attaching the extension arm gave some great perspectives of the riders, who a lot of the time were traveling at a fair pace. Roadside and night shots were handled by a Sony A7r mkii with the Loxia 21mm f/2.8. For stills I used a combination of the Sony A7r mkii & a Sony A6300 with a Batis 85mm f/1.8 and Sony’s 70-200 f/4. All handled well, even when the roads turned nasty with sizeable potholes to contend with.

Overall, this was a fantastic project to work on, a great bunch of lads and a lot of fun….. well, apart from the midges! They were horrific and the worst I’ve seen them in a long while, but not enough to spoil what was a terrific event and one which everyone involved should be very proud of.

If you’re organising an event and would like a video or photography of the occasion, get in touch. We will be more than happy to talk through your plans and offer suggestions on how we could capture it for you.

Hiker on Littledale Edge in the Lake District

Hiker descending Robinson along Littledale Edge in the Lake District.