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Lake District - Explore the heart of English (Part 4)

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DP reader Darren Athersmith share his Lake District images

Keen amateur photographer Darren Athesmith (www.lakeand-images.co.uk) has lived on the edge of the Lake District his whole life, ‘I’ve never lived more than a 20 minute drive from one of the Southern Lakes. My job takes me to some of the major cities in the country and I like nothing better than driving home to the distant hills that signal my arrival back in The Lakes, it’s a fantastic place to live.’

And idyllic location foe landscape photographers, Darren says, ‘The Lake District has everything a landscape photographer could wish for, from lakes to mountains, rivers to streams and so much more.’ Suggesting one of his preferred places to shoot, Darren says, ‘My favourite location has to be Coniston. The lake has may jetties and it is a great place to photograph a sunrise or sunset.’ He adds, ‘I tend visit the same places time and time again but you can always find “another” picture either by venturing out in different weather or trying another composition.’

For those who are keen to explore, Darren suggests, ‘Research the area and plan where you want to go to shoot. Be prepared to get up early for the best light, if you are visiting a popular lace then you may beat the crowds too.’

In terms of the kit you will need to take with you to take your best shots of the Lakes, Darren recommends a robust and durable tripod with a couple of good graduated neutral-density filters. You will also need to make allowances for the unpredictable weather as he adds, ‘We are talking about the Lake District, which by definition is usually wet so take a waterproof jacket and a good pair of waterproof boots as walking over rough ground is usually required.’ He adds, ‘The weather is not always great but don’t let it put you off, sometimes the clouds break for a brief moment and reward you with the most fantastic light.’

Local knowledge and advice: Ambleside

Description: Holiday cottages in Ambleside

Holiday cottages in Ambleside

The array if imagery around the Ambleside area can suit photographers of all levels. Even the least adventurous can feel like a mountaineer aloft a modest summit. The views from the tops of peaks across deep valleys can be so captivating with just a little effort, but don’t get caught out.

As with all outdoor pursuit, pack carefully and charge all equipment. Be prepared to sit in the cold, even in summer, so ensure layers are part of the kitbag. Strap the tripod to your back and use walking poles.

1.    Do not overload your camera bag. Lenses that cover 17-300mm will be all you need

2.    Take a charged GPS, map, compass and tell others where you are headed

3.    Timing is critical. Be aware that climbing down treacherous paths in the dark is dangerous

Local knowledge and advice: Keswick

Description: Lake District - Keswick

Lake District - Keswick

The mountains to the west of Keswick are some of the most photogenic in the whole of England. Views like Latrigg and Surprise View are utterly magnificent, but don’t get catch up in the ‘Ashness Bridge’ fiasco. A classic none the less, but remember there are so many other places to photograph around this are that can be just as special. A short climb is not only good for the body but for the photographic soul. Take the initiative and get away from the crowds. This will not only test your skills, but also build your understanding.

1.    Don’t just go for the clichés! Get walking and build your knowledge.

2.    Shoot longer focal lengths and pick out parts of the landscape.

3.    Make panoramas; the eye almost defaults to this format.

Photographer essentials – Did you know?

Description: Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England

Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England

Scaffell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 3,208ft. It can be seen from various positions in the Lakes and is often confused with other peaks. Every year rescue attempts are made when unprepared tourists climb the mountains without proper knowledge of the weather or terrain

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