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  • Jamie Dean

The Lakes: Derwent Water, Buttermere and Wastwater.

The lone tree at Buttermere

My day started on the gloomy shores of Derwent Water, just by Ashness Jetty. Close by I heard the excitable voices of two middle-aged women in bathing suits and swimming hats. They had obviously just finished an energising swim in the freezing waters of the lake. To give them some privacy I walked away in the opposite direction. The landscape around me was, of course, beautiful but the light was flat and uninspiring. I searched along the shore of the lake for an image suitable for the overcast conditions but failed to find one. Once the women had changed out of their bathing suits and left the shore I walked back that way. Pausing to capture an image of a collection of rocks and tree trunks covered in vibrant green moss. I extended the legs of the Gitzo making sure that ithad a steading footing in the pebbly shore. The Nikon was fixes on the ball-head, on the front was the 24-70mm. The wind was beginning to pick up and began to buffer the camera, I waited for a brief pause in the wind before releasing the shutter, hoping that the image wouldn't show any signs of motion blur and the shutter speed was quite slow as I wanted a narrow depth of field at the optimum ISO. The resulting image is below. Just as I was packing away the camera it started to hailstone. It was short but brutal, the hailstones being blown into my face by the wind stinging my cheeks. I moved further into the small clump of trees for cover and looked out across the lake and ever increasing circle the hailstones made as they hit the water surface.

Nature's chaos on the bank of Derwent Water, moss covered rocks and tree trunks.

After rendezvousing with James at the Ashness carpark, just beyond the cattle grid we drove to Buttermere. Once we had parked the National Trust carpark, we walked along the muddy footpath to the lake heading towards the well photographed lone tree. As I was setting up the tripod and taking a few shots, landscape format, portrait format and even a multi frame panoramic, James set up his stove and made a brew. After I felt i had exhausted the possible compositions I could in the conditions that was prevented to my I sat under tree and drunk my mocha. I was hoping to have shot a long exposure but as the wind had pick up again this wouldn't have been possible due the wind buffering the camera, and with the big stopper mounted on the front of the lens this would have acted like a sail. My favourite image from the ones I shot is the image at the top of this page. Just as we were moving away the hailstones started to fall again, fast and furious. The icy stones bouncing off our jackets.

View across Buttermere during hailstone storm. Shot on my iPhone.

On leaving Buttermere we drove to Wastwater, once we arrived the sun appeared for the first time all day and the golden afternoon light lit up the valley ahead. It looked amazing, but I didn't take out the Nikon to capture any of the scene in front of me. There was off course, many photographers around with their cameras attached to their tripods waiting for the moment the sun illuminated the landscape just right. I seemed to be content with just capturing a few images with my iPhone before we continued to the end of the narrow road beside the lake to the Wasdale Head Inn where I enjoyed a pint of Old Rosey cider and an enormous plate of nachos.

A snow capped Great Gable

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