I have been told many times the Lake District is a stunning location and a great place to go and get some beautiful landscape shots, so when my wife booked a week trip in the motor home I was pretty excited to finally head north and try to capture the Lake District in all its glory.
I assumed the Lake District was the perfect place for long exposure photography so I got a scaled down landscape kit together comprising of the bare minimum – i.e. my Canon 6d, Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS lens, filter holder, graduated ND filters, Zomei 10 stop ND filter, remote shutter release and Manfrotto Befree travel tripod, in preparation for the trip up North.
In preparation for the trip I spent a couple of weeks getting to know my kit intimately (so I knew exactly what I was doing) as well as reacquainting myself with setting custom white balances (a little tricky with 10 stop ND filters) and also the hyper focal distances at various apertures. I wanted to make sure when I got out in the Lakes I could spend time composing and taking photos rather than wasting valuable time trying to remember how to change various settings.
We stayed on a small campsite at Lake Coniston in the southern Lake District, and the views and scenery didn’t disappoint. Everything I needed for long exposure photography was there, i.e. water, foreground interest, background interest and of course the sky, but the weather was terrible. The first day, whilst dry was very windy and the travel tripod simply isn’t man enough in the wind to hold a full landscape set up (even a small and lightweight one like mine) for long exposures. Basically, I didn’t trust my set up would be safe enough, which was a real shame.
We stayed at Lake Coniston for an entire week and not one day was suitable for long exposure photography. If it wasn’t heaving it down with rain it was blowing a gale, or even both. There were some breaks in the weather but either side of the quieter periods there was bad weather, so I never had the chance to use the landscape kit.
I did manage to get the camera out during my visit, but not that much and here is a sample of my photos:-
Some of the photos above were taken with my Canon G1X (a camera I have on me at all times – unless I am carrying the Canon 6d of course) and some of them are taken with my Canon 6d and Canon 28 – 300L IS f3.5 – 5.6 lens.
The Canon 6d and 28 – 300 lens is my walkabout camera gear, and whilst the lens is a beast that is big and heavy, it isn’t too bad carrying it around in the Lowerpro top loader bag. Any other bag or case the set up does make parts of my body ache (and sometimes hurt) but using the top loader bag I can carry it around for several hours totally pain free.
Even though I am very disappointed not to have used the landscape kit in the Lake District I am not planning to go back any time soon for another try. I didn’t enjoy the week at Lake Coniston at all (for the full report of my stay take a look at this post) and I didn’t warm to the place or the Lake District at all.