24 August 2013

Lake District / Northumberland

I was fortunate enough to combine a visit to two of my favourite places in the UK on a long weekend break. We had only planned a day trip to the Lake District but managed to get a last minute hotel in Coniston so we could head up a day early. Unfortunately, as with most of my visits to this amazing area, the British summer weather lived up to its reputation and it rained non-stop. In a brief respite from the rain I made it out at sunset to a jetty on Coniston to shoot some long exposures with my new Lee filters. As you can see there was very little colour in the sky.

The next day the weather had improved and we took the kids to Tarn Hows, a very scenic spot and a nice easy walk for toddlers. In the afternoon we started the next part of our journey and headed over to the in laws house in Bishop Auckland where we were leaving the kids so my wife and I could head up to Northumberland for our wedding anniversary the next day.
I absolutely love Northumberland and try and get here at least once a year. We visited the interesting, spooky and slightly eccentric Chillingham Castle on the way and headed over the Cheviot Hills full of beautiful purple heather (below) to Bamburgh.
We spent sunset on the beach and I was up at 5am and back there again for sunrise. I had the beach to myself and despite the disappointing sunrise (the tide was too far out for the shots I wanted) I just love being by the beach. 
On the way home I managed to squeeze in a stop at Embleton beach - a wonderful curving bay that goes from golden sand to big black boulders (which look great on a receding tide). It also helps having the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle perched on a cliff above it. Again the tide was out and the mid morning light was harsh but I stacked all of my filters for a 2 minute exposure (Hoya ND400 8 stop screw on along with a Lee Filter holder containing a Hitech ND1.2 and Lee Hard ND Grad 0.9). The Hitech caused a horrendous purple cast hence the conversion to mono.