ADVENTURES OF A WILD LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER MORNING GLORY
Patience pays off for Guy on his latest landscape adventure.
THE LONGER DAYS AND SHORTER NIGHTS MEANS there’s more time for photography now, especially during the week when you can head out after work and still make the most of the conditions. Great, we all say! However, socially it can be pretty destructive. Sometimes it’s hard to convince yourself that standing in the rain waiting for sunset is better than sitting in the pub with your friends, or back home with your family, making dinner or watching a film. It’s a battle we’re all used to and one that never gets any easier.
Having worked full-time as a photographer for the past two years, I’ve had all the time in the world to go out and take images, but I quickly came to realise that I pined for some normality and, more importantly, a routine. So, rather than spend every morning and evening out capturing anything and everything, I started to save my time and effort for larger trips where I could just focus on my photography and not have to worry about anything else. I find trips into the more remote areas of the landscape a fantastic way to immerse myself in photography, even more so when wild camping.
Wild camping has some great benefits, namely the ability to reach more remote locations and to make a base for a night that will allow you to capture sunset and sunrise without an arduous walk in the dark. I wild camp a lot for both my mountain and more remote photography, because it allows me to go further for longer. And the enjoyment of being out in the open and spending a night under the stars is just too good to pass up.
Last month, I mentioned that I was running a wild camping photography workshop in the Lake District. I’d planned a route that I knew well, but, like all mountain-based treks, the weather would be the deciding factor. The conditions looked dry, but it was scheduled to be heavily overcast. With an increasing chance of strong winds, it certainly wasn’t ideal for high camps. Nonetheless, I certainly wasn’t going to call the whole thing off – I knew that it would be a good exercise in challenging the group to be out in less than ideal conditions and to adapt their photography accordingly.
We spent our first night high up in the central fells next to a large tarn (pool of water) and watched as the low cloud ebbed and flowed over the hills and our camp spot. This provided some great photo opportunities. Despite the lack of light, we walked away with images we were happy with. The following day, we left the high fells – and my original route – due to strengthening winds. Given the forecast, I decided to take everyone over to a lower fell above Ullswater, which had a higher chance of seeing a sunrise. On the final morning, we finally saw some sunlight, and boy was it worth the wait. Orange and red hues dominated the skyline and illuminated the landscape beyond. We ran out of our tents bleary-eyed, realising the benefit of wild camping by being in position only a few yards from our beds. We’d soon forgotten the challenges of the previous couple of days, with its strong winds and flat light. The display only lasted for 10 minutes, but it allowed us to take a handful of images that more than made the whole trip worthwhile.
“WILD CAMPING IS A FANTASTIC WAY TO IMMERSE YOURSELF IN PHOTOGRAPHY”