Guy Richard­son

AD­VEN­TURES OF A WILD LAND­SCAPE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER MORN­ING GLORY

Practical Photography (UK) - - Welcome - Guy Richard­son is a pro­fes­sional land­scape pho­tog­ra­pher and time-lapse film­maker. His im­ages are used by some of the UK’s largest tourism and con­ser­va­tion groups, in­clud­ing Visit Bri­tain and The Wood­land Trust. guyrichard­son.com

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”

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