Thursday, 26 October 2017

Rydal Water

One Sunday morning, earlier this month I made a morning visit to the Lake District to photograph Rydal Water.
This area was home and inspiration to one of Britain's most famous poets William Wordsworth and on this sort of morning, it was easy to see why the great man loved it so much.

It's about 15 minutes short of a 2 hour drive from my home to Rydal and I was running a little too late to arrive on time for the sunrise, so didn't think twice about making an unscheduled stop in Ambleside when my eyes were drawn to a nice group of trees showing autumn colour.

A short time later, I arrived at Rydal only to be greeted by clouds, but you could just tell by the stillness of the lake and fleeting glimpses of light in the sky that there was potential for something good to happen.

Looking south towards the direction of Lake Windermere, there was a mist rolling over the fells towards us and all I needed now was the sunlight to break through the cloud cover.
Landscape photography is all about patience and sometimes you can sit for hours and never get the shot you envisaged.
Happily my luck was in on this morning and after a wait of about half hour, the sun broke through and I captured this backlit image just as the mist arrived...

Unfortunately as is often the case, this beautiful light didn't last long, but I managed to bag several images that I was pleased with while it did.

Pretty soon, the early morning calmness subsided and the wind had picked up by the time I arrived at the boathouse...

Finally, I ended my morning with a quick visit to Rydal Mount, the long time home of Wordsworth.
With views overlooking Rydal Water and Lake Windermere, I pondered to myself about how many beautiful mornings like this one he was privileged to witness and  how lucky I was to have been there.

  • Accessibility: Easy/Moderate
  • Photographic Potential: *****
  • Best Time Of Year: Autumn/Winter, Sunrise/Morning, Sunset

Monday, 2 October 2017

Wyming Brook- Searching For Autumn

Yesterday morning, I travelled to the outskirts of Sheffield on the edge of the Peak District National Park, to Wyming Brook to see how the colours of autumn were progressing.

I think another visit in a couple of weeks will be in order, because the vibrant seasonal colours are not quite there yet, although there was just a little hint of things to come here and there.

The weather forecast for the morning was for mist which sadly never really materialised...Just perhaps the merest suggestion in the dank drizzly air.

The order of the day was always going to long exposures here and with the ISO set at 200 and shooting at F9, F16 and F22 I was able to achieve shutter speeds of 2 sec, 5 sec and 7 sec respectively in the perfectly gloomy conditions.
Needless to say a tripod was essential!

Despite my slight disappointment with the lack of mist (I've had a shot in mind for some time here) it was as always a very enjoyable morning here and its always a pleasure to photograph.


  • Accessibility: Easy (Caution required on in some places with slippery rocks and narrow, muddy paths)
  • Photographic Potential: ***
  • Best Time Of Year: Autumn, Anytime, but overcast conditions work best


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Goyt Valley

I spend a great deal of time travelling many miles around northern England and Wales in search of beautiful landscapes and although I'm lucky enough to live within half an hours drive of the Peak District National Park, there are still plenty of areas in this region that for one reason or another I have always overlooked.

The Goyt Valley is one such area and it's less than 15 miles from my home!
Don't get me wrong, I have visited here before on several occasions, but never with a view to photograph it.
When conditions have looked good and the Peaks have been on my agenda, I've always opted for the 'honey pot' locations such as Mam Tor, Winnats Pass, Bamford, Hathersage and the rest.

Last Saturday morning was very overcast and the light very flat...Ironic that I had made my mind up a couple of days earlier to explore the Goyt Valley!
Undeterred by the conditions I set off at around sunrise on the short drive to my destination and had already made my mind up that because of the light, this was always going to be a recognisance mission.

Now the Goyt Valley is quite a large area to explore with several paths going in all directions, so I decided to keep things simple by choosing one small pocket and having a good mooch around.

My walk started downhill from the car park at Goyt's Lane and took me through a clough which led to a valley where the River Goyt ran through.
This valley is where my camera made its first appearance out of the bag; Not to photograph the river cascading through the valley which on another day I might have been tempted by, but on this occasion my eyes were drawn to a Silver Birch growing out of the cliff face which seemed to really stand out in the gloom of this particular morning...

I do think that this scene would have had some real potential on another day, especially if we could have had some sunlight illuminating the silver bark.

Next, I headed uphill and the second vista that caught my eye included a couple of Oak Trees which were just starting to show some Autumn colour. The heather, which although was fading, still held enough colour to give some more contrast against the dark misty sky. Composition wise, I thought the drystone walls help to both lead into the scene and also break things up a little too...I quite like that!

The landscape of this particular area with its mixture of ancient woodland and new plantations really fascinates me and I can certainly see a lot of potential here.

A visit a month or so earlier on a bright late summer evening, with the heather in full bloom would have worked really nice here, but I think that this area would probably be at its best on a crisp winters morning with snow or haw frost on the ground.

Looking back over the clough as low cloud descends on the distant woodland.

A return visit soon is definitely on the cards...There are bags of potential here and with its close proximity to my home, I can easily see it being on my list of local 'go to' places when time is of a premium or I get that sudden urge to get out with my camera!

  • Accessibility: Easy (Some moderate hill climbs)
  • Photographic Potential: ***
  • Best Time Of Year: Winter, Sunrise/Morning

Monday, 25 September 2017

A Warm Welcome...

As this is the first post on my new blog, I'd like to start by saying a huge welcome to you all and thanks for stopping by.
For those of you who may of stumbled across this blog by accident and don't have a clue who I am and what its all about, then here's a little background information...

I'm Anthony Dixon, I'm a fortysomething outdoor photographer from Manchester.
In the past, my photographic interest was mainly wildlife and I had a certain amount of success with my images being published in books and newspapers, as well as appearing on television.
In more recent years, I've gravitated more towards landscape work and I feel that I'm very lucky to live within a couple of hours drive of some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery the British Isles has to offer.

I've been asked about doing a blog to accompany my website for some time now and I do really enjoy writing.
However, I wanted to do things a little differently and get everything just right.

What I aim to do with this blog is not only share my photographic adventures through words and pictures, but also provide comprehensive location details and tips on how to get the best out of these locations.

As a photographer, I go out with my camera hoping to capture images worthy of hanging on walls and I guess that can be said of most togs.
The reality is photography is a very frustrating business of few highs and many lows, but every now and then you capture something truly magical and that is the thrill that drives us to get up at stupid o'clock on a cold, wet winters morning!

I'd like to try and give you an insight on the way I approach my photography and the methods I use, so please join me on my adventures and follow the blog.

Best Wishes and more to come soon...


Rydal Water

One Sunday morning, earlier this month I made a morning visit to the Lake District to photograph Rydal Water. This area was home and inspir...