Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Photography in the Lakes

Now I can't remember the exact date, but this is the tale of a day in the Lake District in August 1982.

This particular day started up at Penrith where we visited the castle. I was freelancing photos to magazines at the time.

This was before the days of expensive colour appearing in magazines and freelancing meant shooting black and white film then printing up 10x8 inch prints and sending them off in batches after very very careful analysis of the type of shots magazines used - eg mainly portrait or landscape, with or without people, what was the main content topic etc. No good trying to be different and expecting editors to say "Blimey - why haven't we tried this before?!?"

Anyway this was published a few times, mainly in a magazine called Lakescene - What to do in Lakeland who published it twice with a couple of years in between. Wandering around the castle in the photo and very chuffed at being published in a magazine are Miss Franny and Gill, our daughter and my Mum and Dad.

From Penrith we drove to Eamont Bridge where there are a couple of large henge earthworks and then down Ullswater, stopping wherever I saw a chance for a saleable photo.

We doubled back up to Keswick after Ullswater to have a look at Derwent Water, arriving at the same time as two coach-loads the vast majority of whom, to my relief, boarded a couple of waiting boats and got out of our way! Lakescene liked to show photos of people enjoying the Lakes in traditional ways which meant I had a better chance of a sale if they were dressed for hiking not riding round in luxury coaches!

Ah... that's better! This is the Friar's Crag walk. It gives some lovely views of the lake and was a favourite walk of poet, artist and social reformer, John Ruskin, to whom there is a chunk of Lakeland stone set upright and carved with a few details.

My photo of the memorial has been published a few times also - nothing remarkable about it other than it's relevance for any article about Ruskin or this bit of Cumbria!

From Keswick we set off towards home, but stopped for a short diversion to Elterwater, a peaceful somewhat quieter and less visited lake than some of the others so that I could take photos, not only of the lake, but of the waterfall that can be found a few minutes walk away.

This is Skelwith Force, the word "force" being the local term for a waterfall. It's not a huge drop but a fair amount of water pours over the edge and it's well worth a visit. The amount of water makes it very noisy and some people when they hear it on the approach assume it's going to be much bigger than it really is. Wear some good shoes, this isn't the place to go in flip-flops...

The day yielded a good crop of photos that got published at one time or another, though it took some of them several years to achieve it! Once I started working in Education it didn't leave me much time for blacking out the bathroom and getting the photo enlarger out so my freelancing came to a stop at that point. However a cheque for one photo came through the post one day in the 1990s - some ten years after I had sent it off to a magazine! I'd never even seen it published as payment always followed a couple of months after the publication!

Large versions of the photos: Penrith Castle, coaches, hikers, Elterwater, Skelwith Force

Also here's a link to the set of all my Lake District photos so you can see others from the day and other visits if you so desire!

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