Sunday, 13 December 2015

Brown Cove Crags ...13-12-2015

The start of the winter climbing season is getting very close so a trip up to Brown Cove Crags to check out how things were progressing seemed like a good idea.  I was going to park in the car park at Thirlmere, but it had a couple of army vehicles in there and the council workforce didn't want anyone to park there (not that it would have made any difference), so I retreated to the Kings Head and asked if it was ok to park there.  The manger was very happy to us park there, (note for the future!!)

Conditions:   The snow is soft powder and has not bonded, it wasn't as deep as I expected, even in the gullies, and with the ground underneath still soft and unfrozen none of the gullies were "in"
Some nice built up of ice, but unfortunately it is very brittle and had water running underneath, a couple of days at sub-zero temps would soon sort that out.

All in all there's nothing doing up there yet, and we'll have to be patient a while longer and hope for a cold spell and more snow.

Brown Cove Crags, Central Gully and Broad Gully
The washed out path at the Thirlmere CP
North to Skiddaw 
Looking up Broad Gully
Looking down Central Gully

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Autumn colours

As winter draws ever closer, the clocks slip quietly back from summer time, and the leaves on the trees turn to a wonderful golden brown its time to get out and grab some autumn shots.

The River Wharfe above Bolton Abbey is one of our local beauty spots and very rarely fails to deliver at this time of year.  It can run quite dry after a prolonged period without rain but a recent couple of wet days high up in the Dales meant that the river had filled to the perfect level to compliment the foliage on the tree.

Taking images of water is all above controlling contrast and matching the right shutter speed with the speed and quantity of water, its important not to burn out the high lights and I would rather loose detail in the shadows than compromise the detail and texture in the water flow. My rule of thumb usually has a faster shutter speed for faster water flows, and longer shutters speeds for the less and slower water.

A very slightly longer shutter speed smooths the water
A shorter shutter speed gives less movement and adds texture
Get close to add drama and interest, the foreground rock is about 2' away! 

Langdale Oct

Its been a very busy couple of months and the blog has sadly been neglected, a few climbing trips to the Lakes and Scotland haven't produced any the images that I was hoping for and it seems that every time the light was right, I was busy with other projects.

That said, I had a wonderful day climbing Middlefell Buttress and Jacks Rake in Langdale climbing out of the cloud to a spectacular cloud inversion, having spent the previous night in the van having a go at star trails and night shots.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

2016 Northern Heights Calendar .....preorder now!!!!

The proofs for the 2106 Northern Heights calendar are just back from the printers and are looking pretty good.

Here's a couple of images to whet your appetite, .....and you can now preorder your copy by going to the online shop at .....£12.50 inc postage

The 2016 cover shot  is of Low Force in Teesdale
A favourite view of the Scafells from Three Tarns
And of course Wasdale and the Wasdale Screes

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Jim on "Grit Attack" ..Brimham........."aving a 'mare"

Having declared that there weren't enough videos on You Tube of climbers struggling, Jim lived to eat his works......

Martin on Grit Attack...Brimham

"Grit Attack"  (HVS)  ,,,,,,,,   Cracked Buttress, Brimham Rocks 2015

Brimham Rocks ......Climbing with Martin and JIm

Taking images of rock climbers is easy, but finding a good view point that avoids the usual head or bum shot isn't.  Brimham is a great place to get some images with plenty of spectator points and places to sit and watch from a safe distance.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Tuesday 16th June..........Iconic waterfalls

With the weather set for another settled day, I planned to do a long trip round three of our most iconic waterfalls in the North of England, Wainwath in Swaledale, Low Force in Teesdale, and Ashness Bridge in Borrowdale.
The Lower section of Low Force 
The upper section of Low Force

The upper section of Low Force 

Wainwath falls nr Keld

Ashness Bridge

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Friday 12th June.....Borrowdale

A weekend of climbing and photography in Borrowdale,......

This image is a stitch of 8 images, after averaging the exposure and setting the camera onto manual its important to make sure that you stay as level as possible and make sure that each image overlaps the next by about one third.  The images are all shot in raw then converted to tiffs in "Lightroom5" before being exported to PS for stitching and resizing. Once stitched the image is then taken back into LR for the usual adjustments, and is then ready for export to wherever its required.

As the camera rotates the perspective alters quite dramatically, so once its layers have been flattened this is altered by pulling the corners into position and making the image more realistic.

Camera........Canon 6d
Lens............Canon 24mmTS
Filters..........Lee 0.6 hard grad, polarizer
Shutter.........0.4 sec

Friday, 22 May 2015

20th May...Shepherds Crag Climbing

A great day out with Paddy doing the classic climbs Little Chamonix and Troutdale Pinnacle

20th May......Ashness Bridge, Borrowdale

After a great day climbing on Shepherds Crag I took the opportunity to grab a couple of classic shots of Ashness Bridge as the sun went down.

The contrast between the foreground and the distant hills was quite high so I used 2 ND grads to try and balance things out.
An exposure of 0.8 secs at f7.1  was as close as I could get with the exposure and with a small amount of tilt on the superb Canon TS24mm lens to take care of the depth of field all I had to do was press the shutter.

Friday, 8 May 2015

7th squirrels

Today I had the privilege of taking some wildlife images with one of the countrys' top wildlife photographers and getting some great tips along the way.  It was quite an eye opener when it turned out I'd taken about 200 images (most of which were rubbish) and he'd only pressed the shutter about 10 times!!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

3rd May.....Wasdale

Being a bank holiday the weather was true to form and was a mix of sun, rain and gales, even a touch of sleat on the summits!!!
This can sometimes mean the shots can be more interesting as the clouds and sunlight combine to give some lovely contrast on the mountains...
Canon 6d with ts24mm, polarizer and 0.3 Lee hard grad
Mosedale and Yewborrow
Canon 6d with 24-70mm, polarizer and 0.3 Lee hard grad
Ennerdale from Beckhead
Canon 6d with 24-70mm, polarizer and 0.3 Lee hard grad
Great Gable from the Corridor Route

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

9th-10th April.......Ben Nevis climbing

Two Superb Days on the Ben

Castle Ridge
Over the last 4 years I've been winter climbing in Scotland 5 times and each time the weather has been "Full Scottish" I've been out in whiteouts, blizzards, hail, rain, sleet and snow.......but this time the weather gods took pity on me and we were rewarded with perfect conditions, I think I deserved this one!

Day 1:  saw us on Castle Ridge, no need for crampons on this one, a superb route, not too technical but with the odd airy belay to add to the excitement, we saw that there was still plenty of ice high up and made plans climb higher the next day.

Day 2:  an early start from the North Face car park to try and avoid any of the falling ice that would inevitably be coming down from high on the mountain as the sun did its work paid off. Only as we passed under Tower Ridge did a few bits of ice come whizzing past our ears...we didn't hang around long!!  After a long plod up the steep frozen snow we reach the base of the first pitch of Good Friday Climb (III).   The pitch is straight forward and takes you up a wide gully to the belay at base of the main pitch.  Pitch 2 is superb, 50m of near vertical water ice which could be done in 2 pitches if need be, but Ken lead all the way in great style and made short work of it.  We finished the climb by traversing across onto the final pitch of Indicator Wall which means you top out right onto the summit trig point, which is a great anchor for the belay!! and a grandstand finish..

Thanks to Ken Applegate (mountain guide) for being great company on this trip

Ken on Castle Ridge
Early sun on the lower slopes of Observatory Gully
the final approach to Good Friday Climb 
Belay below the superb 2nd pitch

Belay below the superb 2nd pitch

Ken leading the the superb 2nd pitch
Tower Ridge from Indicator Wall
Ken on the final pitch of Indicator Wall 

Ken Applegate on the slopes of Observatory Gully

Ken Applegate 

Ken Applegate an PH on the summit