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Posts Tagged ‘sunrise’

Bamburgh Castle is an imposing castle located on the coast at Bamburgh in Northumberland, England. It is a Grade I listed building.

Spanning nine acres of land on its rocky plateau high above the Northumberland coastline Bamburgh is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country.

The great fortification of Bamburgh Castle sits on an outcrop of volcanic dolerite. Known locally as whinstone for the sound it makes when hit by a stonemasons hammer, it provides a natural throne upon which the castle sits forty five metres above sea level.

www.davidlewins.co.uk

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The fells of Easedale rise up to the north and west of the Vale of Grasmere. Easedale itself is a lush area of green farmland fields where a number of mountain streams meet to form the beautiful Easedale Beck, which soon joins with the River Rothay just north of Grasmere village.

www.davidlewins.co.uk

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Commissioned by Ramblers Worldwide Holidays to document in photographs their tour of The Hills and Valleys of Nepal. Think about it; what photographer would refuse a chance such as this? The “Roof of the World” with all those snow-clad mountains, foothills and scenic valleys. Mountains rising out of the earth, giving drama and an unrivalled grandeur to the terraced, hilly landscape of Nepal. A true landscape photographer’s dream.

It certainly sounds fantastic but in reality those snow-clad mountains kept teasing me for almost a full two weeks! I was certainly shown little hints of their existence on several days but as the sun rose higher in the sky, so did the mists from the dew-soaked earth which obscured their grandeur from view. Each time we gained height to some spectacular view point on one our walks we looked out onto further foothills topped with cumulus cloud and mist. To say this was frustrating is something of an understatement. Peering into those clouds and mists each day making out the vague outline of Fish Tail or Annapurna 1 which was soon obscured from view by more swirling cloud was truly frustrating.

The day of the 31st December began very misty and after a brief bus ride to the start point of our walk, we set off as further mists swirled in bringing with them dark and ominous clouds! However, the day faired not too badly. It was warm and good walking weather. The dark clouds came to very little and to some extent gave a little extra detail and contrast to the sky. Sunset happened but was not very impressive because of the heavy cloud cover. I had Dinner with the remainder of the group and then headed off to my room for some sleep and rest.

I had been allocated a room at the furthermost end of the complex and on the top floor. This was fine with me as it commanded a nice view of the pristine hotel gardens below with all its landscaped beauty and colour. During the night I was awakened with the sound of heavy rainfall pattering on the roof of my room. Somehow I managed to fall back into the Arms of Morpheus and woke up naturally at my usual time of 5:30am.

I switch on the lights, jumped out of bed and headed in the direction of the hospitality tray. Then I poured the coffee granules into the cup and switched on the kettle and then visited the bathroom. On my return the kettle still hadn’t boiled and as I waited I began to wonder what the weather was like and remembering the earlier rainfall I headed to the windows and pulled up the blinds.

To my utter amazement the view which greeted me was totally jaw-dropping! Those hidden mountains, the “Roof of the World” was in full view and the light from the early morning sun was just catching and lighting up their peaks with a warm orange hue. I wasted little time and quickly grabbed the camera bag, flipped the catches, withdrew the camera, picked up the tripod, slid open the door to the balcony and set the tripod and camera on top of the convenient table which was standing there.

The view was stunning and getting better as the moments passed. I quickly composed the scene, plugged in the shutter release cable so as not to risk camera shake, focussed and pressed the release button. An eight second exposure in the early morning half light which seemed to take forever.

What happened next seemed to take forever too, but in reality happened very quickly. As I waited with bated breath and goose bumps on my body, I suddenly realised that I was still as naked as I had been when I got out of bed! Not only that but other sounds were beginning to permeate into my blinded and over-enthusiastic state of mind.

I was hearing voices; specifically Japanese voices and very close at hand. With reluctance, I slowly averted my gaze away from the grandeur of the mountain range and the still blank screen of the camera and looked over the balcony into the hotel gardens. There were about thirty Japanese photographers below me, with an assortment of cameras and lenses, looking at the same scene which I had been viewing plus several of them looking up at me with faces full of smiles as they realised that I had eventually become aware of their presence.

Oh the embarrassment of the moment! I quickly dived back through the sliding doors into the bedroom and grabbed my trousers, hoisted them up then back to the balcony to continue photographing the mountains. Possibly a little red faced but this time at least I was covering most of my dignity with clothing!

Knowing how the Japanese enjoy photographing anything which moves I am quite sure that a mad Englishman, exposing not only images from his balcony but also his person, gave them something extra to show their friends on their return home. This certainly puts a whole new meaning to working in “RAW” files!

As a footnote: If anyone should see a picture of an extremely handsome but naked photographer, posing on a balcony next to a Canon camera posted on the internet could they please contact me…I would like a copy!

www.davidlewins.co.uk

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Along the top edge of the image is Rough Crags Ridge,  which is a series of Crags each with its own name; Swine Crag, Heron Crag, Eagle Crag, Rough Crag, Caspel Gate, Riggindale Crag and Long Stile which is a scramble to gain the heights of High Street (The only High Street without buildings or shops!) Named as such because of the old Roman road, the highest in the UK 2,690 feet above sea level, which runs along its course.

riggingdale2

www.davidlewins.co.uk

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One of the many cascading waterfalls in the Cumbrian, Dovedale Valley, near Brotherswater. The light was quickly changing as the dark clouds rolled in from the West complete with a few short rain showers.

 

dovedalecascade2

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A view of Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Fairfield, The Step and Cofa Pike from the ridge of
Hartsop above How.

Although properly the long north east ridge of Hart Crag, Alfred Wainwright accorded
Hartsop above How the status of a separate fell in his Pictorial Guide to the
Lakeland Fells and that convention is followed here. The name, with the middle
word uncapitalised, is that used on Ordnance Survey maps and has wide support in
guidebooks, although it is sometimes hyphenated. Wainwright states that the local name
for the fell is Gill Crag.

A three mile ridge of high ground branches off north east from the Fairfield horseshoe at
Hart Crag. It turns gradually more northward, resembling a billhook in plan. To the north
is Deepdale, a long curving valley with a marshy and rather dismal character. The southern
boundary of Hartsop above How is formed by Dovedale, a picturesque valley of woodlands
and waterfalls. Both dales meet the main valley of Kirkstone, Goldrill Beck which flows
north through Patterdale to Ullswater.

morningsunlight

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In the calm of the past few days, with early morning mists lying on the surface of Ullswater, with the water like glass and affording some wonderful reflections of the surrounding scenery; it has certainly been a pleasure to be out with the camera in the early morning light.

Below is an image of a misty bay on Ullswater near Howtown on the Southern side of the lake, the sun was just breaking the horizon and beginning to burn off the mists lying in the valleys and over the lakes. Small amounts of Autumn colour are beginning to punch through the greenery of late summer and adding further warmth and colour to the scene.

mistyreflections1024

After parking on The Coombs below Hallin Fell, I began the trek towards the ascent of Sleet Fell which would eventually take me to High Dodd, Place Fell and the Patterdale Common. On the ascent to Sleet Fell and stopped and looked back towards Hallin Fell and below is the scene which I gazed upon.

hallinfell1024

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