Landscape Photography

Discovering the Lake District

For some reason I have never really appreciated the Lake District. Whenever it came up in conversation I could never quite grasp the allure. Maybe this was because I remember wet and cold holidays from my childhood, probably resenting the fact that I had been dragged away from my mega drive.  I also became preoccupied with wanderlust, always looking for adventure on foreign shores, dismissing what England had to offer. 

Over the last couple of years I have begun to really appreciate everything around me, making a conscious effort to be present and enjoy the moment. To say the least my attitude towards the Lake District has changed with my last few visits. 

With this new found enthusiasm we headed for a couple of days of family time in the Lake District.  In the past I might have taken my camera and not use it, but I have recently set myself a challenge to try and tell a small story whenever we have a day out or mini break. It helps to keep things interesting photographically and also gives me an opportunity to try things a bit different away from a work environment.

On this particular trip I decided to have a play around with using a square format. I've seen some very good work using square format and wanted to see how the approach to composition may differ. Any way here are the results. It was a fun couple of days and I have to say I am hooked on both the Lake District and square format photography.  

Thanks for reading.  

Cornish Adventure

After four years of working and operating in Newcastle I have left for new pastures. It was with a heavy heart that I said goodbye to a city that I had grown to love and call home.  Life is full of adventure and this is a new one that brings its own trials and excitement. 

It is important in life to approach everything with a sense of adventure and make the most of the opportunities.  I like to think that I can end each chapter of my life with no regrets. That is certainly easier said than done, but I believe that if you throw yourself into every opportunity then it is achievable.   upping sticks and moving to Cornwall may not be for everyone, but even the smallest challenge can open up doors or give you a life changing experience.  

This can be applied to photography.  Challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone and throw yourself into it.  For me, as a past time, I like to indulge myself with street photography.  I find it soothing and exciting and each time I shoot there is always variety.  Cornwall however is not overly abundant with cities and is much more rural. The coastal landscapes are breathtaking in this part of the country, so this may become my new pastime, cliched I know, but it is something that I find quite challenging.

This meant that tonight I was down on the beach with my tripod, no doubt making a fool out of myself. As the sun set on another beautiful day, I fumbled around trying to remember all I had learnt about landscape photography.  Possibly the last time i read anything about the topic was when I bought my first Dslr about 9 years ago. I looked at the screen on my Fuji X-T1 trying to work out why my images weren't coming as I visioned. I then looked up just as a freak wave came crashing in to the beach. I grabbed my tripod, but didn't have chance to move my feet. The water receded back over my sodden ankles and shoes. I could have shouted something obscene at that moment, but clocking the stunning scenery, awash with the beautiful red glow from the sunset. I took a deep breath, readied myself, and squelched off to find another scene to fill my lens.

Look for challenges, accept that there will always be trials, and above all, keep creating.  

 Fuji X-T1, 18mm f2


Heddon On-The-Wall Jubilee fun day

If you hadn't noticed there was some big celebration thing going on over the past few days, I know it was easy to miss. I had kept out of the way of most of the celebrations going on for the Queens Jubilee, not because I'm unpatriotic or dislike the queen (I think she has a magnificent collection of hats!). I was just very busy, utilising the long weekend to catch up on paper work and visiting the Newcastle Green Festival (in which they could have incorporated more for the Jubilee, i'm sure the Queen does her bit for the environment).Any way, being English I felt a bit bad for not taking in one part of the Jubilee (apart from the 20 seconds of concert on the telly), plus I was asked to make some submissions to Country Life Magazine for a big spread they are producing for the Jubilee.

After a quick scan of the "Whats on" guides, I decided to visit Heddon On-The-Wall where they were having a Jubilee Fun day.  It was a small affair and was pretty much a normal village fete with extra bunting and flags, but everyone was having fun.

We were lucky for about an hour as the rain held off.

This also gave me an opportunity to test out the Pocket Wizard Flex system in a work situation and I have to say I was really pleased with the performance, I was able to palm my flash onto a stranger to hold quickly whilst I took the pictures and controlled the flash output from my camera.

Thanks for reading, any questions please contact me at blog@darrenobrien.co.uk or leave a comment.  More of my work can be seen on my WEBSITE

Winter break to the Lake District

Well I have been away for a few days to the lovely Lake District for a bit of relaxation with the better half. That was the plan anyway, it started out nice enough, driving through the lovely countryside. I was planning on doing a bit of landscape stuff as it is not something I do very often and is definitely not my strongest photographic genre.

As we approached the lakes it was obvious that things were going to be good as snow topped mountains and white fields came into view. What was unknown to us was that Mr Tom Tom, our guide on this journey, had decided to take us through said snow capped mountains. Bring on the Kirkstone pass. I have no doubt that in the months of summer this road is a thing of beauty and for anyone who likes to pretend they are Petter Solberg, driving heaven. On this day though it kind of resembled what I like to believe hell frozen over would look like. Snow and ice was being thrown at us from a very angry looking cloud at the summit which the road disappeared into. Our car gave a valiant effort, before we were forced to reverse back the way we came. Luckily for us a gritter came along, which meant we were able to continue on our journey.

Anyway the snow provided some breathtaking scenery and I did my best to do it justice.

Lake District-1

 

Lake District-2

 

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Lake District-3

 

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Lake District-8

 

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Lake District-9

 

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Lake District-11

 

Lake District-12

 

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Lake District-13

 

Thanks for reading. Feedback and questions welcome.