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Who Put The Lights Out?

Yes, I know it’s not two minutes since my last post but I thought I’d just drop another one in the bank while I’m in the mood.

I was off to another Rotary event in Keswick and, for a change, the sun was shining.

I really don’t know what the magic is about the hills around Keswick. They seem to have a shape all of their own.

Going past the golf club I decided that I just had to pull into the side of the road and get the camera out. I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to photograph, I just wanted to shoot something.

So the result was purely a collection of photos just for my enjoyment.

I’ve always gone against the grain, done things my own way. I watched a video on YouTube the other evening where the photographer said “always plan, plan, plan if you want to get the best shots”.

There is merit in that but I’m also an advocate of spontaneity. I have fun just looking at something and taking the shot.

 Sure, you often make mistakes, you often have failures, you often have disappointments but as time goes by and your skill level and you eye for a good shot improves then those negatives are overtaken by the thrill of a great shot every so often.

I must admit, that also go against the grain in that I’m really not shooting to get praise from the critics or the other photographers. If I make myself happy then I’ve won. I am always happy to receive genuine praise from others who like my photos but the armchair critic doesn’t impress me.

Driving back from Keswick I was approaching the motorway when I saw the sign saying “Ullswater Steamers”. It was dark, ten thirty in the evening. What on earth was I taking a detour for miles off my track when it’s so dark?

I reached the top of the lake and looked out over the still water. There was almost no moon light, in other words it was dark!

I decided that it was worth a try to get something and at least experiment. You never learn until you have tried.


Exposures of between 30 seconds and three minutes were the order of the day and I was deliberately shooting in a mid aperture and a mid iso just to even things out.

I often wondered what the hardest thing about night shooting would be. Is it trying to work out exposures? of would focusing be difficult. No, the hardest thing about night shooting is changing lenses. There is no way you can see the alignment marks on the lens and body.

Overall, I’m happy with the results. Although, there was a lot of post production work needed to get the end results. I loved the difference in the colours of the sky and the water compared to normal day light.

The big challenge was controlling the brightness of the flood light from the small quay side.

The amazing thing was that even in these really dark conditions that light caused flare.

Looking at this last shot you can see the flare on the trees to the right.

Overall a fun day and the chance for a few more shots and to step out of my comfort zone.

So until next time….keep shooting

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