Never Go Back!!

There is a blogger on Facebook and YouTube by the name of Thomas Heaton (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfhW84xfA6gEc4hDK90rR1Q/featured,


whose work I really love to watch. He lives over in the North East of England, where I’m originally from, but he takes photos of there and the Lake District, where live now (or at least close to it).

His landscape photos are quite simply stunning and his video work is enjoyable and easy to watch.

One thing that he has said over and over again is not to abandon a location because you have shot from there before or because it is a common location for others to shoot from. There will always be a new, unique shot to be had.

Well, this last week the “Beast from the East” came and attacked the UK and I (eventually) got through the weather in the one small window of time that I had to grab some snow shots before it disappeared. But where should I go? Not far I decided as many of the roads in Cumbria were closed or blocked. 

“Lets visit somewhere I’ve been before” I thought, “I’ll go back to Lannercost”

I went down to the old Abbey Bridge and had a look. Trying to remember what I had shot before I replicated it my mind.

It was somewhat dangerous under foot and I was carrying two cameras (more details soon), but even so It was well worth the walk.

I Got back into my little van and headed off to Lannercost Priory, looking forward to a warm cup of coffee and a sticky bun to drive out the cold.

But first I wanted to get that lovely shot of the abbey through the entrance arch. It’s a photo which everyone who visits the priory takes but I still love to take it.

Unfortunately I have never managed to get a shot of this without a vehicle being parked in shot. Even worse this time was the scaffolding outside the main door. never mind, it still looks nice

The contrast between March last year and March this year is astounding. The British weather is, of course, a main topic of conversation for all of us Brits. But from a photography point of view it brings enormous opportunity.

By now I was really starting to feel the cold as my core temperature started to drop. So it was off to the lovely little tea room on the Priory site. 

I’d thoroughly enjoyed myself last year with delicious home made cakes and scones and real quality coffee. So the thought of a piping hot mug was so tempting.

However, it was not to be. If I’d had trouble reaching the village then, obviously, so had the staff#1

It was closed.…Gutted!


I jumped back into the van to head back to Brampton and a cuppa in Mr Brown’s café.

Then I saw it! The tree stump.

I had loved the texture on the tree bark of this legacy of a bygone age when I photographed it last year. It had obviously been a substantial tree in it’s time, but now all that is left is a lonely, if very large, stump.

I’d forgotten about it until I saw it out of the corner of my eye as I struggled to keep the van on the road in the snowy conditions.

The little ‘tree within a tree’ on top had lost it’s leaves and all that was left was a solitary twig looking rather sad as it was growing from the top.

The different light from the snow gave subtle colour differences in the areas where the bark had long since disappeared compared to last year.

Seeing this tree stump rather made my day complete. 

As I settled down into a comfortable seat in Mr Browns café in the town I took time to reflect on what I’d seen.

The frozen water in the river edging out from the bank, the total lack of greenery, the fact that where previously everything was so welcoming this time it was cold and foreboding.

I also liked the technical challenge of just taking the photos. Almost everything was a good 1 stop over exposed compared to what the inbuilt meter was suggesting due to the huge expanse of reflective white snow everywhere.

You also forget just how difficult it is to adjust a camera when you cannot feel your own fingers.

As I said at the beginning, many people say to never go back to a previous location as you’ve been there and done that. These shots prove that there is always something different to see and enjoy. Thomas Heaton is quite correct in that.

So finally, why two cameras? Well you will have to find out in my next blog.

Till then, keep shooting!!




2 comments on “Never Go Back!!

  1. Hi BJ

    If you like Tom Heaton take a look at Paul G Johnson and Simon Baxter – both landscapers and extremely enjoyable and informative.

    Keep up the good work mate



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