I grew up in Ulverston in the South Lakes and my family have always loved the outdoors, most weekends were spent walking around the Lakes District. When not out walking, I’d be competing in fellrunning or cross-country races around the county.
My Grandad loved the lakes and photographing the ever-changing landscape was a huge passion for him. He and my Gran would holiday in the Lake District and capture everything on his film camera. Their favourite place to visit was Borrowdale. This passion was passed on to my mum, who did much the same and so I got my first little fuji compact camera when I was around 10 and from then on,
I was photographing constantly. I got my first DSLR when I was around 14 and has since come with me on my travels living in Italy and New Zealand – and of course out on adventures with me into the mountains of Scotland and the Lake District!
I love seeing all the lambs being born and playing in the fields, flowers blooming and the trees in bud – it’s like life is returning after Winter! Warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours mean I can go wild swimming again and out on the fells in the evenings.
Wild garlic starts to come out between March and June, carpeting the floor of Sea Wood, next to Bardsea beach in Ulverston, and can also be found in abundance in the community orchard woodland in Grange-Over-Sands.
Most probably out on to the fells for a walk, setting off early to catch the morning light. The clocks go forward on 29th March, meaning we’ll then have 13 hours of daylight, so plenty of time to get out and get some spring shots.
For bluebells, you’ll find them in abundance at Stock Ghyll Woods in Ambleside or Rannerdale Knotts near Crummock Water in the North Lakes. If you’re heading here make sure you stick to the paths as advised by the National Trust, unfortunately around 25% of the bluebells that once grew are now lost due to trampling.
I’ve also found the forest floor of Sawrey’s Wood just outside of Little Langdale to be full of bluebells. If you’re in to fell walking you walk through this woodland as part of the route up to Lingmoor Fell. For Daffodils, I’d recommend heading to Wordsworths Daffodil Garden in Grasmere or Dora’s field in Rydal. The daffodils planted by Wordsworth, after the death of his daughter Dora, are beautiful!
It doesn’t matter what camera you have, find what subject inspires you most and start shooting.
Get to know how your camera works. I started off, and still mostly only shoot, in Manual Mode. Taking images this way allows you to set up the shot exactly how you want it to look- and will allow you to learn what each of the settings mean and do. Most phone camera apps also have a manual setting in the camera, so you can equally learn about these settings by using your phone.
Understanding exposure, ISO and shutter speed as a start will provide a good base for whatever kind of photography you’d like to go in to. Night photography and sports photography is only possible by changing your shutter speed, so make sure you get to grips with the basics.
And lastly, I’d advise you enrol on a photography course, join a club or go along to some classes, there’s an array of choices in the Lake District for this, from 1 to 1 tuition to photography tours and guides.