Denise Goldberg's blog

Fells, lakes, wonder
A visit to England's Lake District

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Images for your eyes...

Denise has been really focused on going through her photographs ever since she got home. It's so much easier to select the photos to share on her normal "big" computer instead of our baby travel computer.

This journal contains some of the photos that jumped into Denise's camera in England, but most of the photos live in her photo galleries.
You can view the photos splashed across your whole screen if you'd like - just click the slideshow button in the upper right of the photo gallery window. (If you're in the gallery slideshow, you can get control of your computer back again by moving the mouse and clicking "return to gallery" or by just clicking the Esc key.)
You can enter the galleries at Fells, lakes, wonder to choose from the four photo galleries for this trip. Or you can jump right into a specific gallery:
  • Up... dodd & fell, a late day walk up Glenridding Dodd was a welcome change from long-distance travel, and the next day's hike up Place Fell brought ever-changing scenery.
  • A jumble of a day, The morning held an uninterrupted drive to Penrith, but the afternoon? Denise stopped wherever her camera wanted to play... at Dalemain to visit deer & sheep, at Aira Force, at...
  • Down... lake & dale, morning mist on Ullswater, a drive over hill and dale, a walk up Grisedale...
  • Circling, changing places, jumping across different locations in the Lake District was part of the 3-day photography seminar. These images were taken (and taken again) as Denise experimented with camera settings & filters.

I hope you've enjoyed peering over our shoulders on this trip. The Lake District is really beautiful.
--- Rover

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Next time... group or solo?

Will I start going taking more 'group' trips like this one? It's not likely, for much the same reason that I stopped doing supported bike tours. I have a strong preference for choosing my own destinations, for deciding how long I want to stay at each location, for selecting where & when I'd like to eat, for having time to just sit and do nothing if (or perhaps I should say when) the mood strikes.

Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets about attending this seminar. I spent three days with other photographers who were eager to capture views of the land around us, and I believe that I enhanced my skills with my camera both by just doing and by absorbing information from our leaders and from some of the people in the group.

I really enjoyed the time that I spent with Caroline. We hiked together, and we spent time on our own too. I could easily see myself on a trip with one other person where we are both independent spirits with no requirement that we spend all of our time together.

What's next?

Maybe, just maybe, a trip out west somewhere, probably sometime in November or early December. I still have some vacation time left, and the relative warmth of the southwest at that time of year is appealing. Death Vally may be beckoning again, or I may surprise myself and wander to an entirely new location.

Winging west

...homeward bound

Quiet... I don't want to wake Denise. She must be really tired because she doesn't usually sleep on airplanes. Her eyes are closed; I think she's taking a nap! I guess it's a good thing she pulled the baby computer out of her carry-on bag so I can do a little bit of writing.

We flitted across Ireland before heading over the Atlantic Ocean, and the pilot told us at the beginning of the flight that we would be flying over Boston on our way in to Newark. It's really a shame there isn't some kind of parachute service so that we could get off at home instead of flying over it and then flying back. You're absolutely right; while I would love to jump out of the plane, I don't think Denise would step out into the cold air to fall a bit before the parachute caught her.

It was a good week away, too short, but good. It was an exploration of a beautiful place, a place I suspect we'll be returning to some day. Where? Both England and the Lake District. There's lots of good walking there, walking for Denise and bouncing for me. And oh! there are so many dogs that do those long hikes with their owners. The people think they are taking the dogs along, but I think it must be the dogs who are in charge, don't you?
--- Rover

Rover's right; I'm sure we will be back again. There are other places that I'd like to see in England, but it wouldn't take much for me to go back to the Lake District again for more wandering.

The very narrow roads with steep grades don't appeal to my cycling sense so a return to the Lake District will probably be on foot (yes, with the assistance of a car!). I'm not very good at steep ups & downs, and regular grade signs in the 13 to 17% range kept popping up on those one-lane roads. There were some that were much steeper too. I saw some signs indicated grades above 20%. Yikes! I wouldn't like to drive those in a car, let alone on a bike. I really have a lot of respect for the cyclists I saw climbing those steep and narrow roads. Oh, and I strongly prefer roads with a little bit of a horizontal shoulder rather than vertical rock walls that lined the narrower bits of roadway.

I think I want to be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz right now, clicking my heels together, chanting 'there's no place like home, there's no place like home' - and being transported there instantly instead of flying for 7 ½ hours from Manchester to New York, waiting, and boarding another flight to Boston. I still wish I could have pulled off a Manchester to Manchester flight! Oh it wouldn't have been much shorter, but hey - wouldn't you like to check in for a flight in one city and tell the airline's agent that you are going to the same named city?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Photos: And a few more...

lake, mountains, clouds

lake, mountains, clouds

sheep at rest

green rolling pastures

Photos: Panning play

A stand of trees beckoned, time to experiment a bit more with panning, moving the camera with the shutter open to blur the image...

I borrowed Charlie's tripod for yesterday's panning play because mine has a ball-head on it and is a bit more difficult to move straight up and down (as opposed to throwing in some unwanted side-to-side motion). Today I decided to try the technique again using my own tripod. After all, if I want to try this again I will need to train my body to pulling this off with a ball-head mount on the tripod.

And in spite of my needing to control the movement of the tripod head in both vertical and horizontal directions, I think these pictures are better than those I took yesterday...
The first photo below is a motionless shot of the stand of trees that is shown in the following two shots with a vertical pan.

stand of trees

panning play, trees

panning play, trees

Photos: Morning's greeting

sunrise colors

sunrise colors

sunrise colors

Sunrise, sunshine...

...a little more wandering

Knock, knock, knock... early morning, a quiet knock at my door. Caroline stopped by to let me know that the sky over the lake was turning pink, a view visible from her room but not from mine. Hmm... I thought all of two seconds, then threw on some clothes and headed outside. It was a quiet sunrise, still beautiful.

It was a good start to a too short photo day. I suppose that short is better than not at all though.

We made two stops along the Thirlmere reservoir, the first with the sun peeking out from behind clouds, visible rays leading to the water.

At the second stop, I found that there weren't any features of the landscape that jumped out at me - but oh! there was a stand of birch trees. It seemed like a good time to practice vertical panning again, this time using my ball-head tripod and discovering how to move the camera in a straight line. It was easier using Charlie's tripod yesterday with a head that moved in one direction only, but I think I've figured out how to control the movement of the ballhead. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos on a larger screen than the one on the back of my camera.

What's that loud noise? We looked up to see jets, RAF training runs, streaking above the lakes...

We finished up at about 4, a bit earlier than our normal end-of-day stopping time the last two days. I stayed at the hotel until 6:30, visiting, looking at photos, and waiting out the Friday traffic. (You're right, the problem traffic wasn't in the Lake District; it was around the cities, people heading home from work, and people heading out for a weekend escape. Better to wait than to sit in traffic...) The time to head for Manchester rolled around; I headed north in order to drive south in an attempt to get to the motorway more quickly. It was a bit longer from a mileage standpoint, but I skipped the skinny-laned drive over Kirkstone Pass.

I finished the drive with a ridiculous number of circles around the Manchester Airport. I was looking for the rental car return - which definitely could have had better markings / signs / directions. I finally found the place in the garage to drop the car, only to find all of the rental car offces closed. Now what? Oh, there are instructions on the door telling me where to drop the contract and the keys. OK, done.

On to the hotel, one more night in England before heading out over the Atlantic Ocean. I'll fall asleep tonight to the sound of jets roaring into the open windows.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Photos: A sampling of the day

lake view


happy cows

stone circles

Stop, look, absorb, think, click

Denise said her head is spinning from all of the wandering, camera play, and learning she did today. I told her I'd add a quick update to our joural before sleeping in preparation for more photo play tomorrow.

Another day, more wandering... Wait! Have we been here before? Today's travel took us to new places, yet we did travel over some roads where we've been before. We visited new places that had new scenery to fill the cameras.

Our first stop was an old slate mine, with broken slate underfoot, with white birch trees scattered about, abandoned rail lines near a deep pool of water. Denise & I didn't wander down to that water; she was too busy capturing odd shots of trees. Did you know that moving the camera while it is taking the picture will blur the images? No, not by accident. She was deliberating moving the camera. Very interesting.

We stopped at a lake in Coniston for a lunch break, and then walked down to a pier to see what kind of images we could create. The water was absolutely still, which made for some interesting reflections.

The next stop was a favorite, and it was an accident! We came upon a line of cars waiting for a lorry to be 'unstuck' from the middle of the road. Instead of waiting we turned right and headed to Elterwater. Green fields, mountains in the background, Belted Galloways were all reflected in the river. Very nice. We were only supposed to stop there for a half of an hour, but that expanded into a full hour. Cameras were pointing everywhere!

The last stop of the day was at Castlerigg stone circle. I know that Denise would like to go back there on a day with more interest in the sky, but when I peeked in her camera it looks like she captured a couple of interesting images there.

Oh! We only have one more day to play here. How can the time fly by so quickly?

--- Rover

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Photos: And back to the landscapes

mountain beauty

sunshine highlighting green hills

late afternoon magic

Photos: A few of the birds

goose posing

goose posing

patterns in water

Explorations by camera

...learning, shooting

After yesterday mornng's misty greeting, I thought I'd plan to get up and out early, just in case. Quiet, a clear sky, and a lake without ripples greeted me, no mist today. I think I'll try again tomorrow...

It was a driving and stopping day, with a bit of walking thrown in at our photo stops. I was very very glad to be riding in a mini-bus and not driving today. Most of the roads under our wheels today were two-way roads that were only one-lane wide, curvng, hilly, steep. The land we passed through was amazing, and the weather wizard gave us the gift of highlighting the hills with sunshine.

Three hours of shootng at Watendalth was a good start to the day. A small lake decorated by ducks, surrounded by green grass, darker greens of trees, hills...

Time for (a late) lunch, ta stop at Derwentwater, perching on a pier, watching movement in the water, watching birds, watching people.

Next was a quick stop along the side of the road as we headed to Buttermere, another small lake. We were once again on a 1-lane road. Dave pulled our little bus slightly off the road, off enough for others to get by, as we grabbed cameras and tripods to set up for a chance to capture the landscape. Two more stops, Buttermere, and then Honister Pass.

It was a day of beauiful scenery, of good light, of learning, of enjoying the company of others drawn by the magic of photography.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Photos: Up vale






Grisdale sheep

sheep watching me


kissing gate
Ah, I kept trying to remember that I needed a shot of a kissing gate!

What? You don't know what a kissing gate is? This was the first time I'd encountered them, gates that allow people to pass through but do not allow livestock access. You open the gate to enter the small enclosure, close the gate that you entered through, and open the gate on the other side. Yup, that's a pretty small space in between the gates.


in Glenridding

Photos: Morning visions

morning magic

morning misty magic

sunrise, mist

boats on a quiet lake at sunrise

mountain magic

Level ground between the mountains

...walking Grisdale

Early in the morning, I was awake, just not moving yet. I heard a quiet knocking. Again... It took a couple of knocks before I realized there might be someone at my door, not a door down the hall. I popped up to find Caroline there to let me know that there was mist on the lake. Ah, the cameras are calling!

The mist was floating above the surface of the lake, moving, changing. Even with the mist, the mountains were reflected in the water, sometimes as smooth as a mirror, sometimes ruffled by the dogs jumping in to play.

After the mist seemed to lift a bit, we headed up Kirkstone Pass to see if there was any mist up there. Luckily for both of us, Caroline drove. The road up the pass is a very narrow two-lane road, and some of the other roads we rolled down were even narrower. Somehow those one-lane no shoulder, two-way roads that wind about and have steep ups & downs make me a bit nervous. I wonder why?

Back from our early morning activity, it was time for a quick breakfast before heading out again. I chose a flat hike for the day, figuring that I could use some quiet time in the late afternoon before this evenings start of the photography seminar. I thought the walk description was a little odd:
'Though not perfectly level this walk should be well within the range of even the most unenergetic of walkers, yet from it can be appreciated some of the wildest mountain terrain in the Lake District.'
Unenergetic? No matter, it was beautiful.

The sky was an absolute gift today, sunshine against a bright blue background, decorated with occasional clouds. A paved narrow road became even narrower, eventually turning in to dirt and switching to a narrow trail. It was a gentle walk up a valley lined with mountains, passing through one kissing gate plus many other gates across the road, walking, looking, absorbing my surroundings.

Loose sheep were wandering, eating. Sometimes they would stay where they were when I approached; sometimes they looked at me and turned the other way. And yes, I did watch where my feet hit the ground having no desire to need to clean a smelly pair of hiking shoes. Success! I managed to end the day with clean soles!

As I headed back, I crossed paths with a man carrying a bundle of wooden stakes and boots on his pack. I did a double-take but too late to ask him what he was up to. A few minutes later a woman approached who was carrying a similar load. I asked if they were doing some trail work. Nope. Apparently there is some kind of (odd) arts festival going on. They are placing hundreds of Wellies upside down in a field. Apparently it will take several days to carry the boots up to the installation location. Interesting, odd, but it could be interesting to see.

Yes, it was another good day. And the weather wizard has definitely been smiling!