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Photography review of 2018

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2018: A year of weather extremes

With the year drawing to a close I have spent some time in my rocking chair looking back at the year’s photography. As a treat I had my rocking chairs recovered this year and they’re now much more comfortable, making this an even more enjoyable task. Anyway I digress, lets crack on with the task at hand.

Weather-wise its been a mixed year, starting with an icy blast followed by a bloody hot summer, both of which resulted in some great photo opportunities. Good old global warming!

Picking my five favourite photos from the year wasn’t going to be easy but in the past I’ve only selected five so five it must be. Eventually, after several rounds of culling, I ended up with these which include photos from both Yorkshire and Cumbria:

Walking in the Yorkshire Wolds in fog and snow

There was a sharp blast of a proper snowy winter in March, although sadly it turned out to be all too short. In the middle of it I drove into a very foggy Yorkshire Wolds for an atmospheric day out. Ok, navigating the numerous valleys wasn’t the easiest but I did manage to get quite a few photos, like this one. Definitely one of my favourite photos from the year and a good example of ‘less is more’.

Sunset from Long Crags on Great Whernside

The sunset view from the summit of Great Whernside, the peak separating the head of Nidderdale from Wharfedale, had been on my bucket list for a while. Being there on a decent evening relied on a decent forecast and a big slice of luck. On seeing the former I kept my finders crossed and drove to Kettlewell in the Dales.

On the way up the view back into Wharfedale from Top Mere Road promised much. And on reaching the summit in good time I was lucky enough to be witness to a great sunset. This was one of my the many photos I took that evening. I love it when a plan comes together!

Summit cairns on Wild Boar Fell

With the long hot summer I’ve had chance to do a lot of great wild camping this year. And as a bonus some of the nights out have been very productive photography-wise too. Not least of these was the night back in May spent wild camping on Wild Boar Fell. Ok, I didn’t get that much sleep as it was a tad windy but who needs sleep? I would have been gutted had a I come back with no photos to show for it but there was no fear of that: quite a few new photos were added to my Eden Valley photo collection as a result of this night out.

Summer dawn view of High Street

A second photo from a wild camp, but this wasn’t one of my most successful nights out. Having climbing onto the High Street ridge from Mardale I had to walk a couple of miles before finding somewhere free to pitch my tent – I’ve never seen so many other people camping in the fells! It was only after sunset when getting my overnight kit unpacked that I realised I had forgotten my sleeping mat. I now know how valuable they are, both for comfort and for staying warm!

On the bright side getting up in time to watch the 5:30am dawn wasn’t a problem as I was already awake and keen to get moving to warm up. Before heading back down out of the fells I did manage to take this photo too – the lovely morning light went come way to making the night’s discomfort worthwhile.

Sunset at the boathouse on Wast Water

Its rare I will head out to get a specific photo but this afternoon was one such occasion. I had walked past this boathouse many times before, and seen many other photos of it by other photographers, but never had much to show for my efforts.

One November afternoon I set out with a friend for a short wander round the shores of Wast Water. On walking past the boathouse things looked promising as the sky was clear for sunset. However the wind was causing waves on the lake’s surface. Thankfully my sidekick was happy to wait so I set up my tripod and we waited. Eventually my patience was rewarded and the wind dropped, allowing me to take a quick succession of photos. This one was my favourite: the last light of the day illuminating the boathouse while The Screes in the background had been cast into shadow.

Looking back, thats not been a bad year at all. There’s still plenty of photos to get on my bucket list and a never ending list of places to wild camp. Hopefully 2019 will tick more off the list than I add!

Photography review of 2018 was last modified: July 27th, 2019 by Gavin Dronfield

Further reading:

  • Wild camping on Wild Boar Fell
    May 2018 : A climb up Wild Boar Fell from Cotegill Bridge for a windy night's wild camping

  • Lake District Wild Camping
    May 2018 : A list of wild camping locations in the Lake District tried and tested out by yours truly

  • Sergeant Man wild camp from Grasmere
    June 2018 : Climbing Sergeant Man from Grasmere village via Easedale for a wonderful wild camp on the tops


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