Photographing Waterfalls in the Borrowdale Valley, The Lake District


Last Monday I went for a walk in the Borrowdale Valley in the Lake District with my Uncle, who is also into hiking and photography. He has been going for walks in the Lake District for years and so, often introduces me to new places which I have not yet explored.


On this occasion he wanted to walk alongside Langstrath beck in an attempt to photograph waterfalls and the different cascades of water.


This was great for me as not only did it give me the chance to walk in a part of the Lake District I had not visited before but also the chance to photograph something that I do not often photograph.


Generally speaking photographing waterfalls and flows of water has not really excited me as much as photographing a nice vista from the top of a mountain for example. I've generally believed that when it comes to photographing water, people use ND filters to capture the flow of the water, to get that milky water effect and that once you've seen one photo of a waterfall you've pretty much seen them all.


Of course this is not the case and I actually very much enjoyed the challenge that it presented. In particular the challenge of finding the right composition. Inspired by my Uncle I wanted to capture a waterfall with a hill behind it, not just focus on the waterfall itself.


Eventually we found a spot on Langstrath beck which offered this possibility, but then photographing it wasn't as straightforward as you might think. With no wellies I had to find a suitable rock I could stand on to take the photo but finding a rock suitably placed to give me the composition I wanted was difficult.


Eventually I did but I still found myself constantly fine tuning my setup and tripod to get it just right, moving a millimetre here or there to capture everything I wanted and lined up in a pleasing manner.


I really enjoyed that challenge of trying to get the composition right within the restrictions of the landscape and focusing on the differences such small margins made, moving my camera and my tripod such small amounts to try and get the photo just right.


Another challenge on the day was the harsh light. It was a typical spring day, blue skies, warm and at the start of the morning, not a cloud in the sky. This made it a beautiful day to be walking around the Lake District but not great for landscape photography as the light was very harsh.


Me and my Uncle continued to walk along the beck hoping that eventually it would begin to cloud over. Thankfully later in the afternoon it did cloud over just enough to be able to capture some of the vibrant colours and textures in the landscape but it was another challenge which landscape photographers will often find themselves facing. Very rarely are the light conditions exactly as you would like them.


I had a lot of fun exploring the Borrowdale Valley and photographing Langstrath beck and its cascades of water. It showed to be that photographing waterfalls can be a fun challenge and can actually offer many different compositions and opportunities. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot more in the future.


Please check out my Uncles Facebook Page, he has been doing photography much longer than me and is a fantastic photographer





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