Delighting in photos

June 5, 2011

I always thought of myself as an average photographer but walking the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District so regularly over the last year  has certainly helped move me slightly up the amateur ladder and I am very pleased with many of the shots I have on the site. There is only so much that the written word can do when describing what a walk is like – a few photos add more than just the flesh on to the descriptions, they add the character to it. All of a sudden anyone can picture what the terrain will be like, the views and some of the sites; in essence whether it looks like just hard work or rewarding enough to to expend all that energy. Photos create excitement and anticipation.

I have been fortunate in two main ways; primarily the use of digital has completely changed the way an amateur can take and present photos, aside from the quality itself now it is possible to snap away as many shots as necessary without having to pay for each individual one to be developed – don’t like them now just hit delete! The second major advantage I have is being able to pick the days I walk, not a luxury the majority have and not the luxury I used to have! Now however I can pick the day which looks best and head out to the hills in the reasonable knowledge that the weather will be good. In addition the more that you walk the better the eye becomes for that shot, the best view or the best light which so enhances any photo.

However I am no professional; aside from the fact I have not the patience to wait for the perfect shot I have not the ability to manipulate the photo through Photoshop or one of the other photo enhancing packages. I do use something called Paint Shop Pro but only to re-size the shot and when it looks a little dark I hit ‘one stop photo fix’ which seems to do something magic with it. My mate Wayne Dentith is a professional and a quick look at his site shows quite clearly the difference that he makes – much of it down to the after shot manipulation he does and of course he has a better camera. All the photos on Where2walk are taken myself, initially using a pocket sized Panasonic Lumix 28mm wide angle lens with a 10* optical zoom but I cracked the lens on this (dropped it on a stone!!) and replaced it with a more stable Panasonic FZ40 with a 24* optical zoom. I find it great.

Sometimes the days are so superb, the light perfect and the scenery outstanding that it is just a privilege to be walking and taking photos. Probably my 3 favourite sets of photos are below – 2 in the Lakes and one in the Dales. On each occasion the sun was low in the sky – either because it was October in the case of the Lakes or in the case of the Dales a late summer evening.  Even the other day I was out near Askrigg in the Hay Meadows and took the shot at the top – we can all do it!

A Day above the Newlands Valley

Wensleydale in late summer above Hawes

Haystacks – Wainwright’s favourite

Previous blogs

More than just a walking heaven. Different reasons why people take to the fells and dales.

Watch out for the little blighters. Sheep ticks continue to be a growing menace.

Map Reading Skills on the decline. Impact of new technology on traditional navigation.

Hidden Yorkshire Dales. The joys of walking in my favourite lesser known dales.

Walking with Children. Some tips and my favourite child friendly walks.

Multi Day Walks. A few tips to get the most out of them.

Footpath erosion. The potential impact of government cuts.

Mountain Rescue Teams. The best ways to help them.

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