Autumn is once again upon us, and whilst for some of us that means staying in and sheltering from the elements, for others, it means heading off on a Lake District break to enjoy the explosion of colour that autumn brings to the region. For landscape photographers of all skill sets, the season also brings with it plenty of opportunities to take breathtaking and vibrant shots that truly capture the beauty of nature. In order to help you get the photographs you’re after, we’ve put together a handy guide that will ensure you do the Lake District justice this autumn.
A lot of photographers mistake the weather for presenting the biggest challenge when it comes to Lake District photography. Thanks to the changing conditions, however, the light often shifts quite quickly, which always presents landscape photographers with a particularly tricky puzzle they have to overcome. This is where filters can prove to be invaluable. Polarising filters are fantastic if the sky is starting to darken, and can really enhance the contrast with the clouds in a photo. It can also help you to manage any tricky reflections you may encounter, which can be especially useful if you’re photographing one of the region’s many lakes.
If you’re a keen photographer, you’ll be more than familiar with ‘Golden Hour’, which is used to describe the best time of day to take photographs. Whether you’re up early to catch the sunrise, or you want to take advantage of the golden skies as the sun sets over the Lake District, a graduation filter can make a huge difference. By using the filter, you’ll ensure your camera is able to capture the stunning light intensity on display, which is done by gradually darkening the image. Additional benefits of a graduation filter include capturing running water. It’s here that the filter is able to slow the water down and give it a smooth texture, which can create the illusion of movement within your image.
Location is key
It goes without saying, but your location will determine whether your autumnal snaps are spectacular or forgettable. For brilliant autumn views, head to Skiddaw mountain. The summit is located in the northern part of the Lake District. It’s worth noting that the trek to get there is pretty extensive, but the path is well defined and easy enough to navigate. Once at the top, you will be treated to a 360-degree view. To the south is the market town of Keswick and to the west, you’ll be able to spy Bassenthwaite Lake. Timing and luck will be critical, but if you get the right mix of both, you’ll be able to use the spectacular vantage point to capture a beautiful golden landscape.
For wonderful and vibrant oranges and browns, head to the villages and towns of the Lake District. Providing you with stunning colours that are truly reflective of the best autumn has to offer, you can capture autumnal life in the area. Be sure to make use of fallen leaves which will give your photo a focal point as well as give it a seasonal atmosphere. Work your way through the quiet streets and come across eye-catching backgrounds for your photographs.
Good Lake District photography is all about the preparation. It’s worth bearing in mind that the Lake District can be an unforgiving place, especially if you haven’t done your research. Know exactly where you’re going and how you plan on getting there before setting off. It’s also worth making sure your walking shoes are in excellent condition, and because the weather is so changeable, it’s always worth your while to pack waterproofs, even if the day starts out sunny. Pack a waterproof bag for your camera too, as there’s nothing worse than seeking out the perfect location only to find your camera has succumbed to water damage.
All being well, if you put in enough preparation and seek out a few of the many beautiful locations on offer in the Lake District, this autumn will provide you with photographs that you’ll be able to cherish forever.