Every cloud...

I suffer from anxiety. It sucks. There’s no other way to say it. I have come to accept it for what it is, and with the aid of therapy and medication I’ve come to manage it.

If I get a common cold or a simple ache I convince myself I am about to die. It sounds so easy to deal with but when you’re short of breath, sweating, panicking and your heart feels as if it’s about to erupt from your body it’s a different story. However this post isn’t about me…it’s about you. If any of this rings true with you then please don’t despair, if I can manage then so can you. It won’t happen over night but it can be done. Just don’t give up.

Deal with it in whatever way works for you. Cry, scream, eat junk food, watch crappy tv. Whatever helps you to get through each attack, and gradually over time you’ll come to realise “you aren’t going to die”. Everything will be ok.

This brings me to this image. I have recently had a cough which then developed into a cold. The cold cleared but I was still left with the cough. I panicked. Why did I still have a cough? What if it’s more than a cough. What if it’s lung cancer. For me nights are the worst because I have nothing to keep me occupied. Nothing to stop my brain playing tricks on me as I lay in my bed staring at the ceiling.

This was a particularly bad attack. Mindfulness and deep breathing weren’t helping so I resorted to my safe zone…landscape photography. I find the drive helps as I need to focus my mind, giving those evil little gremlins less of a hold.

Ninety minutes later I randomly find myself at the coast on one of the years highest tides. I’ve actually been after this shot for ages and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. There’s always room for improvement in my world though.

Anyway enough rambling. The point I’m trying to make is that even when things seem their darkest there’s always hope. If you’re suffering and have no one to talk to then message me. I’m certainly no expert but if I can help then I will.

Copy of Thornham coal barn

A walk in the park?

This first shot taken on the way up to Fleetwith pike. I arrived at Gatesgarth farm around 2pm. I had intended to arrive earlier but I got sidetracked shooting a few other spots on the way. The weather didn’t look too bad to be fair. A few clouds but nothing drastic, so off I headed.

Warnscale Head

I had intended to do a bit of wild camping, and indeed I was in the process of setting up the tent when it started to rain. Oh my god did it rain. It rained for 10 hours. I sat pondering my fate whilst thinking of my Friend Izzy who the week before had swam in the lakes as it was so hot.

I decided to head back down to the bothy just below Warnscale head. I actually had the place to myself, or so I thought. While drying off in my sleeping bag with only the howling wind for company I noticed a small shape in the shadows…a mouse. No wait…2 mice. At first it was quite amusing watching them scurry about as the light faded.

This didn’t last long. Laying in the darkness I could hear them. Over here, over there, seemingly everywhere. I swear there were 10 of them.

Warnscale bothy

Around 6 the next morning the rain stopped, so I packed up ready to head back down. What’s this? a hole in my backpack? They didn’t? Yup, they actually chewed a hole through my pack during the night to help themselves to my 2 tasty rolls I had saved. An amusing reminder of my trip to the lakes.

The trip back down was akin to a walk through a stream. It seems the rain had literally turned all the paths to streams.

fleetwith

I’m quite glad about the weather…and the food thieves. Overall it was a great night and a great hike. Hopefully I can manged plenty more trips around our beautiful countryside. There’s so much out there to see people. Get off the sofa before it’s too late. Enough babbling from me, here’s a couple more images for you to, (hopefully), enjoy.

Warnscale
Peggys bridge
fleetwith

Something from nothing

Last summer I went on a photography trip to Bavaria. I’d planned quite a few locations in advance, as you do, and one of them was quite a famous shot from above the Schlegeis dam. This particular shot involves a 2 hour hike and clear skies as it’s a shot over the lake.

I arrived to fog and rain. And when I say rain I mean “rain”… jesus did it rain. Not one to be defeated I managed to salvage the trip with this image. I shot it in mono as where was absolutely no colour to be seen and it suited the composition.

On a side note I also enjoyed a tour of the dam from the inside. It was pretty impressive and highly recommended if you’re ever in the Mayrhofen region. Anyway here’s the image, I hope you enjoy.

Schlegeis Dam

What lies beneath

I’ve always fancied doing some underwater shots, but begrudge sending over £1000 on a waterproof housing, so when I saw this Gopro housing on Amazon at a fraction of the cost I thought I’d give it a go. This post is in no way sponsored, I paid full price for the housing, I’m simply sharing it to give people an idea of what is achievable on a reasonable budget. I’ll post a link to the product at the end of the post.

The camera I use is a Gopro Hero5 which itself is waterproof, but when used alone can't create the split level style of this shot as space is needed between the front of the lens and the water. In fact you could create the same affect by simply using a bowl, but it’s a bit of faff and not exactly ideal to be carrying around on a hike.

I must admit I was dubious as any leak that would allow water into the housing would ruin the affect. I’ve now used this housing 4 times with no issues at all. It comes in 2 parts making it easy to stuff into a backpack and can be put together in 3 or 4 minutes. The handle is a neat touch as there’s a waterproof chamber within so you can store the pouch which stops the dome being scratched when not in use. You use the button on the back of the housing to switch between modes on the Gopro and then it’s as simple as pressing the trigger to start, and again to stop.

I only found 2 potential minor issues.

  • The dome is made of perspex so you have to be quite careful not to scratch it.

  • It’s easy to lose track of how many times you’ve pressed the trigger, but you just have to look at the camera to see if the record light is on or not.

Overall for the money it’s a pretty good piece of kit which produces usable results

ducks.jpg

Sunrise at Pin mill

This is one of my favourite images. I love the warm colours and the serine composition. I had originally planned to shoot the 3 wrecks, but the only time I could go the sunrise did not coincide with the high tide. Worry not I thought, I’ll just shoot some of the boats instead. Tip No1, if you go to Pin mill take some wellies. Tip No2, even if you have wellies don’t go too far out as you will get stuck in the mud.

Sadly on my first trip I didn’t have wellies so attempted to gingerly make my way to the shore with just my trusty walking boots…it wasn’t happening. All was not lost though as I had a backup plan in the form of my flying camera, yup out came the drone. To be fair I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t save myself the joys of scrubbing my boots and get the drone out earlier. You live and learn.

As far as the shot goes it’s safe to say I’m pretty happy. The light was fantastic and the water was as flat as glass.

I have since returned at high tide to shoot the wrecks but it seems my presence annoyed a couple of nesting birds so that’s a photo for another day.

Copy of Pin mill