Derwentwater from Keswick

The Kewsick and Derwentwater area is among the most popular destinations for visitors to the Lake District.  Being picturesque, they are also popular with photographers and they are significant to me because of my childhood holidays.  So on my visit to the Lake District earlier this year, I really wanted to try to get a sunset shot from around Keswick.  In the event, the weather didn’t do what I was hoping but I still got a shot and explored some of the area.  The details are shared inside…

I was staying at a B&B in Keswick overnight, so I walked down to the lake from the centre of town.  If you’re visiting by car, there’s a pay-and-display car park next to the Theatre by the Lake which is really convenient.

I started off at the boat landings, just past the theatre (grid reference NY264227).  This is a classic location – plenty of photographers have shot it before and I’m sure loads will in the future – but I still wanted to have a look myself.  When I got there, the evening light was pretty poor due to heavy cloud cover and I couldn’t even find a composition I liked which incorporated either the landings or the boats themselves; the foreground was too messy.  Undeterred, I climbed up onto the road above the beach and up onto a bench to get even higher.  Zooming to 75mm I was able to crop out the boats and landings, so I set up on my tripod to take a bracketed set of shots to recombine as HDR later.  I also tried a more natural approach by using a 2 stop ND graduate to retain some detail in the clouds, but in the end I preferred the HDR version.

Lake District England UK island boat house hill mountain fell Wainwright cloud overcast Rowling End Causey Pike HDR Derwent Water
Waiting to be Discovered

The island in the foreground is Derwent Isle and the main fell to the right is Causey Pike, while Robinson is lurking in the background on the left.  The credit for naming this image goes to my friend Paul Bradley.

Next, I moved up to the viewpoint at the top of Castlehead Wood (grid reference NY270227).  The last part is a steep little pull up onto the top of the crag but worth the effort; you get a panoramic view to the west which extends from the distant Scafell range in the south up to Bassenthwaite in the north.  The main views are over Derwentwater towards Causey Pike and Cat Bells.

By that point, the sun had set and what little light was left was disappearing rapidly.  If I had more time, I would have been considering a look down to the area around Friar’s Crag (grid reference NY264223) and Walla Crag (grid reference NY277213).  I’ll have to save those for another time.

As I’ve mentioned before, just because a location has been photographed extensively before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to put your photographic stamp on it.