Buttermere Pines

The Lake District is a beautiful place and Buttermere is a beautiful part of that beautiful place. I have been to 'The Lakes' on a few occaisions but success here can be somewhat hit-and-miss, dependant upon the weather. The mountainous landscape can produce micro-climates, with the weather in one valley being in stark contrast to the next so it pays to be flexible with your plans. For example if the sky is overcast you may want to consider photographing some of the many waterfalls in the area. If the mornings are cold and still, mist on the lakes is a distinct possibility. The weather the day before I took this image was awful, some might say "typical lakes", and once experienced you are never left in any doubt as to why there are so many lakes in the Lake District! But that wasn't why I travelled all that way. I knew the forecast for this particular day was good; clear skies and no wind.

The drive into Buttermere is a particularly good one, providing you go the right way. Take the B5289 from Keswick, through the 'thwaites' (Rosthwaite, Longthwaite and Stonethwaite). You will then start to climb until you get to the Honister slate mine, which is well worth a visit. Follow the road round to the right as it becomes the Honister Pass and a huge scene opens up before you. It is truly a site to behold but do keep your eyes on the road! Simply follow that road down and through the valley and eventually you get to Buttermere.

There are two very convenient things about this location; firstly the surrounding mountains mean the sun doesn't reach the place until a couple of hours after sunrise (extra time in bed) and secondly you could almost take this picture from the car as you drive past. Ok the second one isn't strctly true as you would probably crash, parking is a little awkward too but not impossible. Having parked successfully (room for 2-3 cars) an enormous 60 second walk gets you in location!

Stood on the shore of the lake I arrived early to set up and compose the shot. Here the forces of nature have conspired to produce a wonderful scene. The air was completely still and the pine trees backlit as the first rays of sun light dipped into the valley. It was a good day!

This image was taken with a 28mm to 55mm zoom lens (zoomed in to 54mm) at f11 and 1 50th sec. No filters were used as the scene was well balanced in terms of light. The only filters I tend to use are ND Grads.