Saturday, 16 June 2018

Picture Perfect?

We are beyond thrilled that Steve's fantastic book "Cumbria in Photographs" is now out - how fabulous is the cover shot?

Although this project was his baby and he spent much of the time working alone, he took some of the shots when we were out together and, for me, one of the things I love most about our books are the memories and the stories behind the photos, things like...

Wordsworth's Daffodils

He took this one just a few months ago and it was the very last photo taken for the book.  He knew he wanted a shot of the daffodils and he'd been over to Glencoyne Bay (the reputed site of the flowers that inspired the poem) several times to see how they were getting on, but The Beast from the East meant everything was late flowering and the book deadline was looming.  Eventually, 2 days before the book had to be delivered to the publisher, we went over together and Steve got the shot, lying on his stomach in a bog.  Worth it though.

Ennerdale Water

This was one of the days that sticks in the memory without the aid of photos.  It was an absolutely stunning day and perfect for hiking - clear, fresh but not too hot.  Steve wanted a couple of good shots of the heather so we headed up onto the open hillside above Ennerdale Water - we knew the heather, the trees and the fells would look fantastic, but we had no idea that there would be pink rocks which really add to the photo.  We spent ages up there, munching our sarnies and enjoying the views.

Boats on Bassenthwaite Lake

Throughout this book Steve had been very keen to show that Cumbria isn't just a county of amazing views but also a county of action and adventure.  Over the past couple of years we've tried our hands at watersports - only kayaking and canoeing - and he wanted to find a way to include this in the book.  We didn't know this event was taking place and stumbled on it by accident while looking for a good shot of Bassenthwaite.  We wandered into the yacht club and I tried to look as if I belonged there while Steve raced around taking photos and getting annoyed at the boats when they weren't quite in the right place.  Luckily his patience eventually paid off.  Or maybe they heard him muttering on the shoreline...

Kelly Hall Tarn

"There's a tarn up there" he says "Where?" says I, "Up there" he says, as he points beyond the edge of a notveryexcitinglooking car park.  Over the years I've learned to trust him on this so dutifully followed him up and, as usual, he was right, there was a tarn up there and it was a cracker.  I really love the Coniston Fells and this view captures them perfectly.  

St Mary's Church, Wreay

I love eccentric things and what could be more eccentric than an Italian basilica in a tiny Cumbrian village?  It was built between 1840 and 1842 under the direction of Sarah Losh and is regarded as being one of the finest historical buildings in the country.  This photo of the apse clearly shows the fossil windows high above the alter - but the church is crammed with amazing artefacts and quirky details and really is well worth a visit.  (As is the Sarah Losh Heritage Centre and trail in the village.  Oh, and the pub does a rather lovely lunch too!)

Approach to Thirlmere Dam

If either, or both, of us are writing a book then you can pretty much guarantee that Thirlmere will be in there as we both love the place.  The day we took this we were out playing with a Skoda Kodiaq and our bikes and really weren't thinking about photos for this book, but because the road was closed the autumn leaves were undisturbed (yes, I'm having a Justin Hayward moment) and the colours were beautiful; far too good to miss so good job Steve had his camera handy.

Fox's Pulpit

I know it sounds obvious but it's not just the location, it's the weather that often makes or breaks a photo.  We'd been out all day taking other shots, with varying degrees of success, and we were heading home when we decided to nip up to Fox's Pulpit to see if we could get anything.  The sun was setting so it was a bit of a race against time following the tiny single track road and dodging tractors along the way.  There is minimal parking but we were lucky and there was no-one else there.  I scampered around taking long shots of the views while Steve perfectly captured the commemorative plaque and the warm glow of the sun on the rocks.

Silloth Sunset

This is another day when we were out playing with a car, this time a Toyota Hilux which Steve was very taken with.  We'd spent the weekend having picnics in the back of it and generally taking it on a Grand Tour of the county and ended up in Silloth.  I'm rather fond of Silloth, it has a very pretty church, a lovely park on the coast and spectacular sunsets.  This was one of those "quick, take the photo before the birds move" shots while we sat on a bench finishing off our flask of tea,  Perfect.

Frozen Bubbles

These were taken on a very cold hike over Place Fell.  There are few finer fells in the Lake District; all of the routes up are interesting and offer glorious views and, with the fell being sat right next to Ullswater, there's always plenty going on down on the lake to keep you amused.  On this particular day we'd taken loads of photos from the summit and were on our way down when Steve spotted these.  In Canada there's a lake called Lake Abraham which is world famous for it's frozen bubbles, but who knew we had our own mini version right here on top of Place Fell?

Hampsfell Hospice

Steve would probably be the first to admit that he's not a morning person - in our books you'll find far more pictures of sunsets than sunrises.  I, on the other hand, am definitely a morning person and can be really annoying about it too. To be fair, on this particular occasion, I had warned him the night before that we'd be getting up early to see the sunrise on a snowy Hampsfell - we knew the snow had fallen overnight and there were clear skies forecast for the next morning - but it still didn't make it any easier.  While I organised flasks of hot coffee and some breakfast sarnies to enjoy while we were up there, Steve cursed and muttered at me - but we knew we had to be up there before the dog walkers to get a footprint free shot.  As you can see we made it - but literally only by about 5 minutes.

If you want to see more you'll find over 120 fantastic photos in the book - we have a VERY small number currently available which you can order directly from us here - if you want, Steve will even sign it for you.

Failing that you can also find it on Amberley (the publisher's) website, or, of course, on Amazon.

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