Shaun Derby Photography: Blog en-us (C) Shaun Derby Photography (Shaun Derby Photography) Sat, 12 Jun 2021 16:04:00 GMT Sat, 12 Jun 2021 16:04:00 GMT Shaun Derby Photography: Blog 100 120 Snow has fallen in the Lake District

Towards the latter end of last week we saw the first proper snowfall of this winter and it didn't disappoint. Now rather than babble on, this will be a slightly shorter post, mainly because I've covered quite a bit of information on this location in previous posts and in a blog I wrote some months ago. So if you'd like more detail on this location please feel free to check it out.

As you can see I have included three images below which were taken at sunrise and sunset on the same day during a workshop. The workshop was a full day and my client, Paul, had opted for a sunset as oppose to sunrise but I suggested that if he wanted to we could meet for sunrise as well to capitalise on the shorter winter day. This meant the workshop was longer than the 8 hours you'd get for a full day, but it would've been a crime not to extend it for the sake of a couple of hours and at no extra cost.

The first image is a panorama taken at sunrise where we had some awesome reflections on the water, we didn't quite get the light but this made for a great start to the day. After we made our way on to Lingmoor Fell via Birk Knott we ended up looking at the Langdale Pike from the viewpoint in the second image, a composition I've shot before but this time with different conditions. Once the light had faded and not long before we made our way back to the car park I grabbed the last shot in this sequence, which was handheld and a close up of the Pikes as the colour got deeper.

All in all a cracking day, and very fortunate to have had the conditions we did. To see some of the shots Paul took you'll need to check out the review section on my Facebook page at reviews .

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Blea Tarn ReflectionsBlea Tarn ReflectionsA panoramic shot of Blea Tarn and the Langdale Pikes at sunrise. The reflections although not perfect were stunning this morning on what was only a couple of days after the first heavy snowfall in the Lakes this winter. My client who was on the workshop was very happy as this was just the start of the day.


(Shaun Derby Photography) 1-1 workshops Blea Tarn camera skills Lake District landscape photography workshops Langdale Pikes photography tuition photography workshops snow snowfall snowy fells tuition Winter Thu, 10 Dec 2020 15:13:17 GMT
Derwent Water From Crow Park

The images I have posted today were taken at Derwent Water from Crow Park, Keswick, although you may have already guessed that from the title of the post. They were also taken on a day where a client came to the realisation that landscape photography is not necessarily all about being out in good weather and that having patience can pay off.

On this occasion to give my client the best opportunity with the weather conditions and because she was travelling a fair distance to get to the lakes I offered to split the full day workshop in to two half days. So the previous day we had been up on Lingmoor for sunset and given the conditions for the following day I opted to stay lower down and head for Keswick. In all honesty the forecast was pretty rubbish but there was a slim chance of some light, albeit after sunrise, and I'm not one for cancelling workshops as there is nearly always something to do even if it means changing plans and location.

The rain was persistent on the drive to Keswick but had subsided by the time we arrived, which made me feel slightly better to say the least and by the time we had walked over the field to Crow Park it had stopped completely. If you know of this location you'll be aware that you can see all the way down the water to Borrowdale, and with the wind being a southerly one, this meant it was in our face which also made it rather cold as it was rather gusty. The only advantage I can think of for having such foul conditions is that you could clearly see what was coming our way, which for the most part was nothing to look forward to.

For the best part of what I would say was an hour to an hour and a half, we were under our umbrellas in heavy rain, strong wind and at one point a hail storm which lasted about fifteen minutes. Now you could ask yourself why would one do such a thing, it probably would've been much easier and warmer to walk back to the car and give up, and I did make this suggestion to my client as it looked like her enthusiasm was dwindling, and I wanted to give her the option as it was her workshop after all, but I was also confident we would catch a break and it was worth waiting it out.

The picture below is of Derwent Isle as a band of rain was sweeping across and over us. Trying to get a clean shot of this wasn't easy either as the rain was in my face and every time I lifted the brolly to reveal the camera the lens got water on it. As quick as I could wipe it off more spots appeared which were clearly visible when viewing the image on the back of the camera. I'd like to think you'd get some sense of what we were out in by viewing this.


After what appeared to feel like an age and seeds of doubt starting to sprout in the back of my mind, I was beginning to wonder whether the forecast I'd seen was indeed accurate. Not to mention keeping my client out in these conditions with potentially nothing to show for her efforts other than a cold and runny nose. All was not lost though, finally the cloud started to break and spirits started to lift and we had an opportunity to grab some shots. Needless to say I was relieved that we caught a break and the rain stopped long enough for the clouds to part and subject us to some rather nice light. 

As good as this was given what we had stood out in, sadly it only lasted for about ten minutes or so but for me that made the wait all the more worth while and the persistence paid off. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't always work out like this and it it would've been so easy just to pack up and head back to the car, but if you're prepared to suffer a little then the rewards are worth it. I'm happy to say my client also thought it was worth it, but she admitted that had she been on her own she probably would've gone back to the car or not even ventured out in the first place. I'm just as guilty at times for thinking the same thing but the bottom line is, if you're not out you'll just never know and some of the best conditions aren't always on nice sunny days.

Fell free to like, comment or share this post and you can also follow me on my Facebook page at ShaunDerbyPhotography


(Shaun Derby Photography) 1-1 workshops Autumn autumn in the lakes camera skills Catbells crow park Cumbria Derwent Isle Derwent Water Keswick Lake District landscape photography workshops learning photography tuition photography workshops sunrise Fri, 04 Dec 2020 17:36:48 GMT
Ullswater Sunrise From Gowbarrow Fell

The post today is from a fairly recent visit to Gowbarrow Fell at sunrise. I've visited this location several times in the past and with some success, but most recently with a client on workshop. Unfortunately on that particular day we didn't have the best of conditions, not that it spoilt the view, but at the time is was very misty with low cloud so we didn't get any nice light (the joys of landscape photography)

The area from which I took these two images is another example of side light, and this time year in my opinion it works better here than say in summer when the sun would be rising more or less behind you. Not that there is anything wrong with that as such, but the last thing you'd want is your shadow in the image particularly if you had foreground interest close to the camera. I was also trying or having a last attempt at capturing some autumnal colour. Over the last few weeks of Autumn here in the lakes it has been very windy so the leaves have been coming off the trees pretty quickly, so having the time to get out and getting a day when the weather has been good has also been a challenge. 

The image above is one I hadn't planned on taking at the time but it was in the back of mind, and I was reminded of it when I was a little higher up. Basically I'd seen the little tree out of the corner of my eye on the way down from the workshop a couple of weeks prior, and although I didn't check it out at the time to see what potential it had, I gave myself a reminder to check it out next time I visited.

On my way up to the fell I did keep glancing over to my right to see if I could see the tree, but even with my head torch on it was too dark to see where it was. By the time I'd got to where I wanted to be it had slipped my mind that I wanted to take a better look. I'd say about 15 minutes or so before sunrise was due to finish I noticed the tree catching the light from further up the fell where I was stood so instantly made my way down to it and managed to get a couple of images whilst there was still some nice colour. Judging by how the light was slowly creeping over the trees below, had I gone here to start with all the trees below me would still have been in shadow.

To get to this location I parked in the National Trust car park at Aira Force where it is free to members, but pay and display to non members. From here you head towards Aira Force and head right up on to the fell which roughly takes about half an hour depending on your fitness, and it's all up hill. Due to covid there is a one way system up and around the waterfall, but if you are there for sunrise you're unlikely to bump in to anyone that early so you could anti clockwise around the route making the journey time a tad shorter.

Please feel free to like or comment on this post, or checkout and follow me on Facebook at ShaunDerbyPhotography


(Shaun Derby Photography) 1-1 workshops autumn autumn in the lakes Cumbria Gowbarrow Lake District landscape photography workshops learning lone tree photography tuition photography workshops Sunrise tuition Ullswater Fri, 27 Nov 2020 15:57:09 GMT
Lingmoor Fell Sunset

Lingmoor Fell Sunset.

If you follow me on Facebook then you'll probably be aware that I haven't posted for some time, in fact it was back in March that my last post went out. Since then I've had my ups and downs with photography due to covid but I've still been running workshops where possible or rather when covid guidelines have dictated. In addition to that I've amended the blog section on here to allow me to make more regular posts for people to see and to minimise time at the computer and duplicating work. So, here is my first post on my website in the section that I've now titled 'Latest Work'.

Anyway, if you follow my Facebook page you'll see many views like this as it's one of my favourite places to visit and one where I like to run workshops from when conditions are right. This view is of the Langdale Pikes (right) with Side Pike (near left) taken from the lower slopes of Lingmoor Fell. I'd been here the evening before but with little success, mainly due to the sun being obscured by the clouds which were heavy enough to block out most of the light. The following evening I was running a 1-1 workshop with a client where initially conditions started off pretty poor, although I had high hopes after viewing the weather forecast that we maybe blessed with some nice light, albeit briefly.

After showing Steve (my client) around and checking out various compositions things started to improve and it looked like we might get lucky with the light. The sky was beginning to colour up nicely, but with the amount of cloud around and the sun now getting lower chances of getting direct light on the foreground had faded. That said, you didn't really need it much because the glow from above really did add some vibrancy, and I particularly like how it was adding colour to the stone wall. Needless to say Steve was pretty chuffed to have witnessed such conditions and it was a perfect start to the few days he had booked in with me on his visit here. Over the coming weeks I'd visit this location again, not only with other clients but on my own as I was eyeing up other compositions which I thought might work. For me this location at this time of year works really well as the sun is setting just out of frame to the left which offers some cracking side light if you get the right conditions and it can still catch the foreground before the sun dips behind the higher peaks.

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  Langdale Pikes at SunsetLangdale Pikes at SunsetA view of the Langdale Pikes and Side Pike from the slopes of Lingmoor Fell at sunset. This image was taken on one of my Landscape Photography Workshops in the Lake District


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Dorset Travels Part 1

Time away is usually spent with my family, but in October half term 2019 I was fortunate enough to have few days away on my own. I took this as an opportunity to spend some time away in the beautiful surroundings of Dorset, my adventures of which I will now share, along with a few select images and descriptions of the locations I visited. The blog I have created is part 1, I have several images I wish to share from various locations from my previous visits. 

Most of the places I chose to visit have been lead by my desire to either get a specific shot from a given location, the time of year, or the conditions and light, some of which were unsuccessful on the first visit. As a photographer I sometimes feel you need a bit of luck, but you also make your own luck from the effort you put in to achieve the shot you're after.

I hope the information and details I have included in this help you out should you visit this part of the UK.

  Corfe Castle, Dorset, England.Corfe Castle, Dorset, England. Corfe Castle, Dorset, England.Corfe Castle, Dorset, England.

Corfe Castle was the first location I travelled to, and although I would have success here, it would take three visits before I left with something I was happy with. There are a number of places you can park near the castle for free, most of which are on the roadside, however being a National Trust member I opted for the car park on the opposite side of the road as this is also free to trust members.

To get to the vantage point where this image was taken, you exit the car park and bare right walking for about twenty meters before crossing the road, going through the gate and in to the field. You walk to the top of the field to your right where you go through another gate and bare left where there is a footpath. As you follow the path the castle will be on your left hand side with a hill to your right. This footpath splits after a short distance and you can either take the easier but slightly longer path paralleling the castle, or as I did bare right up the slightly steeper hill. Neither of the walks are very long and there are plenty of compositions available which ever route you take. You only have to google the castle to find plenty of images for inspiration, many of which will also prompt you on where you need to be.

As beautiful as this historic castle is to photograph, it really comes in to it's own when shrouded in mist. Not only does that bring the most magical conditions particularly when the light is right, but also many more photographers seeking those classic shots. It wasn't until my third visit did I get rewarded with those conditions, and I had to wait until sunrise had almost ended for it to happen. I counted ten others that morning, but there may have been others. Some were undecided on whether to stay as there was no mist on arrival, almost unexpected given the near perfect conditions and forecast.

I could quite easily have returned here every morning for the duration of my stay and come away with something different.


Kimmeridge Bay is located on the Jurassic Coast just half a mile south west of Kimmeridge village. As you approach the bay there is a hut on the side of the road, which when manned takes the £5 toll fee to park in the car park further down the road. There is a barrier at this point as well, and it's worth noting and checking the opening and closing times of this, especially if you plan on visiting for sunrise or sunset as it would restrict access both in and out of the car park.

From the car park you can't really go wrong in finding your way down to the bay, and depending on where you're planning to shoot will depend on which way you go down. Clavells Tower can also be accessed form this car park and is roughly a 10-15 minute walk to the top of the cliff where it is situated. By my knowledge this location is better at sunset than sunrise because of where it is situated, and certain times of year work better than others. Personally I'm not a huge fan of shooting in the sun, but on occasions and certain times of year depending on composition, this is unavoidable.

I came here on three separate occasions, one of which given my composition of Clavells Pier I had no option but to shoot in to the sun. The bay is also a popular with other photographers, but given the nature and layout of it, there is plenty to go at without tripping over someone else. That said, Clavells Pier is only small, and there were two others here on the evening I photographed it, and sometimes you just have to work together to get the shots you want if other people are in your composition. At the end of the day you're all after something similar and there for the enjoyment of what you do, so there is no point in being rude with others.

  Clavell Pier, kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, England.Clavell Pier, kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, England. Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, England.Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, England.

The image to the left was taken from the cliff tops near Clavells Tower. I'd sat in the car for a considerable number of hours drinking tea and watching the weather, as the forecast didn't bode well for sunset. Wind speeds in excess of 30mph and rain were not something I'd planned on getting out of the car to do photography in. However my patience paid off as the rain passed, and although still extremely windy and cloudy there were breaks in the sky where light was getting through.

Had the wind been at my back I wouldn't have attempted this shot being so close to the edge, however it was blowing in off the sea which was still tricky, but by crouching down it reduced the battering I was getting. I could have shot this at a higher ISO and shutter speed to freeze everything so the foliage was sharper, but it would detract and have a negative impact on the outcome of the shot as you wouldn't have got a sense of the conditions I was experiencing up there, but it's by no means a long exposure either.



When photographing by the coast be aware of your gear, salt water and spray from the sea gets everywhere, not just on your lens, but in all the other nooks and crannies, so it pays to give everything a good clean, and if need be strip down after you've spent time by the coast. I was constantly wiping my lens when shooting the pier and on the cliff top because of the spray. Nothing worse then getting home and realising an image isn't sharp or unusable, particularly if you've travelled hundreds of miles.



(Shaun Derby Photography) bay camera skills coastal photography core castle Dorset guide holiday information Jurassic coast kimmeridge landscape photography landscape photography workshops learning photography photography workshop Shaun Derby tourism tuition Sun, 26 Jan 2020 16:02:12 GMT
Lake District Landscape Locations Guide- Blea Tarn.

Blea Tarn

I've been feeling the need to add something different to my website recently, so I decided to create a blog​ discussing landscape locations. With a bit of luck this will become a regular feature on here as I build my portfolio of images from around the Lake District, and hopefully help anyone visiting the area.

I've chosen Blea Tarn because this one of my favourite locations where I can visit throughout the year and have a variety of accessible viewpoints all from the car park by the tarn, which predominantly include the Langdale Pikes, but one where the Coniston fells can also be seen.

The tarn itself is situated between Little and Great Langdale and offers a stunning view of the Langdale Pikes as seen in the image on the right. This one spot has various options of composition and is very popular with photographers because of that, and ease of access.

For example in Winter the Pikes can be completely covered in snow, with a beautiful contrast of black rock and white snow that makes for a pleasing view. When there is a significant temperature drop the tarn can be frozen presenting some exquisite leading lines with the cracks in the ice, and low water levels leave many exposed rocks around the shoreline for added foreground interest. That along with a fence that runs in to the water, you can't go wrong.

Autumn has the changing colour of the leaves, and those cooler mornings also bring with it mist which can blanket the tarn. And if you're fortunate enough to arrive on a day when there is no wind, you get fantastic mirrored reflections in the tarn of the Langdale Pikes. Doing a long exposure can also help get some reflection and smooth out any ripples, but nothing beats it when it's completely still.

Grid reference for the tarn NY 29324 04290


Blea Tarn, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, England.Blea Tarn, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, England.Scenic view of the Langdale Pikes from Blea tarn at sunrise on a beautifully calm morning, which offered superb reflections in the water.

Langdale Pikes from Birk Knott, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, England.Langdale Pikes from Birk Knott, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, England.



Birk Knott

Birk Knott is situated south east of Blea Tarn and is a short but steepish walk from the car park. The footpath is just before the cattle grid as you arrive at the tarn approaching from Little Langdale. As you ascend it's worth stopping and having a look around as there are compositions available which include the tarn on the way up. The tarn can also be seen from the spot where the image on the right was taken from, but for this composition I chose to exclude it as it was in significant shadow due to the sun setting to my left. If you were to raise your head above the rocks it would clearly be visible.

I've been here for both sunrise and sunset, and personally I like it better at sunset as there is a very small window where the foreground rocks get illuminated by the sun before it disappears behind the opposite fell. If you were planning on visiting here it would be worth checking the sun location as the further round it gets, particularly in summer, the more it would be visible in the shot to left, thus creating greater highlights to control. Having said that, if you don't mind shooting in to the sun and you like your sun stars it would work well.

I have also had pleasing results at sunrise, particularly when there has been significant snow fall on the ground, but I do like it when you can get the sun catching your foreground interest.

It's worth noting that the descent from here can be a tad tricky as it is steep in places and a little rocky. My camera bag is quite heavy and if I were to lose my balance it wouldn't end well, (always thinking of my camera first than my own health) so I always carry a set of trekking poles for peace of mind to assist stability. You could make this in to a nice circular route by going up on to Lingmoor fell and back around to the car park.

Grid reference NY 29863 04203




Lingmoor Fell

At 469m at it's highest point Lingmoor Fell runs along the east side of the tarn and divides Little and Great Langdale. The fell's name originates from the Old Norse word 'Lyng' meaning 'heather covered'. It can be accessed several different ways from the car park, including going up via Birk Knott. There is a beautiful stone wall which runs across it which can be used as a leading line for a composition, and also little elevated areas of rocks to the right of the path. Some of those are surround by heather which comes in to bloom around August and September, although this does vary, and has no guarantees. In 2018 I saw very little colour up here due to the dry weather we had earlier in the year.

The image to the right was taken near Side Pike (Lingmoors subsidiary top) seen here at the end of the stone wall and in the centre of the shot. The fell is a great vantage point for viewing some of the higher peaks like Bow Fell, Crinckle Crags and Shelter Crags, and also Pike of Stickle, and the Coniston fells. I'd accessed here by driving past the tarn car park, and using one of the few parking spaces near the next cattle grid just before you drop down the hill in to Great Langdale. From here you walk back down the road and pick up the footpath which takes you up towards the east of Side Pike where you reach the stone wall. From here you follow the footpath along the wall higher up the fell.

It's a great location for both sunrise and sunset. This image was taken in early May at sunrise when the morning light comes in through Great Langdale and hits the right of Side Pike as you can see in the image. During Winter months when it rises more to the south east, the wall running through the middle of this image and up to Side Pike gets side lit, which looks fantastic. During summer months at sunset the setting sun would be directly in front of you if you were stood at this vantage point. Other images and compositions from here can be seen in my gallery.

Grid reference NY 29695 05181





Langdale Pikes at sunrise from Lingmoor Fell, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, England.Langdale Pikes at sunrise from Lingmoor Fell, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, England.Langdale Pikes at sunrise as viewed from Lingmoor Fell.








Langdale Pikes from Side Pike, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, EnglandLangdale Pikes from Side Pike, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, England





Side Pike

Side Pike can be seen from all the previous vantage points I have mentioned so far, it is often featured in many photographic images containing the Langdale Pikes from around Blea tarn, but not one where many are taken from. (Not from what I've seen on social media anyway)

I personally haven't been up here that many times to take a photo, probably because I often overlook it for other spots down by the tarn or up on Lingmoor, and for how the light falls on it during sunrise and sunset. But you do get a great view looking towards Great Langdale, the Coniston fells, and over to the likes of Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags.

Access is better from the foot path which is situated near the cattle grid before you drop down in to Great Langdale. Parking is available here, but limited as there isn't much space. You wouldn't have much trouble at sunrise, but during winter months when sunset is earlier in the day you'd expect to see walkers. To reach the point where the image on the left was taken will take you about 10 minutes from the cattle grid, is easy to navigate, and you can soak up the views on the way up.

I'd chosen this composition because of the stone wall, the lichens which cover it, and because of where the light was coming from. I had to pay attention to the sun when composing as the angle was adding lens flare. However I'd solved this by just using my hand to shield the lens. I'd been here a couple of times in nearly as many days to try and get this shot, but I was unlucky with the weather not playing ball, and I knew if I had the right conditions the sun would catch the wall directly. Thankfully my persistence had finally paid off and I was rewarded with some beautiful light breaking through the clouds, which also hit the pikes opposite.

There are plenty of other compositions available, including the use of the lone tree which can be seen in the image on the left, and the views from up here are beautiful. One of the first times I'd visited here I'd decided to go back to my car a different way, which at the time I hadn't realised would present it's own problems. Instead of the easier route west from the top, I decided to to go down the slightly steeper and what I thought would be a quicker way down to the east. Sadly for me this was not the case as I came across what I believe to known as 'fat mans agony'. A rather tight squeeze between the rocks, and one which I had to feed my camera bag through first, then hope I could make it though after. All good fun, but a route I will not be rushing back to try any time soon. 

Grid reference NY 29103 05335

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, whilst I have other images from around this area, these were just a few of my favourites I chose to share. Below is a little bit of additional information which you may find useful.


The car park post code for the Tarn is LA22 9PG and the grid reference is NY295043. I generally come in from Little Langdale as the road isn’t as steep as it is from Great Langdale. The car park is National Trust, so unless you are a member then a fee is required for parking, but there are some places around the tarn where you could park for free. The grid reference for parking near the base of Side Pike is NY 28934 05118. Even if you are not in to photography there are plenty of beautiful walks around this area and I can highly recommend them having done some.

I use the ‘The Photographers Ephemeris’ or TPE app for short when looking for where the sun rises and sets at locations. The 3D version is very good as it instantly shows you where what areas will be be in shadow at certain times of day, but you do have to ay ofr this. It can be very useful, and save you a journey if you are wanting a specific area illuminated by the sun or wondering where the shadows are.

ND filters can also be useful in this location, particularly at the tarn as it can help smooth out any unwanted ripples, or even if you just wanted to add a bit of drama to the clouds.

All the grid references I have supplied for the locations are there for guide purposes and may not be precisely where I was stood at the time the image was taken.


(Shaun Derby Photography) 1-2-1 all abilities all ages beginners camera skills coniston fells cumbria filters groups lake district lake district landscape workshops landscape photography workshops landscape tuition landscape workshops langdale langdale pikes learning photography photography tuition photography workshops side pike tuition workshops Tue, 11 Jun 2019 20:48:59 GMT