During the last week of February I spent a long weekend with friends in the stunning Lake District National Park. Throughout the weekend I managed to captured a few new images to add to my Lake District Photo Gallery whilst out hiking and on a stunning early morning dedicated photography trip to the shores of Derwent Water.
The Lake District in winter has a completely different feel to the summer months and takes on a much more relaxing vibe. The roads are quieter, the parking easier, the footpaths and mountains less busy which allows you to visit some of the glorious locations which are normally too crowded and have them all to yourselves. Winter has quickly become my favourite time of year to photograph the national park, and luckily this year the conditions on the roads have been ok and accessibility has in most part not been an issue. I had planned to visit the Lake District again this weekend but due to the amount of snow falling across the UK this trip was cancelled which is a huge disappointment as the conditions on the mountains looked stunning based on the image uploads of the numerous photographs I follow on Twitter.
On this trip the remains on recent snowfall still clung to the upper slopes of the mountains which provided a suitable winter backdrop to many of the images taken over the weekend. The weather gradually improved over the weekend starting off overcast before brightening up with stunning conditions on Monday. I've selected my favourite 8 images from the trip which cover the huge variations in conditions throughout the long weekend from windy & snowy on the Friday to still and sunny on the Monday morning:
On my recent trip to the Yorkshire Dales we spent the afternoon at the Bolton Abbey Estate. We completed a long walk throughout the days visiting the many attractions found all along the River Wharf. The main landmark of the estate is the 12th-century Augustinian monastery. Being a Sunday, the area was very busy with visitors and the huge car parks were nearly full.
The main landmark on the estate is the Priory Church and the remaining Ruins of the Augustinian Priory which sits right next to a bend in the River Wharf. The land on which the priory sits was originally gifted to the Augustinian canons in the 11th Centenary. The remains of the church are in a Gothic style and is still a working priory with weekly services.
Luckily the size of the estate meant that it was never too crowded and we were able to enjoy the long walk from the Bolton Abbey Village up past the Cavendish Pavilion following the River Wharf to the Strid.
'The Strid' is a famous spot on the River Wharfe close to Bolton Abbey where the river is forced through a narrow gap in the rocks. Underneath the water are deep channels and caverns created by the narrowing of the river, the ledges are heavily undercut making this stretch of river known around the world as one of the most dangerous.
Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. A popular tourist destination now owned by the National Trust, the Abbey and the World Heritage Sit of Studley Royal Water Gardens can provide a full day of photographic opportunities and are also a fantastic way to spend a day whilst visiting the nearby Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Within the ruins of the Abbey is the fabulous vaulted cellarium which was originally used for food storage. The beautiful archways featuring in many photographs and are often used for films.
There is a great circular walk which takes you down past the abbey ruins and up and through the picture perfect water gardens. On the route are many follies and water features, packed with history all set within the formally landscaped gardens.
I've included a group of images below from the day featuring some of the fantastic viewpoints found around the National Trust Fountains Abbey Estate:
Fountains Abbey - View of the Abbey Ruins
Fountains Abbey from Anne Boleyns Bench - Surprise View
Fountains Abbey Cellarium
Fountains Abbey Main Hall from the Chapel of 9 Altars
Part of the Nidderdale AONB, Brimham Rocks is a National Trust owned area of Millstone Gritstone rocks which stand out amongst the rolling hills of the local landscape. Although nowhere near as impressive as some of the Edges in the Peak District, the area contains a number of remarkably balanced rocks and formations caused by the natural erosion from the elements.
We spent a good couple of hours walking around the area exploring the rocks and enjoying the viewpoints of the surrounding Yorkshire Dales National Park. The weather conditions were mixed but I was lucky enough to get a few opportunities with strong low sunlight to capture some of the famous rock formations in favourable light.
I think this area would be a great place to spend a little more time at different times of the day as the direction of the sunlight will open up lots of different compositions and viewpoints. Being National Trust owned, it also means the requirements of commercial photography can be ignored allowing you to take pictures for your own use in your own personal style without having to consider image buyers. I've included a selection of my personal favourites from the day to give you an impression of the opportunities at Brimham Rocks:
Earlier this month I spent a few days touring the Yorkshire Dales and we based ourselves in the popular Yorkshire town of Knaresborough. Famous for its Castle perched high up on the cliffs along with the stunning River Nidd which has carved a deep valley through the Yorkshire Landscape.
It's hard to ignore the popular viewpoints found in the area. Amongst a few other photographs taken near to our accomodation, my favourite image by far is a shot taken after sunset from the viewpoint at Knaresborough Castle high up overlooking the River Nidd towards the famous railway viaduct. The blending of the last of the natural light from the sunset mixed in with the artificial lighting of the street lamps gives a beautiful balance throughout the whole scene. The temperature at the time of taking this image was below freezing with no wind which really helped with the long exposure to keep everything all trees and the reflection sharp throughout the shot. The cold air gives a cool vivid sharpness to the scene:
View from Knaresborough Castle overlooking the River Nidd - Yorkshire, UK
I'm really pleased to have one of my images from Whitby on the front cover of the popular Yorkshire Life Magazine. The January 2018 edition of the magazine includes my photograph of the view of Whitby overlooking the harbour to the Abbey and 199 Steps.
The photograph was taken trip to the Yorkshire Coast on cold December evening from a viewpoint on the Khyber Pass. On this particular evening I had been exploring the Whitby pier and beach for sunset before moving further back into the town to shoot across the river capturing the eastern side of the river which includes the famous 199 steps and Abbey. A wider version of the photograph can be viewed in my gallery here > Whitby Rooftops.
2017 was another busy year for my photography business with my stock imagery sales increasing to magazines, newspapers and online marketing outlets. Alongside this, my physical print sales (Mounted and Framed) grew experiencing a record year for sales to many new customers throughout the UK and worldwide.
My 2018 British Landscapes Calendar sold out on New Years day and received a number of 5 star reviews on the various online marketplaces through which they are available. I had a busy period in November with commercial orders for customised calendars. These customised calendars can be based on a chosen area of the UK and include company logos and important business dates making these an ideal promotional Christmas gift to clients and employees.
During the year I made a number of dedicated photography trips along with working holidays to some new areas of the UK. The highlight of these trips was a week spent in the beautiful Austrian mountains based in Seefeld walking through the fantastic alpine woodlands, meadows and hiking to incredible mountain summits view stunning views over the Tirol Olympiaregion scenery.
During 2017 I altered my digital workflow by upgrading my image processing & management software from Capture One to Adobe Lightroom. Both pieces of software have their merits but I have found the performance of Lightroom superior which cuts down on editing time. As I try to keep my photographs as natural looking and as close to the original scene as possible, Lightroom has all of the basic image adjustments I need almost completely removing the need for Photoshop.
I have chosen a set of my favourite 10 photographs taken during 2017 and have put these into a collection of images below.
May I take this opportunity to pass on my best wishes for a happy and successful 2018 and to thank you all for your continued support through visits to this site and interaction and sharing on my social media channels.
Last weekend we headed for a pre-Christmas trip to the Lake District for a festive getaway and some last minute rest and relaxation. During the trip I managed to mix in a couple of photography sessions and took the camera out on our walks in the stunning Lakeland countryside. We travelled up to the northern lakes via the scenic route stopping off at Bowness and Grasmere before reaching our accommodation in Braithwaite. The weather during the weekend was very mixed but we were lucky to experience breaks in the cloud and rain at all of the right moments allowing me to capture a number of new Lake District images to add to my expanding gallery and stock image collection.
The highlight of the long weekend had to be a stunning walk up the Cat Bells on the shores of Derwent Water. The Cat Bells trail is one of the most popular routes in the northern Lake District but on Monday in the middle of winter the area was deserted allowing us to enjoy the views on the cold crisp winter morning with the mountain all to ourselves. The late sunrise times at this time of year meant we were out walking after breakfast just as the sun rose over the mountains allowing me to capture the remains of the early morning mist hanging over the icy surface of Derwent Water lake.
The last stop of the weekend was Gowbarrow fell at a viewpoint above Aira Force Waterfall. From this viewpoint I captured a stunning winter sunset over the mountains at the western end of Ullswater before heading back home to down the M6 to Barnsley.
Below are a collection of my favourite images from the trip:
Lake Windermere Sunset from Bowness Point
Winter storm in Borrowdale
Derwent Water, Keswick & Blencathra Mountain from Cat Bells
Now in its eighth year, I'm pleased to announce the launch of my popular 2018 British Landscapes calendar priced at £10. Each month features a full A4 scenic photograph along with a practical dates grid highlighting UK holidays.
My calendars are designed in my home studio and printed at my local printers in Sheffield allowing me to be in full control of all aspects of their production. This year I have continued to invest in much thicker 350gsm silk art paper (3x as thick as many other calendars) to give the calendars a quality feel and aid in their longevity for continued use throughout the year for their true purpose. The calendars are delivered wrapped in tissue paper inside a cardboard display box. The calendar boxes are dispatched wrapped in an outer plastic postal bag so once received they can be given as gifts in a pristine unmarked condition.
My calendars are popular with commercial buyers who give these as gifts to employees or clients, there is the possibility to either bulk buy this calendar with improved pricing levels or to create a customised version featuring your company logo and any special dates. If this is of interest to you please get in touch for a quote.
My main summer holiday this year was spent on a walking holiday in the beautiful Austrian mountains. We stayed in the mountain resort of Seefeld which is 30 minutes from Innsbruck airport making it an extremely accessible holiday base surrounded by stunning scenery. Seefeld is famous for hosting the nordic events of the winter Olympics twice and will also host the 2019 Nordic World Championships and is the perfect location thanks to the surrounding mountains and extensive network of cross country skiing trails.
We spent much of the week walking from our base at the Seespitz hotel which sits on the shores of Lake Wildsee. During the week explored much of the local area made use of the cable cars taking us to 2,000 metres for the mountain ridge trail walk up to Seefelder Spitze at 2,221m for amazing 360 degree views. Other highlights of the week included a rail trip over the border into Germany to visit the beautiful Bavarian town of Mittenwald and also the nearby Leutascher Geisterklamm Gorge.
In this blog I have included a selection of my favorite images of the trip taken on our many walks exploring the Olympiaregion at Seefeld in Tyrol.
View from the Seespitz hotel overlooking Lake Wildsee
Seesptiz Hotel on the shores of Lake Wildsee
Lake Wildsee Shortly After Sunrise
View across the Seefeld Roof Tops - St. Oswald Parish Church
Walking Route 10 to Reither Spitze (2374m)
Kaltwassersee Lake on the walk up the Rosshutte
Maria Heimsuchung Church - Mösern
Mountain view from Mösern overlooking the Upper Inn Valley
Carp at Lake Möserer See near Mösern
Leutasch from leutasch Shanz
Leutascher Geisterklamm Gorge
Isar River - Mittenwald looking towards Westliche Karwendelspitze
Mittenwald in Bavaria
About Nick Nick Cockman is a digital photographer from Sheffield specialising in UK Landscape and Seascape photography.