A View, a Camera and You - Wast Water

Wast Water sunset as seen from Irton Pike by Mark Gilligan

Wast Water sunset as seen from Irton Pike by Mark Gilligan - Credit: mark gilligan

You don’t always have to be up with larks to get a great shot, says professional photographer Mark Gilligan

Two particular times of day can create evocative and mystical photographs. Sunrise and sunset. Now, if you are like me and enjoy a lie in, then the latter will been seen in a more favourable light. No pun intended.

The key is not to simply turn up somewhere but to find a suitable location and know how the light behaves, its position and potential. I’ll often take a stroll and just observe how the dusk ‘arrives’, making mental notes about suitable places to photograph. While some visits don’t always produce the goods you can usually sense and ‘feel’ the ones that will work.

Fortunately, in this neck of the woods, we are blessed with the myriad of valleys and features that will allow us to indulge in capturing those special moments.

Bright, blue, cloudless days aren’t always the most suitable days to go for. I know they are wonderful when they do eventually arrive but I like a photograph to have character and clouds will provide that for you.

A fading sun will generally bounce off them and produce that wonderful light generating hues to enrich the vista. It’s also a good idea to practice sunset shots because, as you’ll quickly realise, your window of opportunity lasts around 15 minutes before the light becomes useable. For that reason its good to ‘scout’ the area so that you know which spots are more advantageous. Try to envisage in your mind’s eye what you’re going to shoot before the situation arises and that will help enormously.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I like to shoot ‘the usual’ from an unusual place or perspective and for this shot of Wast Water I took the path up towards Irton Pike.

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Apart from offering a different view it’s a lovely place to see the end of the day unfurl before you. Remember to take a tripod as you will find it difficult to hand-hold the shots due to the slower shutter speed.

Let’s get technical

Camera Canon 5dmk2

Canon 17-40 L series lens

F22 @ 0.5th sec

ISO 100

Lee no9 soft Graduated Filter

Cable release

Giottos Carbon Tripod

Mark Gilligan is a regular contribitor to Lancashire Life and, with broadcaster David Powell Thompson, teaches photographic skills. Find out more at wastwaterphotography.co.uk. You can download your own pictures to www.lancashirelife.co.uk and put yourself in the running from a great prize from Wilkinson Cameras.