I was sitting at my computer last Sunday evening when I heard a rumble of Thunder. I had been watching the weather closely all afternoon following a warning for potential thunderstorms, but wasn't expecting anything for at least another hour. I grabbed my camera gear and headed off down to a place on the harbour which I thought might be good for photographing lightning. As I walked down the Quay the sky behind me was black and another rumble of Thunder gave me hope that I might get a result. Unfortunately after 20 minutes or so it wasn't to be as the storm passed by and didn't produce any lightning. I checked the weather Apps on my phone again to see if there might be more on the way but it didn't look good so I packed up my gear and headed up to the top of Harras Moor (the highest point in Whitehaven), to see what conditions looked like further inland.
I looked toward Ennerdale and there was a blanket of low lying mist clinging to the fells which had been left behind as the raincloud moved away in the distance. I thought that there would be some possible photo opportunities so I drove to Kirkland, a small village near Ennerdale to see what I could find.
By the time I got there conditions were changing very quickly and I struggled to find a decent composition. What looked to be a good opportunity for some atmospheric images was quickly turning into a dull flat landscape as the mist cleared away. I managed to grab a couple of shots although the results were not what I would call great, more a record of the conditions as I saw them. I decided to hang around that area to see what would develop as according to the weather Apps on my phone, there was another potential storm heading my way . However, after a few moments the clouds started to break behind me and some nice colour and light began to appear in the sky.
Determined that I was going to get something out of the trip, I jumped back in the car and headed half a mile or so up the road to a location where I thought I might get some better shots. There are some really nice gnarly trees lined up through the middle of a field that I have photographed on a couple of occasions before, thinking I could use them as a subject against the colourful sky.
After a frantic few minutes looking at various options with the different trees and hoping that the colour would hold on, I found a composition I was happy with and finally got a shot. It was not the photograph I had been looking for when I left the house, nor is it an image that will win any awards, but it highlights how persistence pays off with landscape photography.
We always rely on the weather to play ball when taking taking photographs of the landscape and it pays to utilise modern technology to put yourself in the right place at the right time. However, on some occasions you just have to see what develops and take what you can from a given situation. The results may not be as good as a well planned composition taken in perfect conditions, but for me it is better to go home with something in the bag after making the effort to go out in the first place. In addition, I now have another location which I know I can return to at sunset, when I can give myself more time to compose a better shot. There were a few other options here which I didn't have time to explore due to the short time I was there. I will definitely be back soon when the weather looks right.