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eelcovanroden August 12, 2018
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"Stormgate", Lady Syke, nr. Ulverston, Cumbria, UK





Winner in Wheather change Photo Challenge
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at Lady Syke near Haverthwaite, south of the UK Lake District. My start point, was the car park by the river Leven just off the A590 dual carriageway at Greenodd, the road being built in the 1980s to provide a bypass for the village. It was a warm and cloudless day with a gentle breeze. The car park is on the track bed of the closed and dismantled section of the Furness Railway line from Lakeside to Ulverston. A footbridge now replaces the viaduct across the estuary where it joined the dismantled railway track bed once again. After a little while passing the house called Lady Syke I soon reached another old railway bridge over the river. The track bed continued straight ahead through the gate, on to land that is now marked private.
High summer, September 9, 2014, about 3:30 in the afternoon.
It was a very bright, cloudless day with the sun high above until the storm clouds suddenly swept in. Perfect for this shot as no special setup was required. At the end of the day I'd seen these storms before and a t-shirt and jeans weren't going to offer me or my equipment any cover on the 2-3 miles back to the car.
A Nikon D200 with a Nikkor 35-70mm f:2.8 AF telephoto zoom lens.
Quite simply it was the darkening sky. I love clouds, all clouds. The cloudier the better. I hadn't set out to take any photos in particular but always carry a camera with me on a hike. This was a gentle walk usually culminating in me taking a rest by the river under the old railway bridge, spoiled only by the incoming storm clouds.
I applied Photomatix Pro to add the tone-mapping.
In my camera bag
My trips find me with a custom backpack containing my old but trusted Nikon D200 with my favourite lens attached which is a Nikkor 35-70mm f:2.8 AF. Extra lenses in the bag are an AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G, a Micro-Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8 macro, and a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro telephoto zoom. Oh, and a tripod. The weight of this kit demands a tripod at low light!
Aim for pictures that you would be happy to display and occasionally go for the fun element - as in head off for that elusive and unique shot. Whilst I still shoot film (I still own the cameras I used for my studies at college in the 1970s) digital photography is a boon as I brazenly go through 100s of frames occasionally finding a few keepers. Film is a good learning curve, teaching you how to get to grips with a camera and, of course, every shot has to count! Get your body right in, move away - don't just rely on focus. Use every angle you physically can, though I'm not quite ready to try that in the middle of a shopping street! Always take a tripod with you and if you’re on a hike take only as much equipment as you'll need. If I’m landscaping my 35mm prime is lens enough whilst the 35-70mm is a superb all-rounder. Take a look around you through the lens. You’ll soon see things that wider vision overlooks. I draw a lot of inspiration from other photographers too. Most of all have fun!!

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