Last weekend on one of our wedding-free weekends, Clare & I joined a few buddies for our bi-annual stomp in The Lake District.

Really they’re an opportunity to eat pies and visit microbreweries, but are easier justified when book-ending a big ol’ walk.  Steve, our pal and organiser, is trying to ‘bag’ to top 100 highest lakeland peaks and for the past few years, have joined him in stomping up and down this green and pleasant land.  All have ended with well earned grub and ales, and some walks have been more pleasant than others.  This was fortunately one of the more pleasant ones; a 13 mile ramble around the Kentmere Horseshoe, in baking sunshine and only rating in at 7 out of 10 on the hardness scale.

[If you’re interested in past Lakeland blogs – a 9 out of 10 hardcore Pilla adventure can be seen here, beautiful Borrowdale here & a turn around Wasdale here]

As usual our adventures started at closer to the crack of dawn than I care to find myself, and even after a full English, we hit the road at 0730!


Gear-wise, I decided to use only one lens on my DSLR this year. Last year I took a Sony compact (the HX9v – which was vastly unimpressed at slipping into a wet bog with me, and required a trip to the warranty hospital!), and on inspection, the quality wasn’t really there.  A year previous I’d packed a DSLR and dragged a whole bunch of lenses around with me – 16-35mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8 IS, 50mm f1.2. Quality & creative depth-of-field were there, but a tad weighty, cumbersome and difficult to have on hand while also being shielded from tut elements.  So this year I decided to dust off the ol’ travel favourite, the 24-105mm f4 ‘standard zoom’ lens.  Not vastly ‘fast’ in low light, not hugely wide or close, but when paired with the full-frame 5D bodies (mk1, ii or iii) is an under-rated compact all-rounder!

All the pics in this blog were shot on this one lens, and it reminded me how much I like it.

Reet – geeking over…


… and one giddle little chap called Tonto!

Last year we took our pooch Kyra with us, but because she got her Sheep Bothering badge with a distinction, she had her Lakesy privileges revoked! 🙁

Steve’s into his ‘tech’, and after a spirit destroying digital compass fail down the wrong side of a scree-slope on a previous trip, a ‘real’ compass was on hand!

Liking the leading lines on this one

As we ‘bagged’ each of our 7 peaks, I decided to do a groupshot on each, as well as the odd shot of couples and buddies.

A cairn overlooking windermere

There was even a few spots of snow still loitering up there!


Loving the rays!

This little style looked pretty cool…

And a few steps further on I decided to do an iPhone panorama (a feature flaunted on the iPhone 5 ads, but I believe on all iOS 4 iPhones and found here).

It works in the pretty amazing way the Sony Compacts like the HX9v do ‘Sweep Panoramas’, by smoothly panning the camera around a scene.  I took a whole bunch, as some I ended up dragging down and spoiling, then ran my fave through the iPhone app Snapseed to add a bit of drama.  Click the pic above to see it in a new window, then depending on the age of your browser, click again to view it full size! It’s worth zooming in to see how hard it is to spot the stitching!

One the way down the far side of the horseshoe do you et a sense of the walk we just did.

Here’s another iPhone pano – which again can be clicked to see it in a new window (and clicked again to see in full size)

Bad hair selfies!

Another of my faves, showing our gang against ever rolling valley bottom pastures

Awesome random vehicle!

I love it when there are clouds and wind, as the clouds leave shadows on the landscape.

I spent a while waiting for the sun to come and light this derelict farm building, but that splash of sun on it and the foreground makes all the difference.

It’s a great versatile lens for portraiture, and I love how at f4 you can see the background go soft when zoomed up towards the 105mm end.


Time for a scoop (though on round 2 Steve through it fun to buy me a pint of 7.2% loopy scrumpy…

Top times all round!

The next day the weather was a completely different story for our GoApe swinging in the Grizedale treetops adventure…

Cheers for reading kids!


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