As we had no weddings to pap this weekend, we spent it with some good buddies up around Wasdale in the beautiful Lake District
On Friday night we packed the TT & Clare, Kyra & I hit the road!

Unfortunately we had a pretty serious puncture on the way up that added two and a half hours and a £240 sting to the trip!

[ Basically the TT has run-flats instead of a spare tyre, and you get a kit that pumps clever foam into the tyre so you can drive at 50mph till it’s repaired.  Unfortunately, foam doesn’t work when you’ve a mahoosive tear all doon’t tyre! So Mr RAC had to take me to the nearest tyre garage to replace it. ]

Anyhoos – the morning after our late arrival we united with our pals, chowed down breakfast & hit the road

Today’s destination was Greendale and an ominous-looking forecast made me decide to take along my pocketable Sony HX9v compact camera, instead of the DSLR.  As it only shoots JPEGs (and not the more versatile RAWs I generally shoot) I thought I’d use this as a test to push them through Adobe Lightroom and the AlienSkin Exposure 4 Lightroom plugin I’ve been dabbling with recently, to see what kind of results I got.

This was one of the first images I shot at Wast Water, literally opposite where we parked, just as the sun started to rise behind the hills.

In ‘post’ I tweaked it a bit in Lightroom before adding the light leaks and scratches in Exposure 4.  It’s a fun plugin designed mainly for film emulation (to make clean digital photos look like old film stocks), but the stuff it can do to age and visually ‘damage’ a photo can add a nice drama to an image.

Here’s our starting teamshot, before we all looked mucky, flushed & windswept.

[ Plus it shows what the camera images look like without any post-production tweaking ]This spike was the first hill we were gonna clamber up!

#joy

The Exposure 4 post production effect on this one emulates a faded sepia Daguerreotype, the first commercially successful photographic process by Louis Dageurre.  Impressive how old it looks eh?!The weather that day turned out to actually be wonderfully changeable, from sun to cloud to hail back to sun again (like many weddings I’ve photographed up in the Lakes!).  This kind of weather is wonderfully dramatic for photography, and the pokey little 16x zoom on the Sony helped me pic out misty ridges and reflecting lakes in the distance.

This image is emulating a later film development process the Wet Plate ‘Collodian’ process.  Introduced in the 1850s and in under a decade had almost entirely replaced the daguerreotype film process.  I love the creamy hues and distinctive edging.

Our little pooch, Kyra came along for the adventure and had a whale of a time…… and much to our disapproval she was more than interested in playing chase with the white dogs that were hanging out everywhere.It wasn’t long before heart rates were up, and the views back were quite something.First official peak ‘bagged’, I believe called Red Pike.

It’s the man on the left, Steve, who instigates this madness – and he’s on a mission to bag 100 peaks in the Lakes.

He’s also into his walking ‘tech’ and recorded the walk on his Garmin Forerunner 910XT; a £300 GPS watch that records your heart-rate & altitude, then calculates calories burnt, MPH and even plots your route on a map!  It’s nuts what it says – we burnt 2800 calories & our average pace (including lunch breaks) was a mile in 41 minutes!  Not exactly running eh?!

You can see our full walk stats on Garmin’s site here.

We always have a great laugh and although mainly not regular walkers, we always like to push ourselves out over 10+ undulating miles and celebrate afterwards with pies and booze!

“Did someone say pies?”The views from the tops are quite breath-taking.

These past two panoramic pics are taken using the Sony’s clever ‘Sweep Panorama‘ feature, where you literally swing the camera in either direction (including up & down) & it stitches together a super wide, super high resolution image!

I love the processing on the above wet-plate style image, but the problem with these wide pano’s is that you can’t see the detail on a tiny 800 pixel blog image.  So if you’d like to see it real large, click the image above or here for a 2000pixel version!
The weather was defo changeable, but between the rain & sun we were greeted with a few beautiful rainbows.

As always, one of the highlights for me was lunch!

Kyra also likes lunch.  Though her hints aren’t exactly subtle.Another peak being bagged!  This time I believe it was Scoat Fell.I loved the moody skies in this one.  When a gloomy sky is darker than clouds it generally makes for dramatic images.

The problem with compact cameras is that you don’t really have a shallow depth of field to play with, so you it’s harder to draw attention to focussed areas.  This is partly due to small camera sensor size and generally low performance apertures on the lenses.  So the next best tool besides a pretty subject is good composition and leading lines.  I decided for this image above to lower the camera into the foreground grass for some foreground interest, then the wall leads you into the shot and towards Steve powering ahead up the hill!  Plus a lick of lightly grainy film emulation and a funky border and we’ve a nice image.

We’ve taken Kyra on loads of Dalesy stomps before (I blogged our trip up Pen-Y-Ghent here), and apart from a slight over-interest in sheep-bothering, she loves it.  But on previous Lake District visits with Steve & the gang (see our Borrowdale blog here and Great Gable adventures here), we’ve not taken Kyra as there’s been some actual climbing that’s tough for a dog to circumnavigate.

So this was our first stomp with Kyra,and it turned out there were a few bits she couldn’t do, over larger boulder fields and down a cliff that even we struggled with, so Mark, Steve & I ended up playing scratchy pass a few times!  #bless

The last third of the walk was a long stroll down this wet and boggy valley.  The glorious weather was still making the landscape glow. 

More leading lines!

Unfortunately the valley was mainly covered by streams or sinky bog.  Soggy boots isn’t a great deal of fun.Neither is stacking it in the slop.

Five times!As the stream got larger, it had cut some lovely channels, and the mossy trees looked ace.

I like the rough edging on this one too.

Arriving back at Wast Water…

…we walked through some pretty woodland on the way back to the carpark…I spotted this cheeky lakeside view from the roadside, so snuck down.

I love this platinum colour toning on this wet plate effect.Ace ehAs we waited for the full team to turn in by the lake, the sun was starting to set, and I caught another pic of the rocks I’d snapped at sunrise.

A top stomp all round…

…though the real reason I came on this thing was the infamous Gosforth Hall pies.  We’ve enjoyed them before and they go superbly well with LOADS OF WINE!

The hangover and feeling stiff as a board didn’t go so well together today, however!

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