To end the year, I thought I would share some of may favourite images taken this year - one for each month. It has been a tough choice for some months as there were more than one favourite, we had some fabulous conditions in the Lake District. I also had a wonderful trip to the Isle of Skye and had a a number of images from the trip that I was pleased with.
I hope you enjoy having a browse through the 12 images I have selected, each with a brief description of where, why and how I created it.
January is one of my favourite months for photography and it was tough to choose my favourite picture for this month. I decided on "Light over Easedale Tarn".
This image was taken during a walk with my family, from Grasmere and up to Easedale Tarn on to Tarn Crag and Eagle Crag. As we were walking over Greathead Crag the amazing light appeared through the heavy clouds, illuminating the lake and the fells.
This is a handheld shot with a 35mm prime lens, I metered for the light part to slightly underexpose the image which makes the light stand out avoiding blowing out the highlights and using a fast aperture (f/5.6) at 1/500th of a second to avoid any shake.
I headed out early and was planning on going to Grasmere as there was a forecast for some mist. But as I was approaching Keswick I saw that Derwentwater was looking rather special and misty so decided to head to Ashness Jetty. I'd had an image of a jetty leading out into mist in my mind for a while and I was so pleased that this morning allowed to me to create the image I had wanted. The perfect reflection of the mist in still water added to the ethereal feeling. Unusually I was the only person at the jetty.
I used a tripod and a wide 14mm lens to get as much of the scene as possible. An exposure time of 1.3 seconds, ISO 64 and an aperture of f/14.
After a late March snow fall I decided to visit Deepdale, a valley near Ullswater. The valley has the beck running through and lots of small waterfalls. With the valley filled with snow and a light mist swirling around Green How End, I decided to use a long exposure to smooth the water and give a lovely soft effect.
Setting my tripod low, I used a focal length of 20mm and an exposure of 20 seconds to get the effect I wanted. I used a narrow aperture of f/16 to keep everything in the image sharp.
A very early start at Derwentwater where we were treated to some wonderful light, a perfectly still lake and a delicate mist. The trees lit up as the morning sun reached them, giving them a wonderful orange glow.
This image was a two second exposure at ISO 64, f/11, 48mm.
Scale Force is a stunning waterfall which has a drop of over 100ft, into a moss lined ravine. You need to walk for around an hour to reach it, but it is definitely worth the trip. The fall is near Crummock Water running down from Starling Dodd. To reach this view you have to walk down the path at the side of the fall and then scramble up the wall.
To get the very mystical effect I was after for this visit, I decided I wanted a very long exposure so the image is 120 seconds at f14, with a focal length of 17mm at ISO 64.
June is the month where the sun is highest in the sky, so heading into the woods can give some great opportunities to find the areas that are usually very dark being lit by the high sun. As I walking through the woods I found this fern leaf lit from the sun with the deep dark woods behind.
I metered for the fern to ensure the bright sun didn't burn out the features on the leaf in my images and kept enough light to see the details and depth of the woods behind. This is a handheld shot at 35mm, with a very fast aperture of f1.8 to get an exposure of 1/60th of a second but keep the ISO low at 64.
We spent an afternoon on the beach to capture all aspects of a beach life on a summers day and stayed until sunset. The beach cleared of people, the tide was out and the sand was covered in wonderful ripples. The light rays appeared behind St Bees head as the sun dipped behind the horizon and the sky filled with a soft orange glow.
I wanted to create a dark but atmospheric sunset, really drawing out the orange from the sky as it reflected in the wet sand, so I didn't want a long exposure that would let too much light in. At 27mm, I used an narrow aperture of f/16 and exposure time of 1/20th of a second, ISO 320, metering for the lightest area of the image.
On this August morning I was leading a photowalk onto Holme Fell. A photowalk day includes a walk of around five miles with many stops to photograph the views around us. I will always try to point out some of the key features and we have plenty of time to take in the scene. Holme Fell a small fell in a stunning location with 360 degrees vistas over to Windermere, to Coniston, down to the Langdales and over to Helvellyn.
On this walk we were treated to some beautiful light and a little drizzle at times which meant we did have rainbows too.
I used a relatively long focal length of 100mm to capture the light on the Langdale Pikes but to also include the light in the quarry in the foreground. Shot at ISO 64, f/14, 1/6 of a second.
After a day shooting in Eskdale we drove over Hardknott and Wrynose to finish our day with a sunset at Blea Tarn. We were there to capture the last of the sun light hitting the Langdale Pikes, being reflected in the perfectly still water. It was stunning.
I shot the image at 50mm to close in on the Pikes, f/14, 2.5 seconds, ISO 64.
I checked the weather forecast the night before and saw that there was a high chance of mist at Buttermere, so that is where I heading on this morning. Misty it was. The mist was quite heavy when I arrived and I spent time at the head of the lake shooting the lone tree as it was isolated in the mist. But as the mist started clearing it swirled around Fleetwith Pike and it started to emerge looking magnificent in the morning light.
I wanted to zoom in to the Pike so I used a focal length of 100mm, with an aperture of f/14, ISO 64 at 1/6 of a second.
In November I took a trip to the Isle of Skye, this is my only image outside of the Lake District. We had a rainy start to the day and couldn't shoot at our first location, but decided to head to the fairy pools where it was more a light drizzle. But as we reached the waterfalls, the drizzle stopped and it left us with a fabulous mist that clung to the mountains behind the waterfall. It was so atmospheric, a magical scene for my first trip to the pool.
I wanted to slow the water enough to capture the movement but I didn't want the exposure too long that you lost the drama and shape in the clouds. I shot this image at 30mm, ISO 64, f/14 for 1 second.
The Lake District had a dusting of snow and I decided to visit Tewet Tarn for dawn. The tarn was frozen solid and was covered in snow it has a stunning panoramic view which includes Skiddaw and Blencathra. As the sun came up, the light was beautiful and I spent some time wondering around the tarn. Just before I left I headed to the small fence that leads into the tarn. In the distance is Lonscale Fell, the summit in clouds but the morning light at its foot with the clouds in the sky golden from the early sun.
This image is shot at 20mm for 1.4 seconds, ISO 64, f/14