May 30, 2013

Lake District Weekend, Scafell Pike

I'm continuing with the last part of the weekend and today was the day we would hike up to England highest peak.
The weather was absolutely wonderful with not a cloud in the sky apart from far out at sea, but we were hoping that it would stay there.
We went away with the cars to where we would start the hike but before that, we stopped at Wast water to take some pictures of the calm water.
Arriving at the parking lot about 09:30 so we just had to take the boots and some comfortable clothes and head out.
There were already many people on the site, so it would probably be pretty much congestion along  the tracks.
We set out towards the top and looked forward to a nice walk in the nice weather, but we were barely halfway through when the cloud front from the sea had come in and the peaks were hidden by the clouds.
We hoped that it would get better weather later, but the higher we got, the worse it was now the fog was so thick that we could hardly see anything at all.
We had no compass or map, which is incredibly stupid of us but we were confident that we could find someone who had it and in the end we found a couple who were also a bit lost in the fog and they had a map and compass.
But the funny thing was that the old man was completely confused which turned out that he could not read a map and compass :)) so i showed him how to use it.
The fog disappeared after half an hour and we could now follow the trail to the top, the hike was not as tough as I had imagined.
It sure was a steep climb almost all the way to the top but since it only took 2.5 hours so it was like the whole was over too quickly.
Enjoyed a moment at the top with a beer, which my wife had brought up and it tasted wonderful, we got many envious looks too :))
Now it was overcast again, so we started to descend into the fog again, and halfway down it was sunny again.


May 29, 2013

Lake District Weekend (Part 1/2)

Last weekend was spent in the Lake District and as I wrote in a previous post, the goal was to climb England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike with its 978m.
We started around 07:30 on Saturday morning with a group of friends, and arrived in Ambleside as the first sightseing place at 10:30.
We went for a walk in the small village that has incredibly beautiful stone houses and it is very picturesque, we also took a walk down to the lake Windermere, which is actually England's largest.
The lake is one of the most popular places for holidays since summer 1847 when the railroad Kendal and Windermere opened.
We then drove to the hostel in Eskdale that was perfectly located between mountains. To get to Eskdale we needed to cross the mountain range and we stopped at a few  waterfalls and a cave called Cathedral Quarries for some photos. After that we continued over Hardknott Pass which was really nice and curvy. The road is not wide, and it was at some places exciting to meet other cars. It was so steep in some parts that cars wheels span on the asphalt when they drove up, the first time I have seen it anyway :))
After checking in at the hostel we went on to more sightseeing, and this time to Wast water located close to where we would start the climb to Scafell Pike next day. We spend couple of hours strolling around, taking pics and just enjoing the nice weather.

May 24, 2013

The Beautiful Bluebell Forest

Here in England between April and May you can in ancient woodlands ( find something impressive, which is bluebells almost covers entirly the forest floors. They spread amazing scent and look beautiful.
I've been in one of those woodlands for the past two evenings and photographed. The closes one to us here in Sheffield is the Ecclesall woods. It's a 400 year old forest, which is required for these flowers.
Ecclesall Woods is best one to visit in Sheffield if you want to see bluebells, but unfortunately it is not as good as some other forests around the country.
The flowers do not cover the forest entierly, but in some areas it can be an awful lot of them :)
I found it was rather difficult photographed because of all the small trees and shrubs that always were in the way.

This weekend Sat-Mon (bank holiday here in UK), I will again go to the Lake District NP. This time we are hiking with a bunch of friends and climb the highest peak in England - Scafell Pike with its 978meter above sea level. It may not sound impressive but it is very steep and difficult to climb.

May 23, 2013

Lake District NP Road Trip

Last week was my little brother and his wife here on a visit for a few days.
We had decided that I would show them the Lake District NP which is about 3h drive north towards the west coast.
We started early to avoid the worst traffic, but despite that, we got stuck in queues at Manchester, but it took maybe an extra 30min which is not so bad when you sometimes have to queue for hours.
Once in the Lake District we drove first a mountain pass down towards Ullswater situated nicely between the mountains, we could still see snow in some deep ravines on the mountain but there were also fresh snow on the peaks.
We had a really good weather because Lake District is known for its rainI've heard somewhere that it rains about 2000mm per year and 200 days a year. :))
We then drove on towards Keswick which is a small town surrounded by mountains and water, really nice and very touristy with lots of outdoor shops and pubs.
After lunch, we took one more mountain pass (Honister Pass) it was very steep and the poor little rental car had to fight but it was worth it because it was really nice up there.
Then we continued on towards the coast to a place called Mary port where we stopped and took a little walk and then again continue toward Lake and through it towards the largest lake Windermere and further home. We were home by 20:00 so it was really a long great day.

Today I got my new screen a Dell Ultra Sharp 2410 that has received really good reviews for its price range, and I can only agree it seems to be very good.
I have calibrated the screen with a Spyder pro 3 but I'm a little unsure about the colors so if someone has a calibrated monitor i will be glad if you can let me know if the colors look strange. :)

May 18, 2013

No blogging due to broken screen

Unfortunately, my screen has been broken for a while now, so thats why the blogging is on hold.
But I'm still taking pictures and looking for a new screen. I will be back, hasta la vista. :))

May 12, 2013

Bugs and forest flowers

This morning I took the opportunity to go down to the Rivelin Valley before the rain comes.
Overcast weather as it is today usually fits excellent to photograph flowers and insects because it gives a more even light.
So it was that I occupied myself for couple of  hours. Now it's nice in the forests with all the small flowers anywhere in the Rivelin Valley.
I photographed with macro lens and Nikon 3Ds with iso 1000 because it's so dark down there and hand held.

May 10, 2013

Sometimes you're lucky

Yesterday it rained and blew all day so I was not so eager to go out and take pictures.
But I like to take pictures of wet birds and animals, because they can look so fun out with wet fur or plumage.
So yesterday I was fortunate because a jay landed on the only branch of the tree outside my window which is without leaves and right in front of the window 6m away.
So it was perfect, I can be indoors and shoot soaked birds, the only problem is that I have to shoot through a window with double glass and rain drops on it, but it went pretty well, I think.
Jay is really one of my favorite birds, I've always liked their colorful feathers that glow blue, and because they are not easy to get close too, it becomes a little more sport then to get good pictures of them :))
I also had the good fortune to shoot a wet Carrion Crow in the same place, it must be something magical about that branch :)
Now I'll  get out in the rain and trying to take pictures of ducklings which I saw yesterday down in the Rivelin Valley.

By the way if you are interested in Pilgrim Falcons, here is a link to the Pilgrim falcons in Sheffield. The chicks were hatched yesterday so it might be fun to follow them.

May 8, 2013

Bank holiday Monday

On Monday (bank holiday here in UK) me and my wife went off for a 18km hike that began in Logde Moor and then towards Redmires Reservoirs and then a side trip to Stanage Edge and back.
The weather was fantastic, 17C and a lovely warm sun, and it seemed almost the whole of Sheffield was at Stanage Edge. I have never seen so many climbers there, like yesterday.

During the walk, we managed to see a bit more unusual birds as Dotterel, but I had only the wide angle lens on so there was no pictures taken. Another unusual bird, Ring Ouzel, I was looking for didn't make an appearance as there were so many climbers on their nesting place. There are signs saying you should avoid climbing at some spots, but people do not seem to care :((
The poor fellows are probably very stressed, but this amount of people is very very unusual.

Anyhow, I have swapped my old 10-24mm wide angle lens that I could only use on D90 (crop camera) to a 16-35mm f4 suitable for a the 3Ds (full frame), and I'm incredibly happy with it.
Have only had time to try it twice but compared to the last one this is So much better. This might be also due to a change to Nikon 3Ds which is a professional camera and can handle different lighting better.
So now I've completely switched over to full-frame and can avoid carrying two cameras with me.
Here you have some photos from Stanage Edge..

Trying to take off but a strong wind make him

to fly in to the stonewall, he was not injured :))