PoTM 2011 October: Skidaw: Evening light



Skidaw, the most northerly of all the 3000 footers in the Lake District, cuts a proud profile at the head of Derwent Water. As a consequence it’s much photographed, usually from the shores of Derwent itself or from one of the many vantage points on the Borrowdale fells immediately south.


On a clear evening the vista is well worth staying out for especially as the sun falls in the west and the final rays of sunlight kiss Skidaw’s west-facing slopes. Keswick, lying at the base of Skidaw and starved of light, falls almost into obscurity in the middle distance.


Such was the scene when I poked a lens out from behind the ancient woodlands just past Ashness Bridge high above the east shores of Derwent. The fells east of Skidaw were in near darkness but no matter as they were all but obscured by the trees. The fells west of Skidaw were similarly in near darkness but their profiles were clear. Beyond, Bassenthwaite Lake was shimmering in the distance and beyond that a wind farm was just visible on the far horizon.


True be told, I’d gonnen there a bit late in the day and so time was pressing. Rather hurriedly, I fired off a series of shots which I knew would nicely stitch together later. I used a split neutral density filter to help hold detail in the sky, Skidaw’s flanks and Derwent in the foreground. Shooting the images I switched in manual exposure so that each shot could be stitched without the need to do any pre-stitch adjustments. Similarly, I used manual focus so the focus point and depth of focus would be the same in all the shots. On this occasion there was no foreground objects that would introduce parallax problems. I framed the shots so that the far shore of Derwent were on the lowest third line whilst the summit of Skidaw was on the upper third line with Derwent and the evening sky filling the lower and upper thirds of the images respectively. The stitch was easily done and then it was simply a mater of cropping to give the final image in which I opted for Bassenthwaite Lake and Skidaw to be roughly on the respective left and right third lines.


Capture Notes:

Nikon D300, 28-70mm AFS f2.8 @ 48mm, ISO 200, 1/250th secs @ f7.1, matrix metering in manual with -1 1/3rd EV compensation



The Lake District National Park, Skidaw, dusk, scenic, pano